STARLINGS was published in 2011 by REVENGE INK. Available in paperback from City Books, The Kemptown Bookshop and Watersone’s Brighton and on order from Amazon in paperback and kindle format.
STARLINGS is a daisy-chain novel set in the city of Brighton. Each chapter tells the tale of one of its varied inhabitants.
Disparate lives collide in surprising ways, showing that often people are not in control of their own destinies, but are shaped by those they live next to.
The episodes are not arranged chronologically, and though most are contemporary, others are set in the 1940s, 50s and 60s 70s and 90s. These tales are told cinematically but not in any uniform style. Characters crop up in narratives that are not their own: in the thoughts of others, in photographs, at parties, or simply walking by.
The city itself is the one constant of the stories; its landmarks appear with varying significance. The Piers and the sea in particular are used to drive narratives, and provide reference points for the interior lives of the characters.
You can read my thoughts on writing the book, spreadsheets, Brighton and fast food reading on Louise Halvardsson’s blog
The first review I read was absolutely terrible. I haven’t included it here, but I do get it out and read it occasionally because it makes me laugh now. Back then I thought it was all over, that the time and effort I’d put into writing the novel had been wasted and I should never pick up a pen and paper again. The second review I got was the first one posted below and made me think that maybe I wasn’t so bad a writer after all. The next review was in The Short Review and if I have a career as a writer until I’m in my nineties I don’t think I will get a better one! I don’t take any notice of them any-more, but I am amazed at how difficult it is to get a review in the national Press. If you don’t have an agent and are published by a small publisher you might as well forget it. Starlings has just sold out its first print run and is doing well on kindle but I still can’t get it reviewed nationally. If you would like to review it please get in touch.
Here’s what they said.
This is a cracking first novel, I really enjoyed it and hope there will be many more to come. Essential reading for anyone who enjoys good storytelling, whether or not they know and love Brighton! Ten Minutes Hate
Epic, unchanging, the human condition is laid bare throughout these stories. Artfully, Mettler picks it apart, examines it, and then builds it back together again from a ruin, into something stronger, more coherent.
The Short Review
…Mettler has an astonishing ability to connect reader with character, using her mastery of language and storytelling to compel the reader to keep turning the page. Each person’s tale is riveting… The Argus Weekend, October 2011
I squirmed inside and gasped as the tense atmosphere flowed throughout the book, leaving me feeling anger and hatred towards Sydney, and I believe it to be a great accomplishment for a writer to be able to create such emotion in their readers. Pretty Litter Magazine
This brilliant first novel is beautiful, poetic and darkly humorous. The characters are believable, their stories interweave effortlessly but subtly, I felt that I was part of their lives and felt sadness pain and laughter with them. Amazon Readers Reviews
STARLINGS THE POEM
My good friend LONNY POP wrote this wonderful poem for my book launch – thanks Lonny!
Words chased her
Over the manicured slopes
Of the University lawns
Across the campus
And up the long winding stair
To the Library
To be with their own kind
To be heard
To be out of mind
Pressing in on her
Truths and Lies
Visions and cries
Her on the bus
And in the taxi home
She witnessed murder at the lagoon
Tears in the bedsit
Sunbeams in the playground
Roses blooming like blood
She saw starlings swooping
Set the spark that burnt it all down
Saw the spectre
And the clown
Now I hold her world in my hands
It is here
It is complete