A.D. Starrling, our new darling author

I won’t hesitate to admit it: A.D. Starrling is one of my newly favourite authors. And that’s not something that comes often out of my mouth. Soul Meaning was the first A.D. Starrling’s book I ever read and I understood that we’re dealing with a talented author that only needs to get matured (my review will be posted soon on a new book blog a friend and I are launching). It didn’t take much time to this author to grow up and offer us a great reading experience: Greene’s Calling (4.7/5 stars in my recent review).

Today A.D. Starrling, who is on her blog tour, stops to my blog. Let’s read what she says about Highlander, Mauricius, and mythology, what she thinks about self-publishing and what number 17 means to her.

And if you read it through the end, there is a tour wide giveaway for everyone. Author is giving away on $25 dollar GC from Amazon & (1) set of SIGNED oversized Paperbacks to another lucky winner! 

Greens-Calling-TOUR

  • ‘James Bond meets Highlander’, ‘a bloody season of 24 but with a supernatural twist’, ‘with a Bourne Identityish feel’, ‘a James Bond movie blended with Dan Brown or James Rollins’ are a few of the enthusiastic reviews The Seventeen Book Series has received. Are you fan of any of those mentioned above?

Yes, most of them actually. Highlander the original series remains one of my favorites to date. Unfortunately, I never really got into 24 as there was a dispute between Virgin and Sky in the UK when the series first featured and many Virgin viewers suddenly found they no longer had access to Sky One. Jason Bourne is definitely one of the most charismatic and awesome characters who has ever graced the pages of a book or film, as is James Bond. And who wouldn’t love being compared to Dan Brown and James Rollins?!

  • Your stories involve history, biology, archaeology and are set in various locations. Is research important to you? Do you follow any specific steps in the research process?

Research is a crucial step of my writing process. As you said, there are so many elements involved in these stories, I have to be on the ball when it comes to portraying all of them as accurately and as realistically as I can.

My research process is intricately linked to my plot. I generally know what the story is about, who the major players are, and how it starts and ends.  Research helps me plug the holes in the middle. My research therefore occurs in two stages:

  1. The pre-writing process, where I see whether the science, technology, mythology, and philosophy is plausible, and
  2. The in-writing process, which is research on the fly, in the middle of a scene, to try and connect the dots of the plot.

The Scrivener writing software has been a godsend as far as my research process is concerned. I am using it for the first time for Book 4 in the series and the ability to be able to store all my research, maps, character profiles, pictures, and plot arcs in one place is amazing. I would recommend it to every writer out there.

  • According to a review ‘In Soul Meaning people died like flies’. What should we expect from the third book in the Seventeen Series, Greene’s Calling?

Hmm, less death, maybe? Yes, there was a lot of it in Soul Meaning, principally because Lucas Soul was a hunted man and everyone was trying to kill him. Unfortunately, he was rather good at fighting back in a, shall we say, permanent fashion. Greene’s Calling is a more “political” novel. Although there are plenty of action scenes and some deaths, the overriding plot addresses an important topic for the world’s superpowers.

  • How difficult is it for a female author to write a strong male lead?

It’s not that difficult at all, surprisingly enough. If anything, being able to tap into my male protagonists’ emotions from a female perspective probably made them more interesting and attractive to readers. As a female author, I am actually quite strict with my female protagonists. They don’t get to be weak, moody, or bitchy. They have to be able to stand tall next to their men.

  • You come from the small island nation of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean. That sounds very exotic to me. However I can’t help wonder if there are any traditional tales featuring immortals in Mauritius?

Mauritius is very exotic, although it is no longer the place of my childhood, having undergone major modernization in the last twenty years.

There are plenty of superstitions and folk tales in Mauritius, most of which stem from the cocktail of cultures that exist on the island. We are all descendants of migrants who travelled to the island from Europe, Asia, and Africa, some willingly, some unwillingly as slaves. Although none of these tales are about immortals, the concept of reincarnation is a widely held belief among the devout Indians on the island.

  • Where did you draw your inspiration to write your books?

The entire series started life as a short story which I wrote for a popular international competition. This short story was inspired by the startling image of the number 17 written in red paint on a black marker stone, on a sandbank off the shores of Mauritius. It was only after completing Soul Meaning, the first novel in the series, that I had to dig deeper and come up with a story concept that could span the entire series. This concept was inspired by a combination of mythology, religion, and philosophy.

  • There is a lot of music on your blog. There are more songs than articles. How important is music in your writing routine?

Music is crucial to my writing process. As I write this post, I’m listening to the music playlist for Greene’s Calling. Like many authors, I have a very vivid visual imagination and I write what I “see”. What I “see” is very much linked to the emotions engendered by particular songs.

  • Do you see writing as a career?

Yes.  Writing is my first love and it would be a godsend if I could make a living out of it. As such, I approach it as both a passion and a business. When I write, I’m all about the passion. When I deal with the publishing and marketing side, I’m all about the business.

  • On your blog one can read a thorough article about self-publishing. What has been the biggest challenge with your self-publishing career so far?

The biggest challenge has been juggling so many balls and wearing so many hats. Although some writers make self-publishing sound easy, it isn’t the walk in the park they make it out to be, not if you’re serious about being a professional writer and you’re in it for the long haul.

As a self-published writer, you have three jobs: writer, publisher, and marketer. Each is a full time job in itself.

Would I give it all up if a traditional book deal came my way? No. It would have to be an exceptionally attractive and, above all, fair contract for me to surrender control of my work.

The beauty of self-publishing is that I get to screen and choose my team (editors, proofreaders, cover designers, formatters, marketing associates), I own all the rights to my work, I earn a higher percentage of my sales revenue, I can publish to my own timetable, and I get to change things faster if I don’t like them.

NOTE: On A.D. Starrling’s blog there is a post about her experience as a self-published author, which I found extremely useful: Self publishing as a UK author.

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MEET THE AUTHOR

AD Starrling was born on the small island nation of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean and came to the UK at the age of twenty to study medicine. After five years of hard graft earning her MD and another five years working all of God’s hours as a Pediatrician, she decided it was time for a change and returned to her first love, writing.

Her debut novel Soul Meaning (Seventeen Book #1) has won and been nominated for several awards, as has her second novel King’s Crusade.

She currently lives in Warwickshire in the West Midlands, where she is busy writing the next installment in the series. She still practices medicine. AD Starrling is her pen name.

To find out more, please visit her at the following social media sites:

Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

WEBSITE – http://www.adstarrling.com

FACEBOOK – http://www.facebook.com/pages/AD-Starrling/382768535066991

TWITTER – http://twitter.com/adstarrling

GOODREADS – http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6469599.A_D_Starrling

EMAIL: ads@adstarrling.com

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a Rafflecopter giveaway: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/2988d4100/

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My Review: Greene’s Calling, by A.D.Starrling

GREENE’S CALLING

Number of pages: 392

Genre – Urban Fantasy / Action / Mystery

Published – June 16, 2014

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It’s hard to be an immortal. You can’t find peace not even you live in a remote Amazon swamp. Immortal hottie Greene lives quietly with his dog, for who he gave his life (literally),  until an aeroplane fall on his head – almost. Soon he finds himself in the Oval Office and then across the pond pursuing an elusive organization hell-bent on shifting the power balance of the world.

‘A plane fell out of the sky
and ruined my fishing day’

Greene’s Calling is A.D. Starrling’s third book and the most mature one. It is the third instalment in the award winning, supernatural thriller series Seventeen – seventeen as how many lives an immortal can live.

I like a book when I feel that the author had enjoyed every moment spent writing it. And I’m sure A.D. Starrling had a great time. It’s obvious she did a lot of research in order to describe accurately historical events, scientific facts and different places around the world. The story is well crafted, the descriptions are written with the right touch without being boring, the action is fast paced. All main characters are well described, however I had the feeling I wasn’t attached enough to the main lead.

 ‘Seriously,
the two of you
need to take a chill pill.
All this tension
is bad for
your sex lives’

This book is a page turner, the one you should have in your suitcase if you’re going on holidays. And if you’re interested in the history of Ottoman Empire, you’ll love it.

My rate: 4,7 ∗

BUY LINKS

iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/greenes-calling-seventeen/id885945199?mt=11

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City Break in Athens, my humble first book

And book it is. Or booklet if you prefer. After three months of writing, studying and researching here it is: my very first book, a travel guide for the city of Athens, Greece.

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Collecting all the information needed for writing this travel guide wasn’t difficult at all to me. I had already gathered it while working for Yia Su, a successful travel service for those who want to plan their trip to Athens. What was most challenging to me was bringing this book to life.

English is my second language, so proofreading was essential. And maps; non travel guide should be published without maps in it.

I struggled to find a solution and by the time I hit a desperation point, there was a revelation: Fiverr.com.

I had never heard of Fiverr before until I came across one of my Twitter friends tweet. That was it. Now I wasn’t only able to hire skilled proof-readers and I also could work with talented map creators! And that happened only a month ago.

As soon I got my stuff proof-read and my maps created, all I had to do was convert my files into a PDF file. I created my booklet using Microsoft Publisher. All I had to do was to click the “File” tab and choose “Save As.” That displayed the “Save As” dialog. After I gave a name to my file, I clicked “OK” and that was it.

I’m not a US resident and that means getting published on Amazon or Barnes and Noble would be time consuming. There are several actions I have to do in order to create an author account and I have to double check my options.

That’s why I decided to start my self-publishing career in the most humble way. I listed my ebook on Yia Su Etsy shop. You can check it if you click on this link:

=> http://www.etsy.com/listing/196303662/city-break-in-athens-ebook-mini-travel?ref=shop_home_feat_1

City Break in Athens, is live and right is all that matters to me. I’ve taken my first step into self-publishing industry. The road I have to travel is long and the possibility of failure has been always hiding around the corner.

But if I don’t take my chances, I’ll never know what the final destination of this trip is…

Flowers in the ruins

Pie, Cuppa, Ticket

ruins

The last seven years I had dived to the deepest parts of my soul. I had to deal with a toxic workplace friendship that derailed my professional career as a journalist, I had to cope with my mother’s depression, I had to face friendships that made me feel small and unhappy.

The sudden loss of a close friend of mine was devastating but at the same time it was the light at the end of the tunnel. It was then when I realised I wasn’t happy with the way my life was.

When I was made redundant, six months ago, it was the happiest time of my life in seven years. I was ready for a career change and the timing was perfect.

I was finally free.

With the redundancy payment, I’ve been able to pay my living and to organise my next professional step. Writing, crafting, baking and traveling…

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