I am extremely delighted to share the news that my debut novel is going to come out next week! Here’s a look at the cover:
I commenced working on some form of this novel in 2013, around the same time when I started this blog to share and catalogue my attempts at poetry and short stories. Over the years, the novel went through many transformations, as I tried various ideas through which to convey its central theme. It wasn’t until early 2016 that I finally knew the story and the characters well enough to properly embark upon the first draft. After two more years of writing, re-writing and editing, I finally had something I was confident enough to send to various publishers. The hardest part, as expected, was yet to come.
But my struggles with the publishing world perhaps merit a separate blog post. For now, I am just glad that part is over and the novel is on its way.
Set in a small town in northern India, A Stick in the Dirt is essentially a story about the lives and relationships of two neighbouring families and the challenges they face when one of the children displays certain behavioural irregularites. Here is a short introduction to the overall narrative:
Saurabh’s birth is celebrated across the town of Konkur, where people rejoice in the arrival of the much-admired Vinod and Shashi Parashars’ first offspring. Soon, their neighbour’s 5-year-old daughter Vidya is entrusted with the responsibility of Saurabh’s daily wellbeing. They grow up together among the secluded trees, hills and narrow roads of the small town, spending much of their time in an abandoned graveyard they discover near their homes.
But when Saurabh starts showing signs of trouble, their seemingly idyllic world begins to quickly unravel. As the incidents become more frequent and violent, he is brandished a pariah by the very people who had once held him aloft. Vidya, Shashi and Vinod’s struggle to come to terms with Saurabh’s impulses, becomes the uncomfortable thread that binds them together and leads them to re-evaluate their own lives and relationships.
Traversing through the realms of guilt and solitude, A Stick in the Dirt attempts to grapple with the uncomfortable nature of the unknown and with what it means to be misunderstood by those closest to us.
Writing this novel has been a deeply rewarding experience. While it meant that I was unable to consistently update this blog over the last few years, seeing the book in print will give me the confidence to continue working hard and produce more content in the future.
The novel shall be available on all major online platforms as well as some selected bookstores. I shall share more details about the same soon.