Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Please don't be missing my new book

From almost the instant that Funky Bollywood was published, people have been asking me what my next book project would be. Would it be a survey of Indian action movies from the 80s? Or perhaps an overview of an entirely different genre of Indian films? I very soon started to feel like I was being pushed into a somewhat confining, South Asian cinema-shaped box. Seeing as I fancy myself to be something of a wild card, it was not long before I was greeting these queries by testily hissing "you don't know me, maaan!" at my interlocutors. Clearly, some kind of break was in order, some means of confounding my readers' perhaps justifiably narrow expectations of me--and what better way to do so than write a novel?

Okay, that's not the actual reason that I wrote my first novel, Please Don't Be Waiting For Me. The truth is that it's an idea that's been kicking around in my head for quite some time. I just felt obligated to justify myself to those of you who might be disappointed that I didn't follow up Funky Bollywood  with another film-related book. I will definitely be writing another film book, and sooner than you think, but I just had to get this one out of my head first. And if it's any consolation, there's much in this book that will appeal to fans of fringe pop culture like yourselves.

Please Don't Be Waiting For Me is set in San Francisco in 1980 and follows a close knit band of teenage punks as they negotiate the ins and outs of that city's legendary early punk scene. In the aftermath of a particularly riotous Avengers gig, one of their friends is found brutally murdered and another is accused of the crime. Faced with an openly hostile police force and a local media intent on demonizing them, they set out to prove their friends' innocence on their own. Along the way, they become enmeshed in a nasty criminal conspiracy involving Hells Angels, fascist skinheads, and a missing satchel full of methamphetamines.

Now, in case you were wondering, I was a teenager during the early days of the SF punk rock scene, and I indeed have used my own experiences and observations as background for my story. This does not, however, mean that the book is autobiographical. It isn't. But if you insist on thinking that one of the characters in it is me, I only ask that that character be the one you consider to be the coolest.

I'll openly admit that Please Don't Be Waiting For Me was a bit of a tough sell. I intended it to be a kind of Young Adult/Crossover title, but the amount of swears, violence, drug use and implied underage sex it contains makes it unlikely to receive the endorsement of many school librarians. As a result, I've opted to self publish--which, along with guarantying that I won't have to compromise on  content, also means that I'll be able to offer it to you at a reasonable price. The book is currently ready to roll but for some lyric copyright issues that need to be cleared up, and I think you can expect to see it available within the next four to six weeks.

In the meantime, I've set up an official website for the book at There you'll find a lot of background and historical information, a sample chapter you can read, a YouTube playlist of classic punk tracks, and even a fun contest you can enter yourself into. Do check it out, won't you?

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