Posts Tagged ‘Kashmir Blues’

Kashmir Blues acknowledgements

Saturday, July 24th, 2010

Kashmir Blues

When I received the pdfs from Westland/Tranquebar for Amazon uploads, the acknowledgements page was missing. This page is, of course, in the printed version of the book, but not in the digital format.


Without the dedicated reading of the first draft by my brother-in-law Paul Mitchell, and the detailed reading of the last by my editor Prita Maitra, and her (gentle) insistence on getting it right and not letting me get away with vagueness or laziness, this book would not be what it is. My heartfelt thanks and love to you both.

My sister Meithili Mitchell was part-time editor as well, not always voluntarily, and sometimes even under (vague and unspecified) threats. My love and thanks to you.

Nikhil Khosla, my friend who happens to be my brother-in-law, thanks for sharing your knowledge.

Thank you Lu Vickers, for all your help. Your comments and suggestions were invaluable, and I know the book is better because of them.

My friends who gave me valuable criticism and welcome praise. You make my writing better, yes, but also me: Urvashi Khosla, Richard Bush, Sheila Curran, Joseph Hellweg, Jane Macpherson, Julia and Philip Sura, Robert Draper (who also took out the garbage and changed lightbulbs), Tracy Sumner, Shashi Deshpande, Suhael Merchant.

Sukhi, Tissa, Ashish, and Saheli, your patience and tolerance sustains me, and your encouragement and expectations make me reach beyond my own perceived limits. In writing and in life.

Frank-Udo, I used your name without your permission. This Frank is named for you and not any other. But there the resemblance ends. I did not know you were in the world when I wrote it, just hoped that you were.

Kashmir Blues

Monday, July 5th, 2010

Kashmir Blues, my second book, is available in India. This one’s for you, all you guys who will read it. I hope you enjoy it, and I hope some of you will share your thoughts with me. Because though writing is a pleasure and delight all its own, the feeling I get when you tell me what you got from the book, and what you didn’t, and what you liked and what incensed you, and which people you hated, identified with, fell in love with – all this means you read it.


Friday, February 19th, 2010

photo by StilfehlerMy next book, Kashmir Blues (Westland/Tranqubar), will be published later this year. It made me acutely aware that I was finished with that book, but did not yet have another in the works. Life was taking too much time, all the daily eating and walking and children and cats…

I decided earlier last week to begin the process of completing my next book. I decided to write, or try to, 10,000 words a week. When I did the calculation, I realized that if I actually did write 10,000 words a week, I would have a novel in 10 weeks! I’m assuming that an average novel is about 100,000 words – my first two have been around that length.  So if I give myself a little wriggle room, I could have a novel in four months. And three a year.  Will I have readers for these novels? If I find someone to publish them, that is? Now that I can’t answer without writing them. So… back to work!

rim shots

Friday, February 5th, 2010
photo by Jon Hammond

photo by Jon Hammond

Though my son is a jazz musician, I have no feel for it or knowledge of  it except the most basic. I’m working on a new book. A man I intended as a minor character is a jazz musician. I suddenly find him becoming very insistent.  This happens uncomfortably often – I remember my mother telling me that people in a book do what they want, and become who they want, and it is not always in the writer’s control. I thought she was quite mad. But in Kashmir Blues, (Westland/Tranquebar June 2010), Leon, one of the main characters, did take over the book, and there wasn’t much I could do about it, other than follow where he lead, and it was not always easy, and rarely safe. I get what she meant now – that once the person comes to life, at least in the book, you can’t make him or her be something they are not. I must sound quite mad too, now that I think about it!

So in this new book, the Jazz musician is getting loud and insists I listen. I feel I should at least know who he is and what moves him, even if it doesn’t move me. I’m listening to more jazz when I write, and am try to catch live performances when I can. Was at a jazz cafe recently. The superior faculty of the FSU jazz department were there, doing what they do best. And what I found out about myself-and-jazz was that – as long as the drummer thwacks enough of those delicious rim shots into a tune, I’m happy. Leon Anderson did not disappoint me that night. (For those of you who don’t know, rim shots have nothing at all to do with sex or alcohol…)

When I told my son about my self-discovery, he just laughed and said “you’re cheap.” I hope so – if he means I get complete happiness from simple but perfect moments, that can’t be a bad thing!