The Mine—An Announcement

83 Comments

Many of you may (or may not) know about my second book, “The Mine” (publisher: Tata Westland), set to release January 2012. So since I will be off for a little vacation, I thought of leaving you with something about it.

After “May I Hebb Your Attention Pliss”, I was sure about two things. First of all, my next project would be radically different in tone and content from anything on the blog. Second there would not be even a bit of “humor” in it. I use quotes around humor because I have always been wary of being tagged as a humor writer. Humor, for me, has been principally a device, certainly not a ends in itself. Putting it in another way, I write on a variety of topics. Sometimes I use humor to make my point. Many times I do not. For MIHYAP I had used humor. For the next, I had decided I would not.

I have always been fascinated by the horror genre, mainly because of how viscerally people react to it, almost as physically as they react to humor. You never choose to be scared in the same way that you never choose to laugh. They both happen. Just like that. So horror it would be for my second novel. More precisely horror-suspense.

“The Mine” is based on an idea that had first come to me during a long, dreary Greyhound bus ride from Buffalo to Detroit, the perfect atmosphere for a scary yarn, way back in the winter of 2004. In 2010, right after MIHYAP was released, I started expanding on that idea and soon I had a fully fledged story-line. Since I am not a full-time novelist and also write in fits and starts, “The Mine” took me about a year to finish, through multiple revisions, edits and “Oh damn I should re-write this scene once again”s. It is still not finished as it now will go to the editor for the first round of editorial comments. The draft as it is now is about 81,000 words and should come out to about 325 pages or so.

So what is the book about? Well I am keeping things intentionally vague here but here is what the book blurb, as it stands, says.

During dig activities at an ultra-secret mining facility, an ancient place of worship with disturbing carvings on its dome emerges from the depths of the earth.

Soon terrifying waking dreams are pushing the miners to mutilate themselves.

Five experts are called in to investigate these strange occurrences. Sucked into a nightmare deep underground, they embark on a perilous journey; a journey that will change them forever, bringing them face-to-face with the most shattering truth of them all…

The greatest evil lies deep inside.

As part of promotion efforts, I have also made a short “movie-style” trailer . There is also a website for the book

I guess I am a bit nervous as release-date gradually approaches. Horror-suspense is a genre not much explored in Indian publishing and we (i.e. the publisher and I) are, in a way, stepping into the commercial unknown. Perhaps even more importantly, as an author, IΒ  am exploring a side of my writing that I never have and there are always a few butterflies associated with wandering outside one’s comfort zone.

There will be further updates on my blog as the book progresses through the publishing process. Please support me and “The Mine” by spreading the word (a share on Facebook of this post would be nice) and oh, as an aside, please join (i.e. “Like”) the new “Random Thoughts of a Demented Mind” page on Facebook (they are removing the old group).

And please do wish me luck. Lots of it.

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83 thoughts on “The Mine—An Announcement

  1. All the best Dada! I’ve been waiting for this book since you first mentioned it! Am sure It’ll do brilliantly!

  2. Good luck!! I’ve read many times that the second act as an author/film maker or in any creative pursuit is a greater challenge as one imposes many constraints/must haves on oneself for myriad reasons. I wish you all the best, may the desi audience warm up to this genre thanks to you!

  3. Sounds it will be as sucky as MIHYAP.. I’d rather not waste my money on it

  4. best of luck for the book. I will surely buy one :). I have been reading your blog for a while now. Yesterday, while doing daily rounds for the natural call, where I think people are most creative, I thought of B’s that are but essentials these days- FB,GB, and SB – Facebook, GreatBong, and Savita Bhabhi ;), not in the order mentioned of course.

  5. Congrats and good luck to you. Hope it turns into the summer blockbuster in a few years and you get more than the rolling credits for the work πŸ™‚

  6. The basic premise seems so similar to the root cause of “Desperation” by Stephen King. Hope your book is much better than Desperation or any other Stephen King books.

    Kintu boi-te ektu “humor” thaka uchit.

  7. A few days back, I was watching a documentary on underground mines, and just the visuals of them are scary. I think the feeling of claustrophobia and the fear of permament entombment in itself, has terrified humans for ages. Add paranormal to that, and it becomes creepier.

    I think the choice of your theme sets it up to be a very interesting read. I hope someone makes a good movie out of it later.

  8. Arnab, wish you lots of luck indeed on this new endeavor.

    I had never much gotten into reading (or watching) horror stories; all I can recall having read are a couple of Edgar Allen Poe short stories as a kid (which I do remember enjoying though). Do you have any favorite horror stories that you would recommend, either novels or short stories?

  9. All the best GB! This sure is going to rock! Like qwkslvr, I also hope it will soon become a blockbuster. One suggestion though, do keep the international market in mind for the book, and, more importantly, for the film. The scope of the storyline is not limited to India, I believe.

  10. @Debashish,

    I will urge you to start with Poe again. “Masque of Red Death”, “Cask of Amontillado” and “Fall Of The House of the Usher” are three starters.

  11. All the best… I am buying it anyways, without any doubt…but also I am sure it would be good…Indian writers are an unimaginatve lot…thats why they couldn’t come out of their socio-political commentary. There are brillant horror stories though, Tagore and Satyajit Ray, but we unfortunate lot don’t even have good translators to make it popular n Inda itself, leave alone world… really hope this becomes a brilliant project…

    And next, try your hand on Espionage thriller… Maybe someday there would be a Hollywood blockbuster… πŸ™‚

  12. All the best Arnab.
    @Satyendra Jha, I have read ‘Desperation’, there is absolutely no similarity between the two books. How many Stephen King have you read to find him ‘unreadable’? When it comes to horror very few can create an ambience like King. But when you read an introduction to a book please try and not look for ‘inspirations’ and jump to conclusions.

  13. @Debasish Ghosh, Besides Poe as Arnab says I would also recommend Stephen King’s early books and Blackwood, he was an absolute master of the genre. Then of course the Dunwich Horror and other stories by Lovecroft.

  14. Wishing you loads of luck and success for your forthcoming book…As i have not read good horror by Indian authors, am eagerly awaiting the release of your book:)….

  15. All the Best GB…
    Although u’v decided to stay away from humour this time, plz mention Himesh somewhere in the 325 pages… plzz πŸ˜›

  16. GB

    I have always liked the scary, horror stories (that you have written very rarely about) on RTDM. I liked them better than your humourous posts.

    Though you may dislike my “unsecular” views and moderate my comments, I sincerely wish you the best of luck and hope that your new book gets made into a blockbuster movie…not the Ramsay kind, but the Hitchcock/Gore Verbinski kind.

  17. Wish you all the best for your new book. I wholeheartedly support your decision to take the non-humour route (although I like your sense of humour).

  18. Hey… ! Im sure you’l do a fantastic job as ever .. πŸ˜› Wishing you great luck and looking forward to your visit .. for the book release πŸ™‚

  19. Hey… ! Im sure you’l do a fantastic job as ever .. πŸ˜› Wishing you great luck and looking forward to your visit .. for the book release πŸ™‚

  20. Hey… ! Im sure you’l do a fantastic job as ever .. πŸ˜› Wishing you great luck and looking forward to your visit .. for the book release πŸ™‚

  21. GB,

    Your blog( or should I say “work”, since RTDM is far more than a blog now) has provided me huge amounts of enetertainment value, reading pleasure, food for thought since early 2005!

    So, just as a simple “Thank You” gesture I wish you a lot of luck and a huge commercial success. Probably, I’ll buy a copy to help you on that end.

    My thoughts on the book(feel free to ignore):

    1. You have taken a great risk through your choice of subject. Very few successful writers would have done so. You again demonstrated why you are different than the pack. Kudos!

    2. The video: I know it is very early and things will change and may be you( and publishers) will come up with more videos. I was thinking, what is the value-add you are expecting from the video- most probably it is an agent to pique interest? so, Is the video chilling enough ? Is the video helping the book to stand out or is fitting the book with readers’ expectations from a regular horror flick/ story? You don’t need to answer the questions here, but I’d think on that line. One thing that consistently works in quick visual/ ads is stress on “moments” rather than on flow. Audience tend to capture and remember moments from a short ad/story than the whole part. For example( I am picking an example from a successful hindi horror film burb), you may remember Ashutosh Rana’s spine chilling scream from the trailer of Dushman. That was a moment, and it was used with great success in the promo. Just a thought!

  22. Wish you all the best.

    How difficult is it to get a publisher for one’s book ? I guess it helps if you have a popular blog under your belt, no ?

  23. Difficult to imagine you as writing this book :). Somehow reading through your blog, there’s always a hope that somewhere there will be an ultra-humorous twist in the tale. Guess for this one, there isn’t.

    Good luck with the book ! Maybe you should publish this as Arnab Ra(msa)y πŸ˜›

  24. Sure it will be a very very funny book. All these years you have made fun of some very dark and disturbing Hindi horror films. Now it’s your turn. We will laugh our heads off. Beware.

  25. GB, I am not asking you to give away the plot or anything, but is it possible to reveal whether or not the story is based in India? If so, then that itself would be a great novelty to look forward to, other than the welcome fact of an Indian author writing a horror novel in English. All the best.

  26. Hi Greatbong,

    I have been a silent visitor to your blog for over 2.5 years. Your blog is great. Though I do not always agree with your opinions, I still like to know your perspective. I particularly love the movie reviews (though you are doing very few of those these days).

    So just wanted to give my honest feedback on MIHYAP (ur first book – since you had asked for that during the promotions). While I liked the book, I didnt find it as interesting or humorous as your blog. The humour seemed to pop out in fits and starts. But still, enjoyed the book.

    Here’s hoping that experience helps and the Mine is better (though it is of a different genre). And I will definitely be waiting for The Mine. Best of luck for it!

  27. GB,

    How about asking your dear friend πŸ˜€ Chetan Bhagat to write a review? That might help sell a few copies to people outside the Greatbong-chamcha-club (eg. Utsav, Sabalil, Bengal Voice, Tejaswy, Sam, Dibyo, Kaushik – right wing Islamophobists all!)

  28. It’s been a long time since I’ve been scared of Horror movies. I doubt if a book could be scary… But I’ll first try your recommendations in one of the comments above.

  29. @ Another Great

    Inspite of the drunken khakhi-clad goons prowling the grounds, Baba Ramdev stayed inside the Ramlila Maidan for well over 2 hours, helping wounded Satyagrahis who were hit by police batons and tear-gas shells.

    The Italian-dictator’s goons dragged Baba Ramdev away and dressed him up in women’s attire (to humiliate him) before dumping him in Dehradun.

    Most media outlets and newspapers are being paid crores of rupees by this Corrupt Regime’s carpetbaggers to carry vitriolic news stories mocking Ramdev. So I won’t believe a word printed or uttered by the media-whores.

    Egypt has its Tahrir Square. India has its Ramlila Maidan.

    ———-

    @ordinary dong

    How I wish your words were true, but guess what? Alas ! GB is too “pseudo-secular” for my liking. His predilections explain his aversion to all things Hindu. If you don’t believe me, just ask Utsav, Sabalil, Bengal Voice, Tejaswy, Sam, Dibyo, Kaushik – Nationalists all!

  30. @Small and Unclean Hearted Infidel

    Baba confessed that he used Shivaji’s tactics to escape, nowhere he mentioned about being dressed by Italian-dictator’s goons.

  31. GB,
    I dont know how far down the line you are, in creating the character profile of your protagonists, but having Sonia/Rahul/coterie attackdog Digvijay Singh as one of them, woudl ensure a certain horrifying nature to your book.

  32. GB do add Modiji and Ramdevji also in your list of horrors too.Just to see your chaddi friends go all abusive on you.

  33. No darling with a fetish for rimming

    The problem with Babaji is he pays no tax since bhakts like you give him “voluntarily” so much so that the karmayogi travels in chartered planes.Let the crusader against samlaingiks first pay tax on his crores on which he does aish before he points fingers at others. Let’s start with the Scottish island of his for starters.

  34. All the best Arnab. Looking forward to it.

    Sad to see how trolls are converting your comments TL to read like a Rediff comments TL.

  35. Man, if Sonia Gandhi is trapped in a mine, I will give my everything to prevent people like Shan to rescue her! Yesterday I dreamt about him having Pasta somewhere in Azad Kashmir!

  36. guys remember… digvijay is same guy who visited batla house terrorist homes and said justice would be done, hinted that there is RSS conspiracy in mumbai attacks and showed “proof”, calls osama as osamaji, makes KG standard arguments abt shoe thrower,questions ramdev’s guru’s absence and says he recieved phone call from his guru telling him that ramdev is threating him !

    wonder WTF is going on ??? you need to see the digvijay’s statement on tv where he “fumbled” and then said he received phone call from ramdev’s guru ??!!!

    where is Utsav Sharma …we need him urgently.

  37. Hey, sounds nice.

    I don’t think it can be scarier than your first book. It really gave me nightmares about terrible writing that’s passing off for humour these days.

    A tip: please use your face on the cover. That should make it scary.

  38. Dear Bongs and non-Bongs,

    Did you hear the latest news:

    1) CID Diggy has blamed today’s elephant attack in Mysore on the RSS. He claimed: “Yeh Haathi toh RSS ka Saaathi hai. Isliye yeh Mysore-waley incident bilkul RSS ki Saazish (conspiracy) hai”.

    2) CID Diggy also blamed Ilyas Kashmiri’s death on RSS communalists and Baba Ramdev’s fasting followers. He said that Ilyas ji was the greatest exponent of secularism and that he would be given a posthumous Bharat Ratna.

    3) CID Diggy’s boss (the eternal “Prince”-in-waiting) admitted to the US Ambassador that the communal RSS was behind the 2004 Tsunami (that hit Muslim-majority Banda Aceh) and the 2005 earthquake (that hit Muslim-majority Pakistani Occupied Kashmir).

    4) The Prince’s top detective (CID Diggy) is also investigating the RSS role in the ongoing civil war in Libya and Syria, and will present his report before the media very soon.

    5) CID Diggy also blamed the RSS for his soiled underwear, because he craps his pants every time he thinks of the RSS.

    πŸ˜€

  39. @ Bengalvoice
    Wierd as it may sound, but Digvijay Singh helps us reach out to more people on Hindutva and its need, than anyone else.

    People like Diggy will help pseudo-seculars see the need for why we do what we have to do.

  40. @Utsav

    Are you implying that CID Diggy is a Trojan Horse (of the RSS) and is intentionally jeopardising the Congress poll prospects by making it look ridiculous and inflaming the electorate against the Congress? πŸ˜€

  41. @ bengalvoice
    No, I think Digvijay really hates Hindutva people. But his hate for Hindu revivalism is so rabid, that it he almost makes a caricature of pseudo-secularism and Appeasement, which indirectly helps validate the Hindutva point of view.

    It is a different matter, that Congress GS, Digvijay Singh’s ancestors (Parmara Rajputs), going more than a thousand years back formed the backbone of Hindu resistance to Jihad in Central India.

    I am sure he is making up for all their guts with his appeasement.

    The only thing that bothers me, is that his tutoring and mentoring of Rahul Baba would leave us in a situation where it would be difficult to defend whatever is left of “India”, once Rshul Baba becomes the PM.

  42. @yourfan2: There you go again, dreaming of me…really now. Seriously creepy, this nocturnal obsession with me. Dream of caressing Ramdev’s beard instead. That should be soothing. Not food porn with me.

    @utsav: That is an interesting point. Digvijay’s shameless OTT pandering to what he perceives to be a malleable Muslim constituency will actually (is already, possibly) harm his party in the future.

  43. @ Shan
    I agree with you.
    But the hallucination and “high” of vote bank politics is such, that appeasement (often at the cost of long term strategic civilizational well being) has become the hallmark of Congress and likeminded political entities.

    We RSS people love Digvijay for empowering us. Just like Islam-ists see the hand of Mossad in every bird that pees, Digvijay seens the hand of RSS in anything that happens contrary to his politics. The Hindu-phobic media has never given a objective view of Hindutva, but thanks to Digvijay, Arundhati and social media, we Hindutva people vicariously get the attention and the stage we need to put forth our view honestly.

    My worry is not Digvijay Singh though.
    My worry his Rahul baba. This simpleton actually believes the lies that his party uses in propaganda. That is not good.

  44. I see a lot of criticism by some trolls who come and say whatever they feel like, mostly interminable dross, and almost all without any merit. While it is democratic to have a right of speech and expression, these almost verge on the brink of a slander…fact is, majority ignores, which is obviously what people should do, as scums like these shouldn’t be addressed and given importance…but one thing I would like to remind them. The fact that this comment section is not moderated proves that GB is impartial, and with the risk of personal assault and vilification which is almost growing on geometric progression on each post, the praiseworthy thing is he still didn’t make this blog moderated. The second thing is this kind of vilification, proves a definitive attention seeking disorder. People, who indulge in personal assault, are not capable of writing a single word to the effect that they read here, not capable of an ounce of this creative ability. And thats exactly why they come here to get a cheap satisfaction out of this classless defamation, which shows the standard and family they belong too. I don’t agree with a lot of things GB writes, but I respect his restraint in replying. And I respect the fact that he still maintains his calm, and he still didn’t react to this vicious personal assault. Honestly, you guys don’t deserve freedom of speech, cause you don’t know the limit.

  45. @Shan
    Forgive me for asking you this question pointblank. Why Ramdev’s beard? Why not PBUH’s beard? Surely when it comes to picking on religions, it is fair that you be an “equal opportunity” iconoclast, right? Or it just that you know that Ramdev’s followers won’t hurt you while PBUH’s followers might give you the “Theo Van Gough” treatment. Speaking of picking on the underdogs….

    Ramdev and his supporters are among those who dare to challenge two behemoths:
    1) the institutionalisation of corruption by the Congress over the past sixty years
    2) the Indian society’s apathy to corruption.

    Are these the reasons why you mock Ramdev so completely out of context?

  46. Bengal Voice,

    Though you addressed this to Shan, I cannot help commenting. I never knew that Baba Ramdev is now given the title of a Prophet. Or that he is now Divine.By your logic, if I make fun of Uday Chopra’s face you can say why dont I make fun of PUBH’s face? Why does everything have to be equated to PBUH? If this was Lord Rama being made fun off, I would at least get the analogy. Finally, I find it quite disappointing that people like you would want us to be as intolerant as many Muslims regrettably are—it’s like “If Muslims get offended at everything, why shouldnt we Hindus?” Well honestly, I would prefer to maintain my culture of plurality, good humor and dissent.

  47. Looking forward to your new book, though I’m not an avid reader/movie-watcher of the horror genre. Most horror movies are comedies, to me – just on a different level. Poe remains my favourite horror-author.

    Hope this will be available on Amazon right from the start. Had to wait for a few months for your first book. Incidentally, I’m one of the 3 reviewers on Amazon πŸ™‚

  48. @GB Just of curiosity-

    How many A4 pages do you write for a book.

    How many drafts and revisions?

    What is an average length of your chapters?

  49. Atm,

    I type in Word so don’t know how many A4 pages they would fill. Its 85K words approx now. On the 250 word/page “hisaab” that would be 340 pages. It still has not gone through its first edit. Drafts and revisions—too many to count πŸ™‚ One major one before sending. Average length of chapters. Dont know off-hand but they are pretty short.

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