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Wednesday 12 October 2016

ℚ♫ Ten Days in October - Ashish Malpani

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author to talk about Ten Days in October (, Ashish Malpani, 235 pages), a Crime Fiction novel.

"I had a full weekend ahead of me, loads of fun activities lined up and I couldn't tear myself away from the book!

Right from the setting in the sleepy lyrical sounding town of Sangamner, to the armchair detective thrill as you ride the roller coaster of new scenes and incidents unfolding in the book and guess at the murderer's identity. Good fresh first book. Well written and paced and researched too." - Ravi Khandelwal (Amazon Verified Purchase)

"A very entertaining, fast-paced story … the breathers are short and every hour seemed to thicken the plot. The suspense is really well built up and kept me guessing (wrongly :)) till the very end!"
Gautam Sarda (Amazon Verified Purchase)

Synopsis | Trailer | Teaser: KCR Preview | Author Q&A | About the Author | Giveaway & Tour Stops

A very warm welcome to Ashish Malpani; thank you for joining us!

Here at BooksChatter we love music; do you have a music playlist that you used in Ten Days in October, or which inspired you whilst you were writing it?

"Ten Days in October starts with a song that is a ringtone of mobile phone [the first video below]. My playlist while writing the book included the songs below."
What was the inspiration for Ten Days in October?
"As a kid, I always liked reading and making stories. I always dreamt about writing but somehow it never became a reality before. I strongly believe that every person you meet, every incident that happens around you leaves an impression on your mind. I often wonder that the people involved in the incidents were to speak to me, what will they say? What will be their stories?

Some of the incidents we witness have a broader social impact and do touch our nerves. The people who are involved in such incidents definitely have gone through a lot and have a lot to share. Reporting of these incidents in popular media is purely based on coverage, reader appeal and sensationalism.

We often read the report in the media, feel bad about it for few minutes and then move on with our lives. I fear that over the years, we have taken this as a new normal and let it desensitize us. As a writer, somewhere I feel that it is my responsibility to connect with readers and invoke thoughtful dialogue about such issues."
How much of yourself is reflected in this book, and how?
"I associate most with the protagonist Shivaji Chavan of ‘Ten Days in October’. Like me, he has developed his own philosophy of life to deal with the contradictions he faces. He does understand that there is no point in occupying in high moral ground if you lose in the process and sometimes war is justified.

My other characters are indeed inspired by real people. Sometimes I do tend to divert from the initial character sketch to give more real life feel."
The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover. Can you tell us about your cover for Ten Days in October - why you chose that concept and who the artist is.
"The cover of the book is designed by my younger brother Saurabh Malpani and his creative team at Artha studio.

The protagonist, Chavan is fond of drinking chai (Indian Masala Tea). He can’t even get his day started without a cup. The cover cleverly blends that with the first homicide of the novel (Anil Kokate hanging from the tree) and the chai in the cup is depicted as blood."
Why should we read Ten Days in October and what sets it apart from the rest? What makes your book unique?
"The story of this novel unfolds over ten days in October, but that is not the reason behind the title. The ten days have great significance not only from mythological and religious perspective but also for the plot. The first nine days of the story line happen over Hindu festival of Navratri, which literally means ‘nine-days’.

Navratri is the celebration of feminine divinity in the form of universal mother, Devi (Goddess). The first three days celebrate the Devi in the form of Durga, second set of three days honor the Devi as Lakshmi, and final three days are dedicated to Saraswati.

Riding a lion, armed with weapons of Gods Goddess Durga is destroyer of evil and epitomizes valor. Lakshmi is goddess of wealth and prosperity. Not just material but also spiritual wealth and purpose are the blessings of this form. Saraswati is celebration of knowledge and wisdom. She is often depicted sitting on a rock, symbolizing the knowledge that stays with us always.

Following the nine days of rituals and worship, the 10th day is celebrated as Dussehra, which is also known as Vijaya- Dashmi. It is celebrated to mark the victory of Lord Rama over the demon, Ravana.

Even when so much emphasis and respect is given to the mother form of God, India is still trying to combat the growth in crime against women from female feticide and infanticide to harassment and dowry deaths. With just 10% women representation in government and parliament the laws that deem everyone equal don’t always do justice and fall short. The perpetrators get away because of lack of political and enforcement will power, misuse of power and corruption.

The novel is inspired by one of the dark incidents that happened around my home town in India and highlights the social issues while staying in the genre. That is why I believe the novel is worth reading."
Can you tell us something quirky about Ten Days in October, its story and characters?
"The protagonist being a typical Indian man, he does show signs of patriarchal thinking and does take his wife for granted. One of my friends who read the novel jokingly said that if her husband woke her up early in the morning to make a tea for him, she will throw him out of the house. That is why she didn’t like Chavan. He does expect his wife to listen to him. He can’t break away from the shackles altogether. Also, he has found a way to justify accepting bribes. I think that is why you like and hate him at the same time."
Who would you recommend Ten Days in October to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?
"Anyone who likes crime fiction in international settings, interested in customs and culture of rural western India should read this book.

Being a crime fiction, the novel is not suitable for anyone under the age of 15. I haven’t allowed my 8 year old son to read it yet."
If you could / wished to turn Ten Days in October into a movie, who would be your dream team?
"This is a tricky question for me. Given that ‘Ten Days in October’ is based in India, I think it will be hard to include Hollywood actors in leading roles. That said, it may be a good opportunity to look at Bollywood for help. I think Ajay Devgan, Akshay Kumar and/ or Nawazuddin Siddiqui may be fit for the lead roles.

The location will of course be Sangamner where the story takes place and I would love to see Anurag Kashyap direct it."
What do you like to write and read about? Do you stick to a particular genre or do you like to explore different ones?
"As an author my role is not to just tell a story but to connect with my readers and force them to think. I have tried to achieve the same in ‘Ten Days in October’ and based on the feedback I have received so far I will like to think that the effort probably resulted in some good discussions. I intend to continue writing with thought provoking socio-economic issues at the centre stage. I do look for stories in the events happening around me.

As for as genre goes, I am not sure if I am going to stick to one, but at least for now I have decided to focus on crime fiction."
What is your writing process?
"I take an engineering project approach to writing. I start with one paragraph, the character sketches, chapter outlines and the ending. This way I make sure that I am comfortable with the flow of the story and I can continue writing without hitting a writer’s block."
What is in store next?
"I definitely want to continue writing but I don’t want to be defined by a genre. Against the conventional wisdom and marketing benefits, I think I want to write in the format, the genre that is best suited for the story in my mind.

That said, I have started research on couple of ideas and may be yet another crime fiction is taking shape. ‘Ten Days in October’ makes commentary on one of the glaring social issues we face today and I am ready to take on another one."
Thank you, Ashish. We hope you are having a great tour and look forward to reading Ten Days in October!

Ten Days in October
Available NOW!

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