I began writing my debut novel You Beneath Your Skin in 2011, and finished the first draft in 2012. After about 8 drafts, I started sending queries and signed up with my agent in 2016. The book was published in 2019 by SImon &Schuster India, and the story has been read by a large cross-section of readers ever since.
Today Hollywood Deadline announced a deal with Endemol Shine to option You Beneath Your Skin for a TV drama.
Endemol Shine India has optioned Damyanti Biswas’s bestselling Indian crime novel You Beneath Your Skin to develop as a multi-part drama series, with all proceeds from the option going towards social enterprises in the author’s native New Delhi.
Set in contemporary New Delhi, the multi-strand narrative concerns an Indian-American single mother and her autistic teenage son, whose comfortable middle-class lives are turned upside down by a police investigation; a crime spree of slum women found stuffed in trash bags, faces and bodies disfigured by acid. Although a work of fiction, the novel tackles endemic problems in India: violence against women, slum poverty, and police corruption.
Abhishek Rege, CEO, Endemol Shine India, said, “You Beneath Your Skin is a is a crime thriller, layered with issues of poverty, misogyny and corruption. Taking a leaf out of the vast legacy of phenomenal women writers in the crime thriller genre – Damyanti’s book brings a sensitivity an otherwise violent genre. The protagonist is fascinating as she is a single mother and traversing an unorthodox life through the rather orthodox setting of Delhi. Gripping, relevant and hard-hitting, this is a story peopled with many characters, multiple fractured relationships, small intimate moments and effective back stories. This is a thriller with a family at the center of the plot. These are the stories that Endemol Shine India wants to bring to the fore.”
Dramatic rights were acquired by Endemol Shine India from agent Ed Wilson at Johnson & Alcock, working with Sidharth Jain at Mumbai-based agency The Story Ink.
Many have told me today that this is the result of hard work and perseverance.
I can tell you that both of them are a given, a bare minimum in any profession. In themselves, they bring very few rewards. An element of luck cannot be ignored, nor can the good wishes of friends and family. Which is why, I believe that at the end of the day, we keep on keeping on for the love of writing and storytelling. Any success that comes our way is an un-looked-for bonus–it is enough to be content to keep trying, keep failing, and failing better each time. Success or milestones are a bonus, not the end goal. Surviving against the odds, and contenting ourselves with the daily ups and downs is quite enough. Focused effort with no expectations is better than effort with focused expectations.
Do you believe that effort and talent equal expected results? Have you read books and then watched them on screen? Which were the adaptations you liked? Have you read You Beneath Your Skin?
It is available in India here.
Reviews are appreciated–please get in touch if you’d like a review copy.