Is This Moral Or Not?

Sarena Straus Author Interview

ReInception follows a twenty-year-old unmodified college student who lives in a world of modified humans that are losing their free will and altering the course of humanity. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

I was inspired to write ReInception while reading Charles Duhigg’s book, “The Power of Habit,” at the same time that I saw an article about the use of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) in habit modification. TMS is a promising procedure, especially in the treatment of depression, but it served as a launching point for me to explore how humans abuse technology and how a brain altering technology might impact society. It was important to me that the main character, Leandrea, be a college student. It’s a pivotal time in our lives when we are grappling with new-found autonomy and our power in the world. The book is set in New York City one hundred years in the future, where I could imagine what the city will look like after it succumbs to climate change and particularly flooding. 

What were the morals you were trying to capture while creating your characters?

Morality is an elusive concept in this book– what is moral to one character is amoral to another. What I sought to capture was how different people might approach or interpret the same thing. For example, parents can modify children–everything from overeating or study habits to sexual preference. The main character’s parents believe that modifying children is amoral– that individuals should decide about modification at the age of majority. Other parents think that refusing to modify a child denies them advantages. Of course, some uses of ReInception are clearly amoral, such as for attempting to change someone’s identity or beliefs. Other uses are harder to pin down, such as for reprogramming pedophiles so they are safe for release back into society. Is this moral or not? What if pedophiles volunteer for the procedure, does that change your mind? My main goal was to get people to think about right and wrong rather than imposing my values.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

 I explore themes of privacy, autonomy and personal power (or lack thereof), social stratification, class, and others. For example, I’ve made race a non-factor because, in 2126, we can change our skin color to suite our preference or trends. Wealthy people can be multicolored and have patterns on their skin. You would never know their skin color at birth. However, there is a caste system. My sad conclusion was that humans will always find a way to divide ourselves and, in this society, its along the lines of people who were on opposite sides of a civil war that took place in the US around 2050. I never say who won. 

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

In addition to books 2 & 3 of the ReInceptin trilogy, I’m working on a YA alien invasion novel and an adult thriller! I’m hoping that book 2 of ReInception will be out in a year.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

What if we had the technology to modify human behavior?

A corporation’s immensely popular technology can rewire your brain to rid you of any bad habits or unwanted impulses in 2126 New York City. The government is using ReInception in a supposed attempt to rid society of criminal behavior one brain at a time. But when a college student and a government-labeled terrorist discover the truth behind what’s happening in people’s head, they are ready to risk their lives to preserve their free will and the future of society.

About Literary Titan

The Literary Titan is an organization of professional editors, writers, and professors that have a passion for the written word. We review fiction and non-fiction books in many different genres, as well as conduct author interviews, and recognize talented authors with our Literary Book Award. We are privileged to work with so many creative authors around the globe.

Posted on December 28, 2022, in Interviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.


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