Your protagonist is an Indian-American detective, which was a refreshing change and shatters some people's preconceived ideas. Was that your intention from the beginning? What has been the reaction from the industry and readers?
Readers have embraced the novel, it reached the Amazon bestseller list and continues to sell and get great reviews, while the industry wasn’t interested in taking it on. Readers are open to innovation, change, exciting books and shattering preconceived notions. The traditional publishing industry hates innovation, because they want to sell a short amount of copies in as little time as possible, so it’s a variation of the same stuff over and over again. At least until the industry changes, if it ever does, indie publishing seems to be the way to go for dynamic authors.
I always wanted to write an Indian-American thriller, but honestly, the book started as a literary book. In fact, if you go way back, it started as a short story collection and had none of the current characters were in it. It was reworked many times. I think initially Niral had a different profession, but once it had a steady crime plot, he was a private investigator. There were people in the publishing industry who questioned whether private investigators even exist anymore, let alone that an Indian-American could be one!
Do you have a favorite under the radar novel? And if so can you tell us why?
Since I write in two genres, I’ll pick two books. In the mystery-thriller genre, I’ll pick Family Matters by Ira Berkowitz, which I came upon randomly in a library more than a decade ago. It was hooking from page one, it has a fascinating protagonist named Jackson Steeg, a cop on the skids, he’s got to solve a murder that ultimately hits close to home, he has to investigate a wide variety of characters in his hometown of Hell’s Kitchen, which is a small neighborhood in Manhattan. Sound familiar? Its solid noir, and also the first book of a series.
For thought-provoking, innovative literary fiction, check out The Other Son by Allan Avidano. It’s independently published and not well-known, but it’s a Frankenstein for our time. It concerns the limits of science and the rational delusions of mankind, the intersection between the experiments of a Muslim scientist, a NYC couple trying to give birth, and concerns Jewish-Christian-Islamic thought. It is well-written and paced, never boring, and certainly thought-provoking.