Adi Tantimedh writes,
Yes, this is a bit of shameless self-promotion.
So I have a novel coming out this Tuesday November 1st. Sendhil Ramamurthy of Heroes and Covert Affairs is not only on the cover, but is attached to play the hero in the TV series now in development. He and I worked together on the character to create something he has never played before.
The book is called Her Nightly Embrace, the first of a trilogy of private eye novels featuring Ravi Chandra Singh, a former religious scholar, schoolteacher who ends up working for an up-market private detective agency in London. He and his fellow investigators get hired by the rich and powerful to solve their problems and hide their dirty laundry. His job is to make sure scandals don’t hit the papers. And rich and powerful people have unique problems: a Tory MP being groomed to be the next Prime Minister hires Ravi to find the truth behind his dead supermodel girlfriend having sex with him in his sleep. A popular feminist TV talkshow host and author wants to find out who’s orchestrating a misogynist cyberbullying campaign against her. A Pakistani tycoon hires Ravi to find his daughter who’s run away from home before her arranged wedding. A shifty banker hires Ravi to protect her when her coworkers start dying.
Ravi has a little problem: he sees gods. Whenever things get stressful and morally messy, gods of the Hindu pantheon start showing up and watching him. He worries he might be losing his mind. The irony is that given the crazy situations, he’s often the sanest man in the room. Ravi tries to do the right thing, but he keeps burning down people’s lives and bringing about chaos. He worries that he may be damned. The gods find this very amusing.
It’s a bit strange to go from someone who writes about other people’s work here to writing about my own, to become the subject of coverage and promotional events, to promote one’s work on a larger scale. My publisher Atria Books, a division of Simon & Schuster, are doing their utmost to promote the book and sending me on a minitour.
This began at BookCon during this year’s New York Comic Con where Sendhil and I had a panel where we talked about the genesis of Ravi and the trilogy of novels I’m currently writing.
— Atria Mystery Bus (@AtriaMysteryBus) October 6, 2016
We talked about, and will continue to talk about, the desire to update the private eye genre, and that doesn’t mean a non-white hero, but also to have cases and stories that more closely reflect the realities of what private eyes do. This includes combing through people’s papers, illegal activities like getting hired by newspapers to illegally hack people’s communications like what happened in the U.K. with the phone-hacking scandal that ended The News of the World and sent a private eye who did the hacking to prison, how private eyes are employed as fixers for celebrities, how private eyes might even be independent contractors for spy and intelligence agencies when they want deniability. I haven’t seen private eye fiction that tackled these topics and wondered why, so I decided to write stories I wanted to see.
Private eye and crime stories also give us the opportunity to explore social themes and commentary, and I wanted to write a particular London voice in Ravi, a dry, snarky sense of humour that was very British, which I experience with my British friends but don’t often see in fiction or even the telly. The reason I chose an Indian-British hero was to present a subtle commentary on Britishness. Ravi is a Londoner born-and-bred, and, even Alan Moore caught this when I mentioned Ravi to him during a social chat. Without my even bringing it up, Alan said that many British-Indians are more “English than the English”, that is they retain their own Indian identity, but also embrace British culture wholeheartedly. Their attitudes and outlook are thoroughly British. I wanted to write Ravi as an unspoken exploration of contemporary Britishness that’s beyond race and ethnicity. And then pitch Ravi’s sense of British decency against a morally grey and chaotic world where trying to do the right thing can still have dire consequences for somebody. In that respect, Ravi is actually an antihero. And that makes him lots of fun to write. And with Ravi as a proxy, I wanted to show how the world we think we know might be a lot weirder and messier than we ever realised. There are also a bunch of other themes and ideas I planted all over the book but to talk too much more would be a spoiler.
So this is why I haven’t been writing columns here as much as I used to. I’ve inadvertently become a novelist, and a bit sooner than I expected. That’s a long story I’ll get to another time.
— Atria Mystery Bus (@AtriaMysteryBus) October 6, 2016
Sendhil and I are being flown out this to Los Angeles this week to give a talk about the book at Google’s Headquarters in Venice, which will be filmed and posted on Youtube., then next Saturday Sendhil and I will be doing a signing at the Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore in San Diego.
On Thursday November 10th, Sendhil and I will be talking about and signing the book at the Barnes & Noble in Tribeca in New York City. Stop by if you’re in the area.
Meanwhile, here’s an excerpt from the audiobook, read by Sendhil, which will be out the same time as the print edition.
And what else can I say? If this sounds like fun to you, buy my book.
Her Nightly Embrace is now available from Amazon and bookshops.
Changing careers again at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Look! It Moves! © Adisakdi Tantimedh
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