Meet Poundbury’s acclaimed author Boris Starling

Tucked away in Prospect House, Boris Starling has just finished writing an exclusive book about Prince Harry’s Invictus Games called Unconquerable: The Invictus Spirit.

Boris Starling in his Poundbury office. Photo Linus Moran
Boris Starling in his Poundbury office. Photo Linus Moran

He is also the creator of the intense and gritty crime novel Messiah, but in person the acclaimed author is a world away from some of the darker subject matter of his writing.

With his cheery disposition and cosy office at Prospect House on Peverell Avenue East, the author, screen-writer and newspaper columnist has been working in Poundbury for the last five years.

Having moved to Dorset from London in 2010, Boris and his family live in a nearby village.

“It’s a great place to bring up the kids and live. e big draw for us was the natural light, countryside and of course the people,” says Boris, 47.

Poundbury has also proven to be a convenient working environment for Boris.

“I like to separate work from home and Poundbury is just far enough away to allow that. Although it’s the right distance for me to often run to the office, which I love,” he adds.

His debut novel Messiah from 1999 was memorably adapted by the BBC as a groundbreaking TV drama that ran from 2001 to 2008.

Many of the characters met with a grisly end and the TV series attracted controversy for its levels of violence. In fact, Boris even made a cameo appearance as a mutilated corpse in the first installment.

“I was actually flayed alive as an extra. The special effects team covered me in chicken skin, which was rather unpleasant. It was fascinating being on set and available to speak to the actors and production team.”

Author Boris Starling. Photo: Katharine Davies
Author Boris Starling. Photo: Katharine Davies

Having penned eight further successful novels under his own name and the pseudonym of Daniel Blake, his work has been translated into many languages and has been a regular fixture on best-seller lists across the world.

In 2015, Boris was asked to be writer-in-residence at Thomas Hardy’s former Dorchester home, Max Gate. From the National Trust owned property, Boris ran a series of free events and workshops designed to help budding writers.

Boris Starling's new book Unconquerable: the Invictus Spirit
Boris Starling’s new book Unconquerable: the Invictus Spirit

Since working from Poundbury, Boris has also produced a series of popular tongue-in-cheek guides for Haynes Manuals on topics such as babies, teenagers, marriage and pensioners – not to mention extensive writing for lm and TV, and regular journalism for leading national newspapers. 

His latest book, Unconquerable: The Invictus Spirit is published on 21 September by Harper Collins.

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