by | Dec 12, 2016 | Chris Goff, The Writer's Life | 5 comments

by Chris Goff

On a trip to Israel, I was struck by the idea for my first thriller, DARK WATERS and started taking notes—and started taking notice of things, in a different fashion. What I discovered is that strange is relative and people believe different things. Truth is often a matter of perspective.

For instance, one evening my eleven year old daughter and I headed for the movies. The theater was small, located on the fourth floor of a narrow, tall building wedged in between the grocery store and an office building near Dizengoff Square. Danielle and I climbed the stairs and proceeded to find a seat, only to be surrounded by theater staff. We quickly learned that, unlike the theaters in the U.S. or Europe where you pay for your admission and then choose from the open seating, in Israel, you sit in the seat assigned by your ticket. Once we’d been ushered into our seats, I noticed my daughter growing increasingly agitated.
“What’s wrong,” I whispered.
She tipped her head toward the person sitting next to her: a uniformed soldier, who had his rifle propped between his knees while he made out with his girlfriend.
Hard to believe.
But when my daughter leaned over and whispered to me, I discovered she was worried about something else entirely.
“Mom, do you think they make us sit all clustered together like this so it’s easier to blow us up?”
“No!” Or was it possible? If so, who would have believed it?

Several weeks later, my daughter and I visited the town of Tiberius, by the Sea of Galilee.  Driving down to the water one morning, we saw a red car parked in the open market area. Two men sat in the front seats. The rest of the parking lot was empty, but would soon be teeming with people. I remember saying to my Danielle, “Look at those guys. Do you think they’re up to something?”

That night, back in Tel Aviv, we turned on the news to see a picture of the charred remains of the red car. The two men were dead, victims of a suicide bombing, but no one else in the market area was hurt.
Was it a premonition, or had I seen something that tripped me to the idea that the men were up to no good? I say premonition, but I think most people would find it easier to accept the latter.
Over the course of eight weeks, there were lots of things we experienced that people might not understand or believe.
One day we took the wrong bus and ended up in a Hasidic community south of Tel Aviv. We weren’t dressed properly, and there was only one taxi in sight. Unfortunately, the cabbie wouldn’t let us into his vehicle for fear we’d contaminate the inside and no one in the community would hire him after that. Men walking with their families spit at us. No one would speak, except for one young girl. She risked shunning in her community to tell us where to catch the northbound bus.
Had she taken pity? Or was she protecting her community? Either one could be the truth.
The main reason we were in Tel Aviv was to see a doctor to treat my daughter’s blood disorder. The doctor was an alternative healer—a bio energy healer. My daughter’s illness was severe. We were informed by western doctors in the States that we were looking at bone marrow transplants, isolation in ICU, possible chemo therapy treatments. We had an appointments with a hematologist and immunologist two months in the future, but Irene Kaminsky could treat my daughter right away. She held a medical degree from Kiev University, but was also trained in alternative healing methods. She treated Danielle with medications of any kind except for “energy infused” water. Danielle would have “energy treatments” two or three times a week, after which Irene would tell us to watch her for fever, which Danielle would inevitably run. After eight weeks, we returned to the States, went to see the specialists and found out that our daughter was cured. There was no indication of a blood disorder, and it was deemed “a spontaneous recovery.”
I knew that wasn’t the case. I had done extensive research on Danielle’s blood disorder, and I’d seen firsthand the way Irene had helped my daughter. I know that she is the one who healed Danielle. It’s a truth most people find hard to accept.
Fun Fact

You never know what you’ll discover when doing research. While in Ukraine, researching RED SKY, my book that’s coming out in June, my youngest daughter and I arrived in Kiev and discovered we could take number of fabulous tours. Perhaps the most intriguing was a trip to the front lines. The tour guides provided the flak jacket, helmet, and Humvee, as well as an armed driver. I wanted to go, but saner heads prevailed.

My daughter said, “No, Mom. The answer is no!”

The question is, had we gone and I’d written about it in my book, who would have believed it?
Don’t Miss a Thing!



  1. Karna Bodman

    Christine – what an interesting post….especially the story about healing your daughter over there in Israel. How marvelous! And yes, doing research for a novel certain does open one's eyes to a unique perspective…love your examples. Thanks for writing this.

  2. Jack Getze

    Can' wait to read this one.

  3. Chris Goff

    Thanks, Karna. It always amazes me what people believe is fact in my fiction, and what is fact that they don't buy ever could–or ever did–happen.

    And I can't wait for you to read RED SKY, Jack. Spending time in Ukraine gave me a new perspective on how life was–and at times still is–in Eastern Europe. Fascinating. It really rekindled my interest in the Cold War era.

  4. Sonja Stone

    Chris, these are incredible stories! I didn't think you'd top the tale of the red car until I got to your daughter's health and healing. Amazing!

  5. Jamie Freveletti

    What an amazing story about your daughter's recovery! Wonderful!