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.



Monday, March 2, 2015

Agents Queried

After some bad experiences with agents, I decided to query agents again. No need to rehash the problems from before, but if you want to be published in the Big Six or have your books turned into movies, well, you need an agent.

I'm including agents from the UK in my queries this time because John Dunn is largely a British story. It takes place in the British colony of Natal, and it also takes place in Zululand, which was annexed as a British colony, and the Anglo-Zulu War is depicted in the story, .

It might be that a UK publisher would be more interested in publishing my John Dunn book for those same reasons. After all, the Shaka Zulu miniseries was a British production, and so too were the Zulu War movies that were made. There were two of them. The first was called Zulu, and it starred Michael Caine and Stanley Baker. The second was Zulu's prequel, called Zulu Dawn, and it starred Peter O'Toole and Burt Lancaster. Both were outstanding movies, imo, as was the minieseries Shaka Zulu.

The John Dunn book is finished with the second round of revisions, but that doesn't mean it's finished. Even after I sent the first ten pages to some agents, and the first three chapters to some more, I did find places to polish it up somewhat. Which means I made the same mistake. I was too quick on the trigger. I should have waited until today to send those query emails.

So for the next few weeks, what I'll be doing is going through that MS again and again, polishing it up to make it better and improve its chances of attracting representation. Hopefully it will happen. Fingers crossed.

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