Will iconic images recorded in the grooves of an ancient vase unite the Holy Land or rip it further apart?


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.

Friday, March 6, 2015

More Words Means More Revisions

Since my John Dunn story is my longest book, it is logical that it will take me longer to make revisions. A 123,000 word manuscript looms large on revisions. It was over 124,000 words at first, but after two rounds of revisions, it has dropped to 123,000 words. I don't suppose it will drop below that, but who knows? It might. Sometimes I take out entire paragraphs, but sometimes I add paragraphs, too. But sometimes it's a sentence or just a single word that needs changing, deleting, or adding.

And I'll probably have to give it another two or three passes at least. But even so I've begun soliciting agents. I figure in the time that it will take for an agent to respond, I'll have time to make those two or three passes to polish up the MS. From what I already know, agents take anywhere from a couple days to a couple weeks, to a couple months to respond to queries. Or they'll never respond.

But I'm hoping that since it's historical fiction, the John Dunn story will attract more agents than thriller suspense stories, which is what my first three books were. The Victorian setting is a plus as well. And the John Dunn story has another thing going for it. The characters are mostly British, the story takes place in a British colony, and it involves a major event in British history. Those elements give me two countries of agents to query. American agents and agents in the UK. In fact, UK publishers are probably more likely to publish a story like this. There have been two books published about John Dunn already, both by UK publishers. But those were published a long time ago, and are out of print now. So who knows? We'll see.

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