Word-Slingers – Interview of AD Starrling

1)         How long have you been writing?

For more than twenty years. I started when I was twelve, stopped eight years later to enter the medical field, and started seriously writing again six years ago. I had always planned to write again after retiring from medicine but brought that goal forward by a few decades.

2)        How many balls do you juggle on a daily basis, and how do you manage to keep them all in the air (usually), (ball = work, writing, family, etc.)

I juggle two big balls on a daily basis, pun unintended! Work and writing. Most of my family are abroad and my friends are scattered all over the UK, so I get to see them less often than I would like to. As for writing and work, it’s a fine balance. Long day shifts and night shifts are exhausting, and I tend not to manage more than a bit of social media on those days. If I do a ‘normal’ work day (9-6), then I’ll manage 2-3 hours of writing as well. It takes a hell of a lot of dedication and determination. Once I published though, the discipline was established. I have deadlines to work to and I relish the challenge.

3)        What can you tell us about your release Soul Meaning? What I’m looking for is the story about how the story came to be, not just the blurb and what not. J

Soul Meaning was initially a short story that I wrote for the British Fantasy Society Short Story Competition. It was inspired by the striking image of the number 17 written in dripping red paint on a black rock on a sandbank in the middle of a lagoon on the island of Mauritius. After considering several ideas around that number, I finally thought about deaths. More specifically 17 deaths. Thus started the story of Lucas Soul, the man who could die up to seventeen times. I knew it could be a novel even before I finished writing the short story; Lucas Soul and his business partner Reid Hasley lived and breathed naturally for me on those first pages. I WANTED to know what would happen to them next.

4)        What is it about the supernatural thriller (is there romance involved???) that you like so much?

The first book I wrote when I was twelve was a children’s fantasy novel. It was a ‘Narnia’ meets ‘The Goonies’ kind of story. The next one was a boarding school action-adventure tale. The third book I started, but never finished because I entered medical school, was part of a supernatural YA series. The main reason I returned to writing again in 2006 was because I had an idea for another fantasy series, this one a light hearted, humorous adventure one. The three main characters walked into my head one day and just wouldn’t go away. So, you could say writing fantasy has always been in my blood. Soul Meaning was a complete change of pace and style for me. I have never written something like this before and never, ever thought I could write a thriller with fight scenes, guns, and swords. I ended up surprising myself. I defined the novel and the series as supernatural thriller as I felt it was the best description for the genre.
 I guess the final answer to the question is because it satisfies my need for speed, kickassery, and the fantastical. As for romance, it’s definitely present but it takes a backseat to all the action. I like my protagonists to shoot first and kiss later.

5)         Do you think you’ll move to another genre, and if yes, what to and when?

A return to light hearted fantasy may be in the books in the future. The three characters that got me back to writing have been sulking in my head for the last three years, since I was forced to abandon them to pursue Lucas Soul and his story. They occasionally pipe up with acerbic comments, so I may have to do something about them before they sabotage future stories. My current plans are to finish the series Seventeen (I haven’t decided on the total number of books yet), then start on an epic, dark fantasy trilogy that has been marinating gently at the back of my mind for the last few years. I also have a tentative idea for a YA sci-fi/steampunk novel that may see the light of day at some stage in the future.

6)        Sweet or sour?


7)         Chocolate or vanilla?


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 Paediatrician, she decided it was time for a change and returned to her first love, writing.
Soul Meaning is her debut novel and the first in a supernatural thriller series entitled Seventeen. She currently lives in Warwickshire in the West Midlands, where she is busy writing the second novel in the series while drinking gallons of tea.
 She still practises medicine. AD Starrling is her pen name.
A half breed immortal. An international manhunt. A race against time to stop a terrifying plot that threatens to kill millions. The gripping, action-packed debut novel by AD Starrling and the first in the supernatural thriller series Seventeen.
‘My name is Lucas Soul.
Today, I died again.
This is my fifteenth death in the last four hundred and fifty years.’
The Crovirs and the Bastians. Two races of immortals who have lived side by side with humans for millennia and been engaged in a bloody war since the very dawn of their existence. With the capacity to survive up to sixteen deaths, it was not until the late fourteenth century that they reached an uneasy truce, following a deadly plague that wiped out more than half of their numbers and made the majority of survivors infertile.
Soul is an outcast of both immortal societies. Born of a Bastian mother and a Crovir father, a half breed whose very existence is abhorred by the two races, he spends the first three hundred and fifty years of his life being chased and killed by the Hunters.
One fall night in Boston, the Hunt starts again, resulting in Soul’s fifteenth death and triggering a chain of events that sends him on the run with Reid Hasley, a former US Marine and his human business partner of ten years. When a lead takes them to Washington DC and a biotechnology company with affiliations to the Crovirs, they cross the Atlantic to Europe, on the trail of a French scientist whose research seems intrinsically linked to the reason why the Hunters are after Soul again.
From Paris to Prague, their search for answers will lead them deep into the immortal societies and bring them face to face with someone from Soul’s past. Shocking secrets are uncovered and fresh allies come to the fore as they attempt to put a stop to a new and terrifying threat to both immortals and humans.

Time is running out for Soul. Can he get to the truth before his seventeenth death, protect the ones he loves and prevent another immortal war? 

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