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Want to be my Daishik? #IWSG

By 07/08/2019August 29th, 2019thoughts, YBYS

In Hindi, the word Daishik means a guide, a teacher, someone who shows you direction and cheers you on. And now, more than at any other time, I find myself in need of one.

Well, not just one. Many. As many as would be willing to take on the job of hauling me out of the hole I’m thinking of crawling in.

You see, I have news (some would even say exciting news). I’ve had it for a while, and normally I’d share it with you, but for the fact that I’m the opposite of excited. I’m terrified.

My debut literary crime novel is coming out with Simon & Schuster India this September, and here’s the teaser trailer they have created for it:

Now comes the tough part. I’m expected to talk about it, and I’m no good at that all. At least, not by myself.

Which is where you come in.

If you’d be willing to help a girl out, be her Daishik, her teacher, guide and cheerleader, let me know.

Some of you have already read advance copies, and I’m very grateful.

Tell Me Here if you want to be my Daishik, my guru and cheerleader all wrapped in one, and I’ll get in touch with you. It will take less than 2 minutes, and you will earn my undying gratitude!

You could help retweet or just make a post on other social media, or host me on your blog, give me advice, or read an advance copy of my book.

Or simply tell me I’ll live. I need to hear that. A lot. Ask my IRL friends and family–they’re tired of telling me, and could use your help.

This form is the easiest way for me to reach you, and borrow your time as frugally and efficiently as possible.

Are you a reader or a writer, or both? If you’re a writer, and have had books published, what’s your advice for me? Would any of you like to help me and be my Daishik? Do you read or write crime novels?


Social media by Chrys FeyThis post was written for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. The co-hosts for the June 5 posting of the IWSG are Renee Scattergood, Sadira Stone, Jacqui Murray, Tamara Narayan, and LG Keltner

Go to the site to see the other participants. In this group we writers share tips, self-doubt, insecurities, and of course, discuss the act of writing. If youโ€™re a writer and a blogger, go join rightaway!


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Damyanti Biswas

Damyanti Biswas is the author of You Beneath Your Skin and numerous short stories that have been published in magazines and anthologies in the US, the UK, and Asia. She has been shortlisted for Best Small Fictions and Bath Novel Awards and is co-editor of the Forge Literary Magazine. Her forthcoming literary crime thriller, The Blue Bar is represented by Lucienne Diver from The Knight Agency, and will be published by Thomas & Mercer on January 1, 2023.

I appreciate comments, and I always visit back. If you're having trouble commenting, let me know via the contact form, or tweet me up @damyantig !

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67 Comments

  • aj vosse says:

    Form completed!!
    Looking forward to your exciting ride!! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • oldpoet56 says:

    It is very obvious that you are a very intelligent young lady, your work is very good, you are a very good writer, try to enjoy the moment via having faith in yourself. You are good, you are honest, this will show when you start to speak of your work. Best wishes to you. I am going to reblog this article for you, hopefully some folks who are smarter than I am will be able to give you some encouragement. You are very good, enjoy your moment, you have the knowledge.

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      Thanks so much for the kind words. I really need them right now.

  • rolandclarke says:

    I’ve filled in the form but I also want to say congratulations. I’m a crime novel reader (and slow reviewer), plus an aspiring crime writer. When you ask for someone to be your Daishik, teacher, guide and cheerleader, I’m ready to cheer you on but unable to effectively even guide myself. (I’m even pondering submitting to Pitch Wars – well, to you as a mentor. Synchronicity or weirdness?)

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      Thanks so much for being my Daishik, Ronald. I really need all the help and cheering I can get.

      I’ve received so much knowledge from so many sources, and as a mentor all I would do is pass it on. Please apply to the Pitchwars mentor who would best suit you, there will be several accepting your genre–the wishlists are not out yet :). But let me tell you that as a mentor, my role would be that of a friend who asks questions and help the mentee see themselves as a writer, and their work as a novel.

      I’m happy to help out in an unofficial capacity once the current madness in my life dies down.

      • rolandclarke says:

        Happy to do what I can. There are various reasons for approaching you as a mentor, not least that we have been blog-friends for some years. Also, my MC’s partner/colleague wife is from a South Indian background albeit brought up in South Wales. And it’s a mystery – police procedural.

  • jmh says:

    Wow, this is so exciting! CONGRATULATIONS! But I understand your fear.

    I’d love to be your Daishik, as much as I can. I know how important that support is from other writers.

    I’m struggling to keep my head above water, which is why I still haven’t written my guest post for YOUR blog! But opening my blog to you is easy enough for me to do–all I ask is that it fits with my theme(s). Perhaps you could write about a scary true story or an unsolved mystery that inspired you, (and then talk about the release, of course). Or, if there’s a haunted/mysterious place in your neck of the woods, I’d love that too.

    I can also RT/do the social media thang, but that would come with the blog anyway.

    And I can definitely tell you that you will live! Not only that, you’ll thrive. It’s overwhelming and crazy, but it’s a GOOD kind of overwhelming and crazy. Hang in there.

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      Thank you so much for being my Daishik! Iโ€™ll pop by your inbox soon.

      The book will initially be available only in India in September, so Iโ€™d like to take you up on your offer in October/ November if thatโ€™s ok?

      Right now, the way I feel, Iโ€™d love to be in January already lol

  • DJ Cockburn says:

    Congratulations on the publication! I’m happy to do anything I can to help. You’ve seen my blog and how little traffic it gets, though I’m happy to host you there if you think it would help. Otherwise, I can offer reviews or anything else you can suggest that might help. Please do let me know.

  • Jemima Pett says:

    Well done, you! I’d love to read, review and host your book, even if I don’t have a huge following (and a lot of them follow you anyway!) As for the fear… well, fear of the unknown is very sensible. You know the rest from other people, but experiencing it yourself… that’s the scary bit. Try to enjoy the novelty before it wears off!
    I’m behind you all the way.

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      Thanks so much, Jemima, and I’ll definitely take you up on your generous offer. Would be popping into your inbox soon!

  • JT Twissel says:

    I’ll be honest. I have been through the publishing business six times. The first time I nearly had a nervous breakdown. I bought into all the gotta get thirty reviews, gotta build a social network, gotta do a reading , gotta do … gotta do. So I have a lot of sympathy for what you’re about to go through. Don’t push yourself beyond what you know you can take.

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      Thanks so much for the sane advice. I’m doing what I can, and surrendering what I cannot. After a while, the book will take on a life of its own. Or not.

  • Shalzmojo says:

    Hey there brave woman- this is terrific news and I am in. I would love to read this and host you on my blog and anything else you need to promote this – give me a holler!!

    I am very very happy and proud of you – many congratulations and wishing the book and you a massive success.

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      Thanks so much for all the support Shalini, and really look forward to seeing you at the launch.

  • Obsessivemom says:

    Congratulations once again Damayanti. Your book is in good hands. You’ll be fine. Glad to offer any help I can. Wishing you the best of luck.

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      Thanks, Tulika, for your kind wishes,and your support so far!

      I’ve written you an email, could you please check and let me know?

  • Birgit says:

    Fear….it can cripple a person and I lived in fear for my first 18 years because of school and the bullying I received. One canโ€™t get rid of fear but one can overcome it. My mom told me to hold my head up high and donโ€™t show fear even if your knees are quaking. I found that gave me the strength even though I didnโ€™t think I had it. You have written a book..many people think of it and donโ€™t do it (me for one) so you have overcome your fear. You have done something extraordinary and should be proud of it.

  • John Hric says:

    Damyanti – I would use the pool analogy and say just dive in the water. Except you have already done that. You are at the other end of the pool and you are getting out. Relax you’ve got this. Now all you have to do is answer the questions of how wet was the water. Just sit back and enjoy it. Congrats.

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      Thanks, John. That analogy is perfect! Only things is that these days it feels like I’ve swum an ocean only to step into another. Like maybe I just stopped at an island for a while :). Thanks as always, for your support.

  • marianallen says:

    Oh, you KNOW I’m your cheerleader! ๐Ÿ™‚ Guru, maybe not so much. YOU are MY guru and inspiration!

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      You ARE my GURU, as well. Thanks so much for all your support over almost a decade. What has it been, 8 years?

  • literarylad says:

    Congratulations! Is it live events you’re worried about? Is it because you’re not used to public speaking? Or just that you don’t know what to say about your book? Author events vary in format. I’ve seen authors who are given an introduction and then left to present an hour long show, complete with jokes, anecdotes and audience participation. I like to think I could do this eventually, but it scares the hell out of me.

    A less scary format is Q & A – the author on the podium but being guided by an experienced interviewer and presenter. I think I could cope with this. It’s difficult talking about a book you finished writing some time ago (unless you have a better memory than me!) I would say you need to dip into the book to remind yourself, and then just spend time thinking about the story, the characters – asking yourself the kind of questions an audience of readers might ask. And then, when those questions are asked for real, if you have faith in your book and its characters (which I’m sure you do) the only difficulty you’ll have is keeping your answers short enough!

    Good luck!

  • Sha'Tara says:

    I certainly wish you well with your debut novel. If I had any knowledge of publishing anything I’d be willing to offer that but it’s not my world. I write, that’s it. And I’m sure, since your novel has been accepted by a major publisher, you don’t need any writing advice, nor are you asking for any. So, again, all the best, eh?

  • Joy Pixley says:

    How exciting! I’m so happy for you! I don’t read crime novels, too wussy for it (even the short trailer video gave me the shivers) so I’m not much help there, but I’m happy to cheerlead — You go, girlfriend! This is going to be great! I’m sure you are going to handle everything like the wise person you are, and everything is going to turn out amazing! WOO-HOO for YOU!

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      Joy, I need a lot of reassurances, so thanks for this. I’m afraid my book is very crime-y–I always long to write light-hearted stuff but the stories that choose me do not agree.

      Thanks so much for your kind words, and for your continued support of my blog!

      • Joy Pixley says:

        Happy to do so! The odd thing is that although I get creeped out by crime and gore and such (don’t even start me on horror), my own writing keeps veering toward heavy & dark even though I want to write light-hearted stuff too. But it’s emotional darkness rather than physical attacks.

        • Damyanti Biswas says:

          Absolutely the same. I can’t watch horror movies or read horror books, but I write pretty dark stuff. This one is both emotionally and physically heavy and dark, though I like to think it has redemptive qualities and patches of light. Only time, and readers, will tell. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Damyanti congratulations on having your book accepted for publication. I enjoy blogging but do not think of myself as an author not having had any major work published. I will always be there as a cheer leader for you as I really admire your work and spirit. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      Thanks for all your support Ian. You’re an author–I love your stories, your portrayal of India is so authentic. Thanks for being my cheerleader, and for all the help recently. Totally appreciate it.

  • Jemi Fraser says:

    Done ๐Ÿ™‚
    So excited for you!!

  • I have a whole book full of tips! LOL Just understand your life will change. Be ready for it.

  • Count me in, Damyanti! I’m clicking through.

  • bikerchick57 says:

    Damyanti, I can be your daishik in cheering you on (I have pompoms will shake hard), sharing your good news on social media and giving you a pep talk.

    Pep Talk: Go, Damyanti go! *pompom shake*. Your crime novel is being published. Yay! You are upright and breathing. Yay! You get to push out your chest and be proud of your accomplishment in a verbal way to others. Yay! You may be thinking “no yay” on the verbal part, but I think that’s hard for many people. I am a fan of another author (Andra Watkins) who posted about how difficult it was for her to first start speaking about herself and her writing at public venues, but she did it. You will too…and survive. And every time you do it, you’ll get better. You know yourself and your book better than anyone else. Stand tall and speak confidently because I know you can! *Rah! Rah!*

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      Thanks, Mary. Just what I needed to hear. As you can see, I’m in need of a lot of pep talks, and this one hit the spot. Especially the example of Andra Watkins!

      I shall be emailing you.

      I hope to make it very easy for anyone to help me, by sending out links to tweets or FB posts on the crucial release days, so they can be shared quite easily, without spamming you.

      Hope your book is coming along, because I need to bring the pom poms to you next !!

      • bikerchick57 says:

        Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to work on my book since vacation week. My real job is keeping me busy and I have had other commitments and events that keep me running on the weekends. However, I am meeting up with two cousins this month, the children of mom’s sister – the sister than she mistook me for – so I hope to get some stories from this.

        I’ll look for your email. ๐Ÿ™‚

        • Damyanti Biswas says:

          Time to wear my cheerleader hat–you got this, you will write this book, finish it, have it published!! Can’t think of a better tribute to your mom. I’m glad the meeting with the cousins is happening, and that it might trigger some writing.

          I’ll pop into your inbox soon!

  • Many thumbs up to you on your new novel! Will it be available in English and the U.S.? I’m excited for you..sending good vibes your way..

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      Thanks so much! It is in English, and should be available in the US later in the year. It comes out in India on the 17th September, and should be available outside India soon after in e-book form.

      I need all the good vibes :).

  • hilarymb says:

    Hi Damyanti – that’s wonderful news … though can understand your fear … but as you work forward that fear will turn to excitement. You’ve got 4 great helpers below … I can offer support – and read throughs … but nothing else as I don’t do social media – probably should … one day! Let me know … take care, relax, trust, be ready and relax, did I say ‘relax’ … all the very best – cheers Hilary

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      Thanks, Hilary! Yes, I’m blessed to have the ones below who have been friends for years! The online world has been very kind to me, as have you. Your blessings would go a long way–yep I do need to relax, don’t I?

  • Congrats! I would be nervous as well, but do try to enjoy the process as much as you can. Getting to this point with a major publisher is quite an accomplishment.

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      Thanks, Tamara. Those are very wise words. I need to stay calm and present, but I’m a little unnerved, really.

  • When you say “talk about it”, do you mean actual talking in front of people, or virtual “talking” via the internet?

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      Both, actually. I’m so used to talking about others, not quite sure how to do it for my own book.

  • Ronel Janse van Vuuren says:

    Congrats! It’s normal to feel scared. I’d love a guest post (something about the book and how you came to write it) with the blurb, cover and links (as well as your bio, photo and social links) for one of my Bookish Monday posts. You have my email ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      So kind of you to offer! I’ll email you. Thanks, Ronel, I really appreciate it.

  • Video is short and to the point – effective!
    Happy to give you any marketing tips I know, plus I can tweet and feature you on my blog.

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      My publishers have been very good with the trailer, so thankful.

      Thanks, Alex–I do need your marketing tips–will write to you. I’m already prepping a post, as discussed earlier ๐Ÿ™‚

  • My review queue is quite full, but I’d love to participate in a cover reveal blog post with the book’s blurb etc. (and maybe an introduction by you?)
    Let me know if this is something you’d be interested in.
    Congratulations! You should be very proud of getting published with a renown publisher like Simon & Schuster.

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      That would be wonderful, thanks! Let me email you? Is the email you’ve used for this comment the easiest way to reach you?

  • Dan Antion says:

    I will let you know what I can do to help

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