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.



Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Technical Difficulties

I said I would post an excerpt from my books, and I tried to do that just now, but something funny happened after I posted it. The excerpt didn't show, and it made the other posts look like something was superimposed over them. I guess I'm finding out for myself that "technical difficulties" really do happen. So I will have to find a better way to do this then cutting and pasting from the Melange Books website. Sorry about that.

In the meantime, I'll have to think about something else to do for readers. After all, this is a blog for readers, not for writers. Of all the people out there in this big, wide world, there are people who buy and read your books, and people who don't. Among the people who don't are other writers. They prefer to read their own books. That is logical. After all, writing a book isn't as easy as, say, writing a song. I know from experience. Writing a song might take only one day, maybe two, or three at the most. For me, anyway. And writing a book isn't as easy as drawing or painting a picture. Or sculpting a sculpture. Those activities are completed in days, maybe weeks, depending on the scale of the endeavor.

But writing a book? That takes several months at least. Even years in the making. And after investing so much time, so much of your life into a book, it's practically a part of you...a part of who you are. There's a lot more of you in the creation of a story, of characters and everything else that goes into writing a book. It's a much more involved process. So you don't really have the interest in reading another author's book. You are more interested in your own book.

It's kind of like raising kids. Parents spend near a lifetime raising their own kids, so they won't be as interested in another parent's kids, at least not nearly as much as their own kids. It's just natural. And these are the reasons writers aren't as interested in another author's books, at least not as much as they are in their own books.

And the other group of people who don't buy and read your books are your relatives and friends. And that's because they don't see you as a writer. They see you as that family member or as that friend they had all of their lives. If you're all of a sudden a writer, it's not something they can accept. They won't believe that you can actually do something that others have done, meaning other writers that they don't know. You won't be on a par with them. They will see you as someone, perhaps, who wants to write, and maybe they'll humor you and say, "Oh, you wrote a book, that's great." but they won't want to read it.

These people are disappointments as friends, and certainly a huge let down as relatives. Of course there are exceptions to that rule. There are people out there who do not fit into any of those categories. But I have found, exceptions or not, it is the rule.

So promotion is still the key. Reaching those people who like to read, appreciate what you've written, and they spread the word. It happens. Hopefully it will happen for me, too.

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