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.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Agent Search? No Thanks

Well, my agent search for John Dunn, Heart of a Zulu has only been underway for a little more than a month, but I'm ready to forget about it. It's not worth it. I didn't need agents for The Vase. On my own I found no less than FIVE publishers who wanted to publish The Vase. Two publishers were quick to say yes. Aberdeen Bay and Spencer Hill both offered contracts for The Vase right away, but Victoria Strauss over at Absolute Write told me those were bad contracts. Victoria Strauss is probably the greatest lady on the planet, but that's another story for another day.

Then there was Virtual Tales with whom I actually signed, but they folded, so I signed with Cogito next, and that came close to fruition until they had some kind of internal strife. Smack dab in the middle of editing The Vase, my Cogito editor quit Cogito and was suing them. The Vase got lost in all the chaos so I pulled out. Turned out I'm glad it didn't work out with Cogito. They're one of those publishers who want half of your money if your book ever becomes a movie. That alone makes a contract unsignable. No publisher has the right for even one percent of your money if your book becomes a movie. I ultimately signed with Penumbra Publishing, and I'm glad I did. They taught me a lot about editing and writing.

For John Dunn, Heart of a Zulu I want to take the next step. I want to move up from POD publishers to a publisher who gets your book into a real brick and mortar bookstore. And having an agent is the best way to get that done. But not the only way.

There are publishers that get your books into book stores that don't require agents. So if I go it alone I don't doubt I'll have at least equal success I've had with Killer of Killers, Killer Eyes and The Vase. And if I can find a publisher that gets their books into bookstores, then I will have succeeded in taking the next step. And without the useless agent. Fingers crossed and we'll see how that goes. The publisher search begins.

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