Diamonds In The Sand
The fourth book length manuscript I wrote, I believe in the year 1998.  I started off writing my infamous expose' of academia, which if nothing else proved I could take an idea and turn it into an eighty thousand word manuscript.  After that I wrote The Convoy, and learned a lot about outlining and plotting, but not so much about dialogue.  Then I moved on to The Quest, The Cross and The Sword, hoping to use my new found, and since diminished, faith in the plotting of a fantasy.  It topped out at 260,000 words, a length I thought was ideal, and had since found was much too long for a first submission.  Several agents I had sent it too also remarked on the number of characters (not a good thing from their tone).  That manuscript is dead, though I wrote one in the same Universe, only two thousand years earlier, in 2010.  That will also be too long for a first publication, and may find its way to the life as an eBook like as not.  Diamonds In The Sand was a step back from long manuscripts and armies of characters.  Set in the Sarasota County in the 2020s, it has one main character and seven or eight important secondary characters.  I had also heard that cross genre pieces didn't work, but having read Niven's The Long Arm Of Gil Hammer, I did not believe it, so I wrote it as a Science Fiction/Murder Mystery.  It starts out with a closed room murder which looks like a heart attack.  I introduce the character of a cyborg cop who had been enhanced by the military when he was in special ops, and villains who are using nanotechnology to further their nefarious schemes.  Diamonds was also much shorter than the work preceding it, about 78,000 words, which I have expanded to about 81,000.   The main complaint I received from agents and publishers on this one?  The Cyborg Cop has been overdone.  I had tried to explain to them in my submission that this was not Robocop or the Six Million Dollar Man.  My cyborg was different, created and designed with different processes than those in past books or screen plays.  They obviously didn't even read that far, and the book was not given a chance.  I have matured since this book was written, but still believe this novel has merit.  I hope you enjoy it, and know beyond a doubt that it will be worth every cent of your money.

Don't let the title of this work deceive you - Diamonds in the Sand is not about an infamous pirate, pirate treasure, pirate cove, pirate maps, high-speed pirate chases, or anything else you'd find in a pirate game or movie, as you might first suspect upon glancing the cover.  It is, in fact, about a cyborg cop and I've classified it as a piece of science fiction with murder mystery undertones.
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