Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Michael Nava's kind review of Secreta Corporis

Michael Nava, author of the Henry Rios novels, which were praised as "an exceptional series" by the New York Times, and the forthcoming historical novel, The City of Palaces, said of Secreta Corporis:
Secreta Corporis is, in the tradition of The Name of the Rose, a marvelously erudite novel that brings the past to life in all its complexity while engaging the reader's sympathy in the love story of Rolant and Audric, Knights Templar, as they travel in and around the Holy Land at the end of the 12th century. Garvey's book immerses the reader in Rolant and Audric's world while never losing sight of the deep bond between them that is the heart of the story. This is not the cartoon version of the past readers get in so many historical novels but a rich and detailed landscape in which the reader can happily lose him- or herself. I highly recommend it.
In my thank-you email to Nava, I expressed my surprise at such a favorable review, wondering why he'd been so nice to a total stranger, and he wrote back:
...Years later when I met [Joseph Hanson] and asked him why [he had written a glowing review of Nava's book], he said, basically, 'because it was a good book.' You have written a good book. It may not find the audience it deserves but this is one appreciative reader who wishes it and you well.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Google paying for ad click only when sale is made

In response to the article "Quality Score Explained by a Former Googler" on SearchEngineLand.com, wouldn't it be interesting if #Google introduced a CPS, cost-per-sale. #Larry Page should consider this business model but of course won't because #AdWords has become Google's main revenue source and this would seriously reduce that revenue stream. As it is now, Google's job is done when an ad is clicked on, even if a person clicks on an ad only out of curiosity and has no intention of making a purchase. An ad is clicked, Google gets paid, and they're done. I noticed that quite a few of my monthly top-four-sites were in Mandarin, although what I was advertising was a novel written in English and I had selected English as the language for the ad campaign. If the carrot were held a little farther out, it would be in Google's best interests to ensure that impressions displayed on the most appropriate sites. I'm under the impression that the tracking technology already in place is sophisticated enough to allow Google to track a user's clicks from ad to landing page to check-out. Every advertiser would benefit from Google not being paid until an actual sale is made.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

If you love the Assassin's Creed series...

It has occurred to me that my two linked novels resemble the multi-layered or multi-timeframe aspect of the Assassin's Creed storyline, and I wonder what the odds are that there might be readers among the AC fans who would enjoy reading my novels in spite of the fact that there is much, much, much less violence in them than in AC. If you primarily love AC for the awesomely cool killing moves that snap into bullet-time slowmo, you won't like my books at all. That should be clearly understood so you don't download a copy to your Kindle or iPad and then write a review about it being the most boring thriller you've ever read. (The novels aren't thrillers.) However, if the way Assassin's Creed moves between different historical eras and the present to piece together a larger story appeals to you a lot, you might find my novels interesting. Keep in mind that my overall story is smaller than AC's sprawling saga. My story involves just the Western and Middle Eastern worlds, wherever the Old and New Testaments and related sacred writings have spread, and involves only two historical eras along with the present: the seventh century bce and the twelfth century. Also, the science-fiction aspect of Assassin's Creed is obvious, while my story's is shrouded. If a reader doesn't pick up the scifi references, the story isn't affected. If s/he does pick up the clues, it adds a deeper layer to the overall story that resembles AC's ancient-aliens premise that mankind's development has been guided for thousands of years. But there are only clues, or Easter eggs, in the novels. A lot of room was intentionally left for individual interpretation.

One of the linked novels, The Talpiot Find, is set in the present and follows archaeologists in Jerusalem who unearth ancient clay tablets that, if authentic, would rewrite history regarding the origins of the Torah and of the sacred writings that grew out of the Torah—the Gospels, the Epistles, the Quran, the Book of Mormon and so on. The novel parallels this story with a story set in the seventh century bce that shows how the clay tablets, and a human skeleton, came to be buried where the archaeologists discover them twenty-six centuries later. The other linked novel, Secreta Corporis, is set in the twelfth century and follows the Templar knight who finds the clay tablet which eventually allows the twentieth-first-century archaeologists to know where to look for the rest of the tablets. The number of people in the present-day affected by the secret of the tablets would be in the billions. If one imagines that a small number of people have known, through the intervening millenia, of the secret of the tablets and have kept that secret from the populace, a fairly pervasive conspiracy would take shape. If one also imagines that the creation, concealment, and discovery of the tablets have been scheduled over the millenia by telepathic extraterrestrials, for reasons only they know, the overall story would take on larger proportions than what at first appears in the text. But only for certain readers. You know who you are.