Author Raj Anand: Apophis

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Author Interview: Raj Anand

1. What was the scariest moment of your life?

I guess if one has lived an inquisitive 52 years on this planet and challenged several debilitating life-tenets, then you would have had more than one scary moment. So here is one:

Heart surgery (due to an electrical problem, ha ha) when I was 29 years old. Watching the doctor pierce, a hole in my chest, put a wire inside my aorta and then burn a small muscle in my heart. All while I was under local anesthesia only and I continued to have discussions with the cardiologist about the sports of the day.

2. Do you listen to music while writing? If so what?

When I begin writing in the early morning of each day (3:30 am to 7:30 am). I do listen to some light instrumental music or Chopin; both always gave me the clarity and focus to write. But when I become immersed in writing then I usually prefer to switch off the music.

3. What is something you’d like to accomplish in your writing career next year?

With the launch of my first book – APOPHIS – and post the launch and marketing frenzy that is required to get the word out. I hope to finish writing the second book in this series of four books. The first book took me five years, but I believe that I could write the second in less than two years. Especially given that the plot structure and the larger narrative has already been chalked out.

4. What is your favorite meal?

If I am travelling to a far-off place (which is often) beyond a couple of weeks, then I miss a good home cooked Indian yellow lentil & rice dish.

But if I am out with friends or family, then I really enjoy eating Linguine with a roasted vegetable ragu, accompanied by a bocconcini, tomato, basil salad and of course beer!

5. Where did you do most of your schooling?

I completed my Junior High School education at JHS 217, Robert A. Van Wyck in Queens, New York between the years 1981-1983 and Richmond Hill High School (also in Queens, New York) was the next stop between the years 1983-1986.

I developed an interest in history while studying at JHS 217, inspired by one teacher – Mr. Wall (7th grade). Watching him teach history, I decided then that I wanted to definitely teach in the future – he was truly an inspiration. Certainly, one of the greatest teachers I have ever been a student of. On any given day and moment, he could be funny, serious, focused and informative; prodding us to think beyond the school syllabus and discuss the culture of Japan, which was his most favored subject.

In high school, I developed an interest in reading and writing, inspired once again by another teacher – Mrs. Silver. Her strict weekly regimen was to ensure that we read one book every week (from a list of books provided by her at the beginning of the semester). With a detailed, typed, double-spaced (40 to 50 page) book review of the book to be submitted every Monday morning that needed to cover the characters, the plot, the setting of the story and the larger idea behind the book. And of course, to begin reading the next book the following week. The regimen was truly intense and quite exciting. Beyond the course work, I was also a member of the cross-country team and the track team at Richmond Hill High School, including being captain of the cross-country team in my senior year. It was there that I developed a keen love for long-distance running and fitness in general. Over the years I have taken part in several half marathons, usually clocking times of under two hours.

Apophis – Into the Folds of Darkness

by Raj Anand

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GENRE: Sci-fi, Science Fiction

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BLURB:

January, 2022: A dark monstrous twin-headed apparition – Apophis – feverishly races past the expanse of the Milky Way galaxy and bolts to the edge of the solar system. Recklessly accelerating, the sinister rock-dyad enters the gravitational keyhole of the blue planet and continues its resolute inebriated journey – to soon arrive with an apocalyptic impact on Earth.

December, 2012: Five sentient beings born in different cities – New York, Hong Kong, New Delhi, Azores Islands and Istanbul, discover amongst haunting memories of their phantasmal past lives, that it is their destiny to save humanity from the evil forces unleashed by the alien fiends – the Skyllats.

And now, the reincarnated 9-year-olds must rely on their shared, ancient wisdom to prepare humanity for the war across the galaxy that is imminent.

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Excerpt:

The Barred Spiral Milky Way Galaxy

At the Edge of the Solar System

January 17, 2022 (Earth Time)

A dark monstrous apparition, slingshot from across another realm, camouflaged in a jagged, charcoal black rock, adroitly surfed the gravitational waves of the universe. Feverishly racing past the expanse of the Milky Way galaxy, it bolted to the edge of the solar system and arrived from above the plane of the ecliptic – gyrating closer to the sun.

The dark fiend continued its charge forward, cutting across the path of Venus – nearly crashing onto it, before it deftly decelerated and reached a stable orbit in a retrograde rotation around the pale-yellow planet. This tenacious temporary satellite immediately scrambled to steal a fragment of the protesting planet’s enormous momentum. Catapulted along the plain of the ecliptic, recklessly accelerating at an impossible speed – it shattered, splitting into two.

The newly formed rock dyad – a small black moon orbiting a sphere of death – pulled free from Venus. It continued its inebriated journey, salivating at the opportunity to rain a resolute chaos upon an orphic azure-blue bubble still 40 million kilometers away.

Unbeknownst to the alien rock dyad, a faint sliver of gold orbited nearby. The 7.5-meter-tall and 3.2-meter wide Sentinel Space Telescope clothed in a gold foil, with a giant heat-reflector shield strung along its back; cooled to 40 degrees Kelvin by a two stage, closed cycle Stirling cryocooler. Its 0.51-meter aluminum mirror, dutifully scanned any and all Inner Earth Objects larger than 90 meters in diameter that ever dared to fly across its 200-degree angle of regard.

The Sentinel Observatory, alarmed by the presence of the ghostly twin-headed monster, recorded the black rock dyad’s trajectory, shape, size, mass, and rotational dynamics, before it urgently sent a coded message to its home base in southern Japan.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Savinder Raj Anand is an architect and has been teaching Architecture & Design at various Universities in India for more than 12 years. A long-distance runner with a wanderlust to explore the world, and write stories that traverse across diverse cultures. He lives in Goa with his daughter, a dog, and two cats.

Inspired by his then 18-month-old daughter – when she quoted Socrates – while they together sat in a children’s bookstore in Bangalore (LIGHTROOM) in early January of 2015, he has completed this – his first book – as she turns 7 years old.

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https://www.rajanandbooks.com/

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In The Key Of Love

I should have known I would end up here... Give me a good book and I'm in heaven. Especially romance, mystery, mayhem, the fantastic and the fey. Give me a laptop and I'm writing any one of these, and not in any particular order.

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