Richard Starks and Miriam Murcutt - authors

Non-fiction books by Richard Starks
and Miriam Murcutt

Lost in Tibet is a true story of high adventure, cultural conflict and political intrigue - set against the mystical background of pre-Chinese Tibet.
“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.

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.
“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’.
A Room with a Pew gives an account of a journey the authors took through Spain, staying only in ancient monasteries.
"The authors' use of immersion journalism provides a unique insight into the inner sanctum of the monasteries..." - Kirkus Reviews.
"If you have any inclination to try an offbeat way of seeing Spain, this book will give you options." - Book Pleasures.
"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.

Greenland for $1.99 is a short ebook - illustrated by more than twenty photographs - that gives an account of the authors' journey inside the Arctic Circle.
"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

Fiction - by Richard Starks
A fast-paced crime thriller about money and the two emotions - fear and greed - that so often surround it.
"This is a fast paced thriller with an ingenious plot." - Michael, Amazon reviewer.

Richard Starks
After independent careers in magazine and newspaper journalism, Richard Starks and Miriam Murcutt set up their own small publishing business - since sold. They now work full-time as authors.

Their books include a narrative 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 all have in common their 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 tell their readers that all of their books are fat-free, salt-free, wheat-free and gluten-free. Also, none of the books has been made on machinery that's been used to process nuts.

The authors are available to talk - via Skype - to book clubs around the world; and they are happy to write guest columns for bloggers. They're able to discuss any or all of their own books, or they can talk about writing in general - for example, on what it is like for two people to write the same book (without causing each other harm).

Their most recent books are:

Lost in Tibet

This is authors' first book, initially published by The Lyons Press, an imprint of Globe Pequot. Lost in Tibet tells the true story of five American airmen who, in 1943, were 'flying the Hump' 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 right to be independent from China.

A new edition of Lost in Tibet was published in October, 2012. Foreign rights have been sold in six other countries; and there have been on-going discussions with scriptwriters about turning the book into a film.

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

Along the River that Flows Uphill - from the Orinoco to the Amazon was published in the United Kingdom by Haus Publishing, London, as part of its Armchair Traveller literary travel series.

It gives an account 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 face of 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.

Miriam Murcutt
Along the River that Flows Uphill delves into the history of this unique river's discovery and exploration, and it examines the culture of some of the people who live alongside it - most notably the Yanomami Indians, who are reputed to be "the most violent people on Earth". It also uses the authors' brush with FARC guerrillas to explore the risk that's inherent in any adventure travel - and by extension the risk that's inherent in the bigger adventure of life.

You can listen to a Rick Steves interview with the authors on the Travel with Rick Steves national public radio program (interview 209, entitled 'Intrepid Adventurers').

A Room with a Pew

The authors' third book - A Room with a Pew - sleeping our way through Spain's ancient monasteries - tells of a journey they took through Spain, staying exclusively in that country's ancient monasteries. It was published by The Lyons Press, an imprint of Globe Pequot, in September, 2012.

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 will appeal to first-time visitors to Spain as well as to seasoned travelers who are looking for a new way to experience the country - especially those who've hiked along the Pilgrims' Way to Santiago de Compostela. The book is not a spiritual search for meaning; nor is it a traveler's guide book. However, it does contain a practical chapter that shows readers how to plan their own monastery-based journey through Spain.

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

The authors' fourth book - Greenland for $1.99 - is a short e-book illustrated by more than twenty photographs. It describes a journey the authors took inside the Arctic Circle, and serves as an excellent introduction to that country. It is currently 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

Most recently, Richard Starks has written a fast-paced crime thriller called Money Doesn't Talk, It Kills. 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 seems no hope of escape.

The book, published by Prestwicke Publishing, is available only in a Kindle edition.

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Other books by Richard Starks & Miriam Murcutt

Watch a short video about A Room with a Pew, and the authors' journey through Spain's ancient monasteries.