Welcome, Ben and thank you for joining me. What have you been working on recently? Can you tell us about your new release?
Thank you for interviewing me, Karen. I’m excited as my short story Something in the Air has just been released on Amazon. In this new short love story, the focus is on a returning soldier, a veterinarian and an urban environmental concern. Here’s a little bit about it:
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…
It’s on Amazon at http://bit.ly/SITAdemers2amaz
Is this your first book? How many books have you written?
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 up the second short story in this series – the title of which will be released soon!
The novel in this series, Something in the Water, is already complete and available for pre-order on Amazon now.
Tell us a little more about yourself. How did you get started writing?
My upcoming novel, Something in the Water, was inspired by the loss of my partner at forty-five years of age to ovarian cancer, 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. Through the written word, I hoped to explore and capture several extraordinary events that happened around the time of my girlfriend’s death. The books kind of took off from there…
What do you do when you’re not writing? What is one thing that would surprise us?
I’m a freelance editor, working on business plans, articles published in specialist magazines and some fiction.
Something surprising? Well, I still coach boxing. My love of the sport is so much a part of me that it’s really like breathing. But I suppose most people see me as quite quiet, so perhaps the love of boxing is surprising. I enjoy the technique and the strategy of the game. It’s fascinating, always changing. I stopped competition some years ago, but am still coaching others.
Tell us a little bit about your cover art. Who designed it? Why did you go with those particular images/artwork?
Would you believe…I did? I know it’s meant to be a no-no to design one’s own cover, but I am a self-taught graphic artist and really enjoy the process of coming up with cover concepts and bringing them to life.
For me, it somehow completes the creative circle of creating a novel or short story. In the initial stages, I toss ideas back and forth with my editor. After we agree on an image and a design concept, then the whole cover seems to come to life on its own.
Is there a certain type of scene that’s harder for you to write than others? Love? Action? Racy?
O dear, yes. I am quite squeamish about writing the love scenes! And it’s quite a challenge to make them believable and also to keep similar scenes new and fresh each time.
Crazy Questions That No One Ever Asks Authors
Where is one place you want to visit that you haven’t been before?
Antarctica! And I’d love to visit Tonga one day again too. Beautiful, contrasting environments. We live in such a complex world with so many fascinating species to see.
What book are you reading now?
Lost For Words, by Alice Kuipers, a British-Canadian author. It’s a gripping YA novel that I am just getting into. I make a real effort to explore genres outside my own. There is something new to learn everywhere. I’m looking forward to learning from Kuiper’s distinctive style.
Thanks for interviewing me, Karen. I look forward to reading your work too.
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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