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.



Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Agents, Anyone?

Now that I'm close to finishing the first revision of my fourth novel, John Dunn, Heart of a Zulu, I am considering getting an agent again. Hoo boy. That is not a refreshing thought. Because agents, like reviewers, think they know more than writers. They think they are superior to everyone else out there in the publishing world. No, I'm just kidding. Agents are the gatekeepers for the publishing world. Aren't they? At least that's what they think. And it is true to a certain extent.

Of course they're like anyone else. They have opinions. Like reviewers. And their opinions vary. Like everyone else. So. What to do. I found an agent before. It was a long process, and it took a lot of queries, but I found one. That experience is well documented on this blog. Back in the earlier days of this blog. To make the story short, turned out to be a waste of my time.

But--if you want to get into the Big Six, you need an agent. And I think the John Dunn novel could have a chance at the Big Six. It's historical fiction for one thing. And the Big Six are big on historical fiction. The John Dunn story is based on a true story, real life characters, and real historical events. The era is also a popular one. The Nineteenth Century. It includes a great deal about British Imperialism, when the British Empire was at its height.

So, yeah, it's got a chance. I'm making sure everything is right about it, and I'm almost done. The POV is correct, the continuity, the prose, the factual information, the cultural clash between native Africans and the British colonists, it's all there. And then there's John Dunn caught in the middle of it all. If you've never heard of John Dunn, the white chief in Zululand, go ahead and Google him. It's a true and fascinating story. Would be a great miniseries on TV, too.

So these are the reasons an agent might be interested. It's a 124,000 word novel at this point, by far the longest of the four books I've written. Let's see how the agent search goes. I'll be starting that search maybe as soon as tonight. Stay tuned.

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