Will iconic images recorded in the grooves of an ancient vase unite the Holy Land or rip it further apart?
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.
Thursday, January 31, 2013
So as long as it remains in the four digit numbers on Lulu and the six digit numbers on Amazon, I can be content that it's doing pretty well. But when it hits the three digit level on Lulu and the five or even four digit numbers on Amazon, then I'll pop a bottle of champagne. You never know. Fingers crossed.
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Tuesday, January 29, 2013
But as a fan of Spartacus, that Starz miniseries that is in its third season right now, not only have I found a great actor, Dustin Clare, who could play the main character, Trent Smith, but there's another pretty good looking blond actress in there. No, not the Roman wife of Glabor, the main antagonist of Spartacus, nor that other Roman lady, introduced just this week, the wife of the Roman General Crassus. It's the rebel slave girl who is fighting with Spartacus and Gannicus, (Dustin Clare) and I must say, she could very well be a viable candidate for the part of Samantha Jones, too.
The only problem is I can't figure out who she is. I can't determine which name is hers in the credits, and when I go to the Spartacus websites, her part is so small in that show, I can't find out who the actress is who plays her.
But she is a very beautiful blond woman, and she has the hots for Gannicus, too, which would be a great side story if the two were ever cast together for the roles in Killer of Killers. Even so, Amber Heard would have the greater drawing power, as she is already a well known actress, and the other blond lady can't even get her name noticed on the credits to Spartacus.
So Amber Heard is my first choice still, but there's another one out there. Nothing wrong with that!
Monday, January 28, 2013
I mean the rankings on Lulu and Amazon have been decent. They have been four figures on lulu and six figures on Amazon. Considering that other books are in seven figures on both, that's not bad. It makes me wonder how it would do if there had been some good promotional efforts happening. But I'm not done yet with that. I've been busy working and being a husband and father, too.
It's always been interesting to me how some authors, usually women, proclaim how supportive their spouses are in their writing efforts. Usually, they have no kids and no job, just get to take all day and write while their husbands are at work. So that's great for them, but how do they promote their books?
I'll just keep telling people about it. Like the people at Barnes and Nobles. My local Barnes and Nobles was going to put Killer of Killers on their shelves, but then the next thing I knew, they closed down their entire store. I'll just have to go to another one. Just haven't gotten around to it, yet. Better do it soon, though. Because I'll have two books to promote pretty soon. And then three.
Friday, January 25, 2013
It happened with Killer of Killers, too. And The Vase, too. I read through the entire thing, and then the next time, it was like, wait a minute, I thought I fixed that. Even now, for my published work Killer of Killers, I'm finding minor POV issues that I'd improve if I could. But at least there are no more typos. And no clunky prose. It's all good, in that regard. Thankfully.
Thursday, January 24, 2013
I think my wife might have watched it at times, but whenever it came on, I always excused myself and left to go write or something. So, I found out just yesterday, that this Samantha Jones has been there the entire time. But it's okay. People do have the same name sometimes. I've even learned that there's another man with my name, the same first and last name. He lives in L.A. somewhere, but I've never met him, nor do I even know what he looks like.
And that came as a surprise, because my last name is not common at all. So it shouldn't be any surprise that with a common last name like Jones, there's another character with the same name. Still, I should have googled the name beforehand to make sure. But no big deal. Samantha Jones, to me, is the beautiful blond policewoman in Killer of Killers. That's all.
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
The entire time I knew The Vase was a special story. Much of it is expressed on the header to this blog, and so are some of the leading characters. It's a very controversial situation over there in Israel, and a lot of publishers were too scared. But regardless, the concept is so original and unique, that a lot of publishers were more than willing to publish it.
So who is the publisher who gets it now? Penumbra Publishing, that's who. Like Virtual Tales, they give 50% royalties, and that's the way I like it. I expect The Vase to be a big seller. Especially if the Christian market gets wind of it. No, it's not a religious book, and it's not a spiritual book, but I just think the Christian market will go for it. Interestingly, there aren't any Christians in the story.
Virtually all the characters are Israeli Jews and Muslims. So why do I say Christians in particular will like it? There's a very good reason, and I think you already know why.
Friday, January 18, 2013
It will deal with Trent Smith's search for justice in another way. He'll go back to Japan, but for a tournament. But this tournament is not the same kind of tournament he is used to. Instead of a fighting tournament, it's a killing tournament, as in each bout will be to the death. And since he's the killer of killers, then he will be a suitable contestant. At least that's what the recruiters will tell him. And he'll believe it, too. Just thinking out loud. I plan on beginning soon.
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
And for my first novel, Killer of Killers, my editors did that. I wish they did it more than once. They only did it once because, I think, they believed the writing was already there. They liked how I addressed the issues that they brought up, (mainly POV issues,) and let it pass from there.
But there were other things, and even some POV details needed improving, but overall, as a final product Killer of Killers is a well written novel, in large part because of the editors.
And The Vase, too. Just waiting to see the publishers final comments on that one. I will keep you posted.
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Yeah, I know I'm not the only writer with a book in submission, and like every other publisher in the world, they have a gazillion manuscripts to review. Still, I had an understanding with them. Regardless, the waiting is happening and it's tough because I already have a contract offer, and I'm just sitting on it. It came through during the rewrite.
So, I'll wait a little longer, because I like those 50% royalties. But how much longer? Maybe a nudge is in order. We'll see.
Monday, January 14, 2013
Actually, this is only like the third time I've read it though. Compare that to Killer of Killers, or even The Vase, both of which I've probably read, well, I can't even count the number of times I've read those two manuscripts. And now that KOK is published, I'm actually reading it through for the second time, just for fun.
It's a fun story, after all, and I never seem to get tired of it. Like watching a favorite movie, it seems every time is just as much fun as the first. But that's a good thing, obviously. And I'm glad for that.
Thursday, January 10, 2013
But not when you have a full time job, and a wife, and kids, and a house, and cars, and doctor appointments, and football games, and Boy Scouts, and all the other things that come in the package called life. Yeah, I'd say any progress on a daily basis, is good. That's all.
Wednesday, January 9, 2013
There are ways to make it work, even if you originally wrote in omniscient, and it's working very well, thank you. Can't wait to send it to Melange. It will be a nice continuation to the Trent Smith story. And this summer, the plan is to write the third and final chapter. See what happens when you get busy. Things get done. So stay busy. I plan to.
Tuesday, January 8, 2013
But now that I have a complete and thorough understanding of POV, the Killer Eyes story is really pouncing out at me as a very well executed story and the events are coming together nicely. I might have to delete a couple scenes, I already deleted one, but that's how it goes with revisions.
Right now I'm on about page 180 or so, out of 320 pages, so I'm more than halfway done. That's what happens when you keep at it. You make progress, and you get done. If you just sit around making excuses, that means two things. One, you're not really into it, and two, you won't get done. But I'm really into it, and I'm getting done.
Monday, January 7, 2013
But overall, I got a lot done over the break. The complete rewrite of The Vase, and the first half of Killer Eyes. And this POV thing was the focus. I'm rereading Killer of Killers in its print form, a little bit every night when I hit the sack. Mostly it's just fine in POV concerns, but there are some details that I wish I had realized when I had reloaded it those couple times.
But no big deal, just some minor details. When I reloaded, I focused on typos and some clunker sentences. And I did fix some POV issues, too, so it's mostly good right now, and it's a good thing, because you don't want to keep reloading too much.
Some publishers will even charge an author for doing that. Good thing Melange didn't. That's another good thing about Melange. Can't wait to send them Killer Eyes.
Friday, January 4, 2013
And after the rewrite, I'll reread it at least once more before submitting it to Melange. Nancy, the publisher, says to submit it directly to her, so that's cool. And I've already been in contact with Caroline, the Art Director, about a possible cover design. This is so much cooler than writing a book with nothing on the horizon. Meaning no publisher, that is. But with a publisher it's so much more encouraging.
So with Killer Eyes, I have a publisher ready and waiting, and with The Vase, at least I've got a publisher interested and waiting, so this should be a great year. I could be getting two books published this year. I'd say that would make it a very good year.
Thursday, January 3, 2013
But The Vase will go to another publisher. I expect The Vase to have a wider appeal because I believe it will attract the Dan Brown crowd. And that crowd is a very big one. And getting 50% royalties is something that I would like to have from the publisher who publishes it. The publisher who has already made an offer gives 40% royalties. That's for print and eBook. But this other one gives 50% for both, which trumps everyone.
So, we'll see. Now if they take too long, maybe I'll just go with the one who gives 40%. I'm used to waiting, but I won't wait too long.
Wednesday, January 2, 2013
So who is reading the books? Not writers. At least not those writers. I've a lot to learn still when it comes to promoting a book. You don't promote your book on a writer's site. That's one thing I learned.Unfortuately, I don't know many readers. Just writers, it seems. Hopefully, the publishers know more readers than I do. They should, anyway. Heck, they better. If they know as many as two readers, than that's more readers than I know!
Tuesday, January 1, 2013
Just as 2012 saw the publication of my first novel, Killer of Killers, I'm confident that 2013 will see the publication of my second novel, The Vase. And maybe even my third novel, Killer Eyes.
That would be great. And I would also like to write my fifth novel, The Killers Guild this year. If that gets accomplished, it should be another good year. Fingers crossed.
In the meantime, Happy New Year to anyone who is reading this, and I hope you have success in whatever your endeavors are, too.