By AK Dale
CAUCAGUA, Venezuela – Out of sight, but almost never out of his mind, Edwin Stark lives on the fringe creating new worlds.
Living almost completely out of range from communicating with most of the world, Stark, who lives on the outskirts of Caucagua, has been writing for 35 years, some of those residing on the borders of rainforest.
“I actually live in the fringe of a rainforest, almost incommunicado, so I had the choice of either write or go completely bonkers in my solitude,” Stark said. “I chose to write, then, to keep my sanity. I write mostly tales about jungles, horror and adventure, sticking to that old truth of ‘write what you know about.’”
Stark, who says of himself, “always the best man, never the groom,” usually keeps a notepad Handy whenever I pop a movie into the DVD player. One never knows when an idea may surface.”
He is now retired and has used his time and resources wisely to support his love for writing.
“Fifteen years ago I made all the necessary arrangements so I could freely pursue my dreams of becoming a writer,” Stark said. “I was never happy managing other people’s business, so I quit doing it, made a considerable stash at investments, and a lonely single guy can live quite cheaply in the area I live in.”
Despite his long run of penning his thoughts onto paper, Stark’s resume of publishings is self-described as limited.
“My published list is quite short,” he said. “There’s Calle Trece, a Gabriel Garcia Marquez-style of short tales in Spanish I wrote as a teenager. I have a soft spot for this one because it’s the first of my works successfully carried to fruition. It’s the only surviving work of a two-decades long period. I shredded the rest.”
As he has finally allowed his works to get published Stark finally gets to enjoy some of the fruits of his labor.
“Firing up my web browser and discovering that some reader just posted a five or five-star review of one of my books and hearing that he or she loved it is rewarding to me,” Stark said. “A few years ago I switched from writing in Spanish, my native language, to do ir in English. That was a major goal for me. Some time ago, I managed to get so skillful that people are now uttering ‘I can’t believe English wasn’t your first language.’”
He does not enjoy the marketing and promoting of his books, calling it the most “unattractive aspect” of the profession.
“I really suck at it,” Stark admitted. “I have no skill whatsoever.”
He has enjoyed the writings of Stephen King, Larry Niven, and Douglas Adams to help him pass time in isolation.
“Now, considering my current solitude, I’d rather have the writers themselves with me than their books,” he said.
Stark has made progress in his career with most of the motivation coming from within.
“There was no one there to give me a gentle kick in the right direction,” Stark said. “But I can really tell you my source of inspiration. When I was a kid, someone gave me a 12-volume collection of Jules Verne’s works. Let’s not kid ourselves by saying this person in particular wanted me to become a writer or something like that… this dude just desired to get rid of the books and he was dumping them, anyway. However, by the time I finished the first two, which were Voyage to the Center of the Earth and Voyage to the Moon, I knew that was the thing I wanted to do: tell stories.”
Now that he has begun doing so he has worked steadily on increasing his portfolio of works, including a sequel to Eco Station One.
He also may work on some topics needing to be addressed by the world at large.
“I’d like to write about the uprising of totalitarian regimes in South America during the past decade,” Stark said. “It resembles too much the political situation in Europa before World War II. I’m afraid what’s happening now in South America will lead us into another world-wide conflict that will be hard to resolve. Why? Because people are largely unaware of something that will affect their future lives, giving it another ten years or so…. A wake up call is indeed required.”
FOR MORE INFORMATION on EDWIN STARK and his WORKS,
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