AND THE WINNER IS!!! ~ Calisa Rhose and Tuesday RoundUp welcomes ~ Starr Gardinier #mfrwauthor #winner
Congratulations Mae Clair!!!!!! WOOT!!!!!! You’ll be contacted shortly by Starr ti deliver your copy of The Other Side- Melinda’s Story!
We thank everyone who visited and commented! 😀
Welcome one and all! Grab a beverage of choice and something sweet and sinful. No-no, not the men. What’s the matter with you? You know the hands-on rules… The guest gets first pick! 😉 Take a comfy seat for another, or a first, spin in the Round Pen.
I’m thrilled to welcome my wonderfully talented guest today, Starr Gardinier, who is sharing their book, The Other Side: Melinda’s Story with us!
Please show Starr some real Ranch love!
Before I get to the nosy 5-3-4 part of this interview, tell us a bit about you.
A paralegal by day, she’s an author by night. Apart from being an award winning author for her short story “Cut,” Starr Gardinier has appeared in a blaze and made her mark on the literary world with her Ivanovich series and now her Other Side series.
Having studied and obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Literature/Creative Writing, she has found her unique style and is known for her works’ distinctive voice, making every character stand out.
She’s the founder and owner of Editing by Starr. She’s also the former executive editor for Suspense Magazine. She has been interviewed in the newspaper and on the radio with relation to her fiction work. She has been a co-host on Suspense Radio.
Starr is a member of International Thriller Writers (ITW) and of Sisters in Crime, Los Angeles Chapter and nationally. She has won three Best Speaker awards as well as Best Evaluator at the Voice Ambassadors chapter of Toastmasters. She has always been active in events. As co-chair and main coordinator for the West Coast Author Premiere, she arranged weekend-long events to help authors from all over network, learn and share their work with the public. Starr has also been instrumental in compiling authors and planning a local author event at Barnes and Noble in Ventura, California along with the store’s event manager.
Okay, I’ll begin with five questions, then follow with three more, and end with four final ones.
My writing area at the moment is a corner of the couch in my living room. What does your writing space look like? Wow. Most of the time, pretty much the same place. On the chaise part of our sofa with my dog next to me (or on top of my keyboard). I actually do have an office, but rarely use it.
I have an office, too, but it’s not set up yet. Don’t you love-hate remodeling? 😆 For a lot of writers it’s a life-altering event coming up with titles and character names. Others it comes as naturally as breathing. Which is it for you? Titles for me aren’t a problem. Names however, are. In my newest release, the protagonist is Melinda James and her supporting character is Trent Miller. I look at the names now and think, ‘My gosh, I could have done better than that!’
I like those names and I’m sure readers will too. What advice would you offer aspiring and new writers? Never, ever give up. If writing is your passion, then keep doing it. Don’t let anyone tell you to give up.
Popular advice and I agree with you. The constant shift of the industry makes me often scratch my head and ask ‘what next?’ So, what do you think it takes to be a successful author at the moment? At the moment? I’d say it’s the same for any moment. And that is, write what you feel. The industry has a tendency to rock one way or the other as to what genres readers are after. But it all circles back around. Let’s say, romance is in. By the time you start your novel and it gets published, readers have changed their minds and now it’s fantasy. Again, I say, write what you feel.
Great advice. Who would you like to meet in the publishing industry- dead or alive- and why? Tough question. There are many. Edgar Allen Poe because I’d love to know what drove him, what in his life called out to him to be a poet. Another is Stephen King; I’d like to know what honest impact his major accident had on his writing career.
Interesting choice and I actually saw an interview years ago where he answered that question. Sorry, I don’t remember who interviewed him or his answer. ;). Okay, it’s time for 3 in 1! I’ll ask the questions and you answer them in one word. 😆
Favorite animal? Dog
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter? Fall
Favorite food? Pizza
Well done! 🙂 I’m a dog person too. Okay, Flash four. Ready? What are you working on now? The third in the Other Side series: Ben’s Story. The first, Melinda’s Story is out on September 18, 2015 and the second, Trent’s Story is done and with the copy editor.
Congrats on the second contract! What are you sharing today? The Other Side: Melinda’s Story
Melinda’s family is dead, killed for information that is hidden deep within her mind. Her father tries to warn her from the ‘Other Side’ that she is in danger from the killers who want what only she can give them. Committed to Skyview Haven, she must determine if the ‘Other Side’ truly exists or if it is a trick of her heart and mind. With time running out Melinda must determine who she can trust. Is it the ghosts of her family, a boy who may not be who he appears to be, or the doctor who is determined to cure her? Can she figure out the truth before it is too late?
I walked to my window and just as I’d done so many times in the past, looked down, hoping to spot Beth. And suddenly, she was there. She was waving up at me to come down. I could see her forming the words, Come on. I smiled like I haven’t smiled in a long time. I knew it. I knew she was alive. I put my index finger up to tell her I’d be there in a minute. I quickly stuck my feet into some shoes and grabbed a jacket. I tiptoed all the way downstairs and through the kitchen to the back door. I looked out the window first to make sure I wasn’t seeing things. Nope. She was there! Right there at the foot of our path. I smiled again, quietly opened the door, and slipped out. I hugged her hard and she pulled away.
“What are you doing?” she asked.
“What do you mean? I’ve missed you. Where the hell have you been? They said you were dead. I didn’t believe them,” it all came out in a rush, in one long sentence, hardly a breath in between words.
“I’m right here. Remember? We promised to be in each other’s lives for always.”
“I know, but…”
“Ssshhh,” she cautioned. “We have to be quiet. Come on,” she tugged at my arm.
We walked a short way down the path. Before we got to her backyard, she suddenly stopped and I ran smack into the back end of her.
“What the hell?”
“Shit! I can’t…”
She looked at me with a frown on her face then smiled. “Let’s go to our place!”
“Okay, but you do know it’s the middle of the night. We’ll get into trouble if they know we’re out here.”
“Everyone’s sleeping. They won’t know.”
She grabbed my arm and tugged at me when I hesitated.
I smiled and said, “Nothing. Let’s go!”
I was happy and nothing was going to spoil it for me. I knew Beth wasn’t dead. I knew it!
‘Our place’ was a fort that we constructed in the woods. Well, not a real fort. We found some wood and leaned them all around a tree, sort of forming a teepee. Then I brought some old curtains my mom didn’t use anymore and we draped it over top of the wood. The inside was small, but it was ours. We sat huddled under old blankets she brought from her house a while ago. It was dark in our fort, but we had a flashlight if we needed it.
We chatted for a while. I told her all about how everyone thinks she’s dead, that she’d drowned. After I told her they had a funeral for her and everything, she giggled.
“Why are you laughing?”
“Because it’s funny. I’m not dead, I’m right here.”
She laughed again as she pinched my arm.
“Ow! Damn it!”
“If I was dead, I couldn’t do that, could I?”
I laughed with her, but it felt wrong. Something was not right. Then it hit me. If Beth was alive, that meant my dad was dead.
“Beth, you’re alive.”
“Yes, silly, I know that.”
“But then what about my dad?”
“What about him?”
“Beth, I think he’s dead.”
Tears started trickling down my face again.
“What are you talking about? You’re dad’s fine. I saw him earlier today.”
I knew the answer. Deep inside, I knew the answer and I can’t tell you how I knew.
“I saw him on the bridge. At least I think it was him. It was raining pretty hard. But I know it was your car. Hey! Where are you going?”
As she talked, I got up and left the fort. It started raining, but I didn’t care. Beth was here, which meant Dad was dead. The little pleasure I got seeing Beth again didn’t last long. I couldn’t win. I felt like I had to choose between Beth and my dad. It wasn’t fair.
“Melinda, what’s wrong?” she pleaded. “Aren’t you happy we’re together?”
“Yes, but my dad…” I said, standing there in the rain.
“He’s fine. Can we go back under now? I’m getting freakin’ soaked.”
“I have to go.”
I turned abruptly and began running back home. The rain made everything slick and I fell a few times, getting branches stuck in my hair and plastered with mud. In my backyard, I stopped and looked at our house. Every light seemed to be on. I saw Kyle pass by the kitchen window. I stood rooted to the spot. Do I go back to Beth? Somehow knowing if I did, it meant my dad would be dead. Or do I go in the house and accept the fact Beth was gone?
Chilling excerpt, Starr! I love the cover, too. Where can we find your book?
Where will you be next? I have several blogs who are hosting me. Here is the information:
9-14-2015 – Alicia Dean’s blog
9-17-2015 – QueenWriter blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
9-18-2015 – L.A. Kelley’s blog
9-19-2015 – Peggy Jaeger’s blog
9-21-2015 – Marie Tuhart’s blog
9-22-2015 – Abigail Owen’s blog
9-23-2015 – Debra Doggett’s blog
9-24-2015 – Sandra Dailey’s blog
9-25-2015 – Judy Reynold’s blog
9-28-2015 – Isla Grey’s blog
9-29-2015 – Calisa Rhose’s blog That’s today! Thanks for visiting!!!
10-6-2015 – Mary Morgan’s blog
Feel free to go back and check out any you missed. Plus, on October 3, 2015, along with several other authors, I am hosting and participating in a FB Launch Party. Here’s the link: https://www.facebook.com/events/1204016436282600/. I hope to see you all there! Authors are offering FREEBIES!
That’s a great lineup, Starr. I’ll be sure to try to stop by the FB Party!
I hope to see you all there! Today I’ll gift one copy of the digital version of The Other Side: Melinda’s Story to the 1st person who can answer this question [hint: you can find the answer on my website at www.QueenWriter.com] What is the name of the other series I’ve written in the past and what genre is it?
I know!! I went to find out, but I’ll let others guess. It’s just a click away, so go get your answer.
Thank you so much for playing along Starr! Wishing you much luck with your book and writing. I hope you’ll come visit again one day.
It was great being here, Calisa, and I would love to return. Thank you for the fun day on your Ranch!
Visitors- Don’t forget!!! Leave your email address in a comment so we can contact the winner of Starr’s ebook. 🙂