Friday, October 30, 2020

Big Secret


Tell us about your next book. Your WIP or the one after that.

Abir Mukherjee


Morning. Abir here, which means it must be Friday. The weekend is only hours away!


Just enough time to tell you what I’ve been working on.


So, the last twelve months have been an exciting time chez Mukherjee. It all started with my agent swanning off to New York. Of course I just rolled my eyes and thought, ‘there goes Sam, off on another of his jaunts across the pond'. To be fair, my agent is very glamorous - he tells me so every time I see him. Anyway, this time he called me, trans-atlantically, and this was the word for word conversation approximately:


Me: Hello? 

Agent: Abir! Baby! 

Me: Who is this? 

Agent: It’s me, Sam.

Me: Sam who?

Agent: Sam! Your agent.

Me: You told me never to call you again.

Agent: Yeah, but I’m calling you.

Me: I thought it was reciprocal.

Agent: No. Why would you think that?

Me: Well, after that incident at your Christmas party, with the pop-up edition of the kama sutra and the cardboard cut out of Kim Kardashian, I rather thought…actually never mind. What do you want?

Agent: Well, I was out cruising around Manhattan, doing top, hot-shot international agenting stuff, and I got talking to this American chap in his office, well it was more of a bar, but that’s beside the point. Anyway, long story short, he's an editor at a big publishing house and he said he likes your work.

Me: He said that?

Agent: Well he said it was, salvageable.

Me: Salvageable?

Agent: It's the next best thing to actual admiration. Anyway, he said, if you ever decide to write something more modern, he’d be keen to buy you a cawffeee.

Me: Don’t do the accent, Sam.

Agent: Sorry.

Me: More modern eh? Like you mean the 1940s?

Agent: Moderner.

Me: 1960s, flower power, Burn the Bomb, Ban the bra - that sort of thing?

Agent: Present day.

Me: 2016?

Agent: It’s 2020.

Me: Not in my house. I don’t count the Trump years. You told him that I don’t do modern?

Agent: Sort of.

Me: Sort of?

Agent: I told him you were yesterday’s news. But hey, the offer stands. Write something modern and he’d love to talk, maybe buy you a bagel.

Me: Stop with the New Yorkisms, Sam.

Agent: Okay caio. Taxi!!...


So basically I decided to write something modern, something up to date, something really 2016. Anyway, I wrote a 2 page summary, sent it to Sam, who used it to mop up some tea he’d spilt. It was illegible after that, so he sent it to the guy in the US, who, fortunately liked the stains and  asked for a partial.


I wrote 13,000 words, and then wrote a few more because as we all know, 13,000 is unlucky. I sent them to Sam, who sent them to the American, who said. ‘I like this. 2016 was a good time. I’d like to see more.'


So now I’m writing a modern day novel, set in the UK and the US, and I’m having tremendous difficulty finding all the right words, mainly because you north Americans have mangled the English language. I mean the issues around jam and jelly and jello alone have caused me to almost have a stroke. Anyway, I’m persevering. That book should be out in 2018 (or 2022 if you include the Trump years.) In the meantime, I’ve got another Wyndham and Banerjee book out next year, called The Shadows of Men. It is brilliant. You should buy it, if not for the words, then at least because my kids are growing up fast and they need new shoes.


Cheers and thank you in advance.

Have a great weekend and stay safe.






James W. Ziskin said...

Nice post, Abir. Happy 2017!


Unknown said...

Sounds great. Looking forward to reading your latest and will look out for the 'modern' one at some point in the future.

Abir said...

Cheers James!

Abir said...

Thank you so much, Unknown. I hope you enjoy them both!

Frank Zafiro said...

Sounds cool, Abir - looking forward to talking more about later on this season on the podcast. But you gotta promise to do the accent that the agent was doing. Your impression of his impression of cawwfee... now, that's entertainment.

WeeMick said...

Looking forward to reading both! 🙂