Saturday, April 26, 2008

New Orleans writer Dean Shapiro pens timely thriller about a polygamist cult

Dean Shapiro, a writer down New Orleans way, has published his fourth novel, The Eleventh Commandment. With the recent raid of the polygamist community in Texas (April 7, 2008), the setting couldn’t be more current – a polygamous cult.

Dean is that rare mix of a creative mind with a eye for the details of copy editing. He’s has an M.A. in history, and he’s a bit of buff on American history and politics. He doesn’t need me to speak for him, so here are some notes about the novel that I got a few days ago:

"My new novel, The Eleventh Commandment, was published by PublishAmerica of Baltimore, Maryland. Here’s the 101 on what the book is about, taken from the blurb on the back cover:

'How far will a reporter go to get a story? Tom Foster is about to find out. As the Religion Editor for a large daily newspaper, Tom goes undercover to expose a fanatical, polygamous cult leader suspected in the deaths of more than a dozen followers. He gets more than he bargained for when his own life is on the line, especially after he has fallen in love with one of the cult leader's wives. Can Tom save her -- and himself -- when his deception is discovered? The answer comes after a tragic climax that shocks the world.'

"So what exactly IS the "Eleventh Commandment"??? Aaahh, you'll just have to buy the book to find out."

I’ve never asked Dean how old he is, but he has encountered employment ageism. That motivated Dean to do what so few freelancers manage – to earn his entire living as a wordsmith.

Besides being one of the hardest working writers I know, Dean also is what is known in Yiddish as a mensch. When hurricane Wilma devastated New Orleans, Dean’s apartment on the other side of the Mississippi River, in Gretna on high ground, became a refuge for friends. It was a kind of huge dorm party, the way he describes it. Electricity and phone service were out for a short time, and people piled one on another in friendly camaraderie.

That’s the kind of person Dean is. He threw me a huge assignment that he was too busy to tackle, when I most needed a boost. I will be forever grateful to him for that. I just wish my blog had more readers so I could give Dean’s book the traffic it deserves. He writes:

“As a nearly-starving artist, I have to depend on sales of this book and other writing jobs to keep food on my table and in my cat’s dish (not to mention two kids with college expenses). I hope you will support this nearly-starving artist you know by buying a copy of his book.

"Here’s how you can order the book. Go to the the Barnes & Noble website. . . It’s $24.95 + $3.99 shipping (a few dollars less if you’re a B&N book club member), out of which a whopping 8% goes into yours truly’s pocket (roughly $2.00 on each copy sold). . . . Or, you can go to the nearest Barnes & Noble store and place the order with them.

“Then, once the book is in your hands and if you want me to autograph it for you, contact me and I’ll make arrangements to do this.

“It costs less than a tank of gas at today’s prices, and it’s more permanent. Call or email me if you have any questions or if you just want to congratulate me. When I become rich and famous (well, famous, anyway) you can always say, “I knew him when . . . “ Anyway, I thank you in advance for your support of me over the years you’ve known me, and I hope you buy and enjoy my book. It’s pretty damn good, if I don’t mind saying so myself.”


MizMell said...

Sounds interesting. My curiosity is sparked... what is the 11th commandment?

GMS said...

The first paragraph states that this is Dean's first novel. Actually, it's his fourth. See

Promo Pens said...

His fourth book, The Eleventh Commandment, a suspense novel, was published in 2008 by PublishAmerica of Baltimore. He also has been contracted to write essays and biographies for several junior and senior high school history and geography textbooks in recent years. Mr. Shapiro is the author of ten screenplays and he ghostwrote Mackie Shilstone's Body Plan for Kids, due to be published in the spring of 2009 by Basic Media of Laguna Beach, CA. He teaches writing classes at the University of New Orleans and writes regularly for several New Orleans-area publications and websites.