“Desire is the starting point of all achievement.”
“I love archeological and historical thrillers and The Silence exceeded my expectations. It has action and adventure, a great plot that keeps getting better, and an irresistible mystery that makes it hard to put the book down.”
Jack Magnus, Readers’ Favorite
Every writer’s journey is different — and yet they all are lit from the same flame: desire. Some of us fan this spark early in life and others only discover it along life’s path. But whether we find it late or soon, we are all kindred spirits.
That’s why it was so inspiring to hear Dr. Monty Helfgott share his story. In the midst of a long career as an educational psychologist who authored five books in his field, Monty decided to give free rein to his imagination and write The Silence, a paranormal-historical thriller that combined his background in psychology with his longstanding fascination with history, archeology, and Jewish mysticism.
The Silence took three years to write; research for the novel involved trips to Eastern Europe and to Israel, where Monty explored the Biblical sites that play a major role in his story. Along the way, he also hone his craft as a novelist and plunged into the deep waters of book production and promotion. A few of his lessons learned:
Ask for help: Once his book was under way, Monty realized that he faced a steep learning curve as a newbie novelist. Rather than soldiering on alone, he decided to invest in himself and his dream by working with a writing coach. She not only helped him shape his story, but also provided encouragement and support at every stage of its development. At one point she told him, “Writing a novel is one of the most difficult tasks you can engage in.” Acknowledging the huge challenge that he faced was empowering.
Keep going: Like many authors, Monty has a full-time job and penned his novel in his free time. And like many authors, it took him a while to figure out exactly what his story was about and to craft a concise pitch: “A mystical Indiana Jones with James Bond flair. He’s John Mackenzie in…The Silence.” When he hit a major roadblock, Monty took a six-month break from his writing, but rededicated himself to it and used the ideas that bubbled up during his break to make his story richer.
Take care of business: Once his manuscript was completed, Monty made a major commitment to producing a high-quality book and promoting it. He worked with a first-rate cover artist, invested in a website, and began to investigate ways to promote his book. Getting the word out has proven challenging: Monty’s experience underscores that reality that book marketing requires enormous time and energy.
Still, it’s all been soul-satisfying. These days, when people ask Monty, “What do you do?” He doesn’t answer, “I’m an educator,” he says, “I’m a writer.” Bravo, Monty — write on!” For more on The Silence, visit: montyhelfgott.com.