Welcome, A. D. Let’s learn more about you …
What is your genre? Why did you choose it?
I classify the series I’m currently writing as “action thrillers with a supernatural twist”. I have also written in the horror and humorous fantasy genres. I fell into the action thriller genre purely by accident. I needed to write a short story for a British Fantasy Society competition a few years ago and decided on the number 17 as the inspiration. I had seen that number written in dripping red paint on a black marker stone on a sandbank in Mauritius. It was an arresting image to say the least. After some brain storming, I felt death would make an interesting topic for the story. Specifically, I wanted to write about a man who could die up to seventeen times. That short story made the competition shortlist that year and eventually became Soul Meaning, the first book in the series Seventeen.
Do you work on more than one manuscript at a time?
Not usually. This year however, I decided to write some short stories in the series as well as the fourth novel. I would like to start writing two books simultaneously next year.
Do you work with a writing/critique group?
I usually rely on my two editors and my beta readers for feedback. I have yet to use a critique group. The unstable working hours of my day job make it difficult to stick to any kind of regular routine.
Can you remember your first reading book?
The Story of Babar: The Little Elephant! I loved that series.
Do you nibble on snacks while writing? If so, what is your chosen treat?
I tend to drink a lot of tea, coffee. I don’t like eating at my desk. Crumbs in my keyboard freak me out.
So tidy you could eat off it. I use the smallest bedroom in my house as my study. Having said that, it’s plenty big enough. It has two desks, one for my walking treadmill and one for my chair. I use an iMac on the sit down desk and my Macbook Air with a Phillips TV as an external monitor on the treadmill desk. There are two large bookcases and a chaise longue for lounging and reading. The wall is painted Farrow and Ball’s Vert de Terre. I have an eclectic collection of photos, paintings, and picture boards around the room. I also have the proof copies of all my printed novels in individual picture box frames.
Are you published in the traditional manner or self published? Share your journey.
I originally tried to the traditional route from 2008 to 2011. I received plenty of good feedback and almost landed two agents and one small London publisher in that time, but never secured a contract. Self-publishing was something I had looked into briefly when I started writing again in 2006. At that stage, I equated it with vanity publishing. Then I read an article about Joe Konrath in the UK Writing Magazine and realised that self-publishing had evolved into a whole different ball game over the years. It also helped that my friends gave me a Kindle for Christmas 2011. I had a proverbial light bulb moment when I put the two together and self-published Soul Meaning in summer 2012.
Who would you say have been the three most influential authors in your reading/writing life?
Oh that’s a tough one! I would have to say Enid Blyton, Stephen King, and Terry Pratchett. The first for her amazing books and for getting so many children into reading, including me. The second for introducing me to a darker, more intense adult genre. The third for making me laugh so much and for being such an inspiration.
What advice would you like to share with other writers/authors with regard to preparing a manuscript?
Write from the heart. Don’t try to follow formulas or write what’s selling. Sure, learn the craft but write what you want to read. The best way to get better at this art form is to practise. I view the two and a half unpublished novels written in my teens and the two more I wrote since then as practice material, not failures.
If the movie rights to your novels are purchased, who would you like to play your main characters?
Oh another difficult one! Now, I actually know the answers to this question when I’m writing the books but I try to keep them a secret as I feel they might spoil things for my readers. Everyone will imagine my characters differently to how I see them. The only place where my fans can see the faces I have in mind for my characters is on one of my Pinterest boards.
Having said that, here are the actors and related characters in brief:
1. Chris Pine for Lucas Soul. With dark hair.
2. Olga Kurylenko for Anna Godard.
3. Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Reid Hasley.
4. Marion Cotillard as Alexa King.
5. Bradley Cooper as Zachary Jackson.
6. Sam Worthington as Conrad Greene.
7. Jessica Biel as Laura Hartwell.
8. Ewan McGregor as Anatole Vassili.
I was on my way to the supermarket, when … Do you have a tale to tell relating to an everyday, boring event?
A few years ago, my colleagues and I went out for an after work meal. We had only been in the restaurant ten minutes when someone at a neighbouring table jumped up and shouted “Cardiac arrest!”
So, there we were, four Paediatric doctors and two Paediatric nurses resuscitating this 65 year old lady. We saved her. We broke her sternum and some ribs, but we saved her. It was her daughter, an adult ED nurse, who shouted “cardiac arrest”. She recognized us and thought we were her best bet for saving her mother.
A.D. 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.
Released in July 2012, Soul Meaning is her debut novel and the first in the award-winning supernatural thriller series SEVENTEEN. The second novel in the series, King’s Crusade, was released in May 2013. The third novel, Greene’s Calling, was published June 2014.
She 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.
For a limited time, you can download Void by AD Starrling FREE: http://www.adstarrling.com/free-download-offer/