First of all, tell us a little about yourself. What do you do when you’re not writing? Do you play a musical instrument?
I was bemused by flute lessons as a child for an astonishingly brief period of time. I was also incarcerated in choir hall daily after school for many years. However, I would like to play the violin – it’s the most romantic instrument I can think of. Just once I’d like to bring tears someone’s eye through the beauty of music. I brought tears to the eyes of my flute teacher, but that was an entirely different story…
These days, when I’m not writing, I hike and swim to keep fit. And I still coach boxing.
Can you tell us about your new release?
Something in the Water is fundamentally a love story with a bit of adventure in the tropics thrown in too. A sidelined journalist teams up with a boxer to thwart a corporate cartel that is endangering a fragile paradise. The journalist and the boxer find they make a pretty good team!
Can you give us another hint of what’s in store for us in your novel?
Other highlights in this tale include: a mega yacht, a super sensitive whale, two environmentalists with a passion for concrete garden angels and Scrabble, verdant tropical island politics, seaweed farming and a faithful blue-footed seabird stowaway. And a love that lights up two lives and reaches past the grave.
Something in the Water, An Ocean Romance is available on Amazon. http://bit.ly/SITWgenu2am
I’m a freelance editor, working on business plans 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.
Something in the Water 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. In the aftermath, an old friend challenged me to turn that grief into something positive.
Remembering a conversation with a charismatic Polynesian fisherman (I visited there once) about his people’s vision of death and the afterlife, I began to write. 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…
What are your top three favorite things about writing?
I enjoy staring at a computer screen – the writer’s blank canvas - and adding shape and color...I am also an artist and see parallels between writing and art. Every written scene has a foreground, mid-ground and background, just as a painting or drawing does. Secondly, the discipline of adding literary shape and colour in a structured way is challenging but rewarding. Thirdly, I love magic moment when it all comes together!
What’s your favorite movie?
Titanic. It brought tears to my eyes. I found it astonishing. Although the CGI used was an early-infancy technology, at the time, it was ground-breaking.
What can we look forward to next from you?
Something in the Water is supported by a series of short stories that reveal the backstories of the major characters in this world.
The first in the series, Something in the Air, is available now free at my website as well as free on Kobo (also available at Amazon) and the second short story in the series, Something on the Fly, will be released in the Spring!
Something in the Water - available on Amazon http://bit.ly/SITWgenu2am
Something in the Air –
· available for FREE at www.ben-starling.com and
· available FREE at Kobo http://bit.ly/SITAgenu2kobo .
· Also at Amazon http://bit.ly/SITAgenu2am
Something on the Fly – coming soon!
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Something in the Water – Chapter 1 begins…
New York, September
He didn’t look like the hotel guests, the business people, or the tourists. He didn’t move like them either.
He brushed past me as I climbed off my Vespa, stilettos in hand, outside the entrance of the Waldorf Astoria. Had he smiled at the radiance of my scarlet ball gown? Or was he amused by my battered Converse sneakers?
As a valet approached to take my scooter and helmet, I spotted my boss, Malcolm, waving hello from the lobby. He was approaching the glass doors that separated us when I noticed a small wooden box on the ground. Two steps later, I had picked it up. Who could have dropped it?
No one was close by, so I turned. The only man who’d passed me was already a half block away, gliding beside the cars that waited for the lights to change at the end of the block. Was it his?
What I knew for sure was that now wasn’t the time to be tracking down the little box’s owner. I should hand it in to reception and concentrate on the evening ahead. For a few seconds, I relaxed as I studied the hotel’s confident, soaring opulence—a world unknown to me before my arrival from Nantucket four years ago. The smooth texture of the box, however, drew my thoughts back to it. Was there something valuable inside? What if it did belong to that man, and he never returned to collect it? I turned the box over—and caught my breath.
“How on earth…?”
Malcolm emerged in front of me. “Hello, darling, you look absolutely—are you okay?”
I thrust my sparkly evening shoes into his hands, and hitched up my shawl. I was about to give chase when a convertible Ferrari lurched to a stop beside me.
“Going my way, babe?” its driver shouted, over the thrum of the engine.
But my dress was redder, and I got the better start.
You can find the rest of Something in the Water, Chapter 1 at http://ben-starling.com/chapter-one/
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BIO & SOCIAL MEDIA
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.
Connect with Ben at www.ben-starling.com and