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.



Thursday, February 26, 2015

Gathering a List of Agents

I learned how to get an agent. It took me a while, but when I first started looking for an agent for my first book Killer of Killers, I eventually found one. Again, it wasn't a great experience. So many things went awry, and I don't want to rehash that experience. Bottom line is the agent did not get Killer of Killers published. I did. On my own, shortly after my agent and I parted ways.

But this time around, I'm going to apply what I learned during that process. First thing is you have to complete your manuscript. And it better be polished, edited, revised, and that means utilizing everything you learned about writing books. Of course with my first two books I hadnt' reached that level yet. It was only after finding publishers and then learning from those publishers, I was able to hurdle that hump, so to speak. But it happened and I'm there now.

Which means this time around, I'm more qualified to find an agent, based on my experience and knowledge gained. An effective agent, that is. And that is important. If you are a writer looking for an agent, especially if you're an unpublished writer, the search will be very difficult. It really is true to an extent that agents are the gatekeepers to the publishing world. At least when it comes to the Big Six.

I have achieved limited success as a writer. My first three books are published. Killer of Killers, and the soon to be released sequel, Killer Eyes, are published with Melange. And The Vase is published with Penumbra Publishing. But both of those publishers are POD publishers. Which means they are not sold in bookstores. You order them online. But at least they are published and available for purchase. I didn't have to resort to self-publishing. And I'm not dissing authors who are self-published. It's just not what I wanted to do, and for many different reasons.

So as a published author, I want to take that next step. Making it to the Big Six. And for that I need an agent. Because all six of the Big Six publishers only take submissions from agents. And like I was saying the first step is having a completed manuscript. The next step is gathering a list of agents who represent the genre you write. Or the genre which your manuscript fits. And for John Dunn, it's Historical Fiction. I've collected a list of about ten agencies now, and I'm planning on submitting to them this weekend. Because that's when I think my revisions will be done. At least done well enough to submit to agencies. We'll see how that goes. Stay tuned.

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