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.



Sunday, July 19, 2015

Cover Designs Not Satisfactory

The latest word on the cover designs for Killer of Killers and Killer Eyes is this: they are not satisfactory. Not to me. And I sure hope that matters to Melange.

It turned out that for some reasons that I really don't understand, they cannot use my doctored image, the one I posted with the caption "KOK Final Cover 2." I don't want to get into the reasons why they said that. But whatever, they said they can't.

So I got the artist's latest effort, and it was not satisfactory. I told her as much and explained in great detail what it was that I didn't like, what it was that I wanted, and what it was she needed to do. I even gave her some options.

For one, if she can't fix that skull nose hole as well as I did, then get another skull image to use. And for two, if she can't make that martial artist silhouette look the way I made it look in KOK Final Cover 2, then find another martial artist image to use, but this time not a guy who's so skinny.

I explained that Trent Smith, the main character in Killer of Killers is a muscular guy. Like I made him look in KOK Final Cover 2. He looks like a football player, as he's described in the book. The design I got from the Melange artist looks like a middle school boy, like he's only twelve or thirteen years old. That just won't do. Even the final design for Killer Eyes turned out to be subpar. It didn't have the same background fire that the original one had, and that was a shame. It turned out to be something I could not approve.

So right now, I'm not too optimistic. Don't know exactly what I'm going to do about it. Maybe see what the next effort looks like, and then, if I'm still not satisfied, just tell them to forget that design altogether and start over from scratch. Meaning come up with something completely different.

I think the artists were under the impression that Trent Smith was a skinny martial artist, like, say, Bruce Lee, or Jet Li, or those kind of guys. Apparently, they never read the book. But I've explained it to them now, so hopefully it will be more like he's supposed to look. Like in KOK Final Design 2. I said to copy it. Exactly. Or find a new image. We'll see.

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