Stories have been part of human history for a long time. They are perhaps instrumental in making us the dominant species, because they have allowed us to imagine unthinkable outcomes, to not be afraid, to empathize. Stories have done all that and more, for me. First as a reader, and now, as an author.
Stories have made me persevere at difficult times in my life and they have allowed me to dream. So here I am, a South-Asian woman sitting in Singapore, having signed a two-book deal with Amazon’s crime imprint, Thomas & Mercer.
It has been an uphill journey–from being agented in the UK, then separating amicably in order to brave the query trenches, this time in the USA. Finding Lucienne Diver from the Knight Agency, who is the sort of business partner I’d only thought possible in my imagination, and then having a very good editor fall in love with THE BLUE BAR, my next literary thriller set in Mumbai.
So many of you have helped me and cheered me along the journey, and as I keep saying, the blogging community and the writers here are some of the best. For more than the decade that I have started publishing, I’ve only received love and support from all of you, including so many from our warriors and the Ninja Cap’n Alex J Cavanaugh‘s Insecure Writers Support Group (IWSG).
My answer is, I’ve never thought of such a line–my job as a writer is to portray characters and their actions and certain realities the way I see them, provide trigger warnings where needed, and let readers be the judge. Some of my characters have used bad language in You Beneath Your Skin, and that will be the case in The Blue Bar as well. I write crime novels, stories that portray the dark underbellies of society–and the language reflects that. No topic has been taboo: I’ve not shied away from violence or abuse in my stories. My only criteria have been absolute authenticity and never sensationalizing or glorifying crime or criminals. We humans are imperfect creatures, capable of the greatest acts of compassion as well as cruelty. My role as the author is to respect the characters–their story, and the readers–their time, and ability to make up their own minds.
Stories that do not patronize the reader nor reduce the characters to caricatures are my favorite as a reader, and that’s what I seek to replicate in my writing. Which brings me to an added way I plan to share stories, besides this site, various journals, and my books: my gazettes.
As some of you know, I already send out a Reading Gazette (reading recommendations and hacks) and a Writing Gazette (collated writing resources and industry information). More about them, and how to subscribe, here–-they have received lovely responses, and completely worthwhile to me in terms of the excellent feedback.
Based on feedback, I’m starting off a One-Shot Gazette.
I enjoy writing flash fiction and some of it has been published in excellent magazines, won awards, or been nominated for them. I love prompt-based fiction, and hope to receive writing prompts–pictures and words, from all of you, and then share the results via the One-Shot Gazette.
If you’d like to occasionally receive very short fiction, help fill this in. It will take 2 minutes, and will help me send you the sort of stories you might enjoy.
And once again, thank you for all the support. I try and reciprocate the best I can, and my gazettes are my attempt to give back all the love I’ve received over the past 13 years of this site.
Are you part of the Insecure Writers Support Group? Are you a reader or writer of stories, or both? Would you like to check out the One-Shot Gazette?
Today is the first Wednesday of the month post for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group.
Founded by the Ninja Cap’n Alex J. Cavanaugh, the purpose of the group is to offer a safe space where writers can share their fears and insecurities without being judged. This is a wonderful group–if you aren’t a part of it, I urge you to join in!
It is available in India here.
Reviews are appreciated–please get in touch if you’d like a review copy.
If you’re on Amazon, I’d appreciate it if you gave my Amazon author profile a Follow, here.