Posted in First Novel

Changing the name of my book

The name before the change

When I began writing my draft novel in 2015, a book title hadn’t featured into my thoughts. As the story developed I went about putting a title to it. Early 2016 I devised the following name:

“An Austin, Two Singhs and The Road”

The logic behind the original name derived from: (1) The vehicle being driven was an Austin Cambridge; (2) Two of characters of my story are Sikhs. By default all male Sikhs have Singh as their middle name which means lion; (3) The road that was travelled.
However staring at this book title for the last two years and having a much broader understanding of what I had written, it wasn’t befitting. The title didn’t grab me, it didn’t jump up at me, didn’t tell me much about the book. So after visiting a few book shops for inspiration and having finishing my final edit, I reset title expectations.
I listed 22 possible combinations based on the key elements of my book, jumbled them together, pulled them apart and then re-arranged them.

I’m settled on the new book name

So here it is, I opted for something less complex and a does what it says on the tin approach. Everyone from novice writers to experienced publishers will have their own connotation on book names. But when I look at this, I feel confident it will work.

Posted in First Novel

Second attempt at blurb for my first novel

A good place to start to get some background on this post.


What do you do if you’ve never driven out of your home town? To begin with you definitely don’t drive 8000 miles across nine countries.

Join the Chhatwal brothers as they venture on this road trip from England to India. With 3 strangers for company, can they survive the challenges of this journey?


Posted in First Novel

Beta Readers please step forward

Dear Reader,

                         I am on the lookout for some beta readers for my first novel which I am planning on releasing this October.  The book has been just over 4 years in the making and after several iterations I am keen to get my draft circulated. While anyone’s first book is very dear to them, this is particularly special.  It’s a tribute not just to the two main characters but to their boldness and sense of adventure. Should you have the time I would love to hear from you.

Navigate here and let me know.

Yours Faithfully, Danny.




Posted in First Novel

My first blurb for my first novel

One of my January/February priorities was to write a blurb for my first novel and so I have been beavering away.  I’d love to hear your feedback on it, first iteration but keen to know if it would entice you.

“Before starting the car, there was a momentary, but silent exchange between Inder and Gurcharan.

They were both thinking the same thing. Had they suddenly underestimated this road trip, the enormity of what they were about to embark on?

With a small blessing ushered under their breath, Inder started the car and they headed towards Dover, it was Wednesday 4th of October 1967”.

The Chhatwal brothers left their homeland of India and came to England in search of work.  But the reality of adjusting to a whole new culture soon kicked in.  Their families back home longed to see them again but the brothers couldn’t afford the plane ticket home.  Then one day they spot an advert in the local newspaper, asking for two people to drive a family from London to India.

Come and be one of the passengers as Inder and Gurcharan drive across 9 countries with 3 strangers.

As they venture on this crazy road trip, it presents a time for reflection for all those wedged together in the Morris Austin Cambridge Estate car.  For the Chhatwal brothers, time to recall the journey which brought them to England in the first place. For the family of strangers, a realisation as to the reason why they are heading back now!

Having never driven out of London before, can the brothers survive the challenges of the road? Did their decision to leave their beloved homeland turn out to be the right one?

Book categories: Non-fiction; Travel; Immigration; Culture

Posted in Writing

Publishing To Do list ahead of Launch Day

Finding the door
Sketchy self portrait

The feeling when you’ve finally polished off that final iteration of your first draft novel, and as far as you can take it.  You’ve set yourself a publish deadline and while the search for #betareaders begins, you discover the long list of things to accomplish in the run up. Drawing is not one of them by the way.


I started writing my first novel in the winter of 2015 and so it’s taken a couple years to reach this point.  The book is a true account of two brothers, relation of mine, who drove from London to India with three strangers in 1967. Before this they had never even driven out of London.  It’s two journey’s in effect, the other charting their move from India to England in search of work.

Please visit the page at the top of my blog referenced “My Book: An Austin, Two Singhs and The Road” and the associated pages under that link to get a flavour of humble beginnings. 

  • My priority list for January and February

Revise book name

(Optional) This is a big one for me.  When I started writing my draft novel I opted for the name An Austin, Two Singhs and The Road.  Last year I was questioning the name and now that I have finished this draft, I will almost opt for a name change.

Dedicated author/writer website

My personal blog has been active for around 10 years now, it’s been steady in terms of followings, but it’s a solid base of followers – and thank you for that.  My personal blog is an ideal starting point for drumming up early interest for my novel.  However going forward I will need to create separate presence for the book (major surgery alert).  I am hoping all my followers here will cross the bridge and join the party, but it will also mean linking with new followers.  Then there is the question of having a website that either follows the book name, or something more generic.  For me it’s going to be the latter as I do have some new book ideas.  So if I survive my first attempt at releasing a book, I will be well on my way to new horizons!

Write a blurb

I will be jotting down some key points/words based on the entirety of what I have written.  But also looking at all the books I have ‘read to date/looking to read’ and see how enticing the blurb is. Based on this, confident I can magic up the right blurb to entice our lovely readers.  No doubt it will need to be tested to get a view!

Book cover design

From the moment I put pen to paper there was a book cover design in my head! It hasn’t made it to paper yet so this exercise will be challenging and enjoyable at the same time.  Is the design going to be animated or real life? What will the colour scheme look like?  Exciting times!!

“….and then the rest of the list of things to tackle that I am so new to!”

  • Professional proof reading
  • Indexing
  • Proofing and manufacturing
  • Marketing
  • Order fulfillment and printing
  • Sales
  • Financial outlay and budget management

I am sure there are many more items that I have missed here, so feel free to let me know what else I need to consider!