1. How did you get involved in T'ai Chi?
Once I reached my forties, I looked around for an exercise I could feel interested enough to adopt as a daily routine and continue with into my later years while avoiding the pitfalls of procrastination and injuries associated with activities like jogging and weight training. At that same time in the late 1990's, David Carradine, star of the long running and popular 1970's television series "Kung Fu" began advertising his T'ai Chi videos for beginners. His television commercials seemed fun, intriguing and coincided with a perk offered as part of a club membership I owned which began featuring a T'ai Chi Class on the beach. The idea seemed just different enough to be irresistible and I felt that if I had no time to exercise on a given day, at the very least I would attempt some T'ai Chi. Over time, practice of T'ai Chi became much more than that to me. I was hooked from the first class onward and the practice of T'ai Chi has proven itself to be of lasting benefit. I became a teacher in 1999 and have been teaching the art of T'ai Chi Chuan to students and friends up until the present day.
2. What is the difference between T'ai Chi and other martial arts?
T'ai Chi is classified is an "internal" martial art, meaning that martial skill and power are developed from the inside out through a process involving many years as opposed to the reverse theory practiced by "external" systems such as Karate or Tai Kwon Do, which can be developed in a shorter period of time but are by no means more effective.
3. Tell us about the Master and his nephews.
In the book, a T'ai Chi master named Kuo Yun San leaves mainland China in the 1960's for what he thinks is the last time. His goals are simple, he envisions opening a successful T'ai Chi school and strengthening the bonds between himself and his Asian American family in Chinatown with whom he has had little to no communication in years. The results are surprising as Master Kuo finds himself trading one Cultural Revolution for another and his newfound friends and family members, thinking they were going to educate him into adopting an American lifestyle, find he has more to teach them.
4. What are some of the life lessons that can be realized from this book?
Using himself as an example Master Kuo teaches that patience, diligence and skill aquired through effort are some of the most valued lessons one can achieve in the course of a lifetime.
5. What's next for Marc Meyer? Do you have other books in the pipeline?
I have at least three more novels in me that I have begun working on simultaneously. One is a memoir, one is about an elderly batchelor who finds his way toward the end of his life and one is a young adult novel about five very unusual preteens in the possesion of individual healing powers. Of course getting ideas is easy, setting them down in a readable form that will capture an audience's interest is very hard.