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Local author is New York bound

Local writer Colin Mallard goes to New York to receive an award from the Next Generation Indie Book Awards for his latest book, Understanding.

Local writer Colin Mallard goes to New York to receive an award from the Next Generation Indie Book Awards for his latest book, Understanding.

The book was a finalist in the category of Spirituality. He has just learned that it was also the winner in the “US National Indie Excellence Awards,” in the category, New Age Non Fiction (Indie Awards represent the best work by independent publishers across North America).

Understanding had also recently been a finalist in the “US National Best Books Awards” in the category New Age Non Fiction.

The awards will be held during a reception Tuesday evening May 23 at the Plaza Hotel in New York City. The awards are timed to occur during Book Expo America, (BEA) the largest annual publishing event in North America from May 21 to 27.

Mallard, who is both a writer and photographer will be exhibiting his photographs and selling his books during the Art and Bloom Festival at Kitty Coleman Woodland Gardens this weekend before leaving for New York.

Reviewer Nowick Gray of Victoria said of the book Understanding, “It’s a rewarding read for anyone interested in a deep yet succinct approach to that elusive subject, ‘enlightenment.’ The effectiveness of Mallard’s presentation comes from ... the plain language, that explains each philosophic concept in layman’s terms. Evident also is a knack for conveying truths by means of vivid, concrete metaphors and engaging narratives (think parables.)”

The author, pointing to the importance of understanding says, “When the European mariners understood that the world was not flat, their behaviour changed simply as a result of their understanding. Despite their fear they began to sail out of sight of land and not one of them fell over the edge.”

In his books Mallard draws attention to the things we take for granted, the things we don’t notice, those things which exercise a profound influence over our lives. He uses a Zen story to illustrate his point.

“A man went fishing and caught a fish. The fish was so small he threw it back in the water. For the first time in its life the fish realized it was swimming in something.”

His novel, Uncommon Reason, won the U.S. National Indie Excellence Awards for Visionary Fiction in 2010. Referred to as a “political spiritual thriller,” it addresses issues of leadership, the clash of cultures, poverty, wealth, ignorance, nationalism, journalism, the search for peace and the role of government in contemporary society.

Mallard’s book Something to Ponder, a modern and highly accessible rendition of Lao Tzu’s great spiritual classic, the Tao Te Ching, won two awards last year in the category, Eastern Religion. Spacious layout and use of Mallard’s photographs provide a perfect vehicle for Lao Tzu’s profound wisdom. The elegant language is simple, at times sparse, and meant to be read aloud.

“If you yearn for peace,” says writer Madhukar Thompson “this is the book to read.”

Mallard also teaches locally. More information can be found at

Mallard's books are available in the Comox Valley at Second Page and Winds of Change.

— Advaita Gems Publishing