Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.
Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?
Hello, Fiona. My name is Starra Andrews, but writing as: S.K. Andrews. I’ll be turning 58 this October.
Fiona: Where are you from?
I’m from Laguna Beach, California, USA
Fiona: A little about yourself (i.e. your education, family life, etc.).
Growing up in Laguna Beach, my family and I would pack up our camper and hit the beach as soon as summer arrived. It was an all-day event, complete with a bonfire after sunset and eating ears of corn and burgers/hot dogs cooked on coals right from a hole built in the sand. But, besides my beachy summers I immersed myself in the drama program at Laguna Beach High School. We won awards for some of our shows and took ourselves very seriously, yet had a lot of fun. I continued on to University of California, Irvine and got my B.A. in Theatre.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
My paranormal adventure book Bay of Darkness is being released on October 2nd! It will be on Amazon.com and is published through the Wild Rose Press.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I grew up creating stories in my head for fun. I loved theatre as well, so when I’d act in a play, I couldn’t help making up my own characters and stories. When I got older I enjoyed watching the Twilight Zone episodes, because they always took me to another dimension and school of thought. I found the paranormal fascinating and also loved ghost stories. Hence, my writing now in the paranormal genre.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I always thought of myself as an actor who could write, but when my first book proposal got me a publishing contract with Praeger Publishers in 1998, I finally considered myself a writer. It was The Pursuit of Acting, which is an actor interview book to help student actors.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
Even though The Pursuit of Acting came out first, it is a collection of interviews. So, I’m going to talk about my inspiration for Bay of Darkness, because that is my first fiction book completed.
I’ve always been fascinated by psychic ability and human intuition. I’ve had flashes myself, but nothing like the heroine in my book. I’ve also been drawn my whole life to stories about people overcoming loss in their life, and evolving into someone powerful and confident. To live authentically from our soul’s purpose can be challenging. So, I was motivated to write this story about a woman who overcomes horrible loss, opens up to loving again, and must face the darkness within herself from a past life centuries ago to battle evil. That is a compelling element in all of us and something that is timeless, hence, my inspiration.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
From the name of the location where the big battle goes down—Half Moon Bay. There is a continual theme of darkness, both physically and energetically throughout the book, and that inspired me to name it Bay of Darkness.
In reality, Half Moon Bay (just south of San Francisco) is a gorgeous place with no darkness at all.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
It took me a while to find my writing style. I would recognize it in other authors as I read their books, but I didn’t know what my style was. Finally, I just relaxed and let my heart tell the story and allowed my fingers to type away. Now, I feel my own writing style and it’s hard to put into words—except that even when there is a dramatic, powerful, and agonizing scene on the page—I always find my way back to love and humour. I truly believe in yin and yang, and an aspect of finding a ray of sunshine even in our darkest hour. I sprinkle comedy in everything, and also those little details we forget about sometimes, which make us human.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
The story Vivien tells her paranormal investigation colleague about a past experience she had, is actually something that happened to me. When I was thirteen some friends and I got together to do an impromptu séance. It was a sunny afternoon on a Saturday in Southern California back in 1973. Since my friend’s bedroom was being painted, we all huddled in the bathroom. The leader of our group shouted up to the ceiling for something to make a noise (so we would know it was with us). Two seconds later the bathroom door started breathing. Just like that scene in the classic film with Julie Harris, The Haunting of Hill House. All five of us saw it and some of the girls scrambled into the bathtub in terror. I sat almost catatonic, hardly believing what I saw. It stopped after about ten seconds, and we all ran out into the street with her mother screaming after us that we were silly girls!
All the other incidents are fictional (of course), but I do believe we all have that sixth sense. Some people are just more tapped in than others.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
Ironically, I travelled to West Cork, Ireland after I’d finished the final edits of Bay of Darkness. I utilized Google photos, as well as Flickr. Thank goodness people post their vacation pictures online now! I got to see a lot of Clonakilty, Ireland (where the first part of the book takes place) and I did a ton of online research besides just viewing photos. I also have Irish friends here in New York who answered questions for me.
As for Half Moon Bay, California—I was living nearby with my sister while I was writing the book. I’m very familiar with Northern California, so that was from direct experience. However, I plan to take another trip to Clonakilty, because the second book in the series will take place mostly in that area.
In fact, I’ve already found a way to incorporate a few zombies! Stay tuned…
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
A very talented in-house designer with the Wild Rose Press by the name of Debbie Taylor. I got to describe exactly what I wanted, and I was elated by the results! Vivien and Neal are dynamic on the cover, and in the background is a real lighthouse along the Northern California coast just south of San Francisco.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Yes—that the human spirit is stronger than we believe, and you can face your fears and come out victorious. Also, love is always available to us, and it is possible to love again after experiencing a loss.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? Who is your favourite writer, and what is it about their work that really strikes you?
Rod Serling is the writer who influenced me the most, but I’ve been reading Heather Graham’s Krewe of Hunters book series, and Christine Pope’s Witches of Cleopatra Hill series. They both deal with psychic ability and magic, as well as characters faced with human dilemma and challenges they must overcome. That to me, is very compelling and keeps me reading!
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
Paragraph writing space in New York City.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Yes! That is what I’m striving for, and I know as a full-time writer I shall be putting in a lot more hours than I ever did at a corporate day job.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Just the fact that I would not have taken ten years to finish. However, in my defence, there were years at a time in which I did not write, and got caught up in life and the day job. But, thank goodness I kept coming back to my book.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
Yes—not to take any editing notes personally. In the beginning I felt so sensitive, but then I realized the notes were helping me. If my editor was confused by a scene transition, or something else, the reader would be as well. As soon as I got my ego out of the way, I realized it’s just business, and I got on with it.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
Gal Gadot, aka Wonder Woman is totally Vivien Kelly of the Kelly Society!
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
It’s okay if life gets in the way, or you get distracted by stress and outside pressures, because your story will wait for you. Keep coming back to your creative writing, because nothing can stop it, and nothing can destroy it. You can find success, publication, and joy in your work!
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
I hope my story strikes a chord in you, whether or not you believe in the magic of intuition and fate.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Higher Ground, by Christine Pope.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Where The Wild Things Are.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Laugh: a great comedian. Cry: the daily news reports.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
Princess Diana, because she was pure light and love.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Walking in nature. I love it! As well as crochet, and tap dancing.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
All the DC shows from the CW Network, like: Legends of Tomorrow, The Flash, Arrow, and I’m about to start Supergirl. I also love the Avengers films, as well as films about the underdog accomplishing life challenges.
Fiona: Favourite foods, colors, music?
Since I’m a vegetarian, I love veggie quesadillas, veggie lasagne, scrambled eggs on buttered toast, most fruits (especially bananas and strawberries) and a good veggie burger. My favourite colors are: cobalt blue, deep purple, and black. I love Celtic music, like Celtic Woman, but I also love Pink, Sting, and Jennifer Lopez.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
That’s easy, because I’m also an actor. I would just act.
Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?
I’d spend all day at the beach with my entire family.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
“Embrace your creativity, for you can accomplish anything you put your mind to.”
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
Yes, please contact me at:
After witnessing her fiancé’s murder and almost dying herself, Vivien Kelly’s mission is to destroy Dagda—a Celtic God turned demon. As a supernatural dark cloud looms over the Sahara, she finds herself drawn to the Northern California town of Half Moon Bay and a new life as a paranormal cleanser. There Vivien finds Dagda’s creatures tormenting the locals. Her own paranormal cleansing team—The Kelly Society— is born, and the race is on when people around her begin to die.
While banishing a banshee, Vivien meets Neal Harrington—a soul partner who can promise true happiness. But when Dagda’s black vapor creates a New World of darkness, her time is up. Can Vivien abandon everyone she loves and succumb to her past life’s barbaric force to defeat the demon? Her actions not only determine her future—but the future of the modern world.
Announcing her presence, Vivien slapped open palms against the bedroom door. Shrieking stopped as the banshee tried to stab into her intuitive power, not even making a dent.
Julie, I’m here to help. Don’t be afraid. After sending her telepathic message, she felt a definite shift.The young girl now had hope.
Sensing another female entity in the bedroom,Vivien tuned in sharper. A spirit connected to the house stood in front of Julie, also protecting her.
“That horrible noise stopped.” Neal eyed the door urgently. “Is that good or bad? I mean, is Julie safe?”
“Yes, she’s safe. I put a protective light around her.”
Heaving a sigh of exhaustion, he rubbed his temple. “Oh, right—the light thing. This is all so weird.” Neal’s head popped up. “No offense.”
“None taken.” She grinned like a debutant about to dance with the coolest boy in school.
Bay of Darkness: A paranormal adventure born from a Celtic love story centuries old.
Bay of Darkness: Every human possesses a dark side, which seeks to seduce the soul.
Bay of Darkness: Ghostbusters meets Braveheart!
Amazon Buy Link USA :
BIO FOR STARRA ANDREWS (Writing as: S.K. ANDREWS):
Starra Andrews grew up in Laguna Beach, California, body surfing in the Pacific Ocean, writing fantasy stories, and acting on stage. Having been influenced by the powerful scripts of Rod Serling and Richard Matheson from The Twilight Zone, she gravitated toward paranormal stories laden with hope. Writing supernatural tales became her passionate hobby, in between life in the theatre. She loves to sip hazelnut coffee, while reading a riveting ghost story, or while typing up an exciting new chapter of her own. After attaining a B.A. degree in Theatre from University of California, Irvine, and attending LACC Acting Academy, an idea sparked for interviewing actors to help student actors. Her non-fiction book The Pursuit of Acting; Working Actors Share Their Experience and Advice was published by Praeger Publishers/ABC CLIO. In fiction, her heroine, psychic & paranormal cleanser Vivien Kelly and her team are in a race to rid the modern world of deadly Celtic creatures in her book trilogy The Kelly Society. Bay of Darkness, the first book of the series is currently released through the Wild Rose Press. Starra lives in upstate NY with her two cats, Audrey Hepburn and Vivien Leigh