Thursday, September 24, 2015

The Other Side – Starr Gardinier

It may be fall but its still hot on the beach and we're still looking for great books to relax with. My guest today is talking about her new book and it sounds like one that will keep us reading all day, and maybe keeping us awake all night.

Welcome to my beach, Starr. Make yourself comfortable while we talk about your new release, The Other Side, Melinda’s Story.

It’s great to be here. Okay, I’m ready. I have my little umbrella drink and lounge chair.

I understand that Melinda’s Story is part of a new series, Other Side. There’s nothing I love more than a good ghost story. Will all your Other Side books follow some of the same characters, or will we find ourselves in a new place each time?

They will have the same main characters (Melinda, Trent and _____) with added new ones here and there. I left that blank on purpose. If I divulge that name, it will ruin Trent’s story and I don’t want to do that.

How many stories are in some stage of progress for this series as we speak?

The 2nd book in the Other Side series is with the copyeditor at Wild Rose Press as we speak. I anticipate a release of “Trent’s Story” early 2016. The third is still being written.

Where did your inspiration for Melinda’s story come from?

I simply had an idea to have my protagonist tell her story by relaying events to her psychiatrist. I love the paranormal, so putting the two together worked well. A doctor, teenagers, creepy events… Sounded fun to me and the result is “Melinda’s Story.”

Let’s have a look at the blurb ~

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?

Melinda sounds like a very complex character. What three words would you use to describe her?

Persistent, strong, open-minded

If The Other Side, Melinda’s Story was made into a movie, what would it be rated and what age group would mostly make up the line for tickets?

First, that would be awesome! It’s a young adult novel, so pg rating and the age group would honestly be anyone from 16 to 65. It’s something adults can enjoy as well.

What actress would you most like to see playing Melinda’s part?

I can absolutely see Emma Watson playing Melinda telling the story. Emma has the look that I imagine Melinda to have; that ‘wholesome’ look, but also a character that is determined.

Let’s sample your voice with an excerpt ~

“The entire time was weird. It was June 2005 when they finally had a funeral for Beth. I stood there next to what they said was her grave, but I knew she wasn’t in it. I didn’t know what was going on and no one would believe me. They all thought I was in denial. They were the ones in denial.
“For a while after, I had to see a shrink. I thought maybe if someone like a doctor believed me, then my family would. But I overhead Dr. Raspin tell my mom and dad that I was more out of tune than she realized. Those were the words she used, ‘out of tune’. What was that supposed to mean? It didn’t matter. I knew then I was alone.
“I went back to school and still no Beth. All my friends stopped me in the hallway to say how sorry they were. Were they? Didn’t they know Beth was alive? Why was I the only one who knew the truth? Even Beth’s mother was always crying. Mom and I went to visit her a few times after the funeral. Each time, she and Howard, Beth’s dad, were either crying or you could tell they had been.
“After a while, I began to think maybe I was nuts after all, especially after seeing my dad alive day in and day out after I was just at his funeral. He wasn’t in my head any longer, but there, right in front of me. So, if my dad was in my head when he was dead, why isn’t Beth in my head if she’s dead? None of it made sense.
“I was just about convinced I really was in shock, that Dad was alive the whole time and Beth was really the one who was dead until...”

That certainly set the mood. I can’t imagine anyone not jumping to the buy links now, so here they are ~

Now, we’d love to hear more about you ~

Bio: A paralegal by day, she’s an author by night. Apart from being an award winning author for her short story “Cut,” Starr 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.

Please see more on her editing service at, read more about her at, and/or visit her blog at

How can our guests reach you on social media?

twitter: @StarrGardinier

It was wonderful meeting you, Starr. I wish you tons of luck with The Other Side, Melinda’s Story and all the books to follow.

Thank you, Sandra for hosting me. And a huge thanks to my readers. Without you all, Melinda James just wouldn’t ‘exist.’ And without Melinda, I wouldn’t be able to tell you Trent’s story, which is the 2nd book in the Other Side series. Happy reading, everyone! It was great being here.

Question for our guests: Have you ever had a paranormal experience or know someone who has? Tell us about it in a comment below or just say hello.


  1. Great interview and excerpt! The Other Side sounds delicious.

  2. Interesting interview. Since I no longer write for TWRP, I'm so out of touch with all the great authors they've acquired. Best of luck to you.

  3. Great interview and excerpt, The Other Side sounds intriguing, just right for an October, Halloween read. I'll have to go check it out. I love ghost and paranormal stories! Good Luck with The Other side - Melinda's Story. Look forward to the other books in the series.

  4. Thanks everyone for your comments! I love hearing back from readers, so if any of you pick the book up, be sure to email me at with comments and/or questions.


  5. Enjoyed the interview! I'm so looking forward to reading my copy--preferable during the day, when the normal creaks and groans and coyote howls of nighttime where I live out in the country don't add to the suspense of ghost stories :) Best of luck with the release.

  6. Thanks, Barbara. Melinda's isn't too bad, but when you get to Trent's, read with the lights on. :)

  7. We once had some roof and gutter damage from storms. When the repairmen came, they removed the roof, the gutters, and the soffits on our 100-year-old house. The roof was replace the same day, but the soffits and gutters took an extra two weeks. That entire time, when I'd be working in my attic office, there were shenanigans. My stereo refused to read CD's. The door kept creeping closed. I'd leave for the night, and come back in the morning and find papers on the floor like someone had left a window open and a breeze had blown through. That house had spirits, definitely!

  8. Wonderful interview! So happy to hear about the second book, too! Intriguing excerpt, Starr! Wishing you all the best. :)