Edwin Stark

Biography

Hello, my name's Edwin Stark, and I was born in Caracas, Venezuela. That's South America for the few geographically-challenged ones out there. I suppose that somehow the stork had just stumbled out from a pub while it was delivering me, (it was confused to say the least) and mishandled my humble persona, leaving me stranded in this unlikely place.

Having German ancestry, I spoke that language as a toddler, but my Mom had the misconception that I'd fit better here if I spoke Spanish, so that tongue was lost during my growing years. I grew up dreaming crazy tales and was my teacher's pet when it came to composition class—but not in deportment: that was for certain—and as I grew up I tried to get noticed as a writer by submitting to every magazine and writing contest available in my home country. No such luck; the publishing market in Venezuela is utterly locked out: you can only see your words in print if you're already a notorious politician or a TV celebrity. Since I wasn't in the inclination of becoming a serial murderer to achieve notoriousness and get published, the need to rethink the approach to my writing career became a must.

Eventually, I decided to switch languages and start writing in English. I was already proficient in that language… but was I good enough to tell stories in that fashion?
I then started to write short stories, effectively dumping my native language. I wrote nearly 200 short stories during a period of about eighteen months, slowly learning the nuances of story-telling in another language than your own. I already had the benefit of having the knack of telling a tale; I only had to adjust. 190 of them short tales certainly sucked; 10 were really neat, but the important thing was the learning process. These ten tales eventually made it into Cuentos, the short story collection which became my third book. I succeeded so well in tearing myself apart from Spanish, that almost everyone I meet online says: "I CAN'T BELIEVE ENGLISH ISN'T YOUR FIRST LANGUAGE!"

So far, I wrote four books: AI Rebellion, a rather preachy cyberpunk thriller that still shows the struggle of switching languages (and I only recommend people to read it if they're on an archeological mood, as in if they're interested in seeing my progress as a writer), Eco Station One, a very bizarre and funny satire, the aforementioned Cuentos, and The Clayton Chronicles, a rather cookie-cut vampire tale. All these are available for the Kindle reader on Amazon, in paperbacks and all e-book formats in Smashwords.

Where to find Edwin Stark online

Twitter: TheEdwinStark
Facebook: Facebook profile

Books

This member has not published any books.

Smashwords book reviews by Edwin Stark

  • Cloud Nine : A Paranormal Romance of the Guardians of Man on April 05, 2011

    Cloud Nine deals with the growing relationship between a teenaged girl and her self-appointed spirit guardian, and the many situations she faces as she tries to synch him up into her typical teenager life. These implicit complications include her friends, family and a former boyfriend. Definetively a fine paranormal romance to read. The author seems to possess a keen knowledge of the teen mind, which makes her able to create credible teenagers, quite a difficult deed. Earlier on, the writer manages to pull one of the most dangerous stunts in the English language: switching from one character viewpoint to another while still retaining the first person narrative... and she succeeds. Usually this is certain literary suicide; some readers will find find these non-standard handling of conventions jarring and confusing. But the author apparently thinks 'Damn the torpedoes' and goes full speed ahead, spinning a very charming tale with a lot of bravado. Highly recommended.
  • Extraordinary on April 20, 2011

    Here was a story I desperatedly tried to like, for it had an intriguing premise from the start. Interesting situations, potentially likeable characters and a nice twist somewhere in the middle. However, here's an author that, although he seems able to grasp all the necessary story elements (I sampled 'Sara Bear', his other book for the sake of comparison; grab that one instead), is apparently unable to make a decent lift off: the promising characters lack enough development, have almost aimless motivations and the story is told in unmanageable linear and straightforward chunks of text; no scene breaks, poor handling of story flow and there's no feeling of time passing in the tale, which are important elements in what is supposed to be a detective mystery. Also thepacing is wrong... it starts nice and slow as a good mystery should, but it suddenly starts to move with the speed of a landslide. Taz, the 10-year old heroine wiz-kid, seems to be pulling cute stunts of superior thinking and skills without even blinking; it made me feel as if she was a prestidigitator pulling hankies and ace cards from her sleeves. She has a devil-may-care attitude toward it and she doesn't even seems to be stumped or even daunted by the troubles ahead. Heavens! even the great Nero Wolfe has been put in a dumbfounded position once or twice, confound it! Now, there's something else that bothered me... and it was the preachy tone the book had concerning education and school-related sports. It was as if the author was acting like a nutter in Hyde Park, standing on a soapbox and yelling at me his viewpoints on the subject matter. I should know, for I've been guilty of that same sin in my first novel, AI Rebellion; I noticed it in the first draft, and did my best to hammer out the most of it in my second and third draft. If this author does a major re-write, fleshes the story out with some more character motivations, puts a leash on Taz and her bag of superior skills, weeds out some of the preachy tone and has a careful eye on the pacing, he'll likely end with a potential hit in his hands.
  • Zachary Pill, The Dragon at Station End, Trilogy on Aug. 30, 2011

    As a writer, I'm far more conscious about plot elements and the structure of a story than the average reader. I just came back from the trenches, having read Tim Greaton's "Zachary Pill", and I'm pleased to report that he certainly had me on my toes almost at every turn of the story. I'm a great fan of "crossover" tales (stories involving our rather dull world and an alternate, magical dimension and how they relate with each other i.e. Piers Anthony's Xanth series) and I thought I had seen it all... until I started reading "Zachari Pill." Greaton's skillful writing gradually exposes us to the existence of odd magical creatures and how well they fare living amongst the human race. The manner in which he tells us about them is quite ingenious: they have their own hospitals, their own way to quickly move from point A to B (i.e. from California to Boston in one hour... wow! that would put the Concord to shame!), and their own way to communicate with each other. I particularly loved the smart-mouthed U-Ghoul messaging system, you know. I could go on and on for hours but to say it in a few words, this book is greatly recommended... and it will get you more bang to your book at any price.
  • M.O.D. on Sep. 06, 2011

    M.O.D. is a book that starts quite unpretentiously with a FBI attempt to bust a cybercriminal. This rather routine beginning serves to introduce us to Special Agents Sheelia Tanner and Scott Carver, who are in their seventh try to track down and nab the uncanny hacker known as M.O.D. The story escalates into red heat with Scott's apparent desertion from the FBI, which is supposedly just a ploy to infiltrate M.O.D.'s organization. The hunt for this mysterious hacker then unravels into a major plan to topple the U.S. goverment. All of sudden, I was immersed in a shady world where I was utterly unsure of whom I ought to root for. Special kudos for Mr. Allen for achieving this marvelous effect. My favorite highlight in this book is the undaunting way in which the author tells us about how would a cyberwar unfold, without overly complicate technolanguage or confusing terms. I was pleasantly surprised just because of that. Go ahead... plunge yourself into the world of M.O.D. ... heartily recommended.
  • The Confessions of Zeuspater on Sep. 09, 2011

    Surprinsingly good Gotterdammerung narrative about Zeus confronting the beginnings of Christiandom that reaches amazing poetic heights, nearly rivaling any Greek or Roman mythos. It's a great corollary to the author's Magic Makes You Strange, since it's told from the viewpoint of the magician Edward Whistman, a character in that book. Take heed of the author's opening warning about that "this story is inappropriate for the dogmatic, the humorless, or the fanatical"... he MEANS it. In every book, there's an intriguing character or two, and I particularly felt a great empathy with Golgee, the wood spirit that hangs around Zeus; I really ended wanting to know more about this little guy; but it's obvious that the writer is readying him to become a major character elsewhere, so he was wise not to tell me more in the book... Only time will tell... I have only a caveat about "Confessions of Zeuspater" and it is that you'll get a lot more out of it if you have had a classical education... Besides of this small detail, this is Noah Mullette-Gillman at his best.
  • Crystal Clear, A Supernatural Mystery on Oct. 14, 2011

    Neat and engaging supernatural story with a lot of punch in its unexpected end-of-story twist. You may start digging into it without many expectations, but you'll discover quite a few nice surprises as you read along. I'm not articularly fond of the ghost genre, mind you, but I certainly liked this book. Give it a try.
  • Finding My Escape on Jan. 09, 2012

    Imagine my apathy while I was about to read and review another work of YA fiction. Troubled teenager unexpectedly cast into an unusual situation? Yawn! Another Paranormal Genre novel? Seems that everyone out there thinks they can write in that genre; I got thousands of'em in my TBR pile. As I was dragging myself to pick a copy of "Finding my Escape" and start reading it, an inner voice said: "Hey, tackle this book! It starts a bit gruesome, I give it that… You know, as a writer, you are also eager for someone else to give your own books a fair chance." Well, so I began reading this book. It started somewhat gruesome, alright. Hannah, a teenaged girl walks in on the murder of her mother by a cold-blooded killer, who's after an electronic chip that Hannah's parents had developed for the government. She runs away and bumps her head. Excellent beginning. Intriguing. Of course, she predictably lost all recalling of her parents' murder, and moves in with her aunt after a short stay in the hospital. Hannah actually goes to a shrink to help her deal with this horrid event in her life, and here's where the plot presently kicks in. And I mean: KICK IN. Hannah is suddenly able to enter an alternate, dreamlike reality and, after a few more pages, we're totally unable to distinguish what's real and what's not. The author has achieved a master stroke here, being able to move from reality to the dream world with some very smooth transitions. Paint me green with envy; it makes me wonder if Fran Veal has read any Phillip K. Dick's books. From that point onward, I was unable to put down the book. And the end of this book had the sort of little nasty twist that I'll always cherish. Excellent job, Mrs. Veal. I'm eagerly waiting to read some more of your work. Go ahead: give this book a try.
  • Twenty Funny Stories book 3 on Feb. 09, 2012

    This author will always manage to bring a smile to my face, as she leaves no stone unturned to dig up the funny stuff that's always lurking in our daily lives: toilet seats, phising and housekeeping. A minor mishap with a toilet bowl cleaner turns out into a disaster that would make the Exxon Valdez Spill become green with envy; funerals become occasions for utter family chaos; her experience in the DMV department makes us wonder if they shouldn't be handing out brown paper bags for the photo shoot and the ordeals of having long unpronounceable names (I can relate to that). All in all, this is a real funny read you should consider to lighten up your day!
  • The Day We Refused To Fight on Feb. 26, 2012

    You know, I really wanted to get back at this dude because he posted a really damaging review of one of my free short stories, even though it was a 3-stars one... Downloads suddenly dropped and subsequent sales were killed... What I thought at the moment was "At least he could have checked the sampling of my other books before casting his opinion..." I guess he didn't... So I downloaded a bunch of his free books to form myself an opinion... and then slash back with some very nasty, destructive reviews in retribution. After reading his stuff, I can't find it in myself to do this evil deed now; he's too good a writer to perform such a self-centered, vengeful attack (don't get me wrong: I'm a regular mofo when I feel someone has given me an undeserving barb... I was more than ready to write a review so bad that he'd end up looking for a rock to crawl under). I loved this book about the way a war should be fought... and I quite enjoyed the other one about the zombies; it certainly struck my funny bone (pun certainly intended. My only wish was that he should be a little more disciplined with his writing; his sense of story structure is mainly aimed to get the tale out as FAST as he can and because of this he sometimes fails to elaborate on charming details, which in occasions hurt his tales. This is the main reason I hold one star back. By the way, I'd truly love to see his Hitchiker's fanfiction one of these days... So, to anyone who wants to have a quick, funny, interesting reads (and with some wow-factor built-in) here's my recomendation: grab this man's books... all of them while they're still free! I know I will
  • The Day We Joked About The Dead on Feb. 26, 2012

    You know, I really wanted to get back at this dude because he posted a really damaging review of one of my free short stories, even though it was a 3-stars one... Downloads suddenly dropped and subsequent sales were killed... What I thought at the moment was "At least he could have checked the sampling of my other books before casting his opinion..." I guess I didn't... So I downloaded a bunch of his free books to form myself an opinion... and then slash back with some very nasty, destructive reviews in retribution. After reading his stuff, I can't find it in myself to do this evil deed now; he's too good a writer to perform such a self-centered, vengeful attack (don't get me wrong: I'm a regular mofo when I feel someone has given me an undeserving barb... I was more than ready to write a review so bad that he'd end up looking for a rock to crawl under). I found this short story extremely amusing and I enjoyed the unexpected viewpoint of a tale told from the undead side. So, to anyone who wants to have a quick, funny, interesting reads (and with some wow-factor built-in) here's my recomendation: grab this man's books... all of them while they're still free! I know I will
  • The Dead Have Ruled Earth For 200 Years on Sep. 11, 2012

    This the fourth book by Noah Mullete-Gillman that I read; the first one made me have strong reminiscences of "The Shelter, maybe the most terrifying Twilight episode EVER. The second one was a whimsical but creepy reinterpretation of the way magic operates in our minds (leave it to Mr. Noah to find a way to tell us that magic can have horrible consequences in our lives). The third book, an oblique sequel of the second, has us exploring the demise of ancient gods. You can always count on Mr. Mullete-Gillman for novel ideas and surprising twists. Now, in "The Dead Have Ruled Earth For 200 Years?” he's able to create a surprisingly convincing future with mechs and battle suits where zombies roam freely in a post-apocalyptic world. Normally, this mixture of totally different genres turns into a Frankenstein monster that haunts its creator later, but this author certainly has the required skill to pull this stunt and succeed. As usual with Noah's books, I found the expected horrifying visions and a healthy dose (almost tongue-in-cheek) satire lurking below the surface. The surprising final O'Henry-type twist in the plot had me both laughing and shivering with revulsion, surely the signal of the level of mastery this writer has achieved. Great work!
  • The Life of Virginia Wargenheimer on Jan. 24, 2013

    This amusing short story let’s us have a peek into the live of teenaged Virginia Wargenheimer. As every teenager, she’s going through that particularly awkward stage as best as she can; she’s a middle child, sandwiched between two male brothers who seem musically inclined (which she isn’t), required to sell Girl Scout Cookies she doesn’t want to and her parents are absolutely clueless on how to deal with her. How clueless? They even set her up for a blind (?) date with Bobby Molaboni (gulp!) However, Virginia is somewhat special (she calls herself weird… but aren’t we all?) and decides to do all within her means to thwart this oncoming episode. She has a masterful plan to become her “opposite” self… and then everything, as in the best laid plans of mice and men, goes belly up. It had a very funny and ironic, (yet too abrupt!) conclusion. Highly recommended for an enjoyable and quick read..