As a reader, I’ve always found book covers fascinating.
They tell me a little about the story (or a lot), about the characters. Some are just so dang pretty. (I’ve been guilty of shallow purchases based on the cover art alone.)
So it is with trepidation that I introduce the cover of my debut novel,”You Beneath Your Skin,” published by the fantastic team at Simon & Schuster IN.
Lies. Ambition. Family.
It’s a dark, smog-choked New Delhi winter. Indian American single mother Anjali Morgan juggles her job as a psychiatrist with caring for her autistic teenage son. She is in a long-standing affair with ambitious Police Commissioner Jatin Bhatt – an irresistible attraction that could destroy both their lives.
Jatin’s home life is falling apart: his handsome and charming son is not all he appears to be, and his wife has too much on her plate to pay attention to either husband or son. But Jatin refuses to listen to anyone, not even the sister to whom he is deeply attached.
Across the city there is a crime spree: slum women found stuffed in trash bags, faces and bodies disfigured by acid. And as events spiral out of control Anjali is horrifyingly at the centre of it all.
In a sordid world of poverty, misogyny, and political corruption, Jatin must make some hard choices. But what he unearths is only the tip of the iceberg. Together with Anjali he must confront old wounds and uncover long-held secrets before it is too late.
The question “Who are You Beneath Your Skin?” has fascinated me for much longer than I remember. Even as a child I wanted to figure people out, and asked very uncomfortable questions!
I started writing in 2008, and this novel came to me in 2012. I found an agent in 2016, and now, this little thing will be making its way into the world, and hopefully into your hands.
The characters kept coming to me in bits and pieces, haunting my mental landscape as characters are wont to do. Back in 2011, I wrote this flash fiction piece, and Sakhi from this story has found her place in the novel.
I finished the first draft in 2013, just before everything came crashing down in my personal life with deaths in the family, and in 2014, I trashed the entire thing and rewrote a completely different story, with some of the same cast. Anjali kept coming back until a large part of the novel became about her. Here’s an excerpt from the novel back in 2015, that I included in this post. It was a first draft of that chapter, and has gone into the book with a few changes.
The narrative was shaped during my experiences living in New Delhi and later, volunteering in underprivileged communities. As such, I think it only fair that my proceeds go back to where some of the scenes in the novel came from, so they would be divided between Chhanv Foundation and Project WHY.
I’d be thrilled if the funds raised from You Beneath Your Skin make a tiny difference to underprivileged kids trying to get an education, and to women claiming their spaces in our society after generations of unequal treatment.
For now, the novel is only available in the Indian sub-continent, but I’m hoping to share a link for worldwide purchases very very soon.
You can pre-order YOU BENEATH YOUR SKIN here. It will be out on the 17th of September.
You Beneath Your Skin is available on Goodreads now, so I’d love it if you marked it as Want to Read.
I’d also like to say a Huge THANK YOU to all my Daishiks!!
You have offered to guide and cheer me on the publishing journey of about You Beneath Your Skin, and I couldn’t be happier– I’m bowled over by all the love.
If I’m not already in touch via email, please knock me on the head in the comments below–I’m getting a little scared and overwhelmed with everything that book marketing involves!
Click here if you’d like to be my Daishik!
If you’d be kind enough to boost You Beneath Your Skin on social media, please use the hashtag #YouBeneathYourSkin.
Kind blog-friends in India are also doing cover reveal and review posts about You Beneath Your Skin today. I’ll be adding them here as the posts come up. Please give them some love!
Who are you beneath your skin? Do you read crime novels? What do you think of the cover of You Beneath Your Skin? Would you like to read it? If you’ve already read an excerpt or advance copy, what are your thoughts about the novel? Would you be my Daishik?
Pre-order YOU BENEATH YOUR SKIN.
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Congratulations! I am so very happy for you. You are such a kind and sharing person, who deserves all that she gives back to the world. May you continue having much success and continue to write more books. I enjoy receiving your newsletter and can’t wait for the next one.
Thank you, and thanks for the kind words and good wishes, Cheryl!
I’ve been a little tardy in sending out the newsletter–I missed sending itthis month because of the crazy schedule I’ve been keeping, but shall be back to regular program next month onwards.
Sent before I said CONGRATULATIONS!! and Best of Luck.
Hi Damyanti – I added You Beneath Your Skin to my Want to Read list on Goodreads. (I’d love it if you do the same for A Place in the World – happy to send you a free Kindle copy too)
Congrats Damayanti! Wish you great success! Hope to read your book soon.
Wonderful that your book as reached the publication stage. I know you struggled with how it should end. I presume you stayed with your original planned ending 🙂
Thanks, Ian. The book went to the printers yesterday, and I’ve been hyperventilating a bit.
Yes, I did stick with the original ending as it felt true to the book, and to India. Many readers have loved it, and some like you, have been saddened by it. I wonder what the reaction would be in general when it comes out.
I think I did say stay true to your feelings and you did that so I’m happy you stayed with your gut feelings 🙂
Congratulations Damayanti!! This is an amazing plot. I am buying this when this arrives. I am sure about it. Wishing you all goodness for this book to top the sales and help the communities.
Thanks, Jayanthy. I’mm so happy that the blurb caught your interest.
It is already available for pre-order–and I’d be thankful if you got it now. Pre-orders apparently help the book when it arrives. Since all my proceeds go to Project WHY and Stop Acid Attacks, your support would help them too.
Congratulations, Damyanti! Wow, so excited for you! Marked it as “want to read” on Goodreads, and I will add it to my wish list when it’s available in America. ^_^ And what a wonderful way to give back through your writing. May you have lots of good reviews and sales. And may you believe in yourself regarding the courage it takes to market a release like this. I have this quote from Melody Ross of Brave Living taped to my desk next to my computer: “New experiences are part of your story. You can do difficult things. You will be okay.” It helps to remember some of the difficult things you’ve done in the past to encourage yourself when facing a new challenge. 🙂 But you’ve come this far, so believe in yourself and keep moving forward, one step at a time.
Thanks so much for the Goodreads click, Melody, and I’ll let you know the minute it becomes available in the USA.
Thanks also for your kind wishes. I’m taking that quote from Melody Ross and sticking it on top of my screen!! I do need to hear that I’ll be ok. All of this is so new and strange and intimidating, really.
Congratulations, Damyanti! The cover looks good. I think the cover copy is quite enticing. Hope it’ll be available in the U.S. sometime soon!
So happy you like the cover copy, Cinda! Will let you know once it is available in the US 🙂
Looks very good. Congrats!
Thanks so much!
Good luck with your book, Damyanti. The cover is not my taste but it wouldn’t stop me buying it. It’s a popular style choice these days, and seems to be effective. I did check the Amazon link and yes, it’s not on Amazon UK – yet!
Thanks for checking out the book! It should be available soon as an ebook in the UK–will ping you when it does. The cover is designed to show up on an Amazon thumbnail–hopefully there would be other editions in future with different covers 🙂
I loved this book when I read the ARC. I can’t wait until it’s available here. The cover is marvelous. Wishing you much success!
Thanks so much, Dan! I shall pop by your inbox soon!!
Hey you, this is great. Wishing you a million or so readers!
This is a great achievement, Damyanti! The cover looks great too.
Thanks so much, Audrey! Glad you like the cover 🙂
Congratulations! Wishing you much success!
Thanks so much !!
Congratulations and I am looking forward to the book here in the USA… 🙂
“The art of writing is the art of discovering what you believe.” Gustave Flaubert
Thanks Larry! It should be out as an ebook in the US soon!
How fascinating it is, I will discover when I purchase a copy on my return to India in about a month’s time. But the build-up is being handled astutely. The blurb is captivating. And the peep into your personal struggles touching. Best wishes.
Thanks so much. The build-up is all thanks to my friends.
The book should be out as an ebook outside India soon.
Thanks for offering to buy a copy.
Congratulations! Well done!!
Thanks so much!!
I love people watching too. This sounds like a very interesting book with many layers involved. Despite all the hardships, you have endured and that is a good thing.
Thanks for your kind words, Birgit!
Hi Damyanti–love the cover and the sound of the book! I signed up for the Linky but I’m not sure how that works. Do I publish whenever I want to? Or do you send me materials. Sorry I am so confused with this!
Thanks for signing up, Jacqui! Could I take you up on your super-kind offer for a later month? October/ November would be great, because by then the book will be available outside the Indian sub-continent.
I don’t have an Amazon account with the India Amazon. Is there any other way to order the book? I’d love to feature it on my blog. It sounds like later this year, it will be available on my US Amazon?
Hi Jacqui, thanks so much for wanting to check it out, and for the honour of wanting to feature it on your blog!!
It will be available later this year on Amazon USA. If it is okay, I’ll get in touch via email to check if any dates in October / Novemeber would be suitable for the feature, and what sort of material you would need for it?
Again, thank you for thinking of this book.
First of all, heartiest congratulations for this baby of yours, Damyanti! I loved it!
Being a crime-story fan, I loved the blurb and looked forward to the story. It did begin on a slow note, but picked up pace soon enough and, suffice to say, I was hooked!
You gave a clear picture about the city where the story is based, as also the characters. My heart went out to the central character, Anjali, who has to deal with life that’s difficult and demanding. Caring for a special-needs child and dealing with everyday life is a tough task, and to do it all with elan, I felt respect for Anjali, and concern, too.
The story also revolves around relationships between the characters, apart from the crime and that makes it all the more interesting.
As far as the other characters are concerned, I did feel in some places that a particular character could have been portrayed a bit differently. But when I looked at the story in its entirety, I realized that each character had been etched to perfection.
The end was a surprise element for me, as I was expecting something completely different. But, I give it to you for such a build-up that left me in shock from an unpredictable denouement!
Thanks so much for posting a review, Shilpa. I’m glad it kept you hooked!
Great cover–so exciting!
Glad you like the cover, Rebecca!
The cover looks great! Congratulations.
Thanks so much, Alex!
Congratulations Damyanti! Crime Thrillers is my favourite genre. I read the ARC of You Beneath Your Skin and simply loved it. It grabbed my attention like no other in the recent past. I just sat and turned page after page as the story gripped me from the word go. You have a winner here. So proud and happy for you!! ♥
Thanks Shilpa! SO happy it managed to hold your interest.
Congratulations, Damayanti ?? I filled the daishik form too ?
That’s so kind, Rekha, thank you!
I love the plot. Marked for reading.
Thanks so much, Peter!!