Writing The Bomber and meeting Joseph Starling

When I decided I wanted to write a book about a soldier returning to civilian life I began to research the army and issues related to service men and women such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and other combat injuries.

Through friends I heard about a man named Joseph Starling. He had served in Iraq with the Army and he had been having a hard time readjusting to civilian life. He was withdrawn, quick to anger, prone to daydreaming and wandering off topic and felt that people could never understand what it is like to fight in a war if they had not been involved. He also made it clear that no one owed him anything, it was not a matter of blaming people or feeling ashamed of himself. I could tell it was a very difficult issue for him to struggle with internally.

He made a great subject for my debut novel, The Bomber. When he opened up about his life and story, it made my job very easy. Below I have shared the photos Joseph gave me or I took on my day with him. I have put a few of the points he made when I showed him the photos.

My novel, The Bomber, is set to be released on June 24th this year. Right now there is an opportunity for people to receive the book early if they would like to provide an honest review. If you would like to review this novel please go to http://form.jotform.me/form/43465641898469 and fill out the form.


Released by Col. Olivier R. USMC

Here is a photo Joseph took while on patrol overseas. There was a lot of enemy activity in the buildings to both the left and right of the street.


This is the view I took from an office I had the use of while I spoke to Joseph about his life and the things he encountered overseas and back home.


This is the alley where I first met Joseph in the early hours of a November morning. He was slouched up against the wall to the left waiting for me.


This is the alleyway where Joseph took me. He showed me the room off this alleyway where he found his friend Jessica when she was sick. He took her to the hospital when no one else would.


The first complete building from the left is where Joseph lives in a small apartment, his floor is the second row of windows from the top. This is the last time I saw him, I waited on this side of the road as he left. I came back the next day to take this photo before I left town, I waited for a while hoping to see him, but he never came down.


The novel as it will appear in store. Joseph Starling is the name of the main character.

(This post is a work of fiction based on my debut novel.)

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