Spotlight & Guest Post: Heart & Brain by Ramana Rao MLV + Giveaway

Heart & Brain

A SciFi Anthology Connecting Both!

By Ramana Rao MLV

Genre: Science Fiction Fantasy Anthology

The title of the book is “Heart & Brain”, a sci-fi anthology that attempts to connect the both. The work is to depict Indian signature thought in science fiction milieu.

Random Factor: A woman aspiring to become a ‘natural’ mother in a futuristic society encounters a random factor that she hasn’t anticipated.

Sphere: An Artificial Intelligence psychologist aspiring to create a ‘natural’ AI lands himself in a strange situation that endangers his very own ‘sphere’.

Speck: As astronomy professor and scientist, who experienced the most exhilarating event and the most painful event of her life the same day, forty years ago, finds her ‘self’ in the most unexpected quarters.

Replay: An expert in Virtual Reality, who came to India to address a seminar with a hidden agenda, faces a situation that changes her life, forever.

Survival: a cosmic event that made a small physiological change in human race results in a series of events that not only endangers human existence but also lays a path for the destiny of human race – to be discovered and followed.

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I have been a teacher since 1984 and critical thinking and verbal teacher since 2000. While I was a bad student during my education, I have become a good student during my teaching profession, learning more from my students than from my colleagues.

Though a published author in late 80s, I have become an academic author by writing a GMAT Sentence Correction book for Pearson India. Now, I am trying my hand in sci-fi and literary fiction. Heart & Brain is a book close to my heart because it explores the scientific side of emotion as well as emotional side of science.

I really appreciate your constructive criticism to improve my craft and a positive one, if you feel like giving, a pat on my shoulder to write more.

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  • Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?

I am Ramana Rao, a teacher and aspiring writer. I am from Hyderabad, India. I have been in teaching since 1984. I am on the verge of retiring and am now planning to start a new career as a writer.

My becoming an author is a process, rather than an incident. Perhaps, the fibre has been in my right from the beginning. I have been teaching critical thinking for GMAT test takers since 2000. In the classroom, we actually try to achieve the very basic objective of story-telling – that is creating and sustaining interest. So, my authoring has been in a different ‘format’ all the while. That is in the form of teaching. The writing process as we all know was something I started in early 80s by writing short stories (in the usual sense, I mean), which were published in my vernacular. A teacher by profession, and a persistent student that I have to become by virtue of becoming a teacher are two facets that have tempted me to become an author.

  • What is something unique/quirky about you?

I think both things are in the same thing as far as I am concerned. I want to start a new career at the age I should retire. The other day, my classmate Raghu Ram told me that KFC owner started his career at 74. So, it might not be unique. But it is surely quirky in the place where I come from. Now I want to leave behind some legacy before I ‘depart’!

  • Tell us something really interesting that’s happened to you!

I think it is life itself! It has offered me many sweet memories and painful ones as well, each enriching the other. Of course, it has offered me a sweet family, with grown-up daughters and a son, all with their own families, luckily myself included in all the families!

  • What are your pet peeves?

Well, I have many. The most important one being the realization that I have never used my fullest potential in any of the fields I have experimented on. This will be my answer if the word ‘peeves’ means ‘sources of annoyance’.

  • Where were you born/grew up at?

Perhaps countryside has been a part of my childhood. I was born in a small village in Andhra Pradesh, India, and grew up in the pristine innocence of village, thoroughly absorbing the purity all through my childhood.

  • If you knew you’d die tomorrow, how would you spend your last day?

Perhaps trying to write a few pages that might create a legacy I have always wanted to left behind, and spending a few hours with my grandkids who haven’t really seen the real ‘me’! hey, I mean it in a good sense.

  • Who is your hero and why?

It is certainly my departed wife! She knew how to love unconditionally and I believe that is really a herculean task. Loving a person with all his flaws is never an easy thing. I believe she had mastered that art. Her greatest weapon is innocence and what else do we need from life? That’s why she still lives in my mind, every minute of my consciousness.

  • What kind of world ruler would you be?

I sincerely believe that I don’t deserve that! If, by some miracle, I became one, I would like to become of the kind who understands pain of others, both physical and mental I mean. I believe the world today need such leaders with no hidden agenda. It may sound too idealistic or romantic. Still, it should’ve been the way!

  • What are you passionate about these days?

Certainly, about writing. If I am not so, I don’t deserve to be a writer. And there is one more thing. I am kind of reliving in my memories what I have lost in my real life.

  • What do you do to unwind and relax?

Honestly speaking, I am not much of a social animal. I prefer solitude and silence that ‘recharge’ my mind to make me strong enough to ‘enjoy’ company of others. But, remember, I am not a sociopath… it has just so happened that I like musing that can result from being alone.

  • How find time to write as a parent?

Well, as a grandparent? That is simple! Leave everything about their kids to your kids and you will have all the time in the world! Don’t try to dictate the terms of parenting to your sons or daughters, for they are living in an entirely different kind of world. I believe we should not judge the present by past standards.

  • Describe yourself in 5 words or less!

A human, though with flaws!

  • When did you first consider yourself a writer?

When I first ‘created’ a story to tell my teacher to escape punishment for not doing homework during my fifth class, I believe. I did not know that I was considering myself a writer then, but that was what I actually did when I was successful in the attempt!

  • Do you have a favourite movie?

I do! The Abyss is my all-time favourite. The reason is simple. If human mistakes are corrected by a power beyond our comprehension, it is really sweet, right?

  • Which of your novels can you imagine made into a movie?

Well, I am working on a novel soon. But, relating your question to my short stories, why not all of them? When you dream, why should dream in black and white? You can dream in Eastman colour or… with the latest technology whatsoever.

  • What literary pilgrimages have you gone on?

Honestly speaking, none.

  • As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?

If a writer seeks to select an avatar or a mascot, it should be a very difficult talk because he lives different lives in different characters. In my opinion, both pure white and pure black have their purities in their own right and in their own might. Moreover, a writer certainly understands that true feelings defy words and true emotions defy any form. So, I would like to select a ‘formlessness’ capturing the essence of both white and black as a mascot! It might be a strange choice, but I feel a befitting one!

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