Will iconic images recorded in the grooves of an ancient vase unite the Holy Land or rip it further apart?

THE VASE

A novel by Mark M. DeRobertis

Muhsin Muhabi is a Palestinian potter, descended from a long line of potters. His business is run from the same shop owned by his ancestors since the day his forebears moved to Nazareth. The region's conflict saw the death of his oldest son, and rogue terrorists are in the process of recruiting his youngest in their plot to assassinate the Pope and Israeli prime minister.

Professor Hiram Weiss is an art historian at Nazareth’s Bethel University. He is also a Shin Bet operative on special assignment. With the help of fellow agent, Captain Benny Mathias, he plans to destroy the gang responsible for the death of his wife and only child. He puts a bomb in the ancient vase he takes on loan from Muhsin’s Pottery Shop.

Mary Levin, the charming assistant to the director of Shin Bet, has lost a husband and most of her extended family to recurring wars and never-ending terrorism. She dedicates her life to the preservation of Israel, but to whom will she dedicate her heart - the brilliant professor from Bethel University - or the gallant captain who now leads Kidon?

Harvey Holmes, the Sherlock of Haunted Houses, is a Hollywood TV host whose reality show just flopped. When a Lebanese restaurant owner requests his ghost-hunting services, he believes the opportunity will resurrect his career. All he has to do is exorcise the ghosts that are haunting the restaurant. It happens to be located right across the street from Muhsin’s Pottery Shop.



Friday, June 29, 2012

KILLER OF KILLERS-It's a Killer of a Story

KILLER OF KILLERS, a martial arts thriller

Okay, so I'm going over KILLER OF KILLERS yet again. And damn, what a story. Now I've read it more times than I can count, and every single time I'm reminded what a fantastic story it is. I mean, it's about the world's greatest martial artist, after all. And when you have the world's greatest martial artist involved, it's bound to be a great story.

So who else had been the world's greatest martial artist? Well, no one in books that I know. There was Bruce Lee, of course. In real life and in the movies. All right, so he had his detractors as far as real life is concerned. But in the movies, Bruce Lee was the greatest martial artist. Nowadays, it's Jet Li, I think. Sure, Chuck Norris is in there somewhere, too, I guess. But again, this is all in movies. Not books.

As a matter of fact, there really aren't a lot of martial arts novels out there. Yeah, there are plenty of "how to" martial arts books. But novels? No. I would guess you can count the amount of martial arts novels on one hand. Maybe two, but I doubt there's much more than that. And that's okay with me. Because I would say that KILLER OF KILLERS will be the greatest one ever published.

It's a great story. It's a great hero. And it's got a subplot that is meaningful. Well, the main plot is meaningful, too, btw. It's not just a vigilante story. There's too many of those. Sheesh, a great many of the comic book superheroes are vigilantes. Starting with Batman, and even Spider-man. Then there's Daredevil, The Punisher, and heck, the list is near endless.

So no, Trent Smith is much, much more than a vigilante. First of all, his parents did not get killed by criminals. Nor did his uncle, or his wife, or even his dad. That's been done. Just see Batman, (parents) Spider-man, (uncle) The Punisher, (wife) and Daredevil (dad) for that storyline. Nope. Not in mine. But Trent Smith is indeed a driven man. And he is out for justice.

But the question is why. You've got to read it to find out why. And when it comes to the world's greatest anything, you can bet you'll have a great character. It's up to the writer to turn that great character into a hero worth reading about. And that hero must have a great story to make a reader say wow, what a great story. That was my driving goal. I think I achieved it. Otherwise, after having read the same story over and over again, I might be tired of it by now.

That has happened to other writers. I've read their blogs. I've read about how they are tired of their story after having read it so much. Hhhmmnn... Makes me wonder just how good their story is, then. If even THEY get tired of it, why should a reader think it's special.

Well, KILLER OF KILLERS is a story I never get tired of, no matter how many times I've read it. I think readers will feel the same. But they'll have to wait until August 26th. But August 26th will come soon enough. If there's anything else I've learned over the years, it's that time goes by fast. And it's right around the corner.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Keep Revising Until in Print

I learned too many times that a manuscript can be improved almost indefinitely. I've learned it from first hand experience. And with four novels. Even my first one, KILLER OF KILLERS, which is due to be released by Melange Books in less than two months keeps getting better. I'm talking about the writing. The prose. The story is set, now. That's not changing. Nor did anyone ever want me to change it.

I've read from blogs that agents and editors often require a writer to change their story somehow. That they suggest a plot twist or change, or suggest a character to be enhanced or somehow worked on a little more. But that didn't happen with KILLER OF KILLERS. Or THE VASE when it was being edited a couple different times.

But that doesn't mean nothing can be changed. The writing can always get better. Because when you have a 90,000 word manuscript, there's bound to be something in there like a sentence or a paragraph that can be worded better. And over the years, I have done just that.

So until August 26th, which is the release date for KILLER OF KILLERS, I will continue to do that. And with my editor's approval. She'll be going over the second round of edits soon, and I told her that I'll be going over it again this week, since I'll be in Disneyland next week. You don't forget about your family. Other writers have done that. I won't. Besides, it'll be a well-timed vacation. From school, and yeah, even from writing.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Will Revise All Manuscripts

With all I've learned about edits, I'll be revisiting all my manuscripts this summer. That means this will be the first summer in five years I don't write a new book. But I'll still be plotting out the third installment of Trent Smith's adventures. I've already said I'll be calling it THE KILLERS GUILD.

But since publication is imminent for KILLER OF KILLERS, and THE VASE is sure to be picked up soon, I'll be concentrating on making them even better. KILLER EYES and JOHN DUNN, too.

That's cool. It's still writing. And it's still fun. Totally.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Edits are in!

The edits are in. That paragraph was good. I tweaked it a bit yesterday morning, but it stood up after a night's sleep. So I sent the manuscript to my editor and she's got them in queue. And now it's back to waiting for them to come back to me for the second round. And that's the part that I never reached with THE VASE.

I'm pretty excited, because KILLER OF KILLERS is better than ever. All the POV issues are resolved, as well as other things, and even though I'm sure Sherry or Nancy will have some more editorial suggestions on the second round, there probably won't be as many.

KILLER OF KILLERS, a martial arts thriller is right on schedule. Stay tuned.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Will Send Edits Today

Talk about dedicated to your craft. I spent the entire week going over and applying most of those edits, and I only wanted to spend Friday or at the most, Saturday revising those two paragraphs on page three which is the first page of chapter one.

But I condensed two paragraphs into one, and every time I thought I was done, it turned out I wasn't. I kept being dissatisfied when I came back to it. You see, I learned a long time ago not to be quick on the trigger. That would mean the "send" button. And every time I thought I had nailed that paragraph, I decided to take an hour off, watch a movie, or go eat lunch, and come back to it. But that's when I didn't like it. So I must have written that paragraph a hundred times and a hundred different ways this weekend.

So here it is late Sunday night, and I think I nailed it again. But I won't sent it to Sherry, my editor, yet. I'll wait until I read it tomorrow morning. If it still sounds good, then I'll send it. Man, and I thought I'd be done Friday night. That's Okay. Monday morning will do. I hope. Fingers crossed.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Just About Done

Just finished going over all of the edits. I applied most of them all right. Some a little differently, like I had been talking about. And to be sure, I fixed all the head-hopping. That was paramount. It seemed hard at first, but I got the hang of it. So now, only when a hard scene break appears, does the POV change. And I got rid of some scene breaks, too. I'm telling you this is one well-written story.

ButI still have to rewrite the very beginning. Not the Prologue. That stands. But the start of Chapter One. Only about three paragraphs or so. Like I mentioned in a prior post, I have to do something about those other people waiting in the Gate area.

I guess they can't be there unless they're awaiting a stopover like Trent is doing. And that's why I can have him in there. But I have to write it. I'll do that today. Right now it's time for some shut-eye. But I feel good right now. The manuscript is better than ever. I mean it's so polished I'll have to read it with sunglasses from now on. Can't wait to send it back. I hope to do that this afternoon. But we'll see.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Melange Books has Top Editorial Guidelines.

Heard from my editor today, and POV changes are never acceptable. At least not in books published by Melange. So that should be some proof that Melange publishes only top quality books. That is, books that passed their stringent editorial guidelines. And that's a good thing. You hear so much about poorly written books. Mostly from self-published authors. But I swear I've seen some horrible writing in some books published by recognizable houses. It's amazing, really how bad they can get.
You would think they weren't even edited. And if they were they weren't edited very well.

Now that I'm undergoing my third time being edited by a professional editor from a third publishing house, I think I'm getting pretty good at understanding what editors expect. And the most stringent ones are right here with my current publisher. Melange. Of couse, I haven't reached the second round of edits yet. Let's see how that goes. But I'm ready and rarin' to go. Stay tuned. KILLER OF KILLERS is coming soon. If you like great action adventure stories, this one's right for you.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Melange Editors Don't Miss a Thing

The good thing about KILLER OF KILLERS and the fact that I had worked on it for five years, is that there are no typos. But as I was posting about yesterday, I did use too many exclamation points. And that was because there is a lot of excitement and shouting in much of the dialogue. I had also used all caps for the loudest shouts and screams.

But Nancy said that instead of all caps for those instances, to just use italics. I already did use them for emphasis, but I do agree that they are better for loud shouts and screams, too. Because words with all caps stand out too much on a page. And they shouldn't. So the italics solve the issue of emphasis and shouts, etc, while not assaulting a page with a dominating text.

And every single POV switch has been brought to my attention, too. I fixed most. I emailed Sherry if it's OK to keep maybe two are three for the whole book. I remember Nathan Bransford said that two similes for an entire book was OK, so I'm hoping the same can be true for head hops. We'll see. Sherry's sure to answer very soon.

And if it's not OK, I can work it out. I've gotten pretty good at it, actually. So no problem.

Just one thing more to work on. I've got to rewrite the intro so that Trent is the only one waiting in the gate area of the terminal. Since 2001, Nancy pointed out, you can't wait for passentgers in there. You have to wait in the baggage claim area. Unless, of course, you had arrived from an earlier fight yourself, and you never left the gated area. And that will be the case here.

But it's all good so far. I expect to be done with my turn on these edits by today or tomorrow. And then we'll see. Yes. We'll see.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Edits are Fun, Really

I'm having a blast doing these edits on KILLER OF KILLERS. I really am. Talk about having a good time. But I knew I would. I loved doing the edits on THE VASE, too. The only real difference this time, besides being a different book, is what I mentioned yesterday. The POV thing.

I write in the third person omnipotent, and with THE VASE, it wasn't a problem. At all. But maybe I should say with those other two editors, it wasn't a problem. Because with my editors at Melange, it's like this: they want only one person's POV in a scene. That means when you are narrating in the third person, but you reveal something that only a particular person would know, like what they are thinking, then that person's POV, or point of view is the POV you are writing.

So you can't have person A thinking something, and then in the same scene you have person B thinking something. Or you can't reveal how person B is perceiving something if you've already written how person A is perceiving something. If you do, it's called "head-hopping" they say. But you can fix it if you write person B's actions or reactions from person A's perspective. In other words, you can write what person A is thinking person B is thinking. It's not as complicated as it sounds, really.

So that's what I'm learning this time around. And I'm fixing quite a bit of times that I did it. However, there are a couple times I think that it is necessary. I'm explaining it to my editors in the margins, and we'll see if they don't mind. So we'll see if the couple times I do have it will pass their inspection.

Also, I've eliminated an overuse of exclamation points and ellipses. I wanted pauses in the dialogue in many scenes, and to depict that, I used ellipses. You know. this: ... where I wanted a pause in the dialogue. They frown on that, too. Mostly they want commas there. And I have changed most of them to commas. But when I want a pause that a comma is not sufficient to depict, now I just end the sentence and begin a new one. You know, the good old-fashioned period. So that's an easy fix. Same thing with exclamation points. Easy fix. It's fixing the head-hopping that takes actual rewriting. But that's fun. Because writing is fun, and I get to revisit that with my story.

And like I've said many times in prior posts, this story is my all time favorite. I'm having a blast! (Oops, there's one of those pesky exclamation points. :)

Monday, June 18, 2012

Finally Editing KILLER OF KILLERS

So my edits are in. They came in late Friday, and I got busy right away. Spent a good part of the weekend at it, too. Only took a break for a Father's Day celebration with my family. Never forget your family. That's for sure. I know of people who have sacrificed their family, not deliberately, of course, but nonetheless, for their obsession for success, or just to get published.

But this post is not about Father's Day. It is about my edits. I had already found out that Nancy, the publisher, was my editor, but Sherry Derr-Wille is also my editor. I guess I get two editors, how about that? And it's a blast going over their edits.

Mostly what I'm learning is POV. Strangely, my prior editors at Virtual Tales and Cogito never made an issue of POV when they edited THE VASE. I suppose one of two things is at play here. Either I didn't make any POV mistakes on THE VASE, or Melange Books editors are much pickier about it.

But that, really, is the only issue they seem to have with it. So I'm learning how to deal with that. And I should be done with it some time this week. And then I'll send it back. I'll probably get it back again before I go to Disneyland. I hope I'll be able to get it back to them before I go. We'll see.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Do People Just Quit?

When aspiring writers don't find a publisher, or even an agent, at what point do they quit? Sure many go the self-publishing route, which might be the last resort. And I suppose it's better than quitting. But maybe some people are like me in the sense that they refuse to go the self-publishing route. And I've noticed a couple people who, not only don't blog anymore, but have eliminated their Google accounts altogether.

One of those was the very first "follower" of this blog. She was an aspiring writer of historical fiction. She expressed interest in my own historical novel, JOHN DUNN when I was writing it. But she has disappeared.

You don't need a blog, per se, to follow a blog, but I think you at least need a Google account, and I think hers has discontinued. And there is one other person who has disappeared, too. It's somewhat saddening to me. It makes me reflect on the times when I was finding it near impossible to find a publisher. Even when I had an agent.

But I didn't quit. Even when my agent(s) quit on me. I found publishers. First for THE VASE, and then for KILLER OF KILLERS. OK, the situation on THE VASE has been chronicled. But the publication of KILLER OF KILLERS is imminent. Hooray.

And what did it take? Well, yeah, it took a great story, and great characters, but it also took perseverance. And endurance. And hard work. I don't doubt my two "friends" put in a lot of hard work. And I'm sure they persevered to a great extent. But everyone has a limit when it comes to endurance, no matter what it is you're talking about. You can only take so much of anything before there comes a limit to how much more you can take. Of anything. And frustration is surely a trying element.

I hope they just got bored of my blog and did not quit trying to get published. Rather they quit this blog than their aspirations. It's too bad even if that's the case. I read their blogs, and I found their writing to be good. I wanted to read their works. Now, it seems, I won't be able to, because their blogs are inaccessible or nonexistent. Which makes me think they are no longer seeking publication.

Because blogs are the first step to forming your "platform." And it is your "platform" from which you promote your work. Often, the author is the first in the marketing of his/her books. Without the blog, I think, that first step is gone. But what do I know. For all I know they got published and quit blogging for other reasons. I wish them good luck in any event.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Agents, Anyone?

Nathan was talking about literary agents yesterday, whether they will stick around. It was interesting that he brought that up, because, as one commenter pointed out, he didn't stick around. Not as an agent, anyway.

Well, finding an agent, if you're a new author, is not easy. I found one for KILLER OF KILLERS, and it wasn't a good experience for me. And not just because my "agents" didn't find me a publisher.

First of all, my agents didn't stick around. Imagine that. The one who signed me retired shortly thereafter. The second one didn't stick around, either, having quit to go back to college. The third one, well.... it's been documented in detail on this blog.

Pointedly, I've found publishers without an agent. Sure, it wasn't a smooth ride, and that has also been documented in detail here on this blog.

Ultimately, I think agents do have a significant role to play in the world of publishing. But it takes a good agent, meaning one who is committed to the client. But that's the way it is in just about everything. Yeah.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Melancholy is the Word

I'm here in my classroom, today, and it's the last day I'll be here for the summer. But I'm not so happy about that. I'm cleaning out the room, getting it ready for the summer custodial staff to do their thing. And I'm looking at an empty classroom. Seeing no students in here is NOT a happy feeling.

Yeah, I'm happy to have a vacation. Anybody would be. But it's more than just that. At the end of every school year, it's like the passing of a phase, or a stage in your life. Yeah, most of the students will be back in September, (end of August, actually,) but they'll be bigger, older, different in many ways. It won't be the same. But sure it begins a new phase, a new stage in life, in career, in the way of things.

Like my sons. As any parent knows, you have the newborn stage. Then the infancy stage, the toddler stage, the tot stage, the small child stage, the bigger child stage, the adolescent stage, the preteen stage, then the teenager stage. And that's where I'm at with my oldest son, now. The teenager stage. He's sixteen, and talking about driving and having a car.

We've already dealt with his first girlfriend stage. That wasn't fun. And my younger son is ten. That's the big kid stage. One more year and it's the adolescent stage for him.

But as a teacher in a classroom the end of the school year is a melancholy experience because it's another stage that has passed, and because you work with kids, you can't help but have that parental type of feelings toward them. Even though they are not your own kids, they are still kids, and you are still a parent, and that kind of relationship, really, becomes automatic.

After all, you're not their buddy. You're not their playmate. You are their teacher, and what's a teacher? It's like a parent in so many ways. You have to care for those kids. You have to relate to them. You have got to establish a working relationship with them. And since you are the adult, and a parent of your own kids, it's very much like being a parent to them, too. And seeing them grow up before your eyes, and then moving on, like they do, it's very much like seeing your own kids grow up, like I'm seeing right now with my own sons.

Yes, I think the word melancholy is applicable in this case. And that's where I am right now. Such is life. What are you going to do?

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Being a Writer is the Best


I’m glad I’ve been revising KILLER EYES because it has kept me in Trent Smith’s universe and has kept me in the KILLER OF KILLERS mindset. Which is ideal since the edits for KILLER OF KILLERS will be coming in soon. And since I’ve been revising the sequel, I’ll be able to jet back to the prequel for the edits without a hitch.

And the whole time I have been working on KILLER EYES, I’m reminded that this is a great main character with great supporting characters, and a great setting and storyline.

I’ll never forget that first agent who read the full manuscript. It was the first time anyone in the publishing business had read it. He was one of the first literary agents I had queried, and he requested the full. And he responded by calling it a “terrific storyline.” Those were his words. But it was little more than a rough draft at the time. Like many first time authors, I had made the mistake of sending my manuscript out into the world before it was ready.

But as I’ve documented time and again on this blog, I kept at it. I revised it, and rewrote it, and revised it again. And again and again. I added scenes, and I added a subplot, all of which made the story ever better. And of course, I polished the prose every single time I read it through. How many times? I’ve lost count. The bottom line is that it was five years ago I began this manuscript. It was the summer of ’07. And now, five years later… five years of constant working, that is, it’s getting published by a real publisher.

OK, so it’s an independent publisher. But, hey, an independent publisher is still a real publisher. I promised myself I would never self-publish, and I kept that promise. No disrespect to those people who are self-published, but I had made my mind up that I would not go that route. No matter what. For me, it was a real publisher or nothing. And independent publishers qualify.

Sure, five years was a long wait, but according to Jack London, it takes five years to become a good enough writer to get published, and in my own personal experience I have found that he was absolutely right. Five years. And now I am a darn good writer. Good enough to be published by a real publisher. And I’ve got other books, too.

First on that list is THE VASE. That’s another one that has been polished to the point that it’s ready to go. In fact that one almost beat KILLER OF KILLERS into print. It’s been well-documented, as any reader of this blog knows. Yes, those five years not only got KILLER OF KILLERS polished, but they also produced four completed novels: two martial arts thrillers, one novel of suspense, and one of Historical Fiction.

Heck, this is fun. I’m glad I’m a writer, now. It beats playing and composing music, and even art. Yeah, I’ve spent most of my life making art. And teaching it. But being a novelist is the ultimate. Maybe I’ll end up teaching that, too. Wouldn’t that be cool.

Monday, June 11, 2012

I Have an Editor

But it's not Tom. It's Nancy. And that's an honor. She happens to be the top person at Melange Books, (meaning she is the owner of the company.) She advised me just yesterday that she is now editing KILLER OF KILLERS.

I had thought it was going to be Tom. He was the acquisitions editor who had accepted my manuscript, and for that reason I figured he was vested in the story and would be a great editor. But I'm guessing he is busy with a ton of other manuscripts, so Nancy told me that she'll be doing the editing and I will receive the edits in about ten days.

Which is good. Because I'm taking the family to Disneyland the week of July 4th, so I'm hoping to get the edits back to her before I go. Otherwise, I'll be spending a lot of time on a laptop instead of being out there enjoying Disneyland with my family. And that won't be good. But it's happening now. I'm confident KILLER OF KILLERS will be released on time.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Last Day of School Today

And that's important because now I can put more time into writing. I'll be working on at least three and maybe four different books this summer. First, I'm putting most of my writing time into revising KILLER EYES, the sequel to KILLER OF KILLERS. Second, and hopefully any day now, I'll be working with the edits on KILLER OF KILLERS preparing it for publication this August 26th. Third, I will be plotting out and beginning the third book in the KILLER series, tentatively titled THE KILLERS GUILD, and fourth, hopefully working on the edits to THE VASE which I am still hoping will be picked up by a publisher sometime soon.

So that will keep me busy over the summer vacation. But of course, my sons will keep me busy, too. I'm taking the family to Disneyland over the Fourth of July week, and my sons will be studying over the summer and my older son will also be playing football on the varsity of his high school team.

Yes, it will be a busy summer, and most likely, a fast one. But this time it's OK, because at summer's end KILLER OF KILLERS will be released. I'll be a published author, and my journey to publication will have been realized.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Ray Bradbury, RIP

When it comes to favorite authors, I can really only name three. Robert E. Howard, H. G. Wells, and Ray Bradbury. Of course, H. G. Wells and Robert E. Howard have long since passed away.

And now Ray Bradbury has passed away. This link is where I learned the sad news: http://xfinity.comcast.net/articles/entertainment/20120606/US.Obit.Bradbury/


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

KOK Cover Perfected

Caroline, the wonderful Art Director at Melange Books, comes through once again. I had noticed that the size of the title text was not consistent. It wasn't obvious, and I thought it was just me for a while, but when I realized it was true I asked Caroline if she might fix that, and, Bingo, she did.

But here's the really cool part. She didn't take a month or a week, or even the next day to do it. It was the same day it got done. And that's something that I really appreciate.

Now, as you can see, the cover to KILLER OF KILLERS is perfect. It took some tweaking, but every time I asked her to tweak it, she did. And every time without making me wait or making me feel like a pest.

If you take a look at the Melange website, you'll see a lot of book covers that Caroline has designed. And they are all great designs. So to take time out of her busy schedule to do this for me is an example of the kind of person she is, and, also, it's an example of the kind of publisher Melange is. I'm one happy camper right now.

The old adage may be true. You can't judge a book by its cover. But covers do sell books. And I'm betting that this cover will contribute to a lot of sales. Here's looking forward to August!


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Book Launch Party?

No. I don't want to have a "Book Launch" Party. I know that this is one of the ways authors promote and celebrate the release of a new book. But I'm someone who doesn't like to throw parties. I don't like the planning, the invitations, the hosting, or the preparation, set-up, and clean-up. I'm still smarting for when my wife threw that surprise party for me about five years ago. (I told her not to do that.)

Anyway, I know it's something good to do. It gets the word out, and if you throw the party in a book store, then people who aren't invited will know about it. That is, those people who just happen to show up at the bookstore while the party is in progress. But even though it may well sell some books, I'm still averse to the "party" idea.

So we'll see. I might change my mind. Regardless, I'll be promoting the release of KILLER OF KILLERS in other ways. Although I'm still figuring that part out.


Monday, June 4, 2012

Summer is Here!

And since my debut novel, KILLER OF KILLERS, is due to be released in August, I should be kicking my promotional efforts into high gear. Except for one thing: being a debut novelist is kind of new to me. Yeah, imagine that. But I've had a couple other times I came close to being a debut novelist as any readers of this blog already know.

It's why the blog is named THE VASE, after all. That was supposed to have been my debut novel. But why it's not has already been chronicled. It's KILLER OF KILLERS which is going to be my debut novel, now. And as I've said before, it's fitting, since that's the first book I wrote anyway. THE VASE, being the second novel I wrote SHOULD be the second book I get published.

And it's all very exciting to me. It didn't really matter all that much which one got published first. KILLER OF KILLERS is MY favorite book. It's the story I would like to read. It will be the story anyone who likes action and martial arts stories will want to read because it has plenty of action and plenty of martial arts in it.

But it also has love, romance, and a kind of science fiction element involved. You know, the wonder drug. It cures all disease, and even stops the aging process! So I guess you can call that a science fiction element. I mean, there's no aliens in it, and no space ships, or time travel. It's a contemporary story. And it is very much tied to reality in terms of the human condition, meaning human desire, weakness, and emotional bonds.

And that might be the ultimate draw. Love, hate, revenge, redemption. It's all there. Just like in THE VASE. Although that one is a completely different story. But still a contemporary one. And a very human one. Can't wait to talk about that one. But heck, it's promoted everyday just in the header of this blog.

In fact, I've considered changing the blog's name to the KILLER OF KILLERS blog. But I've decided to just keep it THE VASE. It's weird, now, calling my blog THE VASE when it's KOK getting published first. That wasn't the deal. But it's how it worked out. That's life for you. Filled with surprises, twists, and unexpected turns. Hey, just like a novel!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Planning for Summer

Being a teacher has some advantages. One of those advantages is the summer vacation. And it is imminent. I will be spending a lot of time with my two sons, like I do every summer. And for the last two summers, that includes watching my oldest son at his high school football practice. He's on the varsity team now and plays Fullback and Linebacker. Last year on the JV team he started both ways. Not sure just yet which he will be focusing on this year.

But I will be spending time bringing my youngest son up the football ropes, too. He looks like a quarterback right now. But he's only ten, so I can't say for sure. But he has a good arm. We'll see.

As for writing, I will be putting a lot of time into further revisions of KILLER EYES, editing KILLER OF KILLERS, more than likely get back to revising JOHN DUNN, and hopefully signing a contract and getting to editing THE VASE once again. And that doesn't even cover plotting out and outlining the third book in the KILLER series. Perhaps the final Trent Smith story. But who knows? In Trent Smith's case, the stories could be endless. Only time will tell.