Interview with Alan Joshua, author of The Shiva Syndrome

Title: The Shiva Syndrome

Author: Alan Joshua

Publisher: Champagne Books

Genre: Science Fiction

Format: Kindle

A secret Russian mind research laboratory in Podol’sk erupts, annihilating thousands and leaving a monstrous, one-mile deep crater in its wake.

Beau Walker, parapsychologist and reluctant empath, is coerced into joining a research team, code-named SHIVA, to investigate the enigmatic event.

Walker must fight his way past political and military deceptions and a host of deadly adversaries to unlock the riddle of the SHIVA syndrome.

Will he have the physical, emotional, and spiritual strength to defy the dangers he faces…or will they destroy him before he can come to a new, challenging understanding of the nature of reality?

To Purchase The SHIVA Syndrome

amazon BN

Q: Thank you so much for this interview! Can you tell us where you are from?

I was born and raised in Philadelphia.

Q: How did you come up with your title?

It’s one of a few titles I used. When the book was near ready, it seemed to fit the best.

The book can be seen as a mythological saga and has many facts scattered among the fiction.

SHIVA is a Hindu god considered to be a creator and destroyer. In the story, science opens the

door for humans to reach God-like powers of creation and destruction. SHIVA’s dual nature

fit this well. It is also an acronym for a scientific process that I won’t go into now. In the book,

the syndrome is a group of mental and physical acts that are interconnected and result in,

shall we say, “special” abilities.

The title was personally meaningful because, in researching paranormal healers, I seem to

have run across a recurring pattern of factors and actions that they used to achieve results in

laboratories and clinics.

Q: They say you can judge a book by its cover. Can you tell us a little about your cover and who designed it?

It was done by Trisha FitzGerald. When presented with it I was pleased with how she integrated the symbol of SHIVA sitting in a DNA helix and surrounded by molecular structures.

I did a little Photoshopping, however, adding contrast to make it more brooding, more ominous.

Q: Can you tell us something about your book that would make me run out and buy it?

That’s a great question. SHIVA’s been called, “A surprising, suspenseful, and utterly superb read.” A better answer would be what a reviewer said:  “Any attempt to describe the book in a single statement is difficult, but the book mixes uncommon palettes and manages a masterpiece with it. If The Andromeda Strain was analyzed in four dimensions, The SHIVA Syndrome might be the result. Such a base comparison is an overall disservice to the unique nature of this book, however. It is a surprising, suspenseful, and utterly superb read from start to end, facing modern mindsets with past, present, and future thinking all at once.”

It is warming when someone really “gets it.” To compare it with The Andromeda Strain is very high praise for a first-time fiction writer.

Q: Are there any messages in this book that you want the reader to know about?

Many. They have to deal with what we are as humans, the potentials some call “paranormal,” but I believe are normal extensions of human consciousness. The nature of what we consider to be reality. The reality of mind research and the horrific directions in which it can lead us as well as the flip side, the benefits that can be reaped. We see both sides of that coin in the story.

Q: What was your most favorite chapter to write and why?

                That’s a difficult question, and I have to be careful of spoilers. Let’s say two. One in which

                Beau Walker, the protagonist has an altered state experience. The second is towards the end.

                It came as much a surprise to me as it will be to the readers. The characters simply took over

                the events and I was a kind of “medium,” writing the visions and sounds of what my mental

                images dictated.

Q: Why did you feel you had to write this book?

                Deep inside, probably due to my research, there was something I wanted—no needed—to

                share. I didn’t want it set in a dry, academic way, but brought to life. I wanted others

                to share the experience with me. One Amazon reader really joined me in SHIVA. The caption

                of his review was “None of This Is Real! Really! I Hope!” That was a joy.

Q: Now, some fun questions – What deep dark secret would you like to share with us?

                I became intimate with the characters in the story. There is one in particular—White Wolf—

that I envied for reasons I can’t spell out here. Let’s say he has traits and abilities I admire. Not

a man of the world, he is a man of many worlds. Readers will understand when they read the

Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?

                This is another tough question. I’ve felt the serenity of Notre Dame and the “spiritual

vibrations” of Mont St. Michel. I’ve swum in the Caribbean surrounded by a vast school

of small, neon fish and felt the joy of marriage and my sons’ birth. There is something about

England, Greece, Machu Picchu, and Jerusalem, however, that call to me. Sorry, I just can’t

narrow it to one.

Q: Are you a morning person or a night person?

                Very much a night owl. I simply can’t understand early risers, although they do have some

excellent perspectives. Night seems to bring limitless possibilities and opens the doors to

quiet and imagination transcending the limits imposed by our senses.

Q: Are there any members in your family who also like to write?

                Yes. My younger son showed writing talent and a sensitivity towards words. He’s now a

                musician in Utah, still using his writing, both in words and music.

Q: As a child, were you a dreamer?

                Absolutely. I lived in comics, books, and cinema. The greatest attractions were science fiction

                and horror. That was when I discovered Jules Verne and other great sci-fi writers. It was also

                when I fell in love with film, and the two-hour suspension of reality to be immersed in other

                worlds, other realities.

Q: Last but not least, the magic genie has granted you one wish. What would that be?

                Only one? And I can’t wish for more, right?

                That would have to be a wish for a less troubled world in which there was a global

                community undivided by hate and fear.

Q: Thank you so much for this interview! Do you have any final words?

                Thank you so much for the invitation.

I hope readers will join me in the SHIVA reality and enjoy experiencing Beau Walker’s saga.

The Shiva syndrome, his debut fiction novel, is a science fiction/paranormal mystery and thriller.

Always curious about the unknowns of human experience, he is fascinated with creativity and paranormal abilities. This led to his involvement with Psychology and research into Parapsychology.

He has explored paranormal abilities using hypnosis and in-depth interviewing of a wide range of practitioners. Among his prized possessions are a shriveled, mummified banana (a product of one healer’s biopsychokinesis) and a small, curled Austrian teaspoon produced by a German healer while six people sat around him. (see )
The Shiva Syndrome incorporates his knowledge of Parapsychology and experiences with healers, intuitives, “psychic” sensitives, etc.

Unsurprisingly, he is a science fiction fan and has been influenced by such writers as Asimov, Bradbury, Crichton, Heinlein, Serling, and the extraordinary genius of Phillip Dick.

As an avid Star Trek fan, he is fond of contradicting Gene Roddenberry, believing that human consciousness and its potentials are “the final frontier.”

If you have questions for me, I would be glad to answer them–time permitting. I’d like to hear from you if you’ve had any paranormal experiences.

For More Information

Visit Alan at his website


As a native Philadelphian, Alan Joshua (pen name) has the appropriate fondness for soft pretzels and cheesesteaks. He is married, has two grown children, and lives in the suburbs. He is currently a practicing Clinical Psychologist with a background in Forensic Psychology.

His diverse background includes working in a State penitentiary and mental institution, a sleep laboratory, and a pain management center.

Joshua has published many nonfiction journal articles.

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