Sunday, November 18, 2018

#002 Inside the Emotion of Fiction - Ed Protzel's Futuristic/Mystery/Thriller THE ANTIQUITIES DEALER . . .

***Ed Protzel’s The Antiquities Dealer is the second in a never-ending series called INSIDE THE EMOTION OF FICTION where the Chris Rice Cooper Blog (CRC) focuses on one specific excerpt from a fiction genre and how that fiction writer wrote that specific excerpt.  All INSIDE THE EMOTION OF FICTION links are at the end of this piece. 

** The CRC Blog welcomes submissions from published and unpublished fiction genre writers for INSIDE THE EMOTION OF FICTION.  Contact CRC Blog via email at or personal Facebook messaging at

Name of fiction work? And were there other names you considered that you would like to share with us?  
The full name is The Antiquities Dealer (A David Greenberg Mystery). I didn’t use the subtitle at first, but then realized the series potential, adventures, mishaps and other mishegas the protagonist could stumble upon in the future. Poor guy! (Right:  Ed Protzel.  Copyright permission granted by Ed Protzel for this CRC Blog Post Ony)

Fiction genre? Ex science fiction, short story, fantasy novella, romance, drama, crime, plays, flash fiction, historical, comedy, etc. And how many pages long?
I classify The Antiquities Dealer as a futuristic mystery/thriller, with a touch of sci-fi and a splash of romance. With its mysterious clue to decode, surprising plot twists, and life-threatening quest for a missing relic, at 284 pages the book’s been compared to Dan Brown’s novels.

Has this been published? And it is totally fine if the answer is no. If yes, what publisher and what publication date?
Yes. It was published by indie publisher TouchPoint Press and released Nov. 5, 2018. It’s available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle, and as a Barnes and Noble Nook edition. Also at the TouchPoint Press Bookstore, paperback and ebook. 

What is the date you began writing this piece of fiction and the date when you completely finished the piece of fiction?   As best as I can recall, I began writing The Antiquities Dealer about 10 years ago. I was working full time then, so I was limited to working on it weekends and evenings. The fits and starts did allow me to research and brainstorm ideas. So I can’t complain. I made rapid headway after taking early retirement about four years ago, allowing me the luxury—and lifelong dream —to writing full time. It’s been a productive few years, juggling The Antiquities Dealer with my historical DarkHorse Trilogy, which began over 15 years ago. (Right:  Ed Protzel at a local St Louis bookstore.  Copyright permission granted by Ed Protzel for this CRC Blog Post Only) 

Where did you do most of your writing for this fiction work? And please describe in detail. And can you please include a photo of the rough draft?
Almost 90 percent of my work is done at my desk in my office, facing a window. Occasionally I’ll go to a quiet table at the nearby library to proof, edit, brainstorm, draft ideas on a legal pad. I tried bringing my laptop to the library for a change of pace, but never got used to it. Old school I guess you could say, even though I’ve been writing on a computer forever—starting way back to using floppy discs on my trusty Apple II.  (Left:  Ed Protzel in his office on November 18, 2018.  Copyright permission granted by Ed Protzel for this CRC Blog Post Only) 

What were your writing habits while writing this work- did you drink something as you wrote, listen to music, write in pen and paper, directly on laptop; specific time of day?   I admit to being a bit mood-oriented. When I’m deep into a scene, time escapes me. I try to break away to the gym every day. Too much sitting is bad in all sorts of ways. Shutting down websites and email notifications is a must: otherwise I’ll be pulled into some news story and have a hard time settling back to my fictional world.
What is the summary of this specific fiction work?
The Antiquities Dealer - Near future. David Greenberg, a twice-divorced antiquities dealer, is drawn by his long-lost love into a conspiracy by an ancient Israeli society to clone the great minds of history—beginning with Jesus Christ.

What is the summary of your other fiction works?

I’ve completed several screenplays for feature film, one of which, The Lies That Bind, originally titled DarkHorse, morphed into the novel version. The others include Earth Excursions, a futuristic tragicomedy in the guise of a political mystery/thriller, and The Goon and the Ice Princess, a bittersweet romantic tragicomedy, about a loose-living, veteran NHL defenseman and the female team owner, who discover what it means to dedicate themselves to something above self-interest. There are many others, and drafts of other novels I started, all of which are “retired.”

The three novels published, to date include:
The Antiquities Dealer - Near future. David Greenberg, a twice-divorced antiquities dealer, is drawn by his long-lost love into a conspiracy by an ancient Israeli society to clone the great minds of history—beginning with Jesus Christ.

The Lies That Bind (DarkHorse Trilogy, Book 1) - 1859-61 Mississippi. Durksen Hurst, a down-on-his-luck abolitionist, and a group of runaway slaves form a secret partnership to build their own plantation, opposing the town’s dominant family, a reclusive widow and her rebellious son who are harboring dark secrets. 

 Honor Among Outcasts (DarkHorse Trilogy, Book 2) - 1863 Missouri. Fleeing Civil War Mississippi,  abolitionist Durksen Hurst and his DarkHorse partners form a Union colored cavalry regiment to fight guerrillas in western Missouri, as Confederate guerrillas and corrupt generals imperil their lives.

In 2019, Something in Madness (DarkHorse Trilogy, Book 3) - 1865 Mississippi. The surviving DarkHorse partners return to Mississippi after the war, only to be ensnared in the cruel Black Codes and other Reconstruction-era depredations.

Can you give the reader just enough information for them to understand what is going on in the excerpt?
Of course. The most powerful and meaningful emotional scenes are near the end of the book; however, for this scene...

Twenty years earlier, in grad school, David's great love, Miriam, had run off to Israel with his roommate and best friend, Solly. Now he and Miriam are in Paris and confront the memory:

·     David regrets neglecting Miriam, which ties deeply into my remorse for neglecting friends, family and loves in the past.

·     Miriam points out that David's family was so 
    cold, distant to each other and to him. He lost his instinct to be a part of anything meaningful and became alienated.

He didn't have a religious upbringing, wasn't part of a community, and became a lone wolf. Likewise, this reflects my family upbringing and its consequences. 

Please include excerpt and include page numbers as reference. The excerpt can be as short or as long as you prefer.
Excerpt from The Antiquities Dealer, Chapter 19 - Will We Always Have Paris? - ebook edition, page 171:

“You encouraged me to paint, David,” she said wistfully, remembering our primeval days. Staring directly into my eyes, she gently brushed my cheek as if no decades had intervened between the last time she’d performed the same act in that college apartment. “You convinced me I could be an artist.”
“I didn’t encourage you to run off to Israel,” I said softly, lowering my voice. Just that simple gesture, brushing my cheek, still melted my ever-tight nerves. “So what happened, Miriam?”
“David, I’d stopped seeing my friends for you. But you were away from the apartment so much—chess tournaments that went on all weekend, all-night card games—you don’t remember how often we were apart, or how lonely I was.”
“Cards were my scholarship supplement; that’s how I won my car. We had so much fun being together, driving everywhere in my used Sirocco.”
“Come on, David, ‘scholarship supplement?’ The Sirocco? I liked it just as well, better in fact, when we walked or rode our bikes around town. Don’t you remember? No, you needed the thrill of the games more than you needed the money. Sure, we set up my easel in the living room, so I could paint. Too much time. Where were you? I was young. You didn’t need me the way I needed you.”
I remembered back to the early days of our relationship, the long walks along Wydown Boulevard, the strolls through the De Mun neighborhood with its restaurants and bars, and the bike rides to Forest Park, to the art museum, the zoo. It didn’t matter that we had little money. Now I realized how often I’d left her alone, rattling around the apartment waiting for me, while I played fast and loose with the boys.
“I gave up cards way back; it was never really much fun. Chess for the most part, too, except for the odd pick-up game. So, you and me…and Solly?”
“David, it’s where you come from. Your family was so cold, so distant, to each other and to you. You lost your instinct to be a part of anything meaningful. You became so alienated.
“My father was a simple salesman, David, and I had that religious upbringing that you didn’t. I was part of a community. I needed that; I still do. You were a lone wolf, probably still are.”
Why is this excerpt so emotional for you? And can you describe your own emotional experience of writing this specific excerpt?
I wanted to tap into the deep feelings of isolation, abandonment, longing and loneliness I experienced in my younger years (childhood, adolescence, young adulthood), and to give this scene a sense of verisimilitude (forgive the screenwriter jargon). Left:  Ed Protzel.  Copyright permission granted by Ed Protzel for this CRC Blog Post Only)

Were there any deletions from this excerpt that you can share with us? And can you please include a photo of your marked up rough drafts of this excerpt.
I struggled with plenty of drafts and rewrites, but none that I look back on or kept. (Right: Ed Protzel.  Copyright permission granted by Ed Protzel for this CRC Blog Post Only) 
Contact link for you?

Ed Protzel is an award-winning author of four novels who has completed five original screenplays for feature film and developed scripts/projects for 20th Century Fox. Protzel has been recognized by Midwest Book Review, Readers’ Favorite, Literary Titan, Missouri Writers Guild and Missouri Playwrights Association. He has a master’s degree in English Literature/Creative Writing from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. He lives in St. Louis and is represented by Loiacono Literary Agency. (Left:  Ed Protzel in April of 2018.  Copyright permission granted by Ed Protzel for this CRC Blog Post Only) 

Inside the Emotion of Fiction Links

11 15 2018 Nathaniel Kaine’s
Thriller Novel
John Hunter – The Veteran

11 18 2018 Ed Protzzel’s

The Antiquities Dealer  

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