The Road to Madhapur
I recorded this reading from The Road to Madhapur for the New Zealand Society of Authors series NZ Writers Read. This programme began during the pandemic and allows New Zealand authors to showcase their work.
This video introduces us to Theo, an idealistic Kiwi doctor who wants to change the world. Along the way, I reveal some of the inspiration behind the story with some breathtaking images of family medicine and village life in India and Uganda.
The Road to Madhapur features in IndieReader’s prestigious best-reviewed books in March 2023.
Here’s what they said:
‘THE ROAD TO MADHAPUR by David Whittet is a wistful, beautiful if heartbreaking coming-of-age story where the character’s lives are beset by strife and hardship but through their tribulations come to realize who they truly are and find their life’s purpose through the service of those in need.’
View IndieReader’s full list of the best reviewed books in March here.
This is what Indie Reader had to say about The Road to Madhapur:
‘THE ROAD TO MADHAPUR by David Whittet features a captivating, well-paced narrative following two main characters: Theo Malone, a doctor from New Zealand with a broken spirit sent to India on volunteer work, and Elisha, an Australian teenager who lost her mother in a tragic incident while on a family trip to India. The cultural setting of Madhapur, beautifully evoked with breathtaking imagery and remarkable attention to detail, serves as the perfect backdrop where Theo and Elisha’s paths collide and they find love, meaning and purpose.’
IndieReader Discovery Awards: The Road to Madhapur
I chat to Stephen Dallow and Emma Bishop about The Road to Madhapur on the KickArts radio show on Planet FM 104.6.
Listen to the interview here:
The Road to Madhapur remains high profile in bookshops, this week strategically positioned between James Paterson and J.D.Robb in Paper Plus at Oamaru. Fantastic to be in such distinguished company!
We had a highly successful book launch for The Road to Madhapur at the Business Hive in Oamaru on Tuesday.
I am delighted to see my book The Road to Madhapur sandwiched between John Grisham and James Patterson at Paper Plus in Oamaru!
With the official book launch just ten days away, media interest in The Road to Madhapur has taken off. Following the Radio New Zealand broadcast, I gave a far-reaching Q&A interview with NZ Booklovers:
David Whittet talks about The Road to Madhapur.
NZ Booklovers have also reviewed The Road to Madhapur:
The Road to Madhapur by David Whittet
Flaxroots have posted an in-depth review:
Author’s experience makes a believable novel
And if you haven't already, check out my article on achieving our life goals as we grow older.
It’s Never too late to follow your dreams - David Whittet - Grownups
Check out this dramatic book trailer and experience The Road to Madhapur in sixty glorious seconds!
Join us for The Road to Madhapur book launch at The Business Hive in Oamaru on Tuesday 29 November at 7pm. I will be signing books and reading from The Road to Madhapur.
All welcome. Register you interest here.
I talked about The Road to Madhapur and my author journey on Radio New Zealand’s Standing Room Only show this afternoon.
Listen to the interview here:
Listen to the interview here:
Grown Ups, the social magazine that connects New Zealand’s 50+ community are giving away two signed copies of The Road to Madhapur. If you’re fifty or over, sign up here! The Road to Madhapur Giveaway
While visiting the Grown Ups site, check out my article on following your dreams. It’s Never to Late to Follow your Dreams
Over the past month, I have worked with the extraordinarily talented Holly Dunn on the cover design for The Road to Madhapur. The process has proved a fantastic journey of discovery. From Holly's initial concept art to the finished product, each stage brought fresh vitality and a true reflection of the spirit of my story.
You're terrific, Holly! I am proud to have your work on my cover.
My brilliant manuscript assessor, Caroline Baron, invariably urges me to 'linger' and 'go deeper' at critical points in the story. I have just finished a complete rewrite of The Road to Madhapur following Caroline's assessment. Linger definitely does mean longer. Before Caroline's review, the manuscript stood at 110,000 words. Now it's up to 140,000 words!
Caroline forever challenges me, and her enthusiasm for my work and inspiration has made me a better writer. Going deeper has undoubtedly made The Road to Madhapur more compelling. I just have to figure out how to get the word count down!
Writing about the real-life events that took place during my time working in India brings back vivid memories. I will never forget the smiles on the children’s faces. They had nothing but their cheerfulness and unrestrained optimism convinced me of the indomitability of the human spirit.
A leper colony plays a pivotal role in The Road to Madhapur. A place of overwhelming sorrow, despair and heartbreak. Yet beyond the suffering, I found hope and joy. Fulfilment and peace. That leprosy mission was among the happiest places I have seen in my life. I hope I can get that exhilaration across in my writing.
Sincere thanks to everyone who responded to my previous post with such imaginative suggestions for the title of my new novel.
After much soul-searching, I have finally chosen a name for the project that reflects the thrust of the story. In the early chapters we meet a disaffected New Zealand doctor and an Australian missionary's daughter, both headed for the remote township of Madhapur in the Odisha state of India. Despite wholly different backgrounds and expectations, we sense from the outset that their worlds will collide. Caught up in the turbulent world of Indian politics and a community in crisis, tragedy propels their lives on an inescapable trajectory.
The real-life incidents depicted in The Road to Madhapur had a profound effect on me. With the first draft of the book now in the hands of my early reviewers, I am delighted that they are finding these life-changing events equally touching.
For the second time in my life, I have been pipped at the post. I recently started work on a new novel about a disillusioned young doctor who goes to work in India. After a Bollywood style romance with a missionary’s daughter ends in tragedy, he dedicates himself to building a well for the impoverished community. While a work of fiction and not autobiographical, the novel draws on my own experiences working in India and the story incorporates many real-life events.
I thought I had struck gold when I came up with the title The Good Karma Well for my book. Until I turned on the television and saw a trailer for a programme called The Good Karma Hospital.
Beaten to it again! Back in the 1980’s, I wrote a screenplay about two brothers, one of whom was autistic. This was to be my magnum opus as a filmmaker. Taking a break from preproduction, a friend urged me to see Rain Man in the cinema. The similarities with my story were heartbreaking. Nobody would believe that developed my script before seeing Rain Man. I put the project on the shelf and found it hard to get enthusiastic about another project for some time.
Although The Good Karma Hospital features a young doctor finding herself in an under-resourced and overworked hospital in India, my story is entirely different in concept and content. I need a new title to distinguish my book from the television series. I have given the project the working title of Namaste while I search for something more striking. The Namaste Well doesn't have quite the same ring to it. Any suggestions for an arresting title will be gratefully received!