If you’re a fan of urban fantasy and paranormal books, you’ll want to check out The Starfolk Trilogy by Martha Dunlop. Take a peek inside one of the books and get to know the author better in this exclusive interview. And of course, best of luck in the great giveaway. Remember you can increase your odds of winning if you follow the tour. Thanks for stopping by!
Destiny calls. Soulmates draw closer. One woman stands in the way.
Beth trusts her psychic senses. So when her birthday visit to a daytime TV talk show takes a weird turn, she knows something is wrong. Amelia, the celebrity on stage, is oddly fixated on Beth and the man with the microphone is hauntingly familiar. Things become even stranger when she buys a tarot deck, and they are all pictured in the cards.
Jonan has waited an eternity to be with the woman who haunts his dreams. When he finally sees her at the TV studio, he hopes life with his soulmate is within reach. But as Amelia refuses to let go of their past together, his hopes fade.
Amelia stands between Beth and Jonan. Spinning tales of supernatural threats to her adoring fan base, she builds a personality cult through fear of the paranormal. As her power grows, she does her best to scare Beth away from Jonan and plans to reclaim him for herself.
United by a destiny that spans lifetimes, Beth and Jonan are determined to stop Amelia’s fear-mongering. But Amelia has more than one card to play. Even though they are fated to be together, Amelia’s destructive nature may once again tear them apart.
Read an excerpt:
He heard Doriel walk down the narrow, wonky staircase that divided the storeroom from the shop’s reading and treatment room. The tiny bells stitched into the hem of her skirt tinkled as she swung her hips. Jonan shook his head. He had no idea why she bothered with all this theatre. She was the real deal. She could have run a fabulous business in joggers and a T-shirt, but she insisted on playing to the audience. She wore flowing skirts, bells and long earrings. Her hennaed hair was braided into a loose French plait that reached her waist, sparkling with tiny crystals. She mimicked smoke and mirrors and delivered magic. She was a goddess hiding in plain sight as a walking cliché. The irony never failed to make her hoot with laughter. The distant voice made Jonan freeze. ‘I’m looking for a reading. I was told you were good.’ He dropped back from his crouch to sit on the floor, heart pounding in his chest. She had come. He had told her to come to Doriel, but he had never expected it to be this easy. This was the woman he had incarnated for, the one he was here to wake up. He knew his goal, but somehow it didn’t feel anywhere near as important as just being in the same room as her. He had no idea how she would react to his world. She had been brought up with Earth amnesia and would probably think he was crazy. Everything he was, everything he said, was strange. Would she listen, or would she run? He had no way of knowing until he tried it. A shiver ran down his spine.
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Hi Andi, and thank you for having me on your blog!
Describe your book in one sentence or fewer than 25 words.
The Starfolk Trilogy is about Beth, a woman who is called to stand up to a celebrity, Amelia, who is trying to control people through fear by spreading stories of supernatural attack.
What was the inspiration behind this book?
I started writing it in 2016 when personality cults were noticeably on the rise. I wanted to explore this, looking at how people might be drawn into things they wouldn’t otherwise believe or get involved in, and how one person’s word could be so enormously impactful. I wanted to dig into why a person might try to influence people in that way, and how they might go about it. In my books, Amelia is a celebrity. She’s also psychic and skilled in energy work. She incarnated to use those skills for good, but got lost along the way through traumas and isolation from the people she loved. This led to her to this extreme journey of wanting to be adored and followed. Beth and Jonan, my main characters, are also psychic and can also do energy work. They use these skills to counteract the choas Amelia causes, as they try to stop her manipulations. Both Jonan and Amelia were born with memories of previous lives and the destinies they came to fulfil, but Beth wasn’t. She has to learn it from scratch, but she isn’t taken in by Amelia and finds it hard to understand why others follow and believe her. This is where the book starts, with Beth sitting in a TV audience watching Amelia being interviewed, incredulous about why everyone else seems to be buying her lies.
What kind of research did you have to do for it?
The book is set in St Albans, which is an old Roman city with a Cathedral and lots of original black and white beamed Tudor buildings. There are also lots of ghost stories. When I was planning the book, I went on a local ghost walk around the centre of town, listening to stories of the history, and of the weird experiences people have documented. Ghosts play a strong part in the trilogy, with a haunted old Inn being a main location, as well as the ghost in Beth’s office and a haunted theatre. That Halloween walk provided plenty of inspiration! I love being able to walk around that area now, and feel as though I’m inside my books.
Which character was your favorite to write?
I loved writing Amelia, my antagonist. She’s unpredictable, charming one minute, brutal the next. I loved thinking about how she might handle a situation, and what she would do that would be least expected and cause the maximum chaos! These characters were all born with a destiny, and most of them remember their past lives together. They all knew Amelia might fall off the path and go in the wrong direction, and it is their responsbility to counteract her manipulations. But it takes a long time for them to really understand how much of a hit Amelia took when things went wrong, and how devasted and angry she really is.
To which character did you relate the most?
I would say Beth, although there are bits of me in many of the characters. I also read tarot and do reiki, so this story is very close to my heart. Beth has always kept her psychic abilities secret, because she was scared of what people might think. I think this is pretty common for anyone who believes themselves to be different in any way, and her jouney of finding her tribe is quite an initiation for her. I hope this is something people might relate to.
Will we see these characters again?
You will! I am currently writing the third and final book of the trilogy, but the characters may also make appearances in the next trilogy I’m planning. Do watch this space to find out more! I also have a free prequel story for my newsletter subscribers about the night Amelia claims to have encountered a Soul Snatcher. So if you’d like to find out what really happened, do head over to my website and sign up.
Tell us about your other published works.
I have a Romance called Wild Shadow, which is a story about a woman who astral projects as a tiger. A reclusive artist, she moves to a village near a zoo, in order to paint the tigers and get involved in their conservation work. But then she meets Dylan, a local musician who has become stuck in a rut. Wild Shadow has romance, music, tigers, conservation and a deadly storm. I loved writing this book!
If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
Honestly, I think it would have to be the power to heal. Imagine being able to heal yourself and your loved ones of any illness or injury! I have huge respect and gratitude for all the doctors and nurses who are able to do this in real life.
Let’s say I’m coming for a visit to your area. What are some must-see places?
I would take you around the places in my books! I would show you where The Third Eye crystal shop is that houses a lot of the action, and walk you down Fishpool Street where the (fictional) haunted Monk’s Inn would be. We could go for lunch in the restaurant where Beth is accosted by a journalist, as well as a man who is out to prove Amelia is dangerous and a fake, and walk down the main street to see where Beth works. St Albans is a lovely city and very atmospheric.
What is something readers may be surprised to learn about you?
I play folk fiddle and actually played at the after party for the first Lord of the Rings film! At the moment I am also teaching myself to play the Irish Bouzouki. It’s lovely learning to play a chord instrument, and it’s strung the same as a violin, so a lot easier than learning new strings from scratch!
Thank you so much for having me!
Martha is a dreamer and lover of stories who likes nothing better than spending her days getting to know the characters in her head.
She is a tarot card reader and reiki master, and loves to chat reading, writing and all things mystical on social media, as well as posting pictures of her fellow pack-member, Bertie the Cavalier.
A fiddle player, Martha fell in love with traditional music, particularly Irish, and is also teaching herself to play the Irish Bouzouki. She played her way through her English degree at York and remembers that time as much for the music as the books.
Martha is the author of three books: The Starfolk Arcana, Starfolk Falling, and standalone Wild Shadow. She is currently working on Book 3 of The Starfolk Trilogy, Starfolk Rising.
You can keep up with Martha’s news, book releases and extra content at www.marthadunlop.com, or on her Amazon page, https://www.amazon.com/Martha-Dunlop/e/B08HN73S3D.
You can also find her on social media at:
Martha Dunlop will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.a Rafflecopter giveaway
14 thoughts on “#Interview with Martha Dunlop, author of The Starfolk Trilogy and #Giveaway”
Thanks for hosting!
What made you decide to become a writer?
For me, the writing came first. I started writing because I needed to, and the dream of becoming an author follows when I had already fallen in love with it. I use writing, and stories, to process things and understand them in a different way.
Thanks for welcoming me onto your blog! It was lovely to chat with you.
Thank you for sharing your interview and book details, many of the questions that I would normally ask an author have already been answered but I am curious to know are you able to read or write in a noisy environment or do you need peace and quiet as I do?
That’s a great question! I am able to write in noisy environments, and can largely tune the chaos out. That said, I do like writing in peace and quiet, or sometimes with music. And when I’m on my own, I like to read out my words as I type, or to make faces to check out character expressions!
As for reading, I think it depends how interesting the noise is!
I like the cover and think the book looks good.
Thanks, Sherry! The books are both on offer at the moment if you fancy giving them a go! They’re just $0.99 this week. I hope you enjoy them!
I liked the excerpt.
Thank you, Rita!
Wonderful interview, great excerpt, nice covers, and The Starfolk Trilogy sounds like one that I want to read! Thanks for sharing it with me and have a sunshiny day!
Oh I’m so pleased! Thank you so much for your kind words. The books are on offer until the end of Wednesday if you’d like to get a bargain! I hope you enjoy them!
What inspires your book plots?
Great question! The Starfolk books were inspired by the rise of personality cults that I was seeing around me in 2016. I wanted to explore what that meant and how it interacted with people’s mindsets and what they were prepared to believe. I also went on a local ghost walk and got lots of great inspiration from there!
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