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.



Saturday, November 29, 2014

Polishing Up-The Slowest Process

You'd think the first draft would be the slowest part of writing a book. Or the second draft revision stage. Or the third draft revision stage. Nope. It's the final stage of polishing your prose. I've learned this over and again. And the reason is because each time you do that you think it's going to be your last time.

I've said it so many times. It goes like this. "Okay, now that I've got all the POV issues corrected, all the timeline issues corrected, all the event sequences corrected, all of everything corrected, THIS will be my last read-through, to improve the prose here and there, just to make sure it's good to go.

But every time I do that, I improve the prose so much, that I feel I'd better read though it one more time. And the same thing happens. I improve it so much more that I say, well okay, maybe one more time. And then again. And again.

Yeah, you get a better written book doing that, but it's frustrating, because you thought it was going to be the last time. And it wasn't. And then you think the next time is going to be the last time. But it wasn't. And that's where I am with Killer Eyes right now. It's so ready for submission, but I can't bring myself to submit it. I know there's more I'll improve, so I have to wait.

You see, I've learned this lesson twice now. First with Killer of Killers, and then with The Vase. For both of them I thought I had a great, polished manuscript. But after submitting them, the manuscript had to be improved and improved and improved. Now for those, being my first two manuscripts, it was BECAUSE they were submitted is why they were able to be improved. I had EDITORS who pointed out to me the things that I had overlooked while improving them on my own. For those two books, I had experienced editors, and it had to happen that way.

And yeah, I'll still have editors when I submit Killer Eyes, but I do not want to go through multiple edits again, nor will I want to resort to a second edition release again. I want Killer Eyes to be submitted, go through a round or two of edits and then Bingo, it's released. And it's as it should be. Being my third published novel, of course, it makes sense.

So I'm not submitting Killer Eyes until I myself and completely satisfied based on all I've learned from submitting those first two times around. It's called experience. And I have that now.

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