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 5, 2015

It's Better Every Time

Revisions are a good thing. They make your writing better. They make the story better. They make everything better. That's why a writer should never limit his/her revisions. The more you revise, the better a book becomes. Still, there does come the time when you just have to say enough. Has that time come yet for Killer Eyes? Just about. I'm glad I didn't stop yet though. As recently as last night my revisions made the writing better. I'm talking specifically about the prose.

But in those revisions, you also get a better story. You also catch typos and even errors in continuity. So much is improved with revisions, that I would say the revision stage is an absolute necessity. And very thorough revisions, too. Multiple thorough revisions. Different authors go about it in different ways. Some make a pass through a manuscript focusing on typos, and another pass focusing on prose, and another pass focusing on dialogue, etc.

But me? I focus on everything in every pass. And why not? If I find a paragraph that can be written better, why would I not rewrite it right then? Why would I say, 'well, this is the pass that I'm focusing on typos, so since this poorly written paragraph has no typos, I'm not going to revise it just yet. I'll wait for the pass that's focused on prose.' 

No. If it needs to be fixed, no matter what the problem, I fix it. Even if it's not a problem. Killer Eyes is so close to being done, I just don't want to be too quick on that trigger. I said I'd submit it this week. Now, I'm looking at next week. Well, maybe. Probably. Hopefully. I think so? Yeah.

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