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.)
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.
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!
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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