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.
Friday, June 28, 2013
Both are great stories, to be sure, but when I read them now, it's like, wow, this writing is just so good. I haven't resubmitted KOK to Melange yet, because I'm not quite done with it yet, but if you are someone who is considering buying a copy, I would suggest to wait just a little bit more. I'll be sure to tell you when it's been reloaded. But it will be worth waiting for if you care about literary writing and such. The story's the same. The characters are the same. The plot and events that take place are the same. It's just the writing is tons better now. And it will continue to get better until I finally call it done.
It's just another example of the same thing I've been saying for a long time now. Revisions are never done. Not until the book is published. And in my case, at least for KOK, not even then. It's been improved and improved, and improved, and at this point, well what more can I say? It's just so good, like I already said. Look, I know tooting your own horn is not kosher, but unless or until you read it for yourself, how else will you know?
You can't even go by reviews anymore, because many authors actually pay reviewers for good reviews. Even for books they never read. And on the flip side, there are those jerks who just seem to get off on giving bad reviews, and again, even for books they never read. Not because anyone's paying them, but just because they are jerks. Of course there's a better word out there, but I'm a Middle School teacher, after all, and the word 'jerk' will have to do. And that's why many people give no credence at all to reviews. It doesn't mean I wouldn't welcome another good review, though. What author wouldn't? I mean the kind you don't pay for, of course.
So, stay tuned.
Tuesday, June 25, 2013
Monday, June 24, 2013
Friday, June 21, 2013
Thursday, June 20, 2013
Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Sunday, June 16, 2013
But it was Penumbra who really taught me so much about editing. And I'm a much better writer now. In fact, I dare say my writing has reached another level. Especially right now during this latest round of edits, which I'm about three quarters through. I should be done by tomorrow. And then I'll send it back. Can't wait. You'll see.
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Friday, June 7, 2013
Thursday, June 6, 2013
In Killer of Killers, Chapter One, the main Character kills a man in an airport restaurant restroom, and then leaves. And after he leaves, I wrote a scene where all I wanted the reader to know was that someone, (identity not revealed) reaches in and takes the dead man's leather bag. Without actually entering the restroom, that is. So all I wanted to convey was a hand reaching through the ajar door, grabbing the bag, and taking it.
And in the conclusion of Chapter 18, after Trent leaves the scene in a taxi, I keep the reader in that scene where rats are watching the bodies of the men Trent just killed. They are waiting until they think it's safe to have a meal.
The publisher had no problem with either scene. But I wonder what my other publisher would say about them? I suppose the way I wrote it is acceptable, but again, that was with Melange. I'm not sure how Penumbra would take it. Maybe I'll ask. In any case, I rewrote the first scene, and even though I did, the hand is still reaching in without the character's face being revealed. (It's hidden behind the door which is not opened all the way.) It would work in a movie. But I've been told you don't write books the way you would watch a movie.
Still, there are exceptions to every rule. I'm supposing that the described scenes above would be acceptable examples.
Wednesday, June 5, 2013
Tuesday, June 4, 2013
You can say, however, what he was feeling or what facial movements he might be making, like, "...he was shocked..." or "...he narrowed his eyes..." which doesn't stray from the third person limited standard. But just as importantly, you wouldn't write what another character in that scene is feeling, because your character would have to be a mind reader for that. But you can write how another character's face is moving, because your POV character can see that other person's face moving, e.g.: "...his face twisted..." or "...his eyes turned wild..."
Nor can you use any kind of info dump for a character who is not the POV character. If you want to do that, then you must change the scene and establish the other character as your POV character, and then you're ready to roll in that regard. It took me a while to really get a handle on all of that, and there's a lot more to it, too. But I've got a full understanding of it now. And my writing is tons better as a result.
Monday, June 3, 2013
And all of that is probably true, but there could be another reason. Time just goes by so fast, and when the school year closes out, that is just another way of life letting me know that another year has passed by. Like your birthday. On your birthday, it's the most obvious event that drills it into your head that another year has passed. You're a year older. No getting around it. But just as eventful, I think, is the passing of the school year. At least for a teacher. At least for me. The crop of students you had will turn into another crop of students when you come back in the fall.
And then it starts all over again. And sure enough, the time will fly by and it will be summer vacation again. And in the meantime, you had another birthday, and you're a year older. And the years seem to be moving faster all the time. Especially when I see my kids growing up. My oldest son is 17. Ouch. Next school year is his last year of high school. I've seen my friends kids grow up, and both of my sisters' kids grow up. Now it's happening to me. But not yet. I've still got some time. And I'm living it to the fullest, you can believe that.