The Woking Writers’ Collective is very pleased to welcome Joelle Tamraz to the blog. Her new book, The Secret Practice, is a memoir and certainly presents something different from our authors.
About the book:
His yoga focused on control and manipulation. Until she broke the sequence.
For fans of Netflix’s Bikram, Tara Westover’s Educated and Megan Phelps-Roper’s Unfollow
"The word yoga comes from the same root as the word yoke—to tie together.”
Joelle Tamraz was barely past twenty when she travelled to India in search of spiritual wisdom. In Rishikesh, the home of yoga, she met an alluring older man who offered to teach her a secret practice. This encounter would realign her next twenty years.
Despite signs there was more to her Arun than his winning smile, she persisted in seeing him as her spiritual master, soul mate, and key to her destiny. Until one day, she dared to open her eyes and change her pose to one of strength and harmony.
From darkness to light, dependency to self-awareness, from psychological need to genuine love, The Secret Practice is an exposé of a master manipulator, the exploration of a marriage, and the exhaustion of a disciple’s faith.
About the author:
Joelle Tamraz is a memoir and life writer. She’s been putting thoughts to paper ever since she learned about journaling and stream-of-consciousness writing in her eighth-grade English class. Her debut memoir, The Secret Practice: Eighteen Years on the Dark Side of Yoga, reads like a fast-paced novel and speaks about mind control, manipulation, and trauma, as well as self-empowerment and healing.
Before writing full-time, she held senior roles in technology companies for over two decades and owned a yoga studio for ten years. She earned an Honours BA degree in social studies from Harvard and an MBA from INSEAD. She is also a certified life coach and a youth mentor.
Joelle has lived in the US and France and now resides in Surrey, UK with her husband and two dogs. She's passionate about sustainability and enjoys being outdoors, walking, cycling, or being in nature.
(Paperback & Kindle formats)
"An amazing, powerful story about an innocent young woman who breaks the cycle of abuse. I really connected with Joelle’s open and compelling writing style, not only what she was saying but how she said it. As a reader, I felt welcomed into her world and true story, and I love that, in the end, she wins. Five full stars." - Amy Kierce
When did you start writing your new book?
I started writing in Guildford in 2018, four years after moving to the UK.
What was the inspiration behind the book?
My memoir covers turbulent years in the world of yoga and spirituality. I experienced mind control, manipulation, and trauma before eventually coming to my own power and healing. After my divorce ten years ago, I knew I would someday tell the story, but it would take me five years to find a way to do so. I was inspired at an open writing day with Chris Leonard to capture experiences that occur much later in the story. Responding to open-ended prompts freed me from the pressure of telling the story from the beginning.
Can you describe your route to publication from concept to completed novel?
I started considering publishing tracks in the summer of 2020 while attending the Jericho Writers Summer Festival of Writing. Over the course of three months, we heard from many industry professionals, from writers to agents and editors, all of whom had interesting and valuable advice. The independent route appealed to me but also seemed very daunting at the time. A year ago, when I felt I had a near-final product, I queried agents but became discouraged by how long and uncertain the path ahead would be. In the meantime, I had fruitful conversations with other self-published authors and decided to publish on my own terms and timeline.
What ideas do you have for any future books?
I have two more memoirs in mind: one about my childhood and troubled family; the other about recovering from psychological trauma and making a new life in the UK. Right now, I’m focusing on book marketing and writing shorter pieces, but I’ll tackle a longer project in a few months.
Which publishing services (if any) would you recommend?
Publishing through KDP and Ingram Spark has been efficient and easier than I expected. My book is also available through Gardner’s, the UK wholesaler. I’m still learning about marketing, which takes time, but getting the word out and hearing back from readers has been a wonderful experience so far.