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, June 6, 2014

One Author, Different Genres

Some authors will only write in one genre. Romance authors, from what I've seen, fit that description. They only write romance stories. You know, those novels that feature a naked or shirtless man on the cover, targeting a large female readership. And why not? Women, I hear, make up the majority of book readers and purchasers. So romance authors are cashing in on that fact. And they stick to it.

I know it can be true for other authors and different genres, also. Like detective stories. An author of crime/detective stories may also stick to that genre. Horror authors, too. They only write horror stories. Sci-Fi, too. A sci-fi author will be known as a sci-fi author, and a lot of them come to mind. Isaac Asimov, Frank Herbert, and Ray Bradbury, as well as H. G. Wells, Edgar Rice Burroughs, and countless others. That list, like the one for Romance authors is a long one, actually.

But I find myself not being glued to a single genre. Killer of Killers and its sequel Killer Eyes are martial arts thrillers. The Vase is more political suspense with a touch of the paranormal. John Dunn is Historical Fiction. My current WIP is a sports story, possibly YA. I have another MG story on the backburner, that might also qualify as Fantasy, and I began my writing career with Sci-Fi.  I might even get back to that Sci-Fi story that I had worked on in my younger years.

So right there, I've dabbled in how many different genres? Six! And you know what? I'm glad for that. There's probably pros and cons for staying in one genre and pros and cons for being more diverse. If you stay in one genre with all of your books, I think you make yourself into what people call a brand. When the name Asimov or Bradbury are mentioned, you immediately think Sci-Fi. That is a brand. And that will establish the author as an expert in that genre.

But if an author, like me, for instance writes in six different genres, I don't think that will make me into a brand. That's not a bad thing, imo. Because I like to be diverse. And it keeps me interested. If I wrote only one genre, then I believe I'm restricting myself, and I'm more diverse than that. Will it limit my ability to be considered an expert in any single genre? Probably. But that's not my goal. My goal is to write interesting and exciting stories, stories that are entertaining, and maybe even have a message. I want to write stories that can make a difference. How can a story do that? If a reader can learn something from your story, that's how. At least, I think so. And that's why I write. And it's fun, too. At least it is for me.


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