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, March 7, 2014

Revisions Proceeding in Killer Eyes

The sequel to Killer of Killers, which I call Killer Eyes, is proceeding at a pretty good pace. Even though I wrote this book four years ago, I hadn't had time to revise it, since I wrote John Dunn, Heart of a Zulu the following summer, and then the two summers after that I was busy with the editorial phase for my first two books that were being published.

But now that Killer of Killers and The Vase are published, it's time to get Killer Eyes done, and as I've posted about many times, the revision phase is one of the most important phases of writing. Sure you can argue that writing the first draft is the single most important part, since it's the creation of the work, and it's got to be true, but the work in that form is a rough draft. Not virtually, but quite literally. The writing is rough. Unpolished. You smooth out the work in the revision stage. You make it better, you get it to the point where you would want people to read it.

But more than that, I've found, that even the plot and story line get vastly improved. Subplots get added, even new characters get added. Sometimes even the story line is altered. And of course, all for the better. In Killer Eyes right now, I'm thinking I might have to change a subplot's main character to another character altogether. Can't really explain it on this post without being a spoiler, but it's just an example that the revision stage is about more than just improving the prose.

But all in all, the revision stage is going well. One of the things I set out on for Killer Eyes in the revisions stage was applying all that I learned from Penumbra. That would be my full understanding of how to write in 3rd person limited POV. I went back and did that with Killer of Killers. And I'm also applying the other writing guidelines I took home from my Penumbra experience. Once I'm finished with that, I'll re-read it at least once or twice more before submitting it to Melange. They already know about it. It's going to get published, and once it is, then on to John Dunn.

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