• Publishing

    The Challenge of Designing the Perfect Book Cover

    In 2019, the old adage ‘You can’t judge a book by its cover’ has never been further from the truth. It is exactly what many people do these days! Especially with the growth of Amazon and online sales. When we view a book on Amazon, we all inevitably scroll down until we see the row of books which were ‘Also Bought’ by customers who read this work. And other than the occasions when you have heard of an author in that list, it is of course the cover which will make a huge impact on your decision on whether to click on it or not. So the cover design has…

  • Random Thoughts

    Fictional Restaurants I Would Like to Eat in

    One of the themes in The Kosher Delhi is food, and the restaurants which Vik works in. All fictional, of course. Which got me thinking: which fictional restaurants would I like to eat in if only I could do so?! Here’s my selection. What others would you add? Milliways in The Restaurant at The End of the Universe: a five star restaurant situated at the end of time and matter? Why would you not want to go?! La Ratatouille: it’s the kitchen I was thinking of a lot when I was writing The Kosher Delhi. JJ’s Diner in Parks and Recreation: breakfast food all day… Jack Rabbit Slims in Pulp…

  • Writing

    How I Write

    I heard an interview with David Baddiel recently, where he talked about “how he wrote”; he said (and I am paraphrasing): I sit down at my computer, look at the internet for a bit, realise I should do some writing, do some writing, reward myself by looking at the internet again… Of course, he did then explain about his actual approach, but his account resonated with me. Clearly, real writers waste lots of time too looking at Twitter and Wikipedia… This is how I wrote The Kosher Delhi: When I wasn’t looking at the internet, I tended to write as follows: On a morning, I would write a few pages…

  • Writing

    How to Listen to Early Readers

    Soon after I started writing The Kosher Delhi, I gave my partner the first few chapters and asked for her feedback. She came back the next day after reading it on the train home and said, ‘Now I don’t want you to get upset, but this might be a difficult conversation…’ She then reeled off a series of points and thoughts about the book which she didn’t think were realistic, didn’t work, or where she got bored. I sat there, listened (very) politely and had to admit to myself that she was right on every account (well, nearly every point). It was sobering but unbelievably helpful. Oh, and she did…

  • Writing

    Late Night Ideas…

    Every author knows that for some reason, inspiration can hit you when lying in bed at night. (For me, often when I’m on holiday). Sometimes when you’re still wide awake, but usually, annoyingly, just before you drop off to sleep. And we have all made the mistake of thinking, Oh that’s okay, I’ll remember that idea in the morning. Then we don’t… So I have learned to do the following: Keep my mobile phone by my bed with a Voice Recording app installed, and, if I’m on my own, I quickly click on it and start recording. Simple and effective. I also keep a notebook and pen by the bed,…

  • For Readers,  Writing

    What Influenced Me When I Wrote The Kosher Delhi: Now on Twitter

    This is a brief blog post to provide context for a series of tweets I am now commencing on Twitter. These are tweets I am posting because I wanted to acknowledge, and provide some background on the various things that influenced me when I wrote my novel, The Kosher Delhi. The influences come from all directions: the books I have read; the music I listen to; locations; people – a significant set of influences; the food (restaurants, dishes, influencers); films; and a ‘miscellaneous’ category with a few esoteric influences… Most of these things influenced me positively; a few I’m sad I was influenced by, but they did, and in some…

  • Writing

    Using MindMapping for Writing Inspiration

    I am a huge fan of using MindMapping techniques when writing, to help with inspiration for plots, characters and ideas. Drawing mind maps helps me far more than simply writing lists on paper or on a computer screen. If  you haven’t heard of Mind Maps, then the concept was created by Tony Buzan four or five decades ago, as “a creative and logical means of note-taking and note-making that literally ‘maps out’ your ideas” [mindmapping.com], and “it is often created around a single concept, drawn as an image in the centre of a blank page, to which associated representations of ideas such as images, words and parts of words are…

  • Writing

    Am I Writing For The Choir or For The Nonbelievers?

    The themes in my novel, The Kosher Delhi include the issues of racism and homophobia, the need to stand up to bigotry. And so I wrote my book with scenes and storylines which try to show how wrong they are. I won’t write any spoilers here by saying exactly what happens, whether or not the wrongdoer(s) get their comeuppance and so on, but either way, I am trying to make the reader agree/understand that people shouldn’t be racist or homophobic. But herein lies my problem: are most of my readers already going to believe that anyway? In which case, why do I bother? Am I writing for the choir or…

  • Publishing,  Writing

    You don’t have to be a journalist or celebrity to get a book published

    When I see that an author is about to have their book published, I sometimes look at their background, and very often, I find that they are a journalist, or a minor/major celebrity, maybe they have worked in publishing for a while, or they have a huge social media following on Twit-insta-book. I don’t have any such background. And I suspect a lot of would-be authors are like me: keen writers but nothing more. If you fit into this latter category, then I am proof you can still get your novel published. In my professional life, I have been an IT consultant for many years, working solely with charities and…

  • Writing

    The Journey of My Novel

    One of the most common questions I am asked is, How long did it take you to write your book? The simple answer is I started The Kosher Delhi around July 2016 and we are still doing final edits on it now, in April 2019. But the heart of it I wrote in about a year. I then submitted the novel to multiple agents before I was accepted by my publisher. Thereafter, I have been doing on-going changes and making minor tweaks as I have received more and more feedback from early readers (friends and family) and my publisher/editor, and as I learn and understand what is needed and what…