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.



Tuesday, March 10, 2015

One Agent Got a Blank Page

I'm still querying agents for John Dunn, but when I checked my 'sent' emails I discovered one of them was a blank page. Don't know how that happened. I suppose the agent who got that must have said to herself, "well, there's nothing here," because it was literally true.

When I query an agent I cut and paste first the email address, and then I cut and paste the query letter, and then change the wording so it applies to that specific agent. I guess I got the email address pasted, but somehow hit send before I pasted the message.

I don't even remember that happening. I think I I was distracted by something before I could paste the message and meant to click 'save as draft', but hit the send icon by mistake. That's the only thing that makes sense to me.

So now the question is should I try again to query that same agent. Maybe, maybe not, because she may think I'm some airhead and thus not worth even seeing if my story might be something she would represent. If I do query her again, she'll see that same heading in the subject line and then delete it before even opening it. So whatever.

In the meantime, I'm still polishing up the John Dunn manuscript, which I will continue to do until someone asks to see it. Fingers crossed on that. As for my history on querying agents, it was an unpredictable process. I got a lot of requests for partials and fulls for Killer of Killers, but not for The Vase. I think that for The Vase, the mere thought of a story that involved Hamas terrorists was too scary for agents. They wouldn't touch it with a ten foot pole.

But the John Dunn story is historical fiction and it takes place during Victorian times. And it's in South Africa, involving the Zulus. That's always been popular. There's a huge fan base of Anglo Zulu War enthusiasts everywhere in the world, like American Civil War enthusiasts. That should bode well for my John Dunn story, because he was in the thick of the Anglo-Zulu War and I cover almost the entire war in the story.

So we'll see.

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