Monday, February 13, 2012

Interview with Australian Author Starr West -Tomorrows Child. Dystopian Themes

Starr would like to giveaway to the first 10 people that tweet or facebook this post a copy of her eBook, Tomorrows Child.

Leave your comments below and don't forget your email address otherwise we wont be able to send you your copy. 

Hi Starr, Where were you born and where do you call home? 

I was born in Innisfail, North Queensland. Apparently, it was the hottest wettest summer on record. Six weeks later, my mum and I were rescued in a boat from an old Queenslander as the water lapped the top of the 21st step. We picked up my dad swimming down the road. The next hottest summer on record occurred 25 years later, when my first son was born… Mum said this was karma!

Tell us about something that has just happened or is about to happen in your life that you would like to share.

The most exciting thing in my life now, is the release of Tomorrows Child. I actually wrote the first draft two years ago and couldn’t decide what to do with it. I thought it would be far easier to get a publisher than self-publish. I didn’t think I had the ability to self-promote and there is always a little doubt as to whether a story was good enough.

When I eventually got a call from a publisher, I learned that I would still be required to self-promote, and I would have a very limited time to sell the first print run before they ditched me. My book would belong to them and they would lock my story into a contract where I couldn’t even use the characters to write a different story because they would be under contract as well. 
Basically, I panicked and decided to self-publish. And I guess I wasn’t ready to lose control of my baby!

What is the name of your most recent book and if you had to sum it up in 30 or less words, what would you say?
Tomorrows Child is filled with earth magic, goddesses and witches and tells the story of a group of people and a 17-year-old girl struggling to survive in a post-apocalyptic world.

If you gave one of your characters an opportunity to speak for themselves, what would they say?
I expect that Tomorrows Child has given my characters their voice. It stopped them yelling at me to tell their story. But Phoenix probably has the most to say, it’s just that he isn’t allowed to tell us anything. Yet.

Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series?
Yes. I am working on part two now and expect there will be more. I would love to tell Raven’s story eventually. I also have over 60,000 words that were cut from the beginning of Tomorrows Child that could become a book on its own.

What books have influenced your writing?
Like most writers, I have always been a reader and probably consider myself a reader first. I love epic fantasies – Earth’s Children series by Jean Auel (Clan of the Cave Bear etc) and Terry Goodkind’s Sword of Truth series are both amazing.

Is there an Author that you would really like to meet?
Jean Auel – so I can tell her that 6 years is way too long to wait for the next book. But seriously, there is so much research and details written into her stories I understand why it takes so long.

Do you prefer eBooks, paperbacks or hardcover?

I love paperbacks. It’s a tactile thing; being able to feel the paper and smell the pages are part of the reading experience. But this might change once I buy myself a Kindle. I just can’t imagine not buying books.
Also, you can’t throw a kindle or beat it against the table if the story is frustrating. I did both of these things with New Moon! If it was a kindle… well we know how that would have turned out! 

Patti Says: but you can drop them so now I have to buy a new one!!!

Where do you prefer to buy your books?
No preference. I have bought books from markets, garage sales, real bookstores, online bookstores and eBay. I swap, visit libraries, borrow and loan. You name it I have done it… anything to get my hands on a book!

What book would you like to read again?
I plan to read the Earth’s Children Series and I will read The Sword of Truth Series again. Both authors have written amazing stories. The first time you read a good story, you tend to rush with the tension etc, by reading it again you can go slower and discover things you missed the first time.
I have read the Twilight Saga quite a few times!

Is there a particular movie that you preferred over the book version?
Maybe… Lord of the Rings! I know the books are amazing but they are a big read! I first read them as a teenager and was very confused. The visual effects in the LOTR movies are absolutely amazing.

What book are you currently reading and in what format (eBook/paperback/hardcover)?

I have a few eBooks on the go, but it’s a bit slow on the computer. I just finished your book, Paradox, the Angles are here and loved it. I just love Grace! I am also reading Cecelia Ahern’s ‘Book of Tomorrow’ but it’s a bit slow so far.

Are there any Authors that have grasped your interest recently and why?

I am working my way through a list of Indie Authors. The Emmerson Witches, by Samantha Cross hasn’t been released yet but the first chapter is on Goodreads. I really want to read this!

Who designed the cover of your book?

I designed my own cover. I know it’s not recommended but I had a limited budget, so I used the money to pay an editor! I think the cover turned out pretty good considering…

Do you buy a book by the cover?

For sure! I didn’t read ‘The Hunger Games’ for ages because the cover didn’t attract me and the title didn’t sound like something I would be interested in. (Of course the cover and title are perfect but I didn’t give it a chance until this Christmas!) I have also bought books because I liked the cover and the title and then found the book dull and disappointing.

Whatever image you choose, I think it should represent some element of the story.

The back blurb is really important – long descriptions lose me. I usually have about 2 minutes in the book section and need ‘short and sweet’. ‘Beautiful Creatures’ is a wonderful example of this.

Do you have a book trailer?

No, but I would like to make one. The rainforest plays a big role in Tomorrows Child, so I’d love to take a camera out and get some images of places that inspired me.

If I could convince one of my nieces to run through the forest in the rain I could film that - then I would have a great book trailer.

What are your thoughts on book trailers?
Sometimes book trailers are really well done, but some are just a waste of precious download. I think they should be short and sweet.

Do you have any advice for other writers?
Hardly! But I do look to other writers for advice!

Do you write under a pen name?

I considered this for a long time. When I first started writing, I used a pen name. Then I got over that. Recently, a young guy from a phone company, spent a good 15 minutes telling me what a cool name I had. Most people remember my name and that’s a good thing when you want people to like your books and remember who wrote them.

What date were you born? 
9th February. And according to one of my sons - in about the same year as the dinosaur.

Do you ever write in your PJ’s?

All the time, though I try to get dressed each morning before I start work. (Luckily, I work from home!)

White wine or red?

Coffee or tea?
            Coffee mostly, but I drink tea at night so I can sleep.

Do you like to cook? Do you have a favourite food?
            I like cooking desserts. I make excellent Pavlova. And I am a preserving freak! I love making jam and sauce and storing things in jars!

Vanilla or chocolate ice-cream?
            Chocolate if I have it by itself, Vanilla if I have it with other things (like strawberries or mango). But homemade ice-cream is best – no matter what the flavour!

What do you normally eat for breakfast, of do you skip it and get straight to work?
I forget to eat when I am writing.

What are 4 things you never leave home without (apart from keys, money and phone)?

I don’t have a mobile phone, I have four boys, so my purse is always empty, and we live in the middle of nowhere, so I never know where my keys are.

I do take water, food if the kids come, my keycard and shoes! Though in the past I have forgotten shoes… whatever that’s about!

Sleep in or get up early?
That depends on when I go to bed! I am a hereditary night owl and find early nights a real issue. But I do try.

Laptop or desktop for writing?

Your favourite gadget - 
I am terrible with gadgets. I can do anything on the computer (almost) but hand me a phone and I struggle to find the right button to press to answer it. So, I don’t have a mobile phone or an iPod but I am planning to get a Kindle! I’ll let you know how that goes.

Where and when do you prefer to do your writing?

Once I start, I have trouble focusing on anything else in my life. I write all day, every day, when I am in the middle of a story! If I am away from my computer I will write on anything. I have written on the backs of receipts, other people’s business cards, in my diary, on envelopes and on serviettes (just to name a few).

Your thoughts on receiving book reviews - the good and the bad – 

This is tricky, because I haven’t received any bad reviews yet! But I cringe when a Author gets a bad review. Recently, I read a bad review for a bestselling indie author and went into meltdown. I wasn’t sure I could cope with this kind of negative feedback and almost didn’t publish because of it. Crazy I know.

I am told that writers shouldn’t take reviews personally. But writing is personal, at times you are baring you soul and then to receive a bad review... I am sure it has to hurt. 

Anyway, I overcome the bad review meltdown and found a new editor and re-edited Tomorrows Child. Even then, it was hard to let go, but there comes a point when you have to let go and place your trust in another person’s advice. 

Good reviews are great! But honesty is a valuable thing and I would prefer that a reader be honest.

If you were deserted on an island, who are 3 famous people you would want with you?
I would probably want Bear Grills! He can set up camp and find a way home. (But he isn’t allowed to cook!) I wouldn’t mind if Alex O’Loughlin was there and someone to sing to me if I got bored. 

Patti says: love Alex - he is my face for Wade (Paradox Series) super hot Aussie guy!

Where is one place in the world that you would really love to visit someday?

I want to visit Stonehenge and stay in a village nearby. I also want to visit Tintagel, where Merlin was supposed to live!

List 3 books you just recently read and would recommend?
The Immortal Lifeof Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot – it’s non-fiction but reads like a novel. It’s amazing and is about a medical secret that has influenced modern medicine and probably affected everyone on the planet in one way or another.
Tomorrows Child – just because…

List 3 of your favourite movies?

Movies I can watch over and over include Independence Day, Sweet Home Alabama, and Lord of the Rings, oh and Shrek! But Mists of Avalon is probably my favourite.

An actor or a book character you have a crush on –
I am pretty fickle with my fictional crushes! They can change with the turn of a page. Other than Phoenix (from Tomorrows Child), who I would love to meet in person, there is no leading man that has caught my attention for a while.

What is a movie or TV show that you watched just recently and really enjoyed?

I really enjoy Sci-Fi Fantasy but the studios seems to axe them after one series. I loved ‘Game of Thrones and ‘Camelot’. (They axed Camelot) I am on all the lists to get ‘The Seeker back into production. And I am still devastated about ‘Firefly’!
And… when did a series became 10 episodes? That is a total rip-off from a viewer’s point of view. 

Patti Says: LOVE Game OF Thrones book and TV Series - Second season starts 1st April by the way :))  Was also very ARRRRR when both Camelot and Firefly was Axed!!!

If your book were made into a TV series or Movie, what actors would you like to see playing your characters? Feel free to add pics.

I have a few ideas about the actors I would like to see in Tomorrows Child, but I am having trouble finding pics where they look grungy enough to actually be cast in a movie version. 
I think this is a really fun activity, so I might toss this one over to my readers in the future.

Where can your readers stalk you?

My Facebook page: HERE

Twitter: #StarrWestAust
Amazon: coming soon!

Smashwords: HERE

Myspace I created this page to share the music that I listened to while writing Tomorrows Child.

Is your book in Print, ebook or both?
Tomorrows Child is only available on Smashwords at the moment. The proof from Createspace will arrive soon and the print edition should be available from the 21st February, 2012.

Thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview with me, it has been fun, and allowing us a glimpse into your writing word. I hope you share this interview with your friends so we can all get to know you a little better. Patti

PS: I give this book 5 thumbs up!!!!!


  1. I agree with enjoying the LotR movies more than the books because the books truly are a handful. Both are amazing but I more often than not get out the movies more often than the books. I cannot wait for The Hobbit to come out!
    I love how well this interview was done. There are more questions and they're not stiff ones like in so many interviews I've read before. Thanks for taking the time to do an excellent job with this. :)

    1. Hello,
      I have sent the code to your email address.
      Thank you for your comments. I really enjoyed doing the interview with Patti. Her questions were excellent so it was easy to give good answers!


  2. Thanks for posting this interview. I can't get enough post-apocalyptic stories. I agree with your view on Firefly. How could they abandon such a great series?

    1. Hi Madeline,
      I have sent the code to your email address.
      (You would think we could get over the networks cancelling Firefly after all these years!) :)

  3. I really enjoyed doing this interview with you Patti. And I am very excited about my first real giveaway!

    Dragonfury40, I can't wait for the Hobbit either... it should be good since it has taken years to get it finished.

    Madeline, I watch Castle now because they occasionally refer to things from Firefly. Like Castles Halloween costume...I don't think Nathan Fillion is over it either :)

    When you leave a comment be sure to leave your contact details so we can send the free copy of Tomorrows Child.

    Starr xx

  4. Have posted this on my facebook wall and will share it around when I get a moment. Comprehensive interview and really entertaining. Great to know more about Starr and her penchant for barefeet! Loved the book, so am waiting eagerly for the next.

    1. Hi Kelly :)
      You code is in the mail... I am busy writing the next part of the story!!! So you won't have to wait too long!

  5. I'm glad to know another author created her own cover! I've been debating mine for my launch on March 1st. I'm so glad to read about Starr's new book and about her life, in general! I can't wait to read her book! Hope I win! lol

    1. Hi Carolyn. to be in the running all you have to tweet or facebook this post and leave an email address so Starr can forward you an ecopy. Patti :)

    2. Hi Carolyn,
      I need your email address to send you the code. You can contact me via starrmaree @ (without the spaces of course)

  6. I love that she did her own cover! I tweeted about this post using the name @turninthepages :)

    My email address is :

    1. Hello MissKimberly Stardust
      Your code is in the mail :)

  7. We have just given away 5 ebook copies of my book Tomorrows Child. I hope you all enjoy reading it!

    We still have 5 Copies to give away here on Patti's Website so please leave a comment and tweet or facebook this post to win a copy a copy of my eBook, Tomorrows Child.

    Be sure to leave your email address otherwise so we can send you your copy.

  8. Hi Ladies, superb interview.
    I have tweeted and posted this to Facebook too!
    I urge you Starr to buy a Kindle. I love my hardcopy books, it's true they have a feel and smell that you lose with the Kindle, and you also lose the quality of the cover in grey. BUT if you buy a Kindle Fire, you won't suffer from the loss of cover colour.
    I am a self-confessed cover-magpie and it is what either hooks me or makes me turn away. I too have not picked up the Hunger Games books, but I do intend to (after the film else I would look to pick the film to pieces. It's a trait I have)
    ANYWAY, I have to say I love, love, LOVE the cover for TOMORROW's CHILD and if I am not too late, I would love a copy!

    My email address is
    Much love and kindness, wishing you the best of success for this and any other book you put on the market.

    Keren xo

  9. Hi Keren,
    I will email you the code in a few minutes! :)

    The Hunger Games is a great series and now that I have read them it makes me wonder how many good books I have ignored because of a bad cover. Most Authors have no control over their covers... unless of course they are Indie Authors!!!!
    Thanks for leaving a comment, tweeting and FB etc.

    1. Hi starr,
      Thanks, I just downloaded it! :D
      I know full well that I have missed out on good books due to my 'affliction' as I call it. My fella says I am a 'Book Cover Snob' and I shouldn't 'judge a book by it's cover' - However, I can't help it. My eye is not drawn to those that are less aesthetically pleasing. *facepalm*
      I will pick up Hunger Games, but like I say, I tend to pick films apart at the seams if they do not stick to the book. so as it is so close to the film being out now, I will watch it first and then see how I feel about reading it.

      Many Thanks for my copy of Tomorrow's Child, I am excited to read it!

      Keren xo

  10. This book cover is beautiful! Thanks so much for the giveaway opportunity. I hope I'm not too late.



    1. Hi Sandy,

      I am glad you like the cover! and thanks for sharing this on twitter! It's really only been released for about a week so I appreciate the help to spread the word :)

      I have sent the code to your email address.

  11. Hello!
    This was a wonderful interview... THANK YOU!
    We share many likes and I too was devastated when they took Firefly off! I don't get it. Another of mine was Dresden Files... and I signed a ton of petitions to bring it back/keep it going. Oh well. Small fish here.

    Even if I don't win, I will definitely buy TOMORROWS CHILD!
    Marilyn Dieckmann

    1. Hi Marilyn,
      I sent your code via Twitter email.


  12. Fun Interview! I love the cover as well! And I am in complete agreement about Alex O'Loughlin being on a deserted island with me as well. ;) That man is gorgeous! I really love him in Hawaii Five-O!

    If I'm not too late either, I'd love a free copy of your book. :)

    emerald_barnes (at) yahoo (dot) com

    Sharing this now!

    1. Hi Emerald,
      I have sent you a code for the free download to your email address.

      I actually watched Alex in Moonlight! This show was another with a sad and short life in TV land. I will have to catch up with Hawaii Five-O!

      Thank you

  13. Not only would I also LOVE to be deserted on a desert Island - any island really - even a closet for that matter - Alex O'Loughlin is also my face for "Officer Wade" in my books so I look at his face everyday on my cork board right in front of me :)

    So basically, I think there is a kind of a lineup for walking candy Mr Alex O'Loughlin... Do you remember him from Moonlight? He was a very sexy Vampire!!

  14. Hi - I was very excited to find a fellow Aussie Indie via a tweet and retweeted @SilverlightersX

    My email address is

    Look forward to reading this book - and maybe posting a review if I enjoy it.

    Now I am going to finish reading the rest of this interview!



  15. Your book sounds exciting and love that you had such a hand in its entire creation. My email address is


  16. I just RT but I dont know if I missed out my Twitter name is @ttlovesbooks. If I missed out *snaps finger* !! lol thanks for the post!


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