L. A. Starks Newsletter, Fall 2011

     Welcome to my semi-annual newsletter. Yes, it arrives in your inbox a mere four months after the spring 2011 newsletter . . . with the record heat in Texas, summer only seemed six months long.

Writing:

     Two weeks ago I sent another draft of the second book to an editor. While I await his comments, I'm starting the third book. More soon.

Energy:

     I added fuel ethanol companies and MidContinent refiners to the companies reviewed at Starks Energy Economics (SEE). SEE has a subscription section for energy investors that features financial metrics for small groups of public energy companies ($29 for three months or $99 for a year).

     The combination of thriller writing and energy economics has led to invitations to address groups such as the Project Management Institute. I presented "Brown Bears, Black Oil," two risk management cases, last week.

     One note: the new accessibility of large volumes of oil from shale has led to diminished relevance of “peak oil.” For the first time in years, the US is increasing its domestic oil production. While it won't displace imports, this new production changes the dynamics of oil pricing and transportation, especially in the MidContinent. You may have heard about one result--the wide gap in pricing, as much as $25/barrel or more, between two marker crudes of the same quality, WTI-Cushing and European Brent.

Reading:

     Of the seventeen books I've read since the end of May, two stand out. Put Sister: A Novel, by Rosamund Lupton, on your list. While it feels especially poignant because I lost my own sister last year, the book combines literary and suspense formats. It has a phenomenal twist at the end.

     As an author who enjoys reading thrillers as well as writing them, I was especially pleased to come across Petroplague by Amy Rogers. Rogers gets the technical details of an oil-eating bacteria right, and tells an action-filled story.

     Cathy Worthington's Moskovsky Station is a chilling what-if set in Moscow's underbelly. I also liked Split Second by Catherine Coulter. On the non-fiction side, Gordon Mathews has written an excellent book about trade called Ghetto at the Center of the World.

     Until next time,

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


Fiction 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.
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.
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