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, July 31, 2014

From Martial Arts to Israel to the Zulu War to Football

I have written four books, and have started a fifth. But unlike some authors, I'm an author who doesn't stick to just one genre. Obviously, Killer of Killers and Killer Eyes are martial arts action books. That genre could be called Thriller or Action Adventure. The Vase is set in Israel, and has to do with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, so that genre could be called Suspense or Intrigue. John Dunn, Heart of a Zulu is definitely Historical Fiction, even though many of the events that take place are not fiction and the characters really lived, and really did most of the things they do in the book.

But my latest novel, Second Chance, which I've only just begun, by the way, is a football story. I'm not sure what genre that is, maybe Sports. And the funny thing about that one is that I actually dreamed the story. Not from beginning to end, but I dreamed the plot of the story. I'm inundated with football right now. My oldest son played at his high school, and was a great player, earning All League, Most Valuable, and League Offensive Player of the Year awards. He just played in the North South Charlie Wedemeyer High School All Star game, and he even scored a touchdown in that game.

My youngest son is starting up in Pop Warner football at this time, and will be having his first football practice tomorrow. I'm the kind of father that goes, not only to every game, but to the practices as well. And maybe it's because of all this football around me, not to mention my own football memories, that prompted the dream. But I thought it was a great story, so I started writing it. But that's four different genres with five books.

I've heard that authors should stick to one genre. That way they have a platform, or a brand. Their brand is the genre they write, and their platform, like a blog, will focus on all things that include that genre. Well, I can't do that. I think it's because I have a lot of different interests. I love martial arts action movies, for one thing. And that's why I wanted to write about the world's greatest martial artist in my Killer books.I have an interest in Ceramics, being a ceramics teacher, so that's why I wanted to write The Vase. I have an interest in the Anglo Zulu War, and that's why I wrote John Dunn. And I have an interest in football, thus Second Chance.

Even though I do plan to write a third book in the Killer series, it's not unlikely I will stray to yet another genre altogether, one which I haven't written in yet, and that is what I intend to do with an MG/YA book I've been planning called Inside the Outhouse. And what is my interest that sparked that idea? I'm a Middle School teacher! So having an interest in what my job involves led directly to the idea for that future book. And that would make five different genres. We'll see what else pops up.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Cast of Characters of Killer Books

Before I start the third and perhaps final book in the Killer series, I must finish John Dunn, Heart of a Zulu. It's a fun book, to be sure, and a great story, most of it based on historical fact. Sure I embellished the story here and there, but again, most of the events that take place are true.

Amber Heard
But when I get back to the Killer series, it's going to be just as fun, maybe more. That's because the Killer books are my favorite books. Trent Smith is my favorite character, and even though she's not a model or a movie star, Samantha Jones is the most beautiful woman in the world. She's a police detective, and I'm not forgetting that the actress who plays her if the Killer books are made into movies, WILL be a movie star. That's where Amber Heard comes in.

Sure other actresses can do it, but she's my first choice. Of course, the actor who plays the main character, Trent Smith, will be the most crucial choice. I've been leaning toward Dustin Clare of Spartacus fame. But he's been keeping a very low profile of late. It seems like he's an actor who is not in high demand. I base that comment on the fact that he hasn't been in any movies or TV shows since Spartacus. Amber Heard has, but not Dustin Clare. Still, I'd cast him. Maybe it could be that if Killer of Killers were to be made into a movie by a famous director like Josh Whalen or Corey Yuen, then Dustin Clare can have what could turn out to be his "break out" role. What a thought.

Dustin Clare
Max Von Sydow would be perfect for Abraham Soriah, the reclusive billionaire who is forming an exclusive fraternity of immortal supermen, which includes himself. And Dennis Haysbert wolld be perfect to play the part of his right hand man, Charles Morgan. And Eugene Levy would be good as Karl Manoukian, the millionaire who originally funded the research for the wonder drug that came to be known as Eternity, named for its alleged ability.

But first, finish John Dunn. Then get Killer Eyes published. And then finish the series with The Killers Guild. That would be a wrap. Of course, I'll still be working on my football novel, Second Chance. And after all of that, it will be time to proceed with my YA book, Inside the Outhouse. I'm getting more ideas just how to proceed with that one, too. That's it for now.


Monday, July 28, 2014

So Who Could Play the Role of John Dunn?

I've talked about actors and movies and my books, and who could play who in my books. Trent Smith, the lead character in Killer of Killers and the soon to be published Killer Eyes would be played by Dustin Clare, and Amber Heard could play the part of Samantha Jones, but who would play the role of John Dunn?

John Dunn was described as a medium to tall man with a strong build. He was bearded and had dark hair. Colin Farrell comes to mind, although he is Irish, whereas Dunn was of Scottish  descent. He's 38 right now, so once again the age factor will be a problem. I don't expect this book to be published before next year, so that means if anyone wants to make it into a movie, Colin Farrell will be in his forties by then.

After Colin Farrell, I'm not sure. Most of the well known leading men are getting too old now. And the up and comers haven't really established themselves yet. Not to me anyway. Actors who might have been right for the part include Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Tom Hanks, Brad Pitt, and even Tom Cruise. But again, they're all too old now.

Some of the younger actors who might be right include Ryan Reynolds,, Joel Edgerton, Jai Courtney, and Ewan McGregor. Another actor could be Henry Cavill, but since he's Superman, that might not be a good idea. But on the other hand, maybe it would. Here's a photo lithograph of John Dunn, so  it's not like we don't know what he looked like. Which of these actors could be made to look like him? Hhhmmnn...

Friday, July 25, 2014

Hot July Day in Bay Area

As you may or may not know I live in the Bay Area, AKA Northern California, and it sure is hot today. It's in the 90s, and sometimes it gets over 100. It's July after all, and it's in July when my stories in Killer of Killers and Killer Eyes take place. That wasn't really planned, nor is it specified more than once, I think in KOK.

The Vase takes place in April, and John Dunn is an ongoing time frame, where it could be any time of the year. But weather is not really a factor in any of the stories. It's a nighttime scene in KOK where I specify the weather is fine, since it's in New York in that scene, and New York can be cold in the Winter, so that was a necessary description.

As for my upcoming novel, Second Chance? It's Fall of course, because it takes place during football season. Yeah, football season stretches from Summer to Winter, but the bulk of it takes places during the Fall. And football season is upon us even now. My son is already practicing for the college team he'll be playing for this coming Fall. He played in the High School All Star game a couple days ago, and scored a TD on a 30 yard run. He's a great player.

Meanwhile, buy a copy of Killer of Killers before Killer Eyes comes out. It's a must read before you read Killer Eyes. And don't forget about The Vase. Thanks.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Back to John Dunn

If you've never heard of John Dunn, the white chief in Zululand, I don't blame you. Probably a lot of people in Zululand, which is now part of South Africa, never heard of him. He lived a hundred and fifty years ago. But what was interesting about him was the fact that he spoke fluent Zulu, and lived with the Zulus for most of his life. He had Zulu wives, his children were half Zulu, and he took part in two Zulu wars.

But even more interesting, I think was the fact that he became best friends with the Zulu king, Cetshwayo. And even though he was forced to fight on the side of the British during the Anglo-Zulu War, he might have saved Cetshwayo's life after the British captured him. There have been accounts that the British were going to hang Cetshwayo, but John Dunn intervened, and the British exiled him instead.

There's tons more to the story, and many more details involving Cetshwayo and the war, but that would take a novel to explain. And that's just why I wrote the novel, John Dunn, Heart of a Zulu. Well, even the novel wasn't able to explain it all. But it did make for a very interesting and entertaining story. I'm still revising it right now. I'll keep you posted.

Meanwhile, my beta reader is still reading Killer Eyes. He pointed out a couple minor things I could make better and I will. Stay tuned. But go ahead and buy your copy of Killer of Killers in the meantime. Just click on the image to the right of this post. And buy a copy of The Vase, too, while you're at it. Thanks.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Football Stories--Second Chance

Usually I blog about the books I write. Like Killer of Killers, Killer Eyes, The Vase, and the one that I'm revising now, John Dunn, Heart of a Zulu. And I'm going to be working on Second Chance very soon, as well. Of course, Killer of Killers and Killer Eyes are martial arts action stories about the worlds greatest martial artist. The Vase is a suspense story taking place in Israel. And John Dunn is about the real life adventures of John Dunn, who lived in South Africa in the mid to late 1800s.

But Second Chance is a football story. There's been some good ones. The TV show Friday Night Lights I think is the most recent. Then there were others like Brian's Song, the Brian Piccolo story, Charlie's War, the Charlie Wedemeyer story, and others, like North Dallas Forty and Any Given Sunday, which were made into movies, too.

So my new book is called Second Chance, and like I said, it's a football story. I dreamed it, and when I woke up and remembered it, I decided I would turn it into a novel. It's about a football player who gets a second chance. There's a lot more to it than that, but that's the basic premise.

Like I did when I was young, my son is playing football, and with football on my mind so much, it's not unusual for me to dream about it. And this last dream has resulted in a great story to turn into a novel. I'll be finishing John Dunn first, and then I'll be going full speed ahead with Second Chance.

In the meantime, please buy copies of Killer of Killers and The Vase by clicking on the images to the right of this post. That would be appreciated. Thank you.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Break from Killer Eyes

I am not going to pull the trigger yet on sending Killer Eyes to my publisher. I am waiting for a beta reader to read it through, and then I will read it through one more time myself. That's for the best, because every time I've submitted a manuscript in the past, I've found something in it I wanted to change, and that becomes annoying, both to me, and to the publisher.

Meanwhile, I'm finally back to work on my long John Dunn novel. It's over 120,000 words, and by far the longest book I've written. The hassle is that I wrote it before I learned all about the 3rd person limited POV, and like Killer of Killers, The Vase, and Killer Eyes, I have to go over the whole thing and make sure that all of those POV issues are fixed.

It wasn't so bad in the first three books, mainly because they weren't so long. Killer of Killers clocked in at about 89,000 words, The Vase is about 88,000 words, and Killer Eyes, after revisions, turned out to be about 95,000 words. So a 120,000 plus word manuscript is somewhat more challenging. And especially since there are a bunch of characters in it.

That is one of my traits in writing books--I have a lot of characters in them. To me, it makes the story more interesting. And the John Dunn story sure has a lot of characters! There's John Dunn, the main character, his wife Catherine Pierce, Theophilus Shepstone, the Natal Secretary for Native Affairs, who is the main antagonist in the story, there's Captain Joshua Walmsley, John's mentor, Captain Walmsley's wife, Maria, Sir Henry Francis Fynn, who knew the legendary Zulu king Shaka Zulu, and Anglican Bishop William Colenso.
Of course there's the story's current Zulu King Cetshwayo, his father King Mpande, his brother Dabulamanzi, and his half brother, Mbulazi, who he kills in the Zulu Civil War, other brothers of Cetshwayo, and a whole lot of other characters, including more white colonists, and more African natives, like Xegwana, John Dunn's head servant.

Many of the white characters include the British military men, such as Lord Chelmsford who led the British forces in the Anglo-Zulu War in 1879. And I include most of the major battles from that war in the story. So you've got the British soldiers, officers, and of course the Zulus who commanded the Zulu forces. Yes, it's a long story, and it's very in depth about that period. But mainly, it's about John Dunn and his experiences between the years 1853 and 1879. Back to work.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Buy the Books!

Stats page info again. It indicates that yesterday, a lot of people from the U.S., Russia, and Germany were reading this blog. But countries other readers of the blog live in are China, Canada, Ukraine, Netherlands, India, South Korea, and even Indonesia and Malaysia. Counting just yesterday, the numbers totaled over 100 visitors to the blog.

Now if all those people actually READ the blog, who's to say? Because most of those countries don't speak or read English. That doesn't mean the people who come to this blog don't read English, They probably do, otherwise why are they going to blogs that are in English?

So that's great, but I hope they are buying my two available books, too. That's the purpose behind the blog. To promote my books. And that means prompting sales. Killer of Killers and The Vase are very entertaining stories. They are a lot of fun to read. Easy to read. Thrilling, even. Killer of Killers is action packed, but it's not just about action. It has philosophy and intrigue, romance and tragedy. The Vase has suspense and intrigue, romance and tragedy, too, and is set in Israel. It deals with Shin Bet and Hamas, both of whom are conspiring against each other in the story.

There is a religious element in The Vase, but it's not a religious book. Not at all. That religious element I referred to is only there because some of the characters in the story are religious. But the book doesn't promote religion. I wouldn't want to read a book like that, and The Vase is NOT like that. But it does have a great premise, meaning the vase in the story is an ancient one and has ancient images recorded in its grooves that get projected when the potter spins it and puts a metal tool into the grooves, thinking he is cleaning it. But the tool acts like a stylus and the grooves in the vase are like grooves in a vinyl record, thus images and sounds are projected.

Now that's the premise behind The Vase. But it's got a lot more going on than that. In fact all of my books do. And my upcoming ones, Killer Eyes and John Dunn, which I've begun revising last night have a lot going for them.

But I suggest you start with Killer of Killers and The Vase. By the time you've finished reading them, Killer Eyes may be ready. It's a great follow up to KOK. Then John Dunn. And Second Chance, my fifth novel should be completed by next year. And then, The Killers Guild, which will be my sixth book, but it will be the third and possibly the final entry of the Killer series.

But it all starts with Killer of Killers and The Vase. Buy them today!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Amber Heard, Dustin Clare, Zhang Yuqi--Corey Yuen

So even if Amber Heard wanted to play the role of Samantha Jones, and Dustin Clare wanted the lead role of Trent Smith in Killer of Killers, it wouldn't make a bit of difference if Corey Yuen didn't want to make the movie. That means first and foremost, Corey Yuen must read the book, Killer of Killers, and like it enough to make it into a movie. And only after Killer of Killers is made into a movie, might Killer Eyes be made into a movie, too, with Zhang Yuqi or Sun Li playing the part of the villainess, Ming Sang.

Oh, I can dream, and I can dream all day, but you, the readers, must buy copies of Killer of Killers, and then its sequel, Killer Eyes. Let it be known if you liked the books, and let the word spread. Because if it does, only then might Corey Yuen get the message. And that message is that there's a great martial arts story out there, (Killer of Killers, and its sequel, Killer Eyes) that would make great movies.

Of course I realize that if Corey Yuen were to decide to make the movies, he might have different actors play the parts. But Corey Yuen is a master filmmaker. And he's a master director of action packed films. The Transporter movies (and he made all three of them,) rank among my favorite movies of all time. And if Corey Yuen were to sign on for Killer of Killers, it's like, wow, a dream come true. I would have no doubt that he would make it into the greatest possible movie it could possibly be. And that would be pretty darn great, indeed.

Sure, there's other directors who do great action movies. The Bourne movies are great, too. I wouldn't mind that crew doing the movie! Not at all. But I just have a sentimental appreciation for Corey Yuen's movies, and since he specializes in martial arts action, I think he would be the best man for the job. But again, readers out there, spread the word about Killer of Killers. Let's get it on the NY Times bestseller's list. That's the only way Hollywood will notice it. Thank you.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Ming Sang-Okay who plays her?

I talk somewhat about actors and actresses playing the roles of the characters in my books. Well, Killer Eyes isn't even out yet, but I've been talking a lot about Ming Sang, the Chinese woman who heads the infamous Killers Guild. Not only is Ming Sang deadly, she's also very beautiful. Of course, she is. If you're going to have a Chinese woman as the antagonist in a martial arts story, she darn well better be drop dead gorgeous, and Ming Sang is that.

But there's also an evil look to her. In fact, where do you think the title of the book comes from? Killer Eyes? That would be her, of course. Her eyes, that is. So if Killer Eyes were to be made into a movie, which actress would be perfect for the part of Ming Sang?

Lucy Liu
The first actress who comes to mind is Lucy Liu. She was very convincing as an evil martial arts expert in the Kill Bill movies. But there's only one problem. Killer Eyes or even Killer of Killers won't be made into a movie anytime soon, and Lucy Liu is already in her late forties. That doesn't bode well. She may already be too old. Even it the movie were to be made today.

Gong Li

So who else is there? Well, I saw another beautiful Chinese actress who could pull it off. Gong Li. And this picture here is a great shot of how well she can play a villain. No, Ming Sang doesn't smoke cigarettes, but there's no questioning the devious look in those eyes in this picture. She would be great for the part of Ming Sang. But wait, there's the same problem with her that there is with Lucy Liu. And that's her age. She's even older than Lucy Liu! Gong Li will be fifty years old next year! Again, that doesn't bode well for being cast in a movie some years from now. So that means I better keep looking.

Searching through the Internet for beautiful Chinese actresses isn't as easy as it sounds. Well, there's no problem when it comes to finding beautiful actresses, but the problem is they look too innocent, too sweet, too dainty or too nice. Remember Ming Sang exudes evil. She's not very nice at all. But at the same time, she is very beautiful. Her beauty is almost mesmerizing, even, and the evil in her eyes is not something that is hidden, or something that is only evident in certain situations. No. The evil in her eyes is up front. It's obvious, and it's something that is noticed right away.

Chen Shu

So for that reason, finding a Chinese actress to play the part of Ming Sang is not an easy feat. I did find this actress. Her name is Chen Shu. And she might be able to play an evil type. Her age is another problem, though. She's already 38. And the years go by fast. She'll be in her forties before you know it. An actress for the role of Ming Sang should be no older than what Chen Shu is right now. So there you go. The search goes on.

Sun Li

Which brings me to Sun Li. She's 31 right now. And again, the actress who plays Ming Sang shouldn't be much older than that. But at least that gives her some more time than the girls above. And her eyes? They could be made into Killer Eyes all right. See for yourself. I would have no problem with Sun Li being cast for the part of Ming Sang. Nope. None at all.

Zhang Yuqi
But you know what? Search and you will find. I think Zhang Yuqi might just be the Amber Heard of Chinese actresses. Meaning Zhang Yuqi just might be perfect for the part of Ming Sang. Not that any of the above actresses weren't. But there's that age thing. Zhang is 27 right now. Which means of all the above actresses she has the most time to be right for the part before age becomes a factor. And according to this picture, she is certainly beautiful, and even though the smile here is a pleasant one, I think she can turn that smile into one that is very evil. I think they all can. That's their job, after all. Acting. And if any of these actresses are as good as I think they are, any of them will do. But my first choice at this point is Zhang Yuqi. Again, I would be happy with any of them. But let's start with Zhang, and then work our way backwards. That would be my order of preference. Thank you. Here's to Killer of Killers and Killer Eyes being made into movies. If only Corey Yuen were reading this. Yeah.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Ci Ke--Chinese Ninjas--Nanking Holocaust

When I came up with the Killers Guild in my upcoming book Killer Eyes, I decided that it wouldn't be just a group of specialized assassins, but a group of specialized assassins that use ninjas. But they're not ninjas, because ninjas are Japanese. And since the Killers Guild is based in China, I had to use what would essentially be Chinese ninjas. But ninjas are Japanese. From researching this, I found that the Chinese equivalent are Ci Ke. That pretty much just means assassins in Mandarin. So that's what I call them.

And these Ci Ke assassins are trained in China, recruited from the vast population for which China is well known. Which means there is no shortage of them. But it all has a history beginning with Nanking. As I was talking about yesterday, Nanking was the Asian holocaust that took place during World War II. Japanese troops murdered hundreds of thousands of Chinese civilians there. And to this day, it stands as one of history's worst massacres of a civilian population.

I wrote a subplot in Killer Eyes that directly relates to that. This Killers Guild, for example. They started out as Ci Ke, who were used during WWII to fight Japanese occupation in the Chinese mainland. They evolved to The Killers Guild after the war. They hunted down the Japanese soldiers who took part in that holocaust. But many of them fled to other countries, so the Killers Guild evolved into a group of international assassins who hunted them down. Sounds like Jewish Nazi hunters, right? Well, yeah. But my argument is if Jews can do it, why can't the Chinese? Answer: They can, and they do.

But what happens when they've killed them all? Then what? They are professional killers. So they keep on killing. They become killers for hire. And in Killer Eyes, the person they are hired to kill just happens to be Trent Smith, perhaps the most skilled killer in existence. Do they find themselves outmatched? I'd say so. Except one of them. Their leader, Ming Sang. Oh, but I can't give away too much. Maybe I have already. Look for Killer Eyes soon. But you'll have to read Killer of Killers first. It's Part One of the story after all. Get your copy today.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Killer Eyes-Chinese Female Villain from Nanking

Since when has a villain in a story ever been a Chinese woman? Mostly they are men. Mostly white men. (But that's okay, since mostly the heroes are white men, too.) Increasingly white women are becoming the heroes, (or at least the protagonists) in stories. That's probably because women are doing a lot of writing lately. But even though these women writers often make their protagonists women, I ask how often do they make the antagonist a woman? My guess is not as often.

It's becoming more common of late that non-white men are being written as villains. And I've even seen a few white women represented as villains. Or at least as antagonists. But off the top of my head I can't think of a single non-white woman who's ever been a villain. I do remember the Vin Diesel movie called The Pacifier, where a middle aged Chinese couple were the antagonists. But that was a light movie, a Disney movie, at that, and not serious. And it wasn't just a single Chinese woman, it was a married couple from China who were on a mission as spies.

But I can say that Ming Sang, a young Chinese woman makes a very good villain. In Killer Eyes, the sequel to Killer of Killers, Ming Sang is the leader of the Killers Guild. And she is a killer. She has beautiful eyes. They are mysterious, but they exude an evil, too. How? Well, you'd have to see them. It could be the way she carries herself, her demeanor, and it gets expressed in her eyes. It's the complete package. An evil package. And she is also a martial arts expert.

But so is Trent Smith. Trent Smith is regarded by his peers as the greatest martial artist in the world. And Ming Sang's ego wants that person as her own. She wants Trent Smith by her side or failing that objective, she wants him dead. Which will it be? Oh, to be sure there is a whole lot more going on with Ming Sang than just her infatuation with Trent Smith.

For one thing, there's NANKING. It's where she was born, and it's where her parents were born. You see, Nanking, China is her home town, and if you don't know what happened there during World War II, I would suggest you Google it. Most people are familiar with the Holocaust that took place in Europe during WWII, but they don't know about the Holocaust that took place in Nanking. It could be what influenced Ming Sang and her evil ways.

Look for Killer Eyes soon. You just might learn a lot about real history. Like Nanking.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Get the Word Out--Promoting Your Book

Promotion is the subject today. Promoting your books, that is. Big Publishers get their books into bookstores. Even some independent publishers can do that. But not small publishers. Particularly not small POD publishers. Or even big POD publishers. That's because bookstores don't want to pay upfront for the books they stock on their shelves. And that's just what you have to do for a POD book. Pay first, that is.

Bookstores also want to be able to send back any books that don't sell after a particular amount of time. You can't do that with POD books. So if you are published with a POD publisher, (like I am,) then you won't have your books in any bookstores.

So what can you do then? Here's what. Get the Word Out. You have to tell people about your book. But then those people have to read it. And after they read it, they have to tell other people about it. Then those people have to read it, and so on and so forth.

You see, if you tell people about your book, but then they don't read it, that's the same as if you never told them in the first place. It's as if you said, Hey I wrote this book, check it out. But then that person said, Oh that's great, but never checks it out. It was all for nothing. No progress, no promotion, and no word getting out.

It only works if the people you tell about your book actually buy and then READ your book. Of course it will help a lot if they then LIKED the book. I mean REALLY liked it. Not just say they liked it. It's like they might say, Oh, yeah, I read the book, it was great, but they really didn't give a darn about it at all, and they won't tell anyone else anything. Again, no progress is made, and no promotion is ongoing.

They really do have to 1-BUY your book, 2-READ your book, 3-LIKE your book, and 4-TELL OTHER PEOPLE ABOUT your book, which is a very good reason your book better be a story that people will like and want to tell other people about.

It goes without saying that the author likes it, Otherwise that author wouldn't have written it. But there's another factor involved. It might actually be a good story, but not written well or not written well enough to tell the story in a way that will make other people like it. That's up to the writer, the talent that writer has in his or her ability to write well. But that comes with experience, too.

It's like I've said about everything. The more you do it the better you get. That goes for writing, and I suppose for promotion, too. I just need to get better at promotion now. Hopefully I can. But HOW? Keep telling people about the books. Use FACEBOOK, and don't be like I was before, meaning very picky about who I friended on Facebook. The more friends the better. Even people I've never met before. Even complete strangers. You never know. That one person who you never knew before might just be the person who was the catalyst at getting the word out about your book!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

What About Characters in The Vase?

I've talked extensively about actors who would be right for the roles in Killer of Killers. But not so much about my second novel, The Vase. True, I have a permanent spot of text under my blog header that is dedicated to the characters in The Vase, something I don't have for KOK. But I never really talk about which actors could play those parts.

And that's because I really haven't given it much thought. As you can see in that spot under the header, I begin with the character Muhsin Muhabi. And the story actually does begin with him. Muhsin is a forty-something Palestinian potter who owns a pottery shop in the Old City Market in modern day Nazareth, Israel. He works with his 14 year old son, Naji. And the only actor who comes to mind to play the part of Muhsin Muhabi is that guy from the TV show, Lost. Naveen Andrews.

Naveen Andrews-Muhsin Muhabi

Then you have a middle aged Professor Hiram Weiss. When I created him, I had in mind a middle aged Lawrence Olivier. But since he's no longer around, I'm not sure who would work. But that's the image I had in mind. So someone like that.

As for Captain Benny Mathias, well he's got to be someone who conveys a heroic personality. He's a war veteran, and a covert assassin. He heads the Kidon, after all. I haven't been looking for an actor for him, although I'm sure one could be found. I'll keep my eyes open.

What about an actress for Mary Levin? I think most stories should have a beautiful woman, and Mary Levin is just that. Unlike my blond beauties in Killer of Killers, Mary is a raven haired beauty. And right now, I just haven't found the actress for her. But when I do, I'll let you know.

As for Harvey Holmes? That one's easy. As he looks right now, Jim Carrey would be perfect. Harvey Holmes is a comedic character, but takes himself seriously. Jim Carrey would be the one for that role. Stay tuned.

Jim Carrey-Harvey Holmes

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

You Decide: Amber Heard or Ellen Hollman

If Corey Yuen were to make Killer of Killers into a movie...or if any reputable director were to decide to do that...or even the STARZ channel, or HBO...who would get the role of Trent Smith? Well, for me right now, Dustin Clare is my top choice. Casper Van Dien, who was my original choice, is getting too old. Sorry Casper.

But the choice for Samantha Jones, the beautiful blond police detective, is still up in the air. I've been saying Amber Heard for a long time. And I still believe it. But the actress who worked with Dustin Clare before, in the STARZ show Spartacus, was Ellen Hollman. She's a pretty blond woman, too. And she was Dustin's love interest in Spartacus. So they have a history working together already.

Amber Heard

Amber Heard is up and coming. Her star is rising. She's being cast in movies and is now engaged to Johnny Depp.

Meanwhile, I don't know of any movies that Ellen Hollman has been in. In fact, she and Dustin Clare both seem to have their careers on hold. So maybe that would be a reason for STARZ to pick up Killer of Killers. Once I have all three books written, there might be a good miniseries there for them. And STARZ already has used both Dustin Clare and Ellen Hollman. So in that case, Ellen Hollman would get the nod for Samantha Jones, police detective.

Ellen Hollman

But not if it's a movie, and preferably made by Corey Yuen, the veteran martial arts movie director. You see, Samantha Jones is considered one of the most beautiful women in the world. And for a role like that, I say Amber Heard is just right. But, hey,  I wouldn't complain about Ellen Hollman getting the part, either.

So what differentiates them? Well, Amber Heard is a more effeminate beauty in my opinion. Whereas Ellen Hollman has a harder look to her. It doesn't reduce her beauty at all. She just looks tougher. And the role of Samantha Jones doesn't require that. In Killer of Killers, Samantha Jones is a police detective, but that doesn't mean she's on the streets beating people up. In fact, there are no scenes at all where she gets physical. (Well, there is, but that's a bed scene.) She never has to fight anyone, is what I mean.

So readers, that means you. If you've read the book, or even if you haven't, write a comment, or drop me a line and let me know which one you prefer. I won't mind either choice. Both are beautiful and both will work fine.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Don't Forget Feedback

Come one, come all, when you buy a copy of  Killer of Killers, don't forget to let me know what you liked or didn't like about it. It's called feedback. And that's one  of  the advantages of a writer's  blog. Readers can let the writer know what they liked or what they didn't like about the book. This is not to be confused with a review. It's more personal. It's a reader communicating directly with an author about the book he or she read.

In the old days, readers had only one way to do that. They could write a letter to the author of  a book. I guess that was the concept of "fan mail." But these days, many authors write blogs, and readers can post comments or even email the author, and it's as fast as typing on your computer. Technology is amazing. I was slow to embrace it, and I still  don't have an iPhone, but I do have a flip type cell phone. And I do use my computer. So I'm getting there.

But I welcome any comments about any of my books. Once Killer Eyes is published, I'll go full steam ahead on the John Dunn revisions, and then continue writing my new book Second Chance. I haven't worked on two books at the same time since KOK and The Vase. That will be exciting. Can't wait.

Just so you know, here is a list of my books in queue:

Killer Eyes - Book Two in the Killer of Killer series
John Dunn, Heart of a Zulu - Based on the true story of John Dunn, the white chief of Zululand
Second Chance - A football story
The Killers Guild - Book Three in the Killer of Killers series
Inside the Outhouse - YA novel about a boy who discovers beings from another dimension

So it's up to me to keep busy and  get these done! Stay tuned.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Why Russia? Why China?

I've talked about my blog audience before, mostly because my stats page indicates that I get a lot of readers from Europe and Asia. Of those two continents, it's usually Russia leading the way, by the numbers, that is, and then there's China.

Now that is to assume that readers in those two countries do indeed read English. And if they do, and if they are indeed reading this blog, I'm wondering just what it is that is drawing them to this blog. I mean, really...Russia and China? I don't suppose those visitors are all avid readers. Nor do I suppose they are all buying my books.

I say that because if they were, by the numbers indicated on my blog, then I'd have a couple of best sellers here. And since I don't, then I can only assume they come here to read what I write, and not to buy my books. Of course, I would prefer it to be the other way around. But since it's apparently not, then what do they want to read that I write if not my books? Just the posts on the blog? It seems so. And the posts that seem to attract the most hits, are the posts I've made about Amber Heard.

Sure Amber Heard is a beautiful woman, and that's why I wrote about her. I focused on my opinion that Amber Heard would be the best choice for the part of Samantha Jones in the book Killer of Killers, if that book would ever be made into a movie.

So I'm guessing that Russians, and even some Chinese might like Amber Heard, and perhaps they Google her name on their computers, and my blog posts about her come up. That's all fine and good, because then they learn about the books, too. Maybe they'll buy a copy. But like I said, the numbers don't indicate that they are.

Still, you never know. One hundred people may pass on the book, but that 101st, might just be the person who doesn't. Maybe you, oh reader, are the 101st person to hit on this blog post, and maybe that means you are the one who will buy a book. Either Killer of Killers or The Vase, or both. I believe you will enjoy them. That is if you read English.

You still have time to buy and read Killer of Killers before the sequel comes out. Killer Eyes is almost done. I'm on the final read through right now. Stay tuned.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Revisions-Don't Forget Time Continuity

While doing my revisions to Killer Eyes, I discovered what might have been considered a major flaw. Specifically, I'm referring to a time inconsistency. One chapter ended at near midnight, and when I got back to that scene in another chapter, it was to take place at midnight. But I had another chapter in between those chapters. And the sandwiched chapter took place during the daytime. You see the time inconsistency there.

Well, I might have shuffled the chapters or the scenes, and forgot about that continuity, and then proceeded without checking it. But in my revisions, I saw that it was near midnight, and then it was daytime, and then it's near midnight again.

I would think that my Beta reader or my editor would have caught that, but I caught it. And it only goes to show that editing and revisions are absolutely necessary. But I already knew that. It was an easy fix, really. I just made that in between chapter a night time scene as well. No more problem.

A lot of continuity errors needed fixing, and I'm glad to say that they have been fixed. I'm even finding myself thinking that Killer Eyes is more intense and more involved than its predecessor, Killer of Killers. It could be true. I'll suffice it to say that they are both exciting and intense stories. As for the readers? I'll let them decide