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, April 17, 2014

Revisions More Important than Editing

There is a difference between revising and editing. Editing is when you're making sure all your punctuation is correct, your grammar is correct, your story makes sense, and all loose ends are tied up. Revisions, however, make sure your writing is as good as it can possibly be, and that means anything and everything is up for grabs. You can add new scenes, or delete them, you can put in new subplots, or delete them, or you can rewrite entire scenes, paragraphs or sentences. It can be as simple as changing a single word. Revisions are like the "topping it off" or the "grand finale" stage of writing a book. The point in the creation of a book that makes it what it's going to be.

Make no mistake, editing is a necessary stage, too. It was the editing stage, not the revision stage where the first edition of Killer of Killers was lacking. KOK had undergone all the necessary revisions to make it the story it became, but the editing, as noted before, was lacking, and that's why it had to be re-edited and released as a second edition.

But why was it called a second edition? Because anytime you make changes to a book to the degree that I had to make with KOK, even with just the editing, then it's called a second edition. If it were just a few things here and there, maybe it wouldn't be necessary to call it a second edition, but no, the editing was far more extensive than just here or there. It covered nearly the entire book--cover to cover. Thus, the second edition.

And so what? If anything, the first editions may accumulate more value in the future, as first editions do sometimes, but the second edition is better written and more accurate as far as POV is concerned. And literary connoisseurs will know the difference. So I am glad that Melange made it happen, and I invite anyone who's read the book to write a review. (If you liked it, that is.) Let me know how you felt. If you do, I'll send you a free copy of the sequel, Killer Eyes, which should be ready to be published by this summer. Until then.

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