Thursday, February 11, 2016

Something in the Water by Ben Starling

Today, I'm happy to introduce Ben Starling to the blog. Welcome Ben! Tell us a little about yourself. When you're not writing, what do you like to do?

Analyse boxing techniques on online. I used to coach and box competitively until a few years ago. Many people see only the force and lightning speed of boxing. But it is a beautiful sport in many ways too if you understand and watch for the underlying strategy in each play.

I loved watching boxing with my dad when I was younger. Brings back some great memories. What have you been working on recently? 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. Here’s the blurb:

The sealed box Teal finds in the street contains more than just a mystery…

What if to be with the man of your dreams…you had to give up your life? 

On the verge of losing her job, side-lined journalist Teal is forced to travel to the South Pacific to profile a powerful businessman. But with her almost-but-not-quite fiancĂ© Bear discouraging her every step of the way, she may not be able to save her career or her relationship. 

When corporate criminals invade paradise, Teal teams up with a former 
boxer turned marine-biologist to investigate. As she discovers the true intentions behind their new canning operations, she must either accept the plum promotion that will save her career or—with Perry—defend the island with more than her life.

Something in the Water, An Ocean Romance is available on Amazon. 

Oh! I see the boxing tie-in now. Who will this story appeal to? 

Those who love the works of Nicholas Sparks, Nora Roberts and Colleen Hoover.

I'm a huge Nora Roberts fan. Can't wait to see where you take me with this story, Ben! What inspired you to become an author?

An accidental long-term commitment to simplicity. It’s an occupation that lends itself to a lifestyle de-emphasizing material possessions and that promotes time for reflection. It’s so easy, so compelling to get caught up in the rush of city life, so difficult to wind down and be mindful of the little things, the simple things. The things which make life worthwhile.

Interesting. I know my life is quite complicated at times and I miss the simple things. It's always nice to take that break that brings you back to a simpler place and time. I imagine your lifestyle gives you time to reflect on all kinds of advice. What is the best advice you’ve been given?

Swim 60 lengths every morning before writing.

I'd love to, if I had access to a pool. I'd miss working on my form. Speaking of form, what is your favorite literary form to write?

I enjoy everything, everything. I’ve written poetry, a screenplay, a novella, short stories, non-fiction articles. There is something to learn from everything. Every form teaches something new and informs the next project’s challenges. Poetry teaches imagery and rhythm. Short stories hone tight scene writing. Novels need structure and pace. Structure and pace lift poetry…

I’m currently writing a Valentine’s Day poem—it’s being written over several days in the lead up to the big day. I am releasing it stanza by stanza daily on my facebook page.

That is so cool! Where can we check it out? 

Visit me at to follow a new kind of event-a Valentine’s Poetry Writing Reality Show!

Is there anything you MUST have in order to write?

Silence. Frequent breaks. Occasional chocolate. Encouragement from my editor and beta readers. More chocolate…

I'm sensing a theme here :-) What can we look forward to next from you?

Something in the Water will be 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 (and also available at Amazon). The second short story in the series, Something on the Fly, will be released in the Spring!

Where can we find these books?

Something in the Water - available on Amazon

Something in the Air –  available for FREE at, Kobo It's also available at Amazon, for $0.99

Something on the Fly – coming soon!

Care to share a snippet from Something in the Water?


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.

Read the rest of Something in the Water, Chapter 1 at

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 boxing Blue (varsity champion five years running), was Captain of the university boxing team, and coached and competed until a few years ago. He is 6’3”and 192 lbs. Ben graduated with a Master of Arts and a Master of Philosophy. He was born in the USA but has lived in the UK since childhood.

Connect with Ben at:


  1. Great interview, Ben and Mary. Congrats on your book, Ben.

  2. Wonderful interview. Learning more about Ben every interview. Love you interview Mary and both of Ben's books. Looking forward to future books by Ben.

    1. Hi Christy! Thanks for dropping by and for the kind words. I'm looking forward to reading Ben's new release!


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