Gary Starta fuses SCI FI, Mystery and the Paranormal/Occult in “Blood Web,” the first book of the Caitlin Diggs series including “Extreme Liquidation,” “Demon Inhibitions” and “9 Incarnate.” A former journalist, Starta has published 9 books since 2004 and looks forward to publishing a new series entitled Camden Investigation as well as “Dead Market” and “I Bought the Sun for a Dollar.” For more information, visit his Amazon page here.
Q. I’ve been a fan of your work for some time. In fact, I had the pleasure of reviewing your “Extreme Liquidation,” et cetera. Readers can check out one of the reviews here. I mention “Blood Web” in the review which has now been re-released with a new cover. What made you decide it was time for new cover art?
A. The change in cover was necessitated by the original publisher sort of disappearing into the night – kind of scary – lol. So I grabbed the opportunity to publish it on KDP where I can control the price etc. By the way there is an alternative cover posted on Kindle that readers can view. I’m hoping a bargain price for a novel that runs well over normal mass market length will give readers value.
Q. What are the challenges in mixing genre fiction?
A. That’s a good question but for me I seem to see blending genres as quite normal. I believe if you’re giving a reader science theories you should be able to make it easy to digest for them because maybe your reader isn’t so much a SCI FI reader as a mystery or romance reader. It’s a juggle to blend information with entertainment. I sort of go through the whole process by feel and think as if I’m the reader and what would be entertaining for them.
Q. Good way to do it! Please give readers a synopsis of “9 Incarnate.” And, why were you inspired to write it?
A. As for 9 Incarnate this is the fourth installment in the series and if you’re going to read Blood Web you’re going to see a very changed Caitlin Diggs to say the least.
Here’s a synopsis in the words of a reviewer:
Agent Caitlin Diggs is back and still adjusting to her new life in the parallel universe. She is posing as her alternate self because this universe’s Caitlin Diggs died trying to protect her. It is a weird concept for her to grasp at first, but she is learning.
When the President of the United States is mysteriously murdered, Caitlin and Briana must go to work to figure out if it was a demon who committed the crime. Armed with paranormal powers and Briana’s ability to cast spells, they handle the paranormal side of FBI investigations.
They feel like they may be getting clues, when suddenly, the whole demon population on the planet suddenly disappears.
Now, this is the alternate universe that Caitlin is in, so demons are as common as humans.
When strange orbs enter Earth and begin trying to communicate with the population, Caitlin and her crew at the FBI begin to theorize that they may be dealing with ancient Egyptian gods and goddesses.
This intrigues Caitlin more than usual because she is so constantly referred to as the goddess Isis.
When the Ennead actually make it to Earth, their motives come into question. Are they here to help humanity, or are they here to take over. Battling the investigation into the President’s death as well as trying to figure out why gods and goddesses are reappearing on Earth, Agent Diggs has no lack of action in her life.
With a character as well written and likeable as Caitlin Diggs, I feel fans of any genre would be able to get into this book.
The rest of the characters are also great supporting characters. They are all pretty likable in their own ways and have strong character arcs. They are well-written, and I don’t feel like any character was paid less attention to
The writing makes for a nice reading pace. It flows together nicely and has a nice balance of dialogue.
Q. On your Amazon page, it’s noted that “Contemporary authors Laurell K. Hamilton, Rachel Caine, Jim Butcher and Kelly Armstrong also fuel [your] aspiration to create paranormal suspense.” How did you go about building paranormal suspense in both “Blood Web” and “9 Incarnate?”
A. In Blood Web, Caitlin is already on pins and needles due to the death of her FBI partner and lover so in order to make it more than just an ordinary crime drama I wanted to create a scenario where she would relive or re-experience some events. Using a crystal, which attaches itself to an unsuspecting teen, it begins controlling him and ordering him to kill to sustain it. By the time Caitlin faces off against the killer she has another nemesis in the crystal which will attempt to connect with her and tempt her with a false reality, possibly saving her deceased lover/partner.
In 9 Incarnate, Caitlin Diggs is perplexed when she finds she is sharing consciousness with the goddess Isis due to the crystal connection. When the other gods return to Earth she begins doubting herself as an investigator and wonders if the Isis connection will be a nefarious influence. Could she be both criminal and investigator?
Q. What books have you read this year that you think should be on everyone’s ‘must list?’
A. I am kind of out of date with current books but I am looking to forward to reading the brand new Dresden Files release. I found these books very influential when I decided to switch Caitlin Diggs from third person to first person narrative.
Q. What’s on the horizon for the remainder of 2014?
A. I am looking forward to releasing Dead Market through a traditional publisher as well as finishing up the trilogy of my new Camden Investigations series. Dead Market is a zombie novel that ties into the push for pills by Big Pharma. Camden Investigations involves ufology and ghost hunting.
Q. Where can readers go to connect with you and your wonderful work? (social networking sites, etc.)
A. Blood Web FB page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Blood-Web/7548046583
9 Incarnate FB page: https://www.facebook.com/9IncarnateCaitlinDiggsIV
***Mr. Starta can be found on Twitter here.