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.



Monday, August 24, 2015

Three WIPs and Why I Don't like 1st Person POV

Now that Killer Eyes is done, I'm back to work on three WIPs. Second Chance is in the revision stage. I'm going through the third read through. Because it's such a clean ms, I don't think it will need nearly the same kind of attention I had to give my first four books.

I'm also in the process of writing two new books. The third Killer book, Killer on the Payroll, and the YA book, Inside the Outhouse. I'm not so sure I'm excited about Inside the Outhouse. It's more of an experimental book for me. I was never big on the YA genre. And I've always hated the first person POV narrative. But Inside the Outhouse is both. It's YA and it's first person POV.

One of the reasons I've always hated first person POV is that it means I have to become the story's main character. And if it's a girl, then I have to be a girl. And I'm not a girl. This is particularly disturbing when that girl character says something that only a girl would know.

I hate to use this following example, because it's a rather vulgar example, but I swear it's true. I forget the name of the book, but it was a first person POV, where the main character was a woman, and she was looking at some man for the first time. She clearly thought the man was handsome, and the narrative went something like this: "...looking at him made my pussy twitch..." or "...my pussy twitched..." one or the other.

Okay, now, not only am I a woman, I'm a woman with a "twitching pussy!" And I'm not making that up. I swear that the part "...my pussy twitch..." or "...my pussy twitched..." is word for word what that author, (a woman) wrote.

So I have a problem with that. Number one, I have no idea what it's like to have a "pussy." Number two, I have no idea what a "twitching" pussy does or feels like. And number three, I didn't even know pussies could twitch! And besides all of that, I just felt like the wordage was vulgar, and expressing the notion at all was in very poor taste.

Now I'm not a prude, really. But a woman telling the universe about her "pussy" and that it was "twitching" I just think is classless. I was turned off at that point, and since it was in the beginning of the book, I just stopped reading. I never reopened that book.

So, yeah, a lot of books are female first person narratives, and I just can't connect, or identify with a female main character. Does that make me a chauvinist? I don't think so. I don't want to know about a woman's private parts, nor do I want to know if their private parts are twitching. Really, I don't.

So, why is my YA WIP an experiment for me? Well aside from the fact that it's YA, I'm experimenting with writing it in first person POV. I've noticed that many, perhaps most YA are first person POV, and since none of my other books are first person POV, I thought I'd go ahead and make this one a first person POV. It's a fourteen year old boy, and since I was once fourteen, and a boy, I can identify with that character, and make the narrative realistic, as I might have experienced what he does in that book.

So we'll see how that goes. As for my third Killer book, it's back to third person limited, as is Second Chance, a Football Story. Those are really coming along well, and so back to work. That's all.

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