My upcoming novel,The Blue Bar, has been in the making since 2019. Or maybe, that’s not entirely right. It began in my consciousness in a workshop led by Romesh Gunasekera back in 2017, in India.
The writing prompt? Write about a character who is being watched. And in strode a woman wearing a glimmering blue saree, at a railway station in Mumbai, standing alone like a pool of light amid the clamor of evening rush hour.
I named her much later, but that image of a woman in a blue saree became the first three lines of The Blue Bar:
“Endings are overrated. There’s only one true, certain end—everything else a load of bullshit, or how you call it, bakwaas. Beginnings, though. Beginnings are everywhere. It all began with that midnight-colored saree, thick with dark-blue sequins, its endless sea of shimmering dots stitched by hands that must have cracked and bled over the months of needle in and out of taut cloth in some dingy, godforsaken hole in one of Mumbai’s stinking alleyways.“
As I wrote that first draft, I attended another wonderful writing workshop, an online one this time, by David Corbett, and there I named this woman, calling her Tara. I also found the man seeking her: the tortured soul, Arnav Singh Rajput.
As part of the Write Edit Publish Challenge, I’ve written in Tara’s voice here, and here . I find that her voice keeps returning to me in various iterations.
The Blue Bar is a crime novel, but it is also a love story. Not a romantic suspense with the tropes of that genre, but romance is an integral part of the crime plot. Many readers of advance copies have spoken about the love story, and that’s been reassuring.
Back to the journey of the book, The Blue Bar.
I finished the first draft in 2019, and then got busy promoting You Beneath Your Skin.
By 2020, covid hit, and I was at a loss, working on a new novel, but also worried about The Blue Bar. End of that year, my then-agent and I finally decided he didn’t have the right plan for The Blue Bar, so I wrote another draft and began the soul-destroying querying journey once again in March 2021.
June 2021, I had four offers. I signed with Lucienne Diver, my current agent, who sold The Blue Bar to Thomas & Mercer in a 2-book deal.
And now, the ARCs for the influencers are here–see picture above.
Most trad published novels of beginner authors like me have circuitous journeys–and The Blue Bar has been no exception. Rejections galore from dozens of agents and at least a dozen editors. It’s now inching forward, and all I can do is talk about it and then let it go with a hope and a prayer…and focus on the sequel.
Huge thanks to those of you who’ve offered to read the e-ARC, and some of you who are already reading and reviewing it. Thanks to all of you, the book is at 1250 Want to Reads on Goodreads.
If you’d like to help The Blue Bar, toss it a LIKE, here.
What books have caught your attention recently? What has your own book’s journey been like? Who are the authors on your must-read list? Would you like an early e-copy of The Blue Bar?
My own crime novel, The Blue Bar will be out this October 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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Oh will look forward to this one too.
Thank you so much 😀
Just returned to let you know I managed the pre order. Yay!
Oh Great! Yay! 😀
Looking forward, Damyanti. I tried to pre order a Kindle copy and it does show the purchase, but as of now, no money has been deducted from my e-banking app. I guess I’ll wait a while and see.
I really liked how the concept of the novel was developed by you. I am badly stuck in my wip and maybe doing some short stories with my characters will help. Thank you and best wishes!
Thank you so much Sonia! Your support means a lot 😀
All the Best
Thank you so much 🙂
Wishing you every success Damyanti. I’m sure it will be a winner like your other novel and stories 🙂
Thanks a lot Ian, that means a lot! I’m nervous and excited at the same time 😀
Congratulations! You have another novel under your belt. That’s wonderful! I hope the sales are as good as for the first novel.
Thank you so much Cinda! That means a lot 😀
Damyanti, your hard work paid off. It sounds as if you persevered no matter what. As an unknown author, I self-published a first book, historical fiction, on Amazon. Slow to sell, but comments are favorable and readers want to know what happened next. So, I’m working on a sequel. My editor is hanging in there with me as well as cover designer, proofreader and formatter. I might be crazy, however the story has the makings to change, and characters can be developed further. We’re talking about the 1960s in the US, quite a lot happening. Good luck with your book in October. I’ve love crime/thriller stories and I’ll check out yours. 📚 Christine
Thank You so much Christine! All of this definitely feels tremendously surreal at times. Looking back now, this journey has definitely been that of a bittersweet experience 😀
Huge congratulations on your hard work, perseverance and success. I hope that October is a stellar month for you.
Thank You Sue, that means a lot! 😀
Good luck with it all.
Thank You so much! 😀
Can’t wait to read this one, Damyanti.
Thank you Jacqui! Can’t wait to hear your thoughts about it 😀