Wednesday, September 21, 2016

NBtM: Ten Days in October by Ashish Malpani

Ten Days in October
by Ashish Malpani


GENRE: Fiction: Crime



'5 a.m. phone call broke Police Inspector Shivaji Chavan’s sleep informing him that local jeweler Anil Kokate, was found hanging from a tree on the banks of Pravara River in a small town of rural India. Although the signs point to an open and shut case of suicide, Chavan suspects foul play. While trying to find the missing pieces of the story he finds more hidden skeletons and comes across astonishing & cruel past of the victim. What begins as a routine investigation quickly turns darker, ruthless and pressing. Can Chavan handle the pressure of his superiors, local media and frightened masses? Can he navigate the system to reach the killer? Can he solve the moral dilemma when he comes face to face with the killer?

Excerpt 3

‘Haramkhor! What a way to ruin a beautiful morning!’ Inspector Shivaji Chavan thought as he rode his bullet to the river bank of a rural town in India, where local jeweler Anil Kokate was found hanging from a tree.  Chavan’s sleep was disturbed by the phone call informing him about the suicide but his initial investigation makes him suspect foul play.  While trying to find the missing pieces of the story he finds more hidden skeletons. The routine investigation turns darker, more deadly and pressing. Can Chavan handle the pressure of his superiors, bribes and local media and navigate the system? Can he solve the moral dilemma when he comes face to face with the killer?


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Ashish Malpani is an Indian-American freelancer and blogger. Born in Sangamner, a small town in rural India, he spent much of his adult life in Austin, Texas. A technology product marketer by trade, Ashish earned his MSE from Purdue University and MBA from the University of Texas.
 Ashish fell in love with reading and traveling at a young age. As a kid he had two dreams in life: to write a novel and to travel around the world. Thirty eight countries and counting, Ashish has explored various cultures and captured the world through the lens of his camera with his wife Samta and son Ayan.

Author website:

Buying Links:
Paperback (US Edition $7.99):
Paperback (UK Edition £5.49):
Paperback (Germany, France, Spain & Italy Edition €7.79- €8.02):
E-Book (Kindle Edition WW $5.99):
Smashwords (iBook/ Nook etc. Edition):
Interview with Ashish Malpani

As a kid did you write or make up stories?
>>As a kid I was pretty introvert and used to observe more than share. My mom for one wasn’t really happy about it. But that did result in making up stories. My first stories were based on super humans and had a lead character who could jump over buildings but could not get away from the crowd. I do think that contradiction manifests in the characters of ‘Ten Days in October’.

Where does most of your Character inspiration come from?
>> I strongly believe that every person you meet, every incident that happens around you leaves an impression on your mind. I often wonder that the people involved in the incidents were to speak to me, what will they say? What will be their stories? ‘Ten Days in October’ is inspired by a real life event that happened in the rural Indian town that I grew up in. My characters are inspired by people I thought will be affected by that incident.

Do some qualities of your characters come from real people?
>> My characters are indeed inspired by real people. Sometimes I do tend to divert from the initial character sketch to give more real life feel. My protagonist in ‘Ten Days in October’ is someone you will love and hate both. You will like him because he is a good guy at heart and wants to do the right thing. However, he does show signs of patriarchal thinking and has developed philosophy that justifies doing the wrong things too. Other characters too are based on people I have known or met in my travels.

What was the inspiration for your book?
>> As a kid, I always liked reading and making stories. I always dreamt about writing but somehow it never became a reality before. I strongly believe that every person you meet, every incident that happens around you leaves an impression on your mind. I often wonder that the people involved in the incidents were to speak to me, what will they say? What will be their stories? Some of the incidents we witness have a broader social impact and do touch our nerves. The people who are involved in such incidents definitely have gone through a lot and have a lot to share. Reporting of these incidents in popular media is purely based on coverage, reader appeal and sensationalism. We often read the report in the media, feel bad about it for few minutes and then move on with our lives. I fear that over the years, we have taken this as a new normal and let it desensitize us. As a writer, somewhere I feel that it is my responsibility to connect with readers and invoke thoughtful dialogue about such issues.

What is your favorite spot to write?
>> As the night falls, the study in our house becomes the perfect setup for my fingers to start beating the keyboard along with some music streaming through the earphones and a warm cup of coffee.

What advice would you give budding writers?
>> Since writing and publishing was really new for me, I didn’t discuss it with lot of people beforehand. I disclosed it after I had submitted the novel for self-publishing. So I will summarize my learning from the process here.
  • Self-publishing is easy: Both eBook and print versions are easy to do. Making changes after publication is easy as well. For all the options that I had discussed before, the quality is relatively better than small publication houses.
  • Buyers are wary of self-published books: In my experience, the buyers, book reviewers stay away from self-published books. First, because it is easy, everyone is doing it and not all books are great. Second, the books don’t look professional when compared with regular books. It is estimated that less than 1% of the self-published books really cut it.
  • Set the expectations right: It is estimated that average print self-published book sells about 100-150 copies; and mostly because of friends and family. So don’t expect miracles to happen overnight. It does need lot of marketing and promotional support to get any good sales numbers. Not everyone who is your ‘friend’ on Facebook is going to buy the book.
  • Good book cover and back cover blurb is a must: But it doesn’t guarantee that the book will fly off the shelf. But mediocre book cover and poorly written blurb will definitely turn the readers away. The same applies to the content. It is critical to get the content professional edited.
  • Do it because you want to: Write because you want to share something with the world, and not to make money from day one. Enjoy the process and the short limelight. Needless to say, don’t quit your day job just yet.



Ashish Malpani will be awarding $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.


  1. If you could spend a sunny day anywhere how would your perfect day look like?

    1. A perfect day for me is no-brainer really. The day will start with hot air balloon ride over Luxor. Watching tens of different colored balloons inflate at the crack of dawn with hot air from fire and flying over the valley of kings watching the rising sun will definitely be a great start to the day.Cappuccino and biscotti around Grand Canal or St. Marks square in Venice will wake me up from dead for sure. Falafels, Pita and Hummus in an ancient cafe in Old Jerusalem will quash the hungry bear inside me. A hike to Huayna Picchu or Llanganuco in Peru may be the only recourse to digest the added calories. Tapas and Sangria in Granada with a view of Alhambra and Sierra Nevada will be a perfect lunch to end the morning. And all this would be wasted if I didn't take a power nap.

      A snorkel in Galapagos Island with white tip sharks will be definitely the first thing on the agenda for the afternoon. May be zip line through cloud forest of Costa Rica or sky dive over Interlaken will be better for the sunny day. A red wine in the Eiffel Tower restaurant will set the tone for the rest of the evening. I will definitely head to Uluwatu Temple in Bali to watch the sun set over Indian Ocean to the the sounds of Kecak dance. The perfect day will end with Mughlai dinner in Delhi while listening to Gazals and sipping single malt or watching belly dance and swirling Darwish and eating Turkish kabobs in Istanbul.

      A shot of espresso back in the sun-room of my house watching the illuminated fountain the backyard lake will help me cherish the day before heading to bed.

    2. sounds like an awesome day

  2. Replies
    1. Here is another one from the book.

      Inspector Shivaji Chavan then looked at Amol, the victim’s son, and said, “As soon as the doctor completes the examination, I will hand the body over to you. Please wait for few minutes more.” Then he opened the main door. The smell of rotted flesh mixed with Formaldehyde forced him to hold his breath. Gayakwad was standing inside holding a handkerchief on his nose. The postmortem room was well lit with a white tiled platform in the middle of the room for the examination. Dr. Sheikh was done with the autopsy. He had a couple of assistants with him. Seeing Chavan, Dr.Sheikh stopped what he was doing. He took off his gloves and washed his hands in the nearby sink. He grabbed his notepad and walked over to Chavan.
      “I am almost done with the examination; I can quickly review the results with you and release the body to your custody.”
      “Sure, go ahead,” said Chavan.
      “Stitch it up,” Dr. Sheikh instructed the assistants and quickly flipped through his notes. “Sahib, in my opinion, the cause of death is asphyxia due to hanging. There is about four cm wide ligature marks running from the midline around the thyroid cartilage, symmetrically upward on both sides of the neck. The mark matches with the rope that was brought in with the body. I also think that it was a simple knot and running noose. The hyoid bone is fractured as well, which is not a surprise given the age of the victim? Microscopic examination of the thyroid gland and salivary gland shows focal interstitial hemorrhage which is consistent with antemortem nature of hanging. I won’t rule out suicide altogether, but I have a couple of other interesting things to report. There is light ligature mark around the wrists that would suggest that the wrists were tied together at some point. Also, all five fingers of the right hand are swollen, and the X-ray revealed that the fingers were broken. And my guess is that this injury was antemortem too. Also, it appears that there was some cloth stuffed in his mouth. I found some traces of fabric in his tract. Finally, looks like he had broken ribs a while back. ”
      “How is that possible? How could someone break their fingers and then commit suicide?”
      “That is something I can’t explain either,” Dr. Sheikh replied. “On the face of it, it does look like that force was applied to break the bones, so I don’t think Kokate did it himself. Maybe he got into a fight, and then something else triggered the suicide.”
      “That is one possible explanation. Can you say for sure that this is a suicide and not homicide?”
      “If you discount the broken bones, it does looks like a suicide case.”

    2. I enjoyed this excerpt as well.

  3. Great interview, I enjoyed reading it. Thanks for sharing :)

  4. Who are some of your favorite authors; what strikes you about their work?

    1. I have enjoyed reading lot of different authors and had different favorites in different times. Growing up Arthur Connon Doyle was the most revered one. I love reading fiction and the list of favorite authors has grown over time. For me the most important thing is that the reader is engaged in first few pages.

  5. Best of luck to you and your book!!

  6. How did you come up with the name for the book?

  7. Thanks for being a part of my favorite form of entertainment

  8. Best of luck to you and your book!!

  9. Still hosting and posting, best of luck.