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! 

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  • ‘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

Greenes-Calling-800 Cover reveal and Promotional

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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Book Blast and Giveaway: Greene’s Calling, by A.D. Starrling.

 

Greene’s alling (Seventeen #3)

By A.D. Starrling

Release Date: June 16, 2014

Paperback, 394 pages

Genre: Urban Fantasy / Action / Mystery

FROM THE AWARD WINNING AND NOMINATED SERIES SEVENTEEN.

An immortal healer.
An ancient legacy reborn.

A chain of cataclysmic events that threatens to change the fate of the world. 
When a plane crashes in the Amazonian swamp where Conrad Greene is attempting to live out the rest of eternity, the jaded immortal who was once one of the Bastian First Council’s greatest assets stumbles across a conspiracy involving the recently elected president of the United States.
Caught in the middle of the intrigue is US Secret Service agent Laura Hartwell, the one immortal on Earth most likely to put a bullet through Greene’s skull.
Greene is coerced into returning to the life he had left behind by the leader of the Bastians and reluctantly agrees to assist the Americans in their investigation. As disturbing incidents start to unfold around the globe, Greene and a team of elite human and immortal agents must track down an elusive organization hell-bent on shifting the power balance of the world.
Can Greene stop the deadly countdown that threatens to alter the course of human history and regain the trust of the woman he loves?
 
The riveting and fast-paced third installment in the award-winning, supernatural thriller series Seventeen is finally here.

Anyone interested is welcome to join the blast, just copy this and make sure you put your link in the Rafflecopter when you post! Not only will you get to share this great book and series but also will get 5 additional entries in Lady Reader’s Book Tours Blast participation Rafflecopter!  There is a participating Giveaway Rafflecopter for this & the Tour!
CHAPTER ONE
Conrad Greene ran across the wet, sloping lead roof of the Banqueting House, his breath misting in the cool night air. Moonlight flashed on metal to his right. He caught a glimpse of a blade falling toward his neck and ducked. The sword skimmed past his head with a faint hum. Feet skidding on the slick surface, he spun around, dropped to one knee, and lifted the short, silver-gilded staff in his hands.
A grunt sounded above him as the burly swordsman brought his weapon down once more. The edge of the blade struck the staff hard, raising sparks in the gloom. The man’s lips pulled back in a vicious grin, exposing two uneven rows of stained teeth. The muscles and veins in his neck and arms bulged with superhuman strength as he drove the sword into the staff.
Conrad’s elbows slowly folded toward his chest. Air left his lips in a low hiss as the tip of the man’s blade inched closer to his left eye. He pushed back with the staff with all his might, dark spots dancing across his vision.
A figure dashed past them on the left. Conrad caught a glimpse of soft, brown curls. His heart stuttered inside his chest. He swore, fell back, and rolled out of the way of the falling blade.
He landed close to the balustrade that ran around the top of the building and climbed swiftly to his feet. Ignoring the swordsman charging toward him, he peered through the rainfall at the dark shapes engaged in a fast-paced and deadly battle on the moonlit rooftop. His eyes sought and found the woman who had run by him.
She was almost at the north end of the terrace, where a young man with brown hair and eyes stood confronted by three armed attackers; blood from the wounds on his left shoulder and flank had already soaked through his long-sleeved, ruffle shirt and stained his leather jerkin.
‘William!’ the woman yelled, her voice edged with fear and desperation. She passed the weather vane on the sloping roof and unsheathed the rapier at her waist.
Relief darted across the younger man’s face at the sound of his name. He glanced at the woman over his attackers’ shoulders and raised his own blade to block another strike.
Conrad clenched his teeth. He turned to face his opponent and twisted one of the metal rings on his short staff. The weapon extended and a spear blade sprang out at either end. A loud battle cry preceded the attack of the burly swordsman a heartbeat later.
Conrad blocked his blade, kicked him in the groin, and hooked the staff behind his neck. He yanked the man’s head down at the same time that he drove his knee up into his face. A guttural groan left his adversary’s lips, and he slid to the ground, unconscious.
A flurry of activity to the right captured Conrad’s attention. Another group of men had rushed onto the rooftop terrace of the Banqueting House. He scanned the other fighters around him, anxiety twisting his stomach; he and his companions were now heavily outnumbered.
His eyes suddenly widened. The newcomers had drawn their swords and were heading resolutely for the running woman and the wounded man still fighting at the north end of the building. Knuckles whitening on his staff weapon, Conrad moved to intercept the men.
The woman reached the figures at the edge of the terrace. She stepped in front of the injured young man and swung her thin blade around in a flurry of strikes and blocks at his three attackers. Rage darkened her face and a roar left her lips. The men fell back under her fierce attack.
The wounded man sagged behind her and gripped his bleeding limb. Even from a distance, Conrad read the fear and confusion on his features. The man turned and flinched when he met Conrad’s eyes.
The expression on his face left no doubt in his mind. William Hartwell was the one who had betrayed them. Bile flooded the back of Conrad’s throat. Hartwell looked away. His lips moved, forming words that were lost in the stormy night as he shouted something at the men trying to kill him.
For an infinitesimal moment, the woman faltered, a flicker of incomprehension flashing across her face. She cast a quick look over her shoulder at the one she was trying to protect. Their closest assailant moved and brought down his sword. The blade arced across her left arm, carving a deep cut from her elbow to her wrist.
A cry escaped her lips. She took a step back and warded off another blow inches from her neck. Hartwell moved forward then, anger blazing across his face. He raised his sword and joined in the fray once more.
Conrad got to within twenty feet of them before he crossed paths with the four men he was trying to head off. He raised the double-bladed spear staff and spun it through the air. The gilded wood deflected the silver swirl of swords that danced toward his body while the jagged tips blurred, slicing and stabbing through flesh. One man fell, his fingers rising to the spurting crimson stream pouring from the wound on his neck. Another followed him to the ground seconds later.
A single scream suddenly shattered the night.
The sound was a knife that cut straight through Conrad’s soul. He blocked a blow to his head and looked to his left.
William Hartwell had backed up against the balustrade. Conrad froze and felt time slow down.
The young man tipped over the edge and fell from the terrace, dragging his three attackers with him. The woman leapt forward through the curtain of glittering rain, crystal drops crashing on her skin, her movements heavy and sluggish in that stolen moment of stillness. She leaned over the balcony, fingers clutching desperately at the figures plummeting toward the ground. Her hands closed on empty space.
The bodies struck the street three stories below with a dull thud.
Time unfroze in a cacophony of sounds and sensations. Thunder rumbled across the heavens, underscoring the battle cries around Conrad. Cold wetness drenched his hair and face, bringing the sharp scent of the storm to his nostrils and a tangy taste to his lips. Lightning tore a brilliant, jagged path across his vision and made him blink.
Heat suddenly erupted across his chest when a blade slashed his skin. Blood bloomed on his shirt. Conrad scowled and focused on his two remaining adversaries. By the time he had disposed of them, the woman had disappeared from the rooftop.
He looked at the other fighters around him and felt a rush of relief at the sight that met his eyes; despite the odds, his men were winning.
‘Go!’ yelled someone to his right. The red-haired figure who had spoken danced nimbly out of the way of a blade and stabbed his opponent savagely in the chest. Pale eyes glanced at him for a second. ‘We’ve got this, Greene!’
Conrad bobbed his head jerkily and twisted the ring that retracted the staff’s spear blades. He raced for the door that led inside the building.
By the time he reached the ground floor, the wound on his chest had stopped bleeding. He knew without looking that the skin beneath his torn shirt was once more unblemished.
He found the woman on her knees by the pile of bodies that lay in an awkward tangle of broken limbs at the north base of the Banqueting House. She was leaning over William Hartwell, sobs shuddering through her as she stroked his pale face with shaking fingers; blood from the wound in her arm mingled with his where it seeped from the irregular depression on his temple. Hartwell’s chest rose and fell shallowly with his breaths. He was unconscious.
The woman looked around at Conrad’s footsteps, her hazel eyes wild with anguish.
‘Do something, please!’ she begged.
Conrad sank to the ground next to her, his voice frozen in his throat. He placed his left hand on the young man’s head and closed his eyes.
A burst of energy flared inside his chest and pulsed down toward his elbow. It darted through the birthmark dancing along his forearm and flashed to the ends of his fingers. He inhaled deeply and guided the flow of his power inside the broken body of William Hartwell.
Bone popped beneath his hand. The young man’s flesh slowly began to knit together.
Sweat broke across Conrad’s brow. The battle had drained him of much of his strength; he could feel Hartwell’s torn tissues resisting his ability to heal them. He ground his teeth together and willed his exhausted body to cooperate.
‘What’s happening?’ said the woman. Panic raised the pitch of her voice. She grabbed Conrad’s shoulders and shook him, her fingers biting into his skin. ‘Why isn’t he waking up?’
Conrad sagged as he felt his own life force start to ebb; he was nearing the limits of his ability. He blinked and swayed. Dark blotches clouded his vision. The woman’s frantic words became a roar in his ears.
A moan suddenly broke through the rush of blood inside his head. He looked down and saw Hartwell’s eyes open. Within the dark pupils of the man he had come to know and love as a brother, Conrad Greene read the words he could no longer utter.
William Hartwell wanted to die. He also yearned for something else.
Conrad gasped and slowly pulled his power back inside his own body, his fingers trembling on the cooling skin of the dying man. Hartwell shivered beneath his touch.
‘Why are you stopping?’ yelled the woman. ‘Save him!’
Conrad knew there were only seconds left; he could feel Death’s shadow approaching through the thunderstorm raging across the city. He leaned down and brought his lips to Hartwell’s ear.
‘I forgive you,’ he whispered, his vision blurring with tears. He pulled back slightly and saw Hartwell blink once. The young man’s last breath left his mouth and caressed Conrad’s cheek.
William Hartwell stared unseeingly at the rain falling from the night sky, his face serene and his body relaxing in death.
‘No,’ mumbled the woman. ‘No, this isn’t happening!’ Her voice rose to a scream. ‘Why did you let him die? Why? Goddamn you—!’ Grief overwhelmed her and she wept brokenly.
Conrad’s heart shattered inside his chest as he looked at the woman he loved and saw hate dawn in the depths of her hazel eyes.

 

 

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.

 

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