L. A. Starks Newsletter, Spring 2012

     Welcome to my semi-annual newsletter.

Writing:

     Good News on Book 2: A few weeks ago my second book, STRIKE PRICE, was accepted for publication by L&L Dreamspell. A contract remains to be signed and a publication date scheduled, but I'm excited!

     L&L Dreamspell (LLD) has already published one of my short stories, Gumbo Filé, in the Dreamspell Nightmares anthology, as well as the e-book edition of 13 Days: The Pythagoras Conspiracy (Lynn Dayton Thriller #1) and is on the benchmark list of approved publishers at Mystery Writers of America and International Thriller Writers.

     
Here's a preview: In STRIKE PRICE, up-by-the bootstraps executive Lynn Dayton and Cherokee elder Jesse Drum must call on their fragile trust of one another, the newest forms of data analysis, the old code of the Cherokee syllabary, and their own physical daring to stop saboteurs' attack on a trillion-dollar oil target.

Reading:

     Among the eighteen books I've read since September, I especially recommend four novels, each by established authors. Taken, by Robert Crais, is a tense, well-researched thriller about human trafficking. While Break Down, by Sara Paretsky is as heavy on the politics, it is a well-written addition to the Vic Warshawski series. No Mark Upon Her is an excellent addition to Deborah Crombie's series; I really enjoyed the rowing scenes. Crombie continues to engage readers with her characters' growth. Continuing the English theme, and best of all, is the witty, humane Major Pettigrew's Last Stand, by Helen Simonson.

Energy:

     I reviewed Bakken oil producers, Marcellus gas producers, the Macondo companies, and MidContinent refiners at Starks Energy Economics (SEE). http://starksenergyecon.com The website also now features a free quarterly update. Since the beginning of 2011, I have spoken to fifteen groups, of up to two hundred people, about oil prices and the combination of thriller writing with energy economics.

     One of many positive developments from the increase in US natural gas and natural gas liquids production is that the industries they "fire and feed"—like steel and plastics—are now able to expand in the US for the first time in decades.

     The perennial spring question of gasoline prices? I suggest a look at oil prices: Brent at a toppy $125/barrel. Interestingly, in addition to the classic light sweet oil prices of West Texas Intermediate (US), Brent (Europe), and Tapis (Asia), there's now an established price for Bakken crude, (Minnesota). More than anything, this speaks to the increasing volume of its production: fivefold in a few years, from 100,000 BPD to 500,000 BPD. For context, the US uses about fourteen million barrels per day of crude oil.)

     Until next time, or the pub date for STRIKE PRICE,

     L. A. Starks, http://lastarksbooks.com


Fiction (in story order) by L. A. Starks:

13 Days: The Pythagoras Conspiracy (Lynn Dayton Thriller #1), by L. A. Starks
  • Print ISBN 978-1-933285-45-0, published by Brown Books Publishing Group, May 2006.
  • E-book ISBN 978-1-60318-357-4, published by L&L Dreamspell, October 2010. Available from Kindle, Nook, multi-format Fictionwise (twelve e-reader platforms including the popular ePub standard), Overdrive for libraries, Kobo, and OmniLit.
Short Stories on Amazon Kindle
  • Robert and Thérèse Guillard: Choices” involves an alternate subplot for 13 DAYS' Parisian antagonist and how it feels to fly in a wingsuit. 2007. ASIN: B003NE6D74.
  • A Time for Eating Wild Onions” introduces two key characters in the second book. The tragedy that befalls them profoundly shapes the next generation. 2007. ASIN: B003NE6DGA
Gumbo Filé,” in Dreamspell Nightmares anthology, edited by Lisa René Smith
  • Print ISBN 978-1-60318-150-1, published by L&L Dreamspell, October 2010.
  • E-book ISBN 978-1-60318-151-8, published by L&L Dreamspell, October 2010. Available from Kindle, Nook, multi-format Fictionwise (twelve e-reader platforms including the popular ePub standard), Overdrive for libraries, Kobo, and OmniLit.