Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Damyanti Biswas' Debut Author Spotlight #NewBook #20Questions at Operation Awesome #YouBeneathYourSkin

Debut Author Spotlight from @JLenniDorner on @OpAwesome6

YOU BENEATH YOUR SKIN - A Gripping Urban Contemporary Crime Novel by Damyanti Biswas

1- I love the question on your blog post, so I'm snagging it and asking you: Who are you beneath your skin?

Just another human being, with a bunch of conflicting thoughts and feelings swirling around inside. The journey to become my best self is also the journey to be completely comfortable in my skin.

2- Would you please, in 160 characters or less, give a #WriteTip ?

Write the first draft of a story or novel for yourself, all other drafts for your reader. When you lose the spark in your writing, always check that first draft.

3- What ignited your passion for writing?

I don’t know, really. My husband suggested I take up writing in a country here I didn’t have a work permit, so I should try writing. I started off more than a decade ago, and to this day I’m not really sure what ignited this passion—perhaps the fact that I’m insatiably curious, painfully empathetic, and writing provides a great way to channelize both.

4- What was it like to be a #PitMad Pitch Wars mentor?

It is very humbling to have all those wonderful manuscripts sent your way, and gutting not to be able to help them all.

5- What's your Twitter handle, and do you have two or three writer friends on there to shout-out to for #WriterWednesday ?

@damyantig Friends: @SommerSchafer @shilpaagarg @TuttleNTexas

6- Would you share a picture with us of you with your book?
Damyanti Biswas #YouBeneathYourSkin Debut Author Spotlight

7- Would you please tell us more about Project Why?

Project WHY’s aim is to bridge the education gap for New Delhi’s underprivileged children and improve their learning outcomes in a safe environment, as well as life-skills and all-round development for women.
They started their first after-school support programme in the year 2000, and today through 6 after-school support centres, they reach out to over 1100 children, 200 women and have created 50 job opportunities for people from the community.

8- What most motivates you to read a new book?

The recommendation of friends whose opinions I trust.

9- What is your favorite book by someone else, what's the author's Twitter handle, and what do you love most about that book? #FridayReads book recommendation time!

Author name:Joanne Harris @Joannechocolat
Love because: It is a story that took me outside of myself at a very difficult time.

10- Who is currently your biggest fan? What does that person love most (or "ship") about your debut novel?

There are so many. It would be unfair to name just one. They mostly like the characterisation, the research, the portrayal of New Delhi and what they call the book’s ‘unputdownable’ quality.
Damyanti Biswas #YouBeneathYourSkin Debut Author Spotlight

11- What emotions do you hope your book will evoke for the reader, and is there a particular scene you hope will resonate with readers?

I do not know what emotions the book will raise in readers. I went through much agony during the writing of it, but also much joy. I suppose all of that translates into the novel, and some of it trickles into the readers’ awareness. The scenes of human despair and resilience against the odds—with Jatin, and Anjali.

12- Do you have a favorite #bookstagram image or account/ profile?

13- How do you hope your book will help readers in their life?

Each book is an experience—You Beneath Your Skin peels back the societal layers, engages with the city. The hope is that the book will help readers experience Delhi (and by extension, India) in all its aspects, rich and poor, the strong and the vulnerable, the corrupt and the pure. The novel is structured as a thriller, but carries within it themes of feminism and justice, of violence and forgiveness, of corruption and excellent police work.
Damyanti Biswas #YouBeneathYourSkin Debut Author Spotlight

14- What is the most memorable trait or visual oddity of one of your characters?

Anjali’s obsession with her appearance—her constant checking of the mirror.

15- In what ways are the main characters in your book diverse? #WeNeedDiverseBooks

Anjali, the main character is Indian American, Nikhil has autism, and all the other characters are from India.

16- Who is your favorite book review blogger?

Damyanti Biswas #YouBeneathYourSkin Debut Author Spotlight

17- What was the deciding factor in your publication route?

I wanted to have the support of a good editor work for my book, and and the back-up of a publishing house.

18- Why do you think readers should write book reviews?

Because reviews are the only way to keep books alive—in today’s world where readers have more power and platform than ever before, they should exercise it to show the books they love to other readers.
Damyanti Biswas #YouBeneathYourSkin Debut Author Spotlight

19- Do you have one question or discussion topic which you would like the readers of this interview to answer or remark on in the comments?

Perhaps the fact that the novel touches on social issues. That it is possible for a work of commercial fiction to meaningfully engage with pressing problems that plague modern society.

20- Anything else you would care to share about your book and yourself?

Damyanti Biswas #YouBeneathYourSkin Debut Author Spotlight
You Beneath Your Skin is a crime novel about the investigation of an acid attack on a woman from Delhi’s upper class, set against the backdrop of crimes against underprivileged women. They are assaulted, disfigured with acid, and murdered.
While the framework is that of a thriller, the novel threads together different narrative strands. The author tackles various social issues: crimes against women and why they occur, the nexus between political corruption, police and big money; the abuse of the underprivileged, be it adults or children.
Of these the issue of crimes against women is the strongest—why do men attack women? Why do they gang together? What happens when a woman tries to break the glass ceiling? Can toxic masculinity masquerade as benevolent patriarchy?
Parents would also find this novel fascinating: how do you bring up a good human being in today’s troubled times? How much do you know of your teenager’s life? If you’re the parent of a special child, what challenges do you face and what sort of support can you expect?
It is a whodunnit, but also a whydunnit, because violent crime unravels those affected: the people, the relationships, the very fabric of society, and we get a glimpse of what lies beneath. That’s why the title, You Beneath Your Skin.
The narrative of the book was researched and shaped during the author’s work with Project WHY, and some of the experiences generously shared by acid attack survivors from the non-profit Stop Acid Attacks. To return this debt of gratitude, all author proceeds from the book will go to these two non-profits.

Damyanti Biswas #YouBeneathYourSkin Debut Author Spotlight
Outside India: :


Net galley:

Goodreads link:

To get shares, pls tag @damyantig on Twitter and Insta, and Damyanti at Daily Write on Facebook
@SimonandSchusterIN : Insta
@SimonSchusterIN : Twitter
@Simon & Schuster IN: Facebook
@projectwhydelhi and @stopacidattacks on Twitter, Instagram and FB
Hashtag for all social media: #YouBeneathYourSkin

Blurb of the book:

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.

YOU BENEATH YOUR SKIN - A Gripping Urban Contemporary Crime Novel by Damyanti Biswas

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