"I had to work backward and create the key players"
Disha Bose grew up in India and has resided in various cities including Calcutta, London, and Dublin.
Prior to pursuing a Masters in creative writing at University College Dublin, she worked in the technology industry.
Disha’s writing has been recognised globally.
She was a finalist for the DNA Short Story Prize in 2016 and her work has been featured in publications such as The Incubator Journal, The Galway Review, Cultured Vultures, and Headstuff.
She has also written travel articles for the Economic Times of India and Coldnoon.
Currently residing in Cork, Ireland, Disha’s debut novel is titled Dirty Laundry.
Dirty Laundry is a scandalous story that delves into the secrets, lies, and desires that can break a marriage in suburban life.
The three main characters, Ciara, Lauren, and Mishti are wives, mothers, and friends, who conceal unexpected truths beneath their curated lives.
As their world is threatened, the devastating consequences lead to murder.
The book provides thrilling entertainment and addresses the struggle to improve ourselves through our children and the complexities of falling in love.
Disha Bose spoke with DESIblitz about writing Dirty Laundry, toxic friendships and the power of social media.
What inspired you to write Dirty Laundry?
I wrote Dirty Laundry during the Covid lockdowns, and I think that sense of isolation seeped into the tone of what I was writing.
Being cut off from social interaction led to me spending a lot of my time on social media.
I was following influencers, and I’d joined several online motherhood groups for support because we were also new parents at the time.
There’s a lot of misinformation and toxicity on social media, differences of opinions and warring camps of parenting styles.
This is where I got the inspiration for the characters and their friendships.
How do you typically develop your characters and plot lines?
My process for writing Dirty Laundry was very different from every other writing project I’ve undertaken.
“The idea for Dirty Laundry came to me almost like a vision.”
I was sitting at my desk and the final scene of the novel appeared to me like I was watching a film.
I knew I had an ending, so then I had to work backward and create the key players in the story.
My next step was to create character notes – so I worked on their backstories and life experiences, which helped me with the pieces of the plot.
Has the novel changed drastically since its first draft?
It hasn’t changed much at all.
I wrote this novel very quickly and sent it out to agents almost immediately before I could change my mind.
After it had found its homes at Viking in the UK and Ballantine in the US and I began my work with editors.
We worked on some aspects of the pacing and backstories, but the plot has remained nearly untouched from the way I first conceived it.
What was the most surprising thing you learned from creating Dirty Laundry?
One of the most surprising moments or phases was creating the character Mishti.
The character is the Indian protagonist in Dirty Laundry.
“So it seemed like the most natural part of the process for me.”
When I think about it now, it’s surprising to learn how few South Asian characters feature in commercial fiction, especially the domestic noir genre.
What are your thoughts on the impact of social media?
Ciara, one of the novel’s protagonists, is a social media influencer.
Social media is an undeniably powerful tool for communication, information and support.
I feel that it plays an equally important role in entertaining us and keeping us informed as other forms of media do.
However, because it is so easily accessible to us, the fine line between airbrushed curated content and reality is often blurred.
I think it’s important for us to recognise and make that distinction.
Are there any other books or authors that have influenced you?
I have a varied taste in books, and I read a lot of thrillers, literary novels, short stories, historical and multi-generational sagas.
“I’ve learnt from so many writers.”
But, I have a habit of scrutinising and dissecting the way other people tell their stories and the techniques of craft they use in their writing.
Some of my biggest influences have been Jhumpa Lahiri, Ottessa Moshfegh, Liz Nugent, among others.
What are you working on next?
I’m working on my second novel at the moment, which has a strong Indian female character at the centre, with similar elements of mystery as Dirty Laundry.
I have something quite different brewing for my third novel, which I think my readers will be quite surprised by.
Dirty Laundry by Disha Bose is a gripping novel that explores the dark secrets hidden beneath the surface of suburban life, including the complexities of female friendships and the impact of social media.
The author’s unique writing process, influenced by the Covid lockdowns, resulted in a fast-paced, thrilling plot that has remained largely unchanged from its original conception.
With a strong Indian protagonist and plans for a surprising third novel, readers can look forward to more exciting work from Bose in the future!
Dirty Laundry by Disha Bose is out now.