An Interview with Ben Starling

When did you decide to become a writer?

I was looking for a change of direction. I felt that I fitted the ‘everyone has a book inside them’PROFILE PIC4 idea, and I’d written so many essays, a dissertation and thesis at university that I wasn’t too intimidated.

Why do you write?

I enjoy the challenge, the creation of a plausible universe in the hope of making an important point along the way.

What genre are your books?

Contemporary fiction.

Do you write full-time or part-time?

Full time.

For your own reading, do you prefer ebooks or traditional paper/hard back books?

I haven’t sampled an ebook – I’m a traditionalist at heart. Interestingly, I read the other day that young people are swinging back towards paper.

How do you relax?

Music, doing my art, walking … and if this isn’t a contradiction, thinking about the plot of the current book.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

I should have started writing a very long time ago … maybe done a creative writing course too – that would have saved some time and many mistakes.

If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why?

Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea. Because it was the first book I loved.

Where were you born and where do you call home?

I was born in the USA (NY) but have lived in the UK since I was a small boy. The UK is home.

What date were you born?

You can leave off the year if you like… 1st September 1876.

What is the most important lack in your life?

Money.

What makes you cry?

Editing my work.

What do you think is the worst way to die?

Slowly, painfully … in the knowledge you’ve been a bad person.

Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?

On and off from morn (after my coffee in the local coffee shop) until I conk out.

Do you write every day, 5 days a week or as and when?

Can be 7 days a week for periods. Then I take a few days off to recover.

Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day?

No.

Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?

A combination of the two.

Do you ever get writer’s block?

Only mildly. A long walk usually cures it.

Are there certain characters you would like to go back to, or is there a theme or idea you’d love to work with?

I don’t anticipate using any characters again but the exploration of love, in a thriller novel … with an environmental/spiritual theme continues to appeal to me.

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