After working in the Stanford University novel writing program for two and a half years, I have recently been awarded a Certificate in Novel Writing from the university. I am quite grateful to the staff of the novel writing program, especially novelists Joshua Mohr, Deborah Johnson, and Angela Pneuman, who guided me through the long and sometimes arduous and uncertain process of penning a novel. My studies at Stanford have culminated in the writing of my first novel, which is entitled Beyond the Abyss, a story of an American couple who are caught up in the turmoil of the modern Middle East. With luck, the novel will be published and made available to my readers at some future point. I wish to express appreciation to my wife Manjula and to others who have offered me encouragement and support as I have trodden on the path of creating a long work of fiction.