Friday, August 18, 2017

Self-Editing: These Words Have Got to Go!

What do you do when you finish writing a book? You edit it! And what do you do when you finish editing? You edit some more.

In my case, I wrote a novel, edited it, signed with a literary agent, got a publishing deal with a large foreign language publisher, saw my book traditionally published, and now I am editing the manuscript once again. (Read this if you don’t understand why).

Self-editing. What is there left to edit?

What could I possibly be editing at this late stage of the process? I am polishing the manuscript, tightening the flow of the narrative, speeding up the pacing, and making other tweaks to the content here and there.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Editing My Novel, a Year after It Was Published

Just over a year ago, my second novel was traditionally published. There was a book signing and official presentations by my editor and publisher. I was interviewed on television, twice, and there were write-ups in online media. My novel was featured prominently in bookshop windows. Readers were anxious to get their hands on a copy.

For someone who has aspired to be an author all his life, this sounds like a dream come true. Yet, something is a bit unusual in my story. A year after my book’s publication, I am now hard at work editing it.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Five Years after Burgas

On July 18, 2012, a terrorist bomb exploded on a bus transporting Israelis from Burgas Airport to their hotels in the seaside Bulgarian town. The bomb killed five Israelis and their Bulgarian bus driver; thirty-two Israeli passengers were injured. A seventh person killed in the blast, the suicide bomber, was only identified two years later as a dual Lebanese-French citizen. His accomplices were named as Hezbollah terrorists who had managed to escape to Lebanon.

Interviewed on Bulgarian television, June 2016
This was not the first terrorist attack targeting Israeli citizens overseas, nor was it, unfortunately, the last. I do not know any of the victims, yet this particular attack, the first ever to occur on Bulgarian soil, affected me personally and I think of it to this day.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Scammers Break The Kindle Store

Excerpt from an article by David Gaughran.

If you are an author and have books in Kindle Unlimited, you’ll want to read this.

On Friday, a book jumped to the #1 spot on Amazon, out of nowhere; it quickly became obvious that the author had used a clickfarm to gatecrash the charts.

The Kindle Store is officially broken.

This is not the first time this has happened and Amazon’s continued inaction is increasingly baffling. Last Sunday, a clickfarmed title also hit #1 in the Kindle Store. And Amazon took no action.

Over the last six weeks, one particularly brazen author has put four separate titles in the Top 10, and Amazon did nothing whatsoever. There are many such examples.

I wrote at the start of June about how scammers were taking over Amazon’s free charts. That post led to a phone conversation with KDP’s Executive Customer Relations.

Repeated assurances were given that the entire leadership team at Amazon was taking the scammer problem very seriously indeed. But it was also stressed that the…

Read the rest of the story on David Gaughran's Let's Get Digital website.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

How Did an American-born Israeli Happen to Write a Novel in Bulgarian?

One year ago, my novel The Burgas Affair was published with all the requisite fanfare of an official book launch. At a gathering in a large book store, I was presented to the public by the publisher. My editor introduced me with a short question and answer session. I met with eager readers and autographed copies of my book. My dream of becoming a published author had come true!

There’s something strange about this picture. Everything I just mentioned took place in Sofia, Bulgaria. My novel was published in the Bulgarian language, presented to the public by Ciela, the leading Bulgarian publishing house. My editor spoke to the public in Bulgarian, but my answers were in English. That is because I wrote the book in English but don’t speak Bulgarian. And the most surprising thing is that my book has yet to be published in English!

How did an American-born Israeli happen to write a novel published in Bulgarian?

First, a few words about the book.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Visit Israel Virtually - Right Now!

Virtual reality. It's coming. It's here.

If you can't visit Israel, visit Israel virtually. Virtually Israel invites you to experience Israel through virtual reality. So what are you waiting for?

Virtually Israel aspires to bring Israel to life to anyone who wants to explore Israel without flying across the globe. They are a one-of-a-kind Virtual Reality experience showcasing Israel’s most prominent cities, including Tel Aviv, Jaffa and Jerusalem. The project is partially sponsored by the Adam and Gila Milstein Family Foundation.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Review of ‘Men Without Women’ by Haruki Murakami

Haruki Murakami. Need I say more? Okay, I will. It’s no secret that I’m an avid reader of Japanese author Haruki Murakami. I have a bookshelf filled with his novels. I just finished reading his latest short story collection, Men Without Women (Knopf, May 2017), which was published in Japan in 2014 and now has been expertly translated by Philip Gabriel and Ted Goossen. I will proudly add it to my shelf.

The book includes seven short stories, all of them centered around the theme of men living without women. That isn’t to say there are no women involved. In fact, the opposite is true. The stories are really about men dealing with loneliness, even when there are women in their lives.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Interviewed by Bulgarians in Detroit

Recently I was contacted by Daniela Natcheva, editor of the electronic newsletter, Bulgarians in Detroit. Daniela interviewed me about my book Valley of Thracians, my connection to Bulgaria, and the similarities (and differences) between Bulgaria and Israel. The interview appeared in the May 2017 edition of the newsletter. Included here is the interview.

Where do you live now? Have you visited Bulgaria again (after 2010)?  

I was born in Sioux City, Iowa, and moved to Israel with my family when I was fifteen years old. I have worked in many different jobs and eventually ended up in online marketing. My position was relocated to Sofia for two years (2009-2010). Upon my return to Israel I found myself thinking constantly about Bulgaria. My experiences in Bulgaria gave me inspiration for my writing, and the novel Valley of Thracians was the result.