An Interview with Author C S Ramachandran – The Rising

An Interview with Author C S Ramachandran – The Rising

The Literature Times: What aspects of Indian mythology do you find particularly resonant in today’s world, and how did you ensure the authenticity and reverence of these elements while integrating them into a modern narrative in “The Rising”?

C S Ramachandran: Indian mythology is a treasure trove of timeless wisdom and epic tales, and its fascinating been fascinated by how relevant these stories still are in today’s world. In case of the  Chiranjeevis,immortal heroes who are said to be living among us even now, their stories of courage and wisdom can inspire us to face our own modern-day challenges.

When I decided to weave these elements into “The Rising”, I knew I had to do it with respect and authenticity. You had to make sure that the ideologies of these legendary heroes are respected while bringing them into our world. So, I did my homework, read up and tried to stay true to the essence of these characters.

Another challenge was to make the story relatable to today’s audience. So, I added a dash of modernity and tried to include the lingo mixing a modern narrative with a mythical twist. Like cooking up a fusion dish, it was blending the old with the new.

Personally it was quite an adventure! From brainstorming multiple ideas to finally putting them to paper, it was an enriching experience. Now seeing the story come to life, and hoping that it might inspire someone out there to strat their journey, makes it all worth it.

The Literature Times: Your background in the hospitality industry offers a unique perspective on human interactions and dynamics. How did this experience influence your portrayal of characters and relationships within the story, especially considering the diverse backgrounds of both guests and team members you encountered?

C S Ramachandran: Working in hospitality is akin to being a storyteller. Ever guest and team member you meet add an unique flavor to the story and how you tell it and how they reecive it. This multi cultural experience helped me bring to my characters more diversity and crreate relationships that reflect the dynamic interactions I’ve witnessed.

Working on my story became like working in a lively hotel, packed with activity, life and stories!

The Literature Times: “The Rising” delves into the timeless battle between good and evil. Could you discuss the process of crafting morally complex characters and the nuances you explored in their motivations and actions throughout the narrative?

C S Ramachandran: Creating characters for a timeless good vs evil showdown is like setting up a for thrilling rollercoaster ride. You’ve got your heroes, the brave souls who are ready to take on the world, and your villains, the ones who love to stir up trouble. In my storys instance, when we have a team of superheroes like the Chiranjeevis it becomes important to give them a worthy opponent. That is why I picked the one of baddest, meanest villain from our mythology – Mahisha.

The next was to add in the twists and turns – make your heroes question their actions, and motives of the villain. Try to work in the moments that make your readers’ hearts race. Look into the the actions and the choices the characters make in situations and have cliffhanger moments that leave the readers eagerly turning the pages to find out what happens next.

Make them see the heros as individuals with their own strengths, weaknesses, dreams, and fears. And that’s what makes your story a real page-turner.

It’s not just about the battle between good and evil, it’s about the journey your characters take, the challenges they overcome, and the growth they experience along the way. It’s these shades of grey, these complexities and nuances, that make your characters feel real, relatable, and truly unforgettable.

So, when you’re crafting your characters, don’t be afraid to add in those twists and turns,. That makes the ride thrilling, and makes a story truly engaging

The Literature Times: As a debut author, what were some of the most rewarding moments in bringing “The Rising” to fruition, and how did you navigate any moments of self-doubt or uncertainty along the way?

C S Ramachandran: The first step is always the hardest, getting the first couple of chapter in place. But you will never know what you can achieve if you don’t start. Personally for me, the biggest challenge for me was getting the courage to publish. Getting the book into the hands of people who will read, comment, judge and criticise.

This as the hurdle to surmount. Once a couple of friends and family had read it and given their honest feedback, I was ready to let the outside world read it.

The Literature Times: The themes of unity and resilience are central to “The Rising.” Can you share any personal experiences or influences that inspired these themes, and how do you envision them resonating with readers on a universal level?

C S Ramachandran: Hoteliering is a team work. You cannot win the guests loyalty without  all teams working together. From the kitchen to engineering to IT to reception and so on, they need to work together.

I wanted to show in my book as to how one person, even a superhero, with all their superpowers, can’t always tackle every problem that comes their way. Sometimes, they need a team to win. Its a game of tug-of-war, where we all need to pull together, pooling our strengths to get that victory..

Uniting a set of strong individuals is not the easiest of the tasks and the strength is not in the numbers but in your desire and passion to win. You need a goal to work towards that helps you win the day.

The Literature Times: Your multifaceted interests, from photography to content creation, contribute to the richness of your storytelling. How do you balance these creative outlets with your writing endeavors, and do you find them intersecting or informing one another in unexpected ways?

C S Ramachandran: Over the years, I have juggled over multple hobboes and passions – photography, content creation, and writing. Each of them adding their own unique part to shaping who I am today.

For example, I believe my childhood stamp and coin collection formed the the baseline for my love towards history and travel. Photography taught me to see the world from a different perspective. While content creation helped me to express my thoughts and ideas in a more creative way.

Each hobby influenced the other in unexpected ways. The keen eye I developed through photography helps me visaulize pictures which I try to showcase with my words. The diverse perspectives I’ve encountered in my travels helped to add depth to my characters.

The Literature Times: The character of Mahisha serves as a formidable antagonist in “The Rising.” What inspired the creation of this character, and how did you approach imbuing them with depth and complexity beyond traditional notions of villainy?

C S Ramachandran: When I had decided the story would have a team of superheroes such as the Chiranjeevis, the next step was to identify a a villain who can really shake things up and make it difficult for them. Getting right villian was difficult. That’s when I thought of Mahisha – the invincible asura from Hindu mythology who posed a frightful threat to existence of both Heaven and Earth. He was one of the baddest, meanest, intelligent and powerful villain from our mythology.

He had to be someone who a single Chiranjeevi could not lay a hand on.. And ofcourse his general Rakthabhijan who was going to pose another large challenge to them.

The Literature Times: “The Rising” is a testament to perseverance and dedication. Can you share any anecdotes from your writing journey that exemplify these qualities, and how did you maintain momentum during challenging times?

C S Ramachandran: I started off with a minimum of 1000 words to be created before the end of a week. It sounds easy, but penning it was a tough ask. While the idea of the book came up towards the latter part of the pandemic era, the writing happened when the world was up and running.

Managing this in between the work schedules was the critical challenge. The process of writing and rewriting took over 14 months. Thankfully technology has evolved today that whenever there was a thought or an idea, I would immediately have the opportunity to jot / voice it down on the phone notes, to not lose out on that burst of inspiration. The writing itself was a fun filled experience.

The Literature Times: In crafting the world of “The Rising,” how did you strike a balance between vividly descriptive prose and propulsive storytelling, ensuring readers are both immersed in the setting and engaged by the plot’s momentum?

C S Ramachandran: Writing “The Rising” was like planning an road trip. We need to take a riders on a road which was scenic and helped to readers in the world of the story. I wanted a smooth road allowing them to cruise through the read.

I wanted to give the readers the thrill of discovering what’s around the next bend on a road trip.

The main challenge was striking a balance. It needed a right mix of emotion, action, romance, and I needed to understand my limitations as a first time writer. I didn’t want to make it too descriptive and verbose making it lose the momentum. I had a set of friends and family who provided feedback to tune down the action, add up the romance, build the diversity so that it becomes a bit more immersive read.

The Literature Times: Looking ahead, what future projects or literary ambitions do you have in mind, and how do you envision your writing evolving in response to your experiences and feedback from “The Rising”?

C S Ramachandran: While there are many stories out there in the phone notes, I am currently focused on seeing the execution of the sales of “The Rising”. This has been a family project, where everything from cover, to content to editing was done together by us. I am looking at learing at how the publishing world works and how a marketing of a book is done.

Personally there has been a lot of learnings from this attempt and for sure writing is something I don’t plan to let go of soon.

I am collating all the feedback and opinions received, which I promise to incorporate in the next attempt.

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