Virginia Carraway Stark is in the House!

vc1

Next on our author interview series, StarkLight Press talks with Virginia Carraway Stark, whose writing resume is rivalled only by her acumen in helping fellow authors find and refine their mots justes.  You can find her at the sites listed below!

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you’ve been up to in the past few years.

The past few years have been a time of change and acceptance for me. A lot has changed and I’ve had to adapt to a lot of new things. I’ve endured betrayals from friends that I thought I would always have in my life and made new friends that I never imagined being in my life. Through it all; I’ve kept on writing.

I think the biggest thing that’s changed for me is that I’ve had to take a walk in the wilds. I had to take some time of introspection and quietude and get to know myself all over again after the things I’ve been through in life. I’ve explored myself deeply and I’ve written profoundly about my family and my childhood. I’ve explored the world through others perspectives while keeping the writings private except for a very few, trusted friends and family.

Nevertheless I do have a lot of new publications. I have several drabbles coming from Black Hare Press, a new novel coming from New Moon Press, and I have the third book in Verna’s Saga coming out as well as the fourth novel in my ‘Daughter’s Series’ starring the always popular Sasha Wheaton. Interspersed is the novel, ‘DoYou?’ which explores some of the concepts looked into in the collaborative novel Space Stranded and problems with anti-matter beings meeting matter beings. The SegDeb Galaxy is explored by Sasha and ‘Shroom.

My bookshelf has swelled to bursting with the coming releases of The Decay of Man and the release of Gendler’s Landing.
The personal set of based on true biographies that I’ve written about my family will also be coming soon, Preacher Man being the first and based on the life of my deceased elder brother. Coming close on the heels of that will be the story of my mixed race half sister.

Recently I’ve done interviews for Joshua Pantescellara’s award winning Vlog and been on a panel for historical fiction for CyCon.

After this April’s poetry month I also have enough poems to release an illustrated book of poetry, my second book of poetry that is only my own writing. I’ve been part of many poetry anthologies but having one just for me is always very special!

2. Explain for our audience a little bit about the inspiration for your tale, and the themes that inform it.

I contributed a few stories to StarkLight 5, but I think the one I’ll address is “Looking Glass”. The inspiration for it came from a series of dreams. I think it’s probably an unusual thing to dream about being summoned by a Pope who wants to use your wings for spells and bathing in a pool of mercury… but that’s just me!

This was a series of dreams that started many years ago and I felt a close relationship to many of the people in the world of the past. I’ve tried to pinpoint it to what Pope it would likely have been, but everything is all a dream. I’m pretty sure it’s a highly offensive story, but I’ve given up all thought of not offending people. I’ve learned in life that someone is always going to be unhappy by something that one does, so one might as well do as one pleases.

It’s liberating when you get past the depth of pettiness people can go to!

3. What’s your preferred method for writing: computer/smartphone, typewriter, hand, voice transcription? Tell us the most unusual place you ever wrote down a tale- in the elevator at work, on horseback, in a crowded subway?

My favourite place to write is on my laptop, ideally in a nest of cushions. I often write on my notepad on my phone or in my bullet journal or on any scrap of paper that’s handy when desperate. The most unusual place that I wrote was to write nearly an entire screenplay in between making lattes at Starbucks. I wrote it all on those brown, recycled napkins and some on my arms and hands when I ran low on napkins. It wasn’t even quiet, it was during the Christmas season and Starbucks was a madhouse. Thankfully I had an understanding manager and I was able to keep up with orders as well as writing so I didn’t get into trouble! My screenplay did go to Cannes, but that particular one didn’t get made into a movie…yet!

4. Where do you like to go best to recharge your creative batteries?

Nature is best. Animals are definitely a plus. The best place to go is to the other worlds that I imagine with my husband and creative partner. We met creating and we have continued creating together for many years now. There’s something about the way our minds meld and merge beautiful and magical worlds and characters that is like nothing else.

If I was to pick anything, I would say, with my husband, in the trees, by the water and or in the water. That’s my bliss.

5. What, in your opinion is author kryptonite? (antithetical to the creative writing process)

Reading too much about what people think about you. The worst thing is to let that influence you. I think that’s why so many television shows get punched with the suck fairy. People go through Google and FB etc to find out what people think about their writing and they lose control over their worlds. It’s really easy to get ‘feedback’ that is poisonous. Pick your feedback carefully and reject the stuff that sounds like crap. Be the ruler of your own worlds and people.

6. What are your three favorite mainstream books, and what are your three favorite indie/independently published works?

I’m going to give my three favorite mainstream authors: CS Lewis, JRR Tolkien and Richard Adams… although there are a lot more and I could probably go on and on! Indie authors are a little bit more difficult because a lot of them started off Indie and quickly became more mainstream. I tend to think of them as Indie more because they are friends than because of the nature of their writing. I really enjoy a lot of the writers from Writer Punk, I’ve published with them and always look forward to picking up the book at the end and reading everyone’s work. Robert Sawyer is by no means Indie, but he’s a friend along with Randy McCharles who also has a conventional contract, still, being more chummy, I’d list them as ‘Indie’. My absolute favorite is my bias but it’s absolutely true, my husband. He’s a wonderful writer and I can always count on co-writing with him without ever being let down. His novels are superb and his science fiction is the hard, well developed kind that could actually turn into real technology one day. His characters have seduced me a thousand times over and there’s no one whose work I’d rather read… not even Tolkien!

7. What is the last movie you saw? Give our authors a brief review.

The last movie that I watched was Solo… it was, umm, okay. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be from the review that I had heard, I think that most people didn’t like it because there was a total lack of Jedi and clearly written intending for most of the questions to be answered in a sequel. The actor who played Hans did a good job of it, his voice was eerily like Harrison Ford’s voice and he may possibly have been cloned off of Harrison Ford at some point to play the role… well, it’s science fiction, anything is possible!

8. What are your next big projects, so that our audience can keep an eye out for them.

I have a lot of projects coming out soon! The Family Series, The Daughter Series, a whole lot of short stories and poetry, the Royal Maze series… gosh… yeah, lots. Once I bring out all the things I’ve been working on in private over the past year or so it’s going to be a deluge!

Bio:

Virginia Carraway Stark has published numerous novels. She has been part of dozens of anthologies, collaborations, guest blogs, drabbles and has written screenplays that starred Rowdy Roddy Piper and Nick Mancuso. She has upcoming releases from a variety of presses including Dark Moon Publishing, Simon and Schuster, Black Hare Press and StarkLight Press. Virginia enjoys new writing experiences. She has taken part of many writing marathons both for poetry and novels. She’s a regular for the yearly novel writing exercise NaNoWriMo, the 24 hour poetry marathon and the 3 day novel writing competition. She writes a poem a day for poetry month and once went three years writing at least a poem a day. Some of her poems have been turned into songs. She has even contributed to online ‘choose your own adventure’ series! Virginia has won awards for her novels and poetry, her works have been part of other award winning series and nominated for her essays, blogging and other writing. She is well known for her passion her spirit of adventure both on and off the page. Her stories range from science fiction. Supernatural, horror and the true stories of her life, historical books (one of which was endorsed by the Prime Minister of Canada as well as the Army Corp of Engineers) or studies of the paranormal. You can find her by Googling her or at www.virginiastark.wordpress.com,

on Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/Virginiacarrawaystark/

and @tweetsbyvc. She loves to get fan mail and to take part in new adventures in writing and always, to share her passion with the world.

 

Thanks for taking the time to fill out our StarkLight Volume 5 Questionnaire!

StarkLight 5 Interview Series Begins

We kick off our series of author interviews for StarkLight Volume 5 with Anthony Stark’s answers to our print interview. Look for the rest of our author interviews coming out throughout April and May for this fifth volume of short stories from StarkLight Press.

Jerome, our StarkLight Short Story Anthology Mascot, presides over our books, and our interview series. Look for a stunning new cover reveal from our plucky and intrepid story gargoyle, coming in May!

jerome4

Please take a few minutes to include all of your latest author contact information:

I’m not really social media-ing at the present, but you can find creative work on our science fiction platform,

https://www.talesfromspace.net

and at my private blog

https://www.tonydoesstuff.wordpress.com

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you’ve been up to in the past few years.

I’m a former full-time EMR and Coroner’s Service worker who has been taking time out to work with my family. I have a background in Electrical Engineering and literature, and have recently begun studying Global Health and Crisis Management with the University of Glasgow and Johns Hopkins. This is a fascinating and complex field to study, and as horrible as it sounds, it’s very good to learn, from an author’s point of view, how the crisis management deployment tree functions, and has functioned, throughout the 20th and 21st Centuries. I’ve also been doing a fair bit of artwork, having just finished a full-color illustrated heptametric poem called The Lament of the White Star. I am also in process with a Scottish Folk rhyme that I’ve turned into a ballad, The Morphie Kelpy. This is also fully illustrated.

Following the success of our 75th Anniversary Alaska Highway Photo Book, I became inspired to write and illustrate more in tandem; the photos were fun, but I wanted to create my own.

2. Explain for our audience a little bit about the inspiration for your tale, and the themes that inform it.

I was inspired by recent investigations into the paleolithic, following a long-standing, two year study into global human history, its commonalities and its deviations from a lifestyle more in step with our bodies and our evolution, well, away from such things and off in different ways. I also quite like Time Team, and so it became a natural progression in my mind to combine one of StarkLight Press’s most effective precipitating event-makers, Madison, as a way to boost someone who was filming a segment on a show such as this, back into the era they were thinking. It was a good way to put some of the findings into practice, and see how things would have worked out and looked in such a time.

3. What’s your preferred method for writing: computer/smartphone, typewriter, hand, voice transcription? Tell us the most unusual place you ever wrote down part or all of a tale- in the elevator at work, on horseback, in a crowded subway?

I prefer the computer, but also I like handwriting; however, the transcription to computer format for publishing is too time-consuming. The strangest place I wrote part of a tale was in an MTC (Mobile Treatment Center) on a jobsite where they were laying pipeline down a nearly vertical incline. Half the time, as spotter, I had to keep an eye on the drone my company had for the virtual viewing of the crew. This was when they were laying in the pipe sections themselves; had to have a separate set of eyes. The rest of the time, between the crane actually putting in the pipe, the drone was unnecessary. So I worked on a story, part of The Androsian Question, which is a Tales from Space novel. Then, about once an hour for ten or fifteen minutes, I piloted this little quad-copter. Very Galactic Armed Forces. Very nice.

4. Where do you like to go best to recharge your creative batteries?

Nature. Outside, with trees, and ideally some form of water. Mountains are nice. Even a nice tended garden is good; if I’m desperate, I stick my head out the door under the starlight for a few minutes.

5. What, in your opinion is author kryptonite? (antithetical to the creative writing process)

I’d have to say, media- social media like Facebook, and mass-produced fodder. I think that feedback is good, in many respects. I think taking in something with a high-production value is good, to see what people are being taught to think, and how to eat the memetics of common life. However, as far as feedback goes, there’s a difference between a good solid edit of the work for continuity, sense, syntax and grammar, etc, and actual back-seat writing. If you’ve got a good plan, write it. If you don’t, then you can hash it around. This is the point where mass-produced items come into play. People either get so nervous about the ‘it’s been done’ or ‘this is just a mash-up of a) and b)’ that they forget there’s only so many types of stories, and only so many bloody interesting ones. There will be some overlap. Listening to sour grapes, or excited parallel drawing, or worrying about either, is ineffective.

Writing is ultimately an activity between you and your Maker, I think, and it can be glossed up, edited, synced or mashed into something pulpy and acceptish, but first you should write what you really, truly feel, even if it’s utterly reductive, fan-fictioney claptrap. Somewhere along the line you’ll get other people’s big shiny shows out of your head, and see what you were actually saying… and then the writing can begin.

6. What are your three favorite mainstream books, and what are your three favorite indie/independently published works?

I like a lot of non-fiction, but for fiction I like The Lord of the Rings, Anne of Green Gables, and Wodehouse’s Jeeves and Wooster series. I really enjoy the works of Shelley, Chaucer and Auden, as well.

For independent works, I like a lot of the fan works that have been put out in the Tales from Space universe (Jorge Stuart’s expansion of the Ruiz dynasty as President of the Galaxy, for example, and Virginia Carraway Stark’s expansion of the Hoshido era during the First Corporation Wars) , as well as G.W. Renshaw’s works on Veronica, super spy, and I love what I’ve read of Van Fleming’s upcoming series.

7. What is the last movie you saw? Give our authors a brief review.

The last movie I saw was an old Julian Sands flick, RomaSanta. Girl meets wolf- Too bad the Inquisition was there.

8. What are your next big projects, so that our audience can keep an eye out for them.

I’m partway through a backstory to some of the new characters (protagonist and antagonist) in volume 2 of The Irregulars. I mean, really back story. Yet another chance to delve into some ideas and wonderings about the ancient past.

I’m working on a tale of the possible end of the Telamer, the messianic alien race from the eponymously named Telamer system, who kicked out the Maitre alien invasion force in the 21st Century on Old Earth. Can the last of their failing race be saved, or will they die, and leave the Galactic Association of Globes and Asteroids in a chaos of power struggles and decay? Only the intrepid team from Detach Detachment- and their mushroom- can find out what’s the real story.

I’m also working on a story about Nick Goodfrey, and what happened to him after the second alien invasion of the GAGA, which ended the Tales from Space Universe, and scattered protagonists and antagonists alike across time, space and dimensions. Oh, and Universes, also.

There’s also a set of seven full-color picture books about a fantastic set of worlds with their own laws and ways of organizing reality. But that might take a while- illustrating is much more time-consuming than taking a picture and putting it in a layout.

We’re Back, Baby!

bender applause

It’s been a while, folks, but StarkLight Press is back!

Or rather, we are finally getting around to updating all of you lovely, loyal fans with all the amazing books, poems, multimedia work and more our happy little elves at StarkLight have been working on this past evolution.

… starting with our latest book, a Tales from Space series novel involving some of your favorite characters, including by popular demand, Verily Wrought in kid form and that precocious scamp of an android, Nick Goodfrey.

Check in later this week for the details on our latest title, The Androsian Question, along with updated editions of An Incident in El Noor, Dalton’s Daughter  and its sequel Galaxy’s Daughter.

Poetry anthology information to follow for your favorite authors, Virginia Stark!

Check again soon for information on our  upcoming short story contest, and poetry contest as well!

It’s just what the Galaxy wanted for a holiday gift!

– Tony Stark,

Publisher and CEO,

StarkLight Press.

 

An Introduction to the GAF Universe

As the vibrant heart of StarkLight Press’ science fiction universe, the Galactic Armed Forces universe is the theatre where we put on all our amazingly creative adventure presentations.

For all our new friends and fans, here is a brief overview of our flagship creative site http://www.gafmainframe.com:

Created in 2006, the GAF universe is an active, dynamic and growing science fiction world where commentary on today’s world blends seamlessly with high sci-fi adventure and wry comedy.

It is perhaps the most detailed, plausible, relatable and fascinating creative kingdom in existence, thanks to our loyal fans and creative cohorts.

Loaded with memorable characters, amazing worlds apes and a satisfying explanation for all its idiosyncrasies, the GAF universe has captivated loyal fans from over 15 countries to date.

We welcome newcomers who wish to add their creative energies to the GAF galaxyscape, just as we welcome all media. Music, poetry, news articles, artwork, sculpture, fan fic, videos- at GAFMainframe.com, your submissions are shared widely and much appreciated!

We keep a listing of important characters, events, entities and other data on GAF Mainframe for handy reference. Made as entries from the GAGA’s Encyclopaedia Galactica, these reference blogs contain important backstory on the characters in Tales from Space and other GAF stories. Many have pictures included, and we are working on links to other media like music and videos.

Excerpts from GAF stories in production as well as behind the scenes tidbits from existing novels are often posted, too.

We also offer writing prompts where our fans can stretch their creative legs and play with the GAF characters in fun and adventurous scenarios. Winning contributions are posted on GAFMainframe.com for everyone to enjoy.

Check out the vibrant reference and chat portal for the GAF Universe today and get Galactic!

-Tony Stark.