I've been writing off and on literally for decades with little luck in publishing. I could blame it on my schedule as a doctor -- too many years having a 24-7 call schedule -- but plenty of other doctors have managed to combine writing and medicine. The real problem was the off and on had too much off and not enough on. Internet writers circles helped me sell a few short stories, but I really wanted to publish a book. Second only to becoming a grandfather--something I had no say about--becoming a published novelist was my biggest goal.
An unrelenting series of rejections almost had me ready to give up. Then Lilly Press accepted my novel IMPLAC, an evil robot story. I was ecstatic. Even the editing process was a joy. Unfortunately, Lilly went bankrupt and it was back to the slush pile for me. At least now I knew that some professionals valued my work. "Query Tracker" forum taught me how to write a decent query, I sent out a batch of letters to small publishers, and in 2010 Eternal Press accepted A VIRTUAL AFFAIR. No ecstasy this time, but I was still happy that at age 68 I would finally have a book for sale. It's never too late to pursue your dream.
The book was published on January 8, 2011. A week earlier, my son called me, "Dad, Rosemarie has gone into labor." Eight hours later, Aliana was born. I flew down to see her the day the book was published. Even though I had striven for many years to get published, at this moment, the book didn't matter.
I have my priorities.
Where to find Zvi Zaks online
Where to buy in print
For Benjamin Cohen, life was one worry after another. Medication, therapy, even cults gave him no relief. Then he met a strange Hasidic mystic...
Jon Worthyman is a flawed but basically good man whose church demands a penance for the sin of adultery. Jon is a Branch Davidian, and worships David Koresh.
A Medical Exam
Donald Farber, MD, is a specialist in Mesmor therapy. He hates it, even though it's an effective treatment for neurosis. Now, what should he do about his own neurotic problems?
The Saxophone Player
He was just another homeless person, but he makes me hear uncanny, lovely music and, when I close my eyes, I see celestial spheres.
Living in voluntary exile on a space station, the Earth looks so near, but it is still unobtainable. The view can drive people mad.
The Power Plant
It seemed like the ideal power source, cleaner and safer than atomic energy. But unexpected problems arose.
For many families, the question of which winter holiday to celebrate is known as the December dilemma. Here is a new twist on that old problem.
Even if a dog can learn how to speak, he will still be nothing more than a dog.
The Ad Agency
What would advertisements look like if the government required them to be truthful and not misleading?
When the bureaucrats make 'pleasuretax' a literal reality, some people go insane.
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Smashwords book reviews by Zvi Zaks
- Sexy Teenage Vampires
on June 03, 2012
With the popularity of saccharine vampire tales like "Twilight", Lichtenberg's quirky take on the genre is a welcome contrast. He gives three short tales of apparently homeless teens who survive literally on the blood of others. The tales leave one wishing for more.
- Explain That to a Martian
on June 04, 2012
What if you found a blobby Martian in your apartment asking you about various aspects of human life including specifically your own sex life (or lack thereof. Worse, you're a little soused and tend to use a lot of idioms which the Martian takes literally. This is the premise of 'Explain That.' While not hard Sci Fi, this short story is an amusing take on how a first encounter might play out, and raises thoughtful questions about humanity in general. It's a good read.
- Shady Hazy and the Subliminal Criminal
on June 04, 2012
Shady Hazy is a Sam Spade type of private investigator with psychic powers, which are illegal. He therefore has to do what the authorities want, or they'll jail him. It's an interesting premise, one that could be used for several stories. Readers who enjoy the PI genre and Sci Fi should read this.
- Generation Next The Real Thing
on June 24, 2012
This is a cute story about Gundar, an alien who seems to have the problems of a typical human who runs a sleazy bar. But the bar has a secret attraction, and Gundar has a secret motive.