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, May 14, 2015

To Register or Not - John Dunn

I'm going to wait before I register John Dunn for a copyright. For one thing, I didn't invent John Dunn. He was a real person who lived in a real world, and experienced real historical events. None of it was from my imagination. All of it was true. I invented no characters, no setting, and no events.

Well, I did throw in a couple invented events, actually, but that was only because I wanted to give Catherine Pierce, his first wife, a subplot. I wanted to give some kind of focus onto a woman in the story. But I had to invent something. And that's because in all of the books I read about Dunn, none of them featured or described any of the women in his life. Even Catherine was only mentioned as little more than a side note. None of his other 49 wives were given any coverage at all.

Surprisingly, none of his 117 children were described either. Even in Dunn's autobiography he mentions only his oldest son, and that was only about the incident when his oldest son fell ill. It happened when Cetshwayo was supposed be crowned the Zulu king. (And even then Dunn never mentioned his son by name!) In Dunn's autobiography, which is titled John Dunn, Cetywayo, and the Three Generals, Dunn wrote that he had to stay by his son's side because he thought he was going to die. And Cetshwayo refused to be crowned king unless John Dunn was present. What made this particular part of the story even more interesting was that none of the white doctors could cure his son. It was a Zulu witch doctor who did.

So it's in my book. But the point is, because it's all true, anyone can write about it. Even if I copyright this book, the story's not mine. It's anyone's. I guess the prose is mine. But the story is not. The same is true about other historical figures. How many Abraham Lincoln stories have been made? How many about George Washington? King Henry VIII? Jesus Christ?

So I'll wait until it's published. Who knows? The publisher might want to change the title of the book or ask me to add something or delete something. So it's already copyrighted automatically, but once the final version is published then I'll register it. Or not.

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