Author Spotlight with Ben Starling ~ Interview

This Saturday's Author Spotlight we are happy to chat with Ben Starling! Welcome Ben to Genuine Jenn! 
Tell us a little bit about yourself and why/what inspired you to write? When did you start writing?

I’m a freelance editor, working on business plans, articles published in specialist magazines and some fiction. After so many years of working on other people’s stories, it felt like the right time to create an original one of my own.

My upcoming series was inspired by the loss of my partner at forty-five years of age to ovarian cancer in 2012, just thirteen weeks after her diagnosis. Through the written word, I hoped to explore and capture several extraordinary events that happened around the time of my girlfriend’s death. The novel and the series kind of took off from there…

Are you working on anything else at the moment?

I am quite excited as my short story Something in the Air has just been released on Amazon. In this love story, the focus is on a returning soldier, a veterinarian and an urban environmental concern.

Here’s the blurb:

Daniel thought war was tough. That was till he fell in love.

What if it’s true that you can never really go home? Returning from a soul-crushing war, Daniel Dragan is determined to put the past behind him. But with his beloved uncle dead and the town’s economy in a slump, there may not be much to keep him in San Prospero, California.

That is till he is startled by veterinarian Willow Dixon at the roadside lookout above their hometown’s new factory. A desperately needed job offer there may offer Daniel the chance he needs – but all is not as it seems at the factory and Willow, determined to save the inhabitants of her animal sanctuary, wants the factory’s operations stopped. Sometimes the road home is neither the one we expect. Nor the one we left behind…

You can find it on Amazon

This is the first story in a series that will consist of one novel and several short stories set in the same world. I’m currently finishing the second short story in this series – the title of which will be released soon!

The centerpiece novel in this series, Something in the Water is already complete and available for preorder on Amazon now.

What was the very first book that you wrote?

I once created an illustrated story for my children. By the time I had taught myself to draw and it was finally complete, however, my kids had long since grown up. But it made wonderful Christmas presents for friends and family one year!

Other than your own, what are your favourite books?

The Old Man and the Sea, anything by Maeve Binchy—and I’m just re-reading the wonderful Life of Pi, by Yann Martel.

When you are writing do you like to listen to music? What is on your playlist?

I don’t tend to turn on the radio while writing, but my best “writing” is done near the “music” of water. Whenever I run into a plot snarl, I take a long walk along a nearby canal. It never fails to make the plot strands untangle in my mind and the creative juices begin flowing again.

Who is your favorite character in your books?

Edward (Bear) Hamilton was the most fun to write in my upcoming novel—so astoundingly unaware of his shortcomings and flamboyantly unconcerned about his impact on others. I giggled the whole time I was writing him.

Do you ever take characteristics or nuances from close friends or family when working on character development and if so has that friend or family member noticed and what was their response to it?

Not consciously. But we are really the sum of everything we see around us. I’m pretty sure that all my characters are really complex combinations of every person I’ve ever met in life. And once you have that many disparate ingredients in the recipe, a little magic happens, and the character takes on a life of her or his own.

What’s your favorite treat?

Chocolate. Definitely chocolate. And beetroot crisps.

What’s your favorite place to read/write?

Reading is best done in bed. It’s the ultimate way to sooth oneself towards sleep, isn’t it?

My best “writing” takes place as I hike beside a canal. I do have a little desk by a window where I can look out over London. Most of the typing part of writing takes place here.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

In a treehouse! Or wait—aboard a boat. Now that would be perfect!

Ben Starling is passionate about marine conservation and boxing, both central themes in his upcoming novel. His interest in marine life has taken him across three continents over the past three decades. He is Oxford’s only ever Quintuple Blue (varsity champion five years running), was Captain of the university boxing team, and coached and boxed competitively until about five years ago. He is 6’3”and 185 lbs. Ben graduated from Oxford University with a Master of Arts and an M Phil. He was born in the USA but has lived in the UK since childhood.

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~*Disclaimer: This post was written by Genuine Jenn. All opinions are honest and my own.*~


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