Novel Video Pitch: Be Silent, by Danie Botha

Get to know the writer:

What is your story about?

Be Silent is about three young teenagers in 1964 Zambia who stumble upon two hidden AK-47s, are kidnapped by the owner of the guns, with a resulting rescue mission, which, over the course of a single night and morning, becomes more violent and out-of-control.

Why should people know this story?

History can be told with great effect through storytelling. This story will give readers a better understanding of the turmoil, due to colonialism and ethnic conflict, that took place in Southern Africa during the second half of the 20th century. It will give readers a small peek into a part of Africa, and in the process, help them understand the world they live in better—but through storytelling.

This story has a lot going for it. How would you describe this story in two words?


What movie have you seen the most in your life?

There are three: all seen x 4 times
4.1 The Holiday – Jude Law, Jack Black, Kate Winslet
4.2 A Good Year – Russell Crowe, Marion Cotillard
4.3 Ferris Bueller’s Day Off – Matthew Broderick

How long have you been working on this story?

A little under two years

How many stories have you written?

Stories that I have written: FIVE. Busy with # 6.
Published: TWO (Be Silent, Be Good)
To be published in Summer 2017: # 3

What motivated you to write this story?

I grew up in Zambia and southern Africa. Wanted to let readers experience/taste a small piece of Africa, without having to travel there. And, tell the story by combining the elements of history, with generous helpings of action and adventure.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

I’m a physician. An anesthesiologist—with a focus on preoperative optimization.
Fitness—lifelong fitness and positive aging. (Cycling, power walking, gym, bodybuilding, cross country skiing)
I’m a husband, father, and grandfather. (Another fulltime job!)
Advocacy—spreading awareness about the impact of abuse, with a focus on workplace abuse, and possible solutions

Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?

9.1 Giving up is not an option. It is hard work. DO.NOT.GIVE.UP.
9.2 Write regularly—if possible, every day. Discipline is required.
9.3 Read. Read. Read. (Read with focus, with intent. Don’t “steal” their words, but learn from each book you read.) Read wide—outside your genre. Fiction as well as non-fiction.
9.4 Don’t isolate yourself. Network. Online, in person. Writer’s group, etc.
9.5 Attend a workshop(s) and/or writer’s conferences. If possible – once a year.
9.6 You need a website. Learn about marketing. Choose one or two social media forums. Don’t waste time on them. Build your email list.
9.7 Indie-publishing doesn’t mean you’re a failure as a writer. Many traditionally published authors follow hybrid models—do both.
9.8 Reach out—give. (Not talking about money.)
9.9 Never give up!

Author: pitchstory

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