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Monday, March 25, 2013

AD Starrling Talks Bonus Material and Research Plus a Giveaway



Hello and thank you for having me here!

Today, I would like to share bonus material from the research that went into Soul Meaning, the first novel in my supernatural thriller series Seventeen. These extras will hopefully give you an insight into what was going through my mind when I was writing the book!

Enjoy!

 1.    Lucas’s Glock 17

Although he hates violence, this is Lucas Soul’s favorite gun by far. Designed by Gaston Glock and manufactured by Glock Ges.m.b.H. since 1982, its use has been widely adopted by police and military forces around the world, including the British Armed Forces from 2013. A third of the way into writing Soul Meaning, I ended up changing the guns I had given to Lucas and his human partner Reid Hasley simply because I wanted them to be able to share magazines during one particular fight scene. 

 2.    Lucas’s daisho
 The katana is the longer blade, with the shorter wakizashi below, each with its own lacquered scabbard. The principal reason I chose this weapon for Lucas is because I made become the apprentice to Miyamoto Musashi, the author of ‘The Book of Five Rings’ and the founder of the Hyoho Niten Ichi-ryu, the ‘Two Heavens as One’ or ‘Two Swords as One’ style of swordsmanship. Musashi was a ronin who lived during the Japanese Edo period and was reputed to have been the best samurai in the world, undefeated in battle. The other major influence for choosing Japanese blades comes from my fascination with action mangas and animes, particularly Bleach. 

3.    Lucas’s Hayabusa

This is one of three motorcycles owned by Lucas. The word Hayabusa translates to Peregrine Falcon in Japanese. This Suzuki sports bike has been hailed the fastest production motorcycle of the 20th century, with a recorded top speed of 194 mph; this is close to the velocity achieved in a stoop or vertical hunting dive by the bird of prey it was named after. Lucas’s Hayabusa is midnight black.

4.    Reid’s Chevy

Reid’s 1987 Chevrolet Monte Carlo. He got it from the Boston PD when he resigned as a Homicide Detective. It has a police radio scanner that comes in handy during their stake outs. Seriously though, he should negotiate a raise with Lucas.

5.    One of Lucas’s many cars

 This is Lucas’s Dodge Viper SRT10, although his is blue. People who know me well are aware of my fascination with nice cars. Don’t bother asking me about their specs or what’s under the hood, I’m all about the curves, the angles, the sleekness, the general Va-va-voom of these manmade beasts. Very much like his creator, Lucas likes his cars fast. This comes as a rather nasty surprise for Reid. It’ll take a long time for the poor guy to recover from that trip to New York…

6. Pierre Vauquois’s Jaguar XK120 roadster


When I took the story across to Europe, I immediately visualized Lucas and Reid driving around Paris in a vintage vehicle. Although I originally intended to put them in a classic Citroën 2CV, I felt it would not do justice to their characters, and chose the Jag instead. Also, I wanted a faster and sexier ride for the chase scene in Gif-sur-Yvette. This is the car that Lucas virtually destroys in France. The Citroën still made it into the story though!  

7. Zurich Hauptbahnhof


Having never been to Zurich, it took me days of research to be able to visualize the interior of the Hauptbahnhof station, as well as the layout of the roads around it. These were crucial factors in writing that epic fight and chase scene, especially when I moved the action to the Bahnhofstrasse. I hope the descriptions made for vivid reading!

8. Lucas’s favorite beer

I made the original Stiegl beer Lucas’s favorite drink because it would have been around at the time the Ottoman Empire tried to capture Vienna again in 1683. It’s a miracle he managed to fight the Ottoman Army at all…

9.    The Bastians’ C40 Clipper

The is the military Boeing aircraft the Bastians use to get Lucas out of Germany. I originally wanted to give them a Boeing C-17 Globemaster or the Lockheed C-5 Galaxy with its nose and aft doors, but a larger military aircraft would have limited the number of private or abandoned airfields they could use, and would have seriously stood out. 

10.     The Halo Drop

I had so much fun researching the HALO (high altitude low opening) jump. For one thing, I also learned about the HAHO (high altitude high opening) jump. I picked the HALO because it has the cooler name of the two (seriously, who’s gonna pick the HAHO? It sounds like some kind of garden maze or something to do with suspicious dwarves!). Also, the HALO has the longer free fall, with that super sweet terminal velocity of 170 mph. I knew I wanted this for the final battle scene, although having Lucas and Reid learn the finer points of HALO jumping in one day is, realistically speaking, impossible! Now, imagine doing this in the dark, with night vision goggles! I have the perfect song for it on my September 18 2012 News post.

These extras are also available under the Bonus section on my website. Look out for upcoming bonus material from King’s Crusade, Book 2 in the series Seventeen!

Happy reading, writing, and blogging!

AD Starrling



Soul Meaning
Seventeen Series Book One
AD Starrling

Genre: Supernatural thriller

ISBN: 978-0957282605
ASIN: B008L8IU8C

Number of pages: 420
Word Count: 108,187

Cover Artist: Streetlight Graphics




Book Description:

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? 

About the Author:

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.





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