January 22, 2017

Book and Writers’ Conferences: No Shortage of Opportunities

I’m scheduled for four conferences this spring. That’s a lot, but I go because I always come away with something of value. Writers’ conferences offer speakers touching on subjects of import to me as I seek to perfect my writing and reach more readers. The largest writers conference in the country is sponsored each year by the Association of Writers and Writing Programs(AWP). This year’s conference will be held February 8-11 in Washington, D.C. at the Washington Convention Center. Past events have attracted more than 12,000 participants. This will be my first visit to an AWP conference. The schedule of workshops is overwhelming. I’m sure my head will be spinning. The Maryland Writers Association is holding its first conference in […]
January 23, 2016

Technological and Critical Divisions over House Divided

The Critical Divide A judge in the 3rd annual Writers’ Digest self-published ebook contest didn’t much like House Divided. She wrote, “What could be an interesting family drama is somewhat overshadowed by the bureaucratic side of Leonard’s job running a counterterrorism task force––the Israel/Palestine conflict is overexplained through these characters.” I can see the basis for that comment, although bureaucratic is not the word I would have chosen. The story does center around the task force’s efforts to uncover the terrorist’s organization in order to stop them from striking a second and third time. If a reader finds “police procedural” story lines boring, then House Divided is not for him/her. In terms of overexplaining the Israel/Palestinian conflict, given that most […]
December 30, 2015

Year-End Report on my Fiction.

As 2015 closes, you may be interested in where things stand with regard to my fiction. Amazon is the measure of how well each of my books is doing, although they are also for sale in half a dozen bookstores in upstate New York and on Barnes & Noble, iTune and Kozo websites. Here are my Amazon numbers: House Divided, which was introduced at the end of January 205, has received 22 reviews, earning an average 4.5 stars. It is ranked #1,210 in the Kindle terrorism category. The book with the highest review average is my suspense novel, Last Stop on Desolation Ridge. Reviewers found it worth 4.8 stars. The Expendable Man, my first novel, has received the most reviews […]
August 20, 2015

The Writer’s Best Laid Plans

I thought I’d share some insights into the writing process for people who enjoy my novels as well as for my writer friends who might find some useful ideas. I’m at work on my sixth novel. It will be another thriller based on an exciting what if proposition: What if the son of the president-elect has evidence his father is an agent for a foreign power? Initially, I set the story to begin right after the 2024 election, but after completing more than twenty chapters, or approximately 60 percent of the anticipated story, I realized it needs to take place in 2028, not 2024. Simple, you might say, but actually. . . not so much. For example, in 2028, Thanksgiving […]
April 3, 2015

House Divided: Fact or Fiction?

While the story I tell in House Divided is fiction, the premise is grounded in fact. In the novel, I posit the next wave of terrorist attacks takes advantage of the naivete of young Americans who have fallen prey to an anti-American, anti-Israel ideology that is prevalent in many schools and colleges. Real world examples of that very situation crop up regularly. One occurred just this week when two American women were charged with plotting to bomb an undisclosed location. The two women, who describe themselves as members of ISIS, had “repeated contacts with members of al-Qaeda” according to the Washington Post. Another aspect of my novel, the infiltration of the U.S. by terrorists from the Middle East, is also […]
March 7, 2015

Reviews extol House Divided; E-sale ends March 13

Four and five-star reviews of Peter Pollak’s thriller House Divided are pouring in to Amazon and Goodreads’ websites. Aly writes: “I was intrigued by the unique flow of the story. It was a well-written plot. The characters seem to come alive for me. This book was very good and I’m glad I gave it a shot.” E.M. writes: “Mr. Pollak certainly knows how to craft a thriller. This book is hard to put down and reminds us of our vulnerabilities to terrorism. Great read.” Classy writes: “Mr. Pollak’s handling of the extremist characters was realistic without being overly drawn. The young protagonist was true to that age group.” Jack writes: “This is a very good read for anyone looking for […]