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When Was the Last Time You Went to a Dance Bar?

Writing has been a long, long, long journey for me. Most writing journeys are. While there are no life and death risks involved, the writing life is not for the weak-hearted.

I began this blog, and my fiction writing, back in 2008. On the coming new year’s day, I’m set to make my US debut with my second novel, THE BLUE BAR.

I’ve spoken about the journey of this novel before, so I wouldn’t go there. Instead I’d like to tell you about the changes I’ve made in my world view these last two years. Bear with me– it all connects.

End 2021, I broke up with my ex-agent. It was all amicable and pleasant, but I was back in the querying trenches. After the appropriate wallowing period, I got into research mode on agents even as I edited my novel yet again. Change number one: I was determined not to settle. I’d rather not have an agent, than not have a good agent. Intensive research, 55 queries and a massive dose of luck later, I landed four offers of representation, and picked Lucienne Diver.

Much editing later (two drafts in two months), we went on sub, and found paydirt with Jessica Tribble at Thomas & Mercer. Both taught me a fair bit about structuring my novel: even without the royalties, I consider myself compensated. Change number two: I focused on the learning, and not on the externals.

And MUCH luck later, I have THE BLUE BAR as an AMAZON FIRST READ. This basically means that Amazon Prime members and subscribers to the Amazon First newsletter can download the book for free, and (hopefully) leave a bunch of reviews before the book publishes on January 1 2023.

Change no 3: I’m not waiting for things to go wrong. Before this, whenever I had a piece of good fortune, I anticipated immediate misfortune. This time, I’m soaking it all in. Whatever happens will either bring a learning or a largesse. Both are a win, and guess what, my second book on contract will be out on October 24, 2023!

So far, so good. I don’t know what the future holds for me or my writing life, but covid shenanigans and losing my earlier agent has taught me that I need to live life on my own terms. Never settle. Keep trying. Give gratitude for good luck. Look for lessons in adversity, and soldier on.

That’s what my protagonist Arnav does in THE BLUE BAR. No matter the odds, he sticks to his principles, doesn’t settle, and is willing to take a lesson from defeat. He meets the love of his life at a dance bar, and that’s where his adventures begin.

The visit to the dance bar becomes the springboard for action, and he remains steadfast with his part in it.

What about you? When did you last go to a dance bar, real or metaphorical? Have you downloaded THE BLUE BAR?

My lit crime novel, The Blue Bar will be out soon with Thomas & Mercer. It is already available for preorders. Add it to Goodreads or pre-order it to make my day.
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Damyanti Biswas

Damyanti Biswas is the author of You Beneath Your Skin and numerous short stories that have been published in magazines and anthologies in the US, the UK, and Asia. She has been shortlisted for Best Small Fictions and Bath Novel Awards and is co-editor of the Forge Literary Magazine. Her literary crime thriller series, the Blue Mumbai, is represented by Lucienne Diver from The Knight Agency. Both The Blue Bar and The Blue Monsoon were published in 2023.

I appreciate comments, and I always visit back. If you're having trouble commenting, let me know via the contact form, or tweet me up @damyantig !

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  • DutchIl says:

    Thank you for sharing your experiences, it will help many who wish to share their writings with the world… no doubt there are those who will take advantage of another for their own personal satisfaction like what happened to you…. just let your fingers do the walking and your heart do the talking “My will shall shape the future. Whether I fail or succeed shall be no man’s doing but my own. I am the force; I can clear any obstacle before me or I can be lost in the maze.. My choice; my responsibility; win or lose, only I hold the key to my destiny”. ( Elaine Maxwell).. 🙂

    Hope your path is paved with love and happiness and until we meet again..
    May love and laughter light your days,
    and warm your heart and home.
    May good and faithful friends be yours,
    wherever you may roam.
    May peace and plenty bless your world
    with joy that long endures.
    May all life’s passing seasons
    bring the best to you and yours!
    (Irish Saying)

  • ChrysFey says:

    A huge congratulations on in the TOP 100 paid best-sellers, and at #2, too!

    Thank you for sharing your journey with us!

    Wishing you all the best. <3

  • cleemckenzie says:

    It takes determination and a lot of work to get this book publishing done, doesn’t it? Congratulations on sticking it out and succeeding.

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      Lee, I learned from the best, and you’re one of them. Kudos to you for your example of good writing and grit.

  • dgkaye says:

    Congrats again Damyanti for getting your book on Amazon first reads. That’s where I picked up my copy. I am also surprised Amazon is allowing reviews before it’s published. Go you! 🙂

  • Charity says:

    I was so excited to see The Blue Bar offered as a December First Read in Kindle. I had to grab a copy. But I also pre-ordered the paperback for my Little Free Library. Congratulations!

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      Thanks so much! I really appreciate the request and the purchase!! SO lovely of you.

  • Pam says:

    So excited for you, Damyanti! Many blessings in this new journey. 😘

  • Uday Adhikari says:

    You are a very calculated professionally aware writer.

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      Being professional is an expected minimum in the publishing industry.

  • hilarymb says:

    Hi Damyanti – the answer is ‘never’ – not my scene … but I can certainly visualise them from the descriptions in your book. You write so well – it’s a pleasure reading your books … but you’ve believed in your books and kept true to yourself – so congratulations … all the very best – Hilary

  • How wonderful for you.
    Sadly I do ‘settle’ too often. Perhaps it is time to pull up my pants and start again.

  • That’s awesome it’s available for early readers and ranked so high! Yes, just enjoy it. Most of us never see that.

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      Thanks so much, Alex! I really do hope it is doing the book some good.

  • How great to read this summary of your experiences, Damyanti. It’s tempting to think successful authors (like you)–everything just fell into place. Not true at all on your journey. You remind me to keep working through the bumps.

    I didn’t know that about First Reads and what qualified for a free Amazon Prime read. I’m a member of Prime so I’ll have to check out that list.

    Kudos to your wonderful book!

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      Thanks so much, Jacqui. I think none of our paths are easy, they’re just different. Kudos to you on your excellent achievements!

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