After independent careers in journalism, Richard Starks and Miriam Murcutt set up their own publishing business - since sold. They now work full-time as authors.
Their books include a non-fiction tale of high adventure, a couple of travel books to out-of-the-way places, and a fast-paced crime thriller about money, fear and greed.
It's an eclectic mix, but the books have a proven ability to entertain; and two of them have won awards (January Magazine's 'best of non-fiction' and RebeccasReads 'best in history').
Both authors live in Boulder, Colorado - recently declared America's healthiest city - so they feel compelled to say that all of their books are fat-free, salt-free, wheat-free and gluten-free. Also, none has been made on machinery used to process nuts.
Lost in Tibet, published by Lyons Press (an imprint of Globe Pequot, the trade division of Rowman & Littlefield), is a true story of high adventure, cultural conflict and political intrigue.
It tells the true story of five American airmen who, in 1943, were 'flying the Hump' over the Himalayas when a violent storm forced them to bail out over pre-Chinese Tibet. The five men were taken to Lhasa - a full two years before Heinrich Harrer, author of Seven Years in Tibet - where they became embroiled in the on-going battle that even then was raging around Tibet's struggle to be independent from China.
“An amazing story, and an entertaining and well-written book.” – National Geographic Adventure
“A superb recounting of a truly unique high adventure – could not put it down. Outstanding!” – RebeccasReads, giving the book its ‘best in history’ award.
Lost in Tibet is available in hardback as well as a new paperback and a Kindle edition. Foreign rights have been sold in six other countries; and the authors have sold an option (since expired) for the film rights.
You can hear an interview with the authors on TravelTalkMedia, an online and national broadcast news and entertainment program.
Along the River that Flows Uphill – from the Orinoco to the Amazon is a travel book that weaves the story of the authors’ journey with math, science and reason to explore the risks that are inherent in all adventure travel.
It tells of a journey the two authors took along a strange river in Venezuela called the Casiquiare. The Casiquiare is like no other river on the planet since it manages to unite two other river systems - the Orinoco and the Amazon - by apparently flowing up and over the watershed that divides them. This should not be possible.
“Five out of five stars. An unforgettably vivid travelogue.” – Midwest Book Review.
“It is creative non-fiction. It is literature, history, geography, adventure. And it is cracking good fun.” - January magazine, awarding the book its ‘best of 2009 non-fiction’.
Along the River that Flows Uphill was published by Haus Publishing, London, as part of its Armchair Traveller literary travel series. It is available in hardback as well as a Kindle edition.
A Room with a Pew gives an account of a journey the authors took through Spain, staying only in ancient monasteries.
As the authors quickly discovered, Spanish monasteries are excellent places in which to stay. They are seldom visited (so few tourists), yet they are ripe with art, history and culture (living museums). They are also home to a dying breed of monks and nuns (so last chance to see), and they are open to anyone who cares to stop by (you don't have to be religious, although it doesn't hurt if you are).
A Room with a Pew is not a spiritual search for meaning; nor is it a guide book. However, it does contain a practical chapter that shows readers how to plan their own monastery-based journey through Spain.
"The authors' use of immersion journalism provides a unique insight into the inner sanctum of the monasteries..." - Kirkus Reviews.
"A book that is great fun to read - unreligious, but not sacrilegious... an entertaining book that sheds a lot of light on an important element of Spain, and gives very practical information about the way you might go about sleeping with nuns." - A Traveler's Library.
A Room with a Pew - sleeping our way through Spain's ancient monasteries was published by The Lyons Press, an imprint of Globe Pequot, the trade division of Rowman & Littlefield. You can read an author interview in the New York Times, or hear a radio interview broadcast on Denver and Boulder's KGNU; or you can watch a short video about the book and the authors' journey through Spain's ancient monasteries.
Greenland for $1.99 is a short ebook - illustrated by more than twenty color photographs - that gives an account of the authors' journey inside the Arctic Circle.
It serves as an excellent introduction to a country that, in the past, has been rarely visited, but is now becoming ever more popular.
"I recommend this book to any armchair traveler, and I'll be reading the authors' other books too!” - Shannon, Goodreads reviewer.
"The authors’ sense of adventure and straight-forward writing style left me with a desire to pack my bags and make the trek to Greenland.” - Megan Barker Bowen, Amazon reviewer
The book is available - for $1.99 - only as a Kindle edition.
You can hear an interview about Greenland for $1.99 on TravelTalkMedia, an online and national broadcast news and entertainment program.
Money Doesn't Talk, It Kills, by Richard Starks, is a fast-paced crime thriller about money and the two emotions - fear and greed - that so often surround it.
It tells the story of Mark Slater, a university professor turned stock-market analyst, who succumbs to temptation and commits the crime of insider trading.
Too late, he realizes he has made a terrible mistake. He just wants his old life back, but against his will he is drawn into a violent criminal world from which there is no escape.
"The excitement accelerates in Richard Starks' easy read. The main characters naively stumble into mess after mess, making the story more realistic than the usual evil New York or London financial genius who gets caught by the hero." - Sound Opinion, verified Amazon reviewer.
"Money Doesn’t Talk, It Kills is the tale of a seemingly ordinary, forthright and honest couple who make one small transgression putting them on a slippery slope of intrigue and murder. I could feel the tension as they dug themselves deeper and deeper into trouble. I usually read in a slow and leisurely manner but the excitement and fast pace of the last third of the book did not allow me to put it down." - William Korstad, Amazon reviewer.