Thursday, February 10, 2022

I Don’t Have a Ouija Board from James W. Ziskin

We seem to have moved from “unprecedented times” to “a constantly fluid situation”. What did you learn in 2021 about the “new normal” of the business of being an author that you’re going to use to help your future career, and please tell us what you’re planning for 2022.

Good question this week. What did I learn about the “new normal” in publishing? I learned that we roll with punches. It’s a cliché, I know, but apt. We all figured out how to Zoom. And how to Crowdcast. We learned how to light ourselves to our best advantage. (Well, perhaps not everyone.) And, for the most part, we all managed to remember to unmute our microphones when it was our turn.

I’m not sure how publishing changed in 2021. It’s a mystery to me. I can only say that there’s no use complaining about it, unless you’re prepared to change the industry. And I believe you’d be better off whistling in the wind. The buggy whip industry resisted the scourge of the horseless carriage and, of course, lost. Dylan Thomas—to his credit—raged against the dying of the light, for all the good it did him. Time marches on. Nothing stays the same. Battles are lost, for better or worse.

If I want to write, I see no other choice but to join the game and play by the rules as they stand. I may not be happy about it, but I know the score. I don’t think it was any easier in Dickens’s day, either. Or Chaucer’s. Writing, creating, and soldiering on are what count most. The rest will sort itself out. The universe finds its equilibrium, and I don’t have a Ouija board or a crystal ball. I have a book to write.

So what’s in store for me in 2022? I have a new book in a new series coming out at the end of the year. Bombay Monsoon (Oceanview) launches on December 6. It’s a story I hope will resonate with today’s readers, especially in light of recent political crises. But it’s also a story of love and betrayal, seduction and choices. Here’s the teaser:

The year is 1975. Danny Jacobs is an ambitious, young American journalist who’s just arrived in Bombay for a new assignment. He’s soon caught up in the chaos of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s domestic “Emergency.”

Willy Smets is Danny’s enigmatic expat neighbor. He’s a charming man, but with suspicious connections. As a monsoon drenches Bombay, Danny falls hard for Sushmita, Smets’s beguiling and clever lover—and the infatuation is mutual.

“The Emergency,” a virtual coup by the prime minister, is only the first twist in the high-stakes drama of Danny’s new life in India. The assassination of a police officer by a Marxist extremist, as well as Danny’s obsession with the inscrutable Sushmita, conspire to put his career—and life—in jeopardy. And, of course, the temptations of Willy Smets’s seductive personality sit squarely at the heart of the matter.

Democracy is fragile and the lines of loyalty and betrayal often cross and cannot be untangled.


Dietrich Kalteis said...

Great post, Jim. Bombay Monsoon sounds interesting. I'm looking forward to it.

विकास नैनवाल 'अंजान' said...

Great Post... Bombay Monsoon sounds intriguing. Will look forward to it.

- Vikas

James W. Ziskin said...

Thanks, Dietrich and Vikas! I hope you’ll enjoy it.