October 24, 2018 at 10:46 pm
Hello Ella West,
My name is Nelly, I'm 11 years old and I go to Karaka school. I am currently reading your book 'Night Vision' and I love the adventure and drama in the book.
I just have a some questions I would like to ask you. My first question is, what's your opinion - which other New Zealand books would you recommend to me? I love adventure, drama, suspense and sometimes make belief characters. Another of my questions is, where or how do you get your ideas and inspiration? Thirdly, how many books have you done? And have you done any books about mythical characters? Lastly,are you going to write any other books? If so I bet they will be thrilling!
Thank you for your time, I really love your books.
October 29, 2018 at 12:41 pm
So glad to hear you are enjoying Night Vision! You might like Rain Fall as well which is another of my books. I also wrote the Thieves series (Thieves, Anywhere But Here and Real Life). To answer the rest of your questions, I get my ideas from what is happening around me – what is happening in the news, the things I see and hear about and also the things that have happened to me. In Night Vision, I have worn night vision goggles a couple of times, and we farm sheep but I don’t play a musical instrument so I had to find someone who did so I could get that part of the novel right. I haven’t written any books about mythical characters but who knows what I will want to write about in the future! I like reading adventure, drama and suspense novels too and loved when I was younger Margaret Mahy (The Changeover) and Tessa Duder’s books. And yes, I am writing more books – no I don’t know when they will be published but I’ll put it up on my website when I do. Fingers crossed!
All the best
July 14, 2018 at 11:28 pm
Hi Ella. I am a huge fan of your book Rain Fall. You probably won’t remember me, but I’m from James Hargest and I was one of the people who went to your workshop thing. At that time, I hadn’t read any of your books but I was always wanting to. I found Rainfall and Night Vision at the school library and was very excited to get the two of them out. I am almost finished reading Rain Fall and on my way to starting Night Vision. I can imagine all the characters; Jack, strong and handsome, Annie, beautiful and sporty. I love your stories so much and they inspire me to write even more of my own. Just a question I have been wondering, were the characters inspired by real life people you know?
From your hugest fan, Jessica.
July 16, 2018 at 5:18 am
It was amazing visiting James Hargest – my old school! So weird being there again after so many years (why does everything seem smaller!) but it brought back so many memories and was so much fun. You guys were great.
To answer your question - none of my characters are based on real people. I’m really careful about that. I don’t want anyone I know (especially family) suspecting they’re in a book I’ve written and that’s what I think of them!
Lots of the settings (especially in Rain Fall) are real but none of the people.
All the best
May 8, 2018 at 11:09 pm
Hi Ella - I just finished reading "Rain Fall" myself in preparation for reading it in class during NZ Read Aloud this TERM (we begin reading next week and it runs from Week 3 to Week 8 inclusive). I was wondering if it would be at all possible for my class to SKYPE you to ask questions about the book and your writing? Last year we had an awesome SKYPE session with Adele Broadbank while we were reading her book "Too Many Secrets". I know you will be extremely busy, and we also have tight time constraints due to our school's programmes, but if it is at all possible we would appreciate it very much.
Unfortunately we have been unable to find it.
Christine Earnshaw (Room 3 Bruce McLaren Intermediate School, West Auckland)
P.S. I meant to say I LOVED "Rain Fall" which was significant to me as I have recently begun to connect with the West Coast where my family began its NZ journey in 1866 when they arrived in Hokatika and ended up in a tiny community called Red Jacks. From there they moved eventually to Kumara and Greymouth, but some members moved further up the coast and settled around the Westport area.
May 14, 2018 at 9:25 am
Of course – I’ll give you a ring!
All the best
May 1, 2018 at 6:01 am
We are looking for your book Real Life for our daughter’s Birthday.
Unfortunately we have been unable to find it.
Do you know where we could purchase it from.
Thank you for your help.
May 14, 2018 at 9:24 am
Sorry I haven’t replied earlier – you can buy Anywhere But Here and Real Life from UBS in Dunedin (only stockists in NZ) – they do phone orders and will send to anywhere https://www.unibooks.co.nz/
I hope I haven’t missed your daughter’s birthday
May 14, 2018 at 10:46 am
Thank you for your reply. I read one of your other answers on the chat page and searched the University bookshop in Dunedin and found they had it. Our daughter’s birthday is not until 27 May so we have it in plenty of time.
Thank you for taking the time to reply.
March 27, 2018 at 7:31 pm
My mum's friend lent my mum your book, Thieves. My mum read it and then I did, and we loved it! It's amazing, and we've been trying to track down the 2nd and 3rd books. Could you please tell me if they they are still available in Dunedin?
Also, do you have a tip to get over writer's block? (I want to be an author someday).
March 28, 2018 at 11:23 am
If you have Thieves then hang on to it – there are very few copies left! The second and third books of the trilogy are available at UBS (University Book Shop) in Dunedin – I’m pretty sure they have them in stock but if not ask them to order them for you. It won’t be a problem.
Writers block? Hmm. I think the answer is just to keep writing, or if you are stuck in a particular part of the book then skip it, go to a bit where you know what is going to happen, then go back to the bit you were having a problem with. Sometimes all you have to do is ask yourself what will the characters do next. Well, it’s morning so they better have breakfast and so you start writing about what they have for breakfast and what they are talking about and then you’re away again. I think the thing is not to worry about it, don’t call it writers block, just write. Hope that helps and all the best with your writing. And thanks for loving Thieves so much!
March 7, 2018 at 10:27 am
I recently found this website again, and I was looking through the comments and found one of mine from 2014! I’m from the US but I was in NZ a bit back then and I was also at this writing workshop you did at the Duniden bookstore. I won third place in the murder story flash fiction contest (I don’t know it you remember me haha). Anyways I just re-read Night Vision and I looked this site up and you truly effected the last few years of my life. I was only 11 in 2014 and I kind of liked to write but over the last four years I’ve grown a lot as a writer and a person and I guess that I wanted to just thank you for helping me so much. Deciding what to do in life is a hard decision and as I’m getting closer to college I have to start making these choices and I know that I’ll always keep writing close to heart (or ideally a career to be honest). Anyways thanks again and please keep writing- you are fantastic!
March 9, 2018 at 9:20 am
Great to hear from you and yes I do remember you! (It was the American accent.) I didn’t know you got third in the competition – well done. Yeah, figuring out a career involving writing is not easy but hopefully you will find something – at least in the US there are a lot more colleges and courses for writers than in New Zealand and hopefully graduates from these are sought after by the industry. TV, especially with Netflix, is employing large numbers of writers so fingers crossed for you. It’s exciting times. Glad you liked Night Vision and hopefully you’ll be able to get a copy of Rain Fall (another murder mystery for teens which has just come out in New Zealand and Australia) in the US through Amazon etc. If not, find the Allen & Unwin NZ/Australian website and ask them for one.
Good luck and all the best and keep writing!
October 11, 2016 at 8:55 pm
It’s izzy here again and even tho it’s been a while since I finished real life’s i still think about it and even want to read te series again! It was so good but I still really want to know if u are writin a forth book and if u are when do u think it will come out??
Thanks heaps Izzy!🙂
October 12, 2016 at 11:35 pm
I know, I’m not patient either!!!!! Fingers crossed things will start to happen and there will be a fourth book published (and a fifth and a sixth)!!!!! I’ll let you know!
August 2, 2016 at 12:48 am
I wonder if shes going to write another night vision book
August 5, 2016 at 2:31 am
Yes, another crime thriller is on its way!
June 2, 2016 at 11:28 pm
Hi there can you please answer some questions i have we are doing a school project and i decided to do you.
how long have you been writing books for??
when did you decide to become a author??
How many awards have you won???
If you could get back to me as soon as possible that would be great thanks.
June 3, 2016 at 4:16 am
Have emailed you!
May 26, 2016 at 2:59 am
HI Ella! I’ve just read theives and it was the best book i ever read! Every night after reading i wouldn’t get to sleep because i wanted to read more and was thinking about would happen next. Right now i’m half way through ” anywhere but here ” and i’m looking forward to ” real lifes ” ! Also on top of your pile of books your writing, I was hoping you could make another book like the thieves series!
May 26, 2016 at 10:04 pm
So glad you’re loving the Thieves series! When you’ve finished it (and hopefully you won’t hate me for the ending – let me know what you think please!) there is Night Vision which is a really different book and I’m writing more books so keep in touch.
All the best
May 29, 2011 at 10:59 pm
I’ve just finished real life and im bursting to know what happens to Jake, Tine, Paul and Shelley. I was hoping you could reply back with what happens or find some other way because i really want to know!!!! If your making a fourth book ill be getting excited!
May 30, 2016 at 10:21 pm
I knew you would be asking that! Yes there is a fourth book but we’re just waiting for a few things to happen and hopefully everything will come together fingers crossed!
May 14, 2016 at 7:11 am
I just wanted to tell you that I really enjoyed your books and I really hope you continue to find a publisher because I know there’s a lot of people that would love to read a fourth book!! I’ve told all my friends about it and they love them almost as much as I do. Keep doing what you’re doing and goodluck!! (:
May 17, 2016 at 12:10 am
I’m still working on it but things are happening, and fingers crossed, will start to happen a little bit more quickly. Great to hear you loved the books!
April 20, 2016 at 2:33 am
I am from the same school as Stella and I was just reading your conversation with her and I was wondering what time does Auckland Writers Festival School’s Programme start and finish?
P.s: I really love your books! They are so good!!!
April 20, 2016 at 2:43 am
Hi Olivia and Stella!
If your school is not coming to the festival no problem – I’m in Auckland the whole week so hopefully we could catch up some time? Either Monday (May 9) afternoon or late Tuesday or Wednesday afternoon or maybe in the weekend (I fly out mid-afternoon Sunday, May 15). I’m staying in central Auckland and won’t have transport but I’m sure we could figure something out. I’ll email you.
All the best
April 19, 2016 at 9:56 am
I go to Kohia Terrace School (In Auckland) Thanks.😀
April 19, 2016 at 10:37 pm
Are you going to the Auckland Writers Festival School’s Programme May 10 & 11? We could catch up there possibly?
April 18, 2016 at 4:31 am
Hi, uh also do you think maybe you could come and visit my school to talk about your books? It would be lovely! Thanks
April 18, 2016 at 8:28 am
What school do you go to? I’ll see what I can do!
April 18, 2016 at 4:26 am
I was searching the web for an online version of the Thieves Trilogy and I came across your website and read through some of the other comments and saw you had replied back; it’s so kind and I thought I would like to write something to you too.🙂 I was wondering, did Nicky actually love Jake or Paul, or both? And did everyone else die apart from her? In the dream where Nicky was on the beach and Jake was on a hospital bed in the ocean, what was the meaning behind it? Another thing, well I got so excited when I saw that Nicky was from New Zealand (I live there) as the story is set elsewhere. What made you to make her kiwi? – Not many people know of this country.
Next year I’m going to high school and I want to improve in my English, which is why I’m reading lots of books. (In previous years, I haven’t been a big reader) The librarian at school recommend me the series, so I decided to read it. I found it so amazing and recommended it to a friend of mine, who loves it as well. Thank you for giving me the joy of reading your books and I hope you write more! Thank you.
April 18, 2016 at 8:36 am
Sorry, I don’t think the online version is available anymore – the series is officially “out of print”. To buy the books ring University Book Shop in Dunedin and they can send copies anywhere in the country (or the world!) Hmm, Nicky did love Paul and she loved Jake – I think you fall in love with the people you need and in the books Nicky’s needs change. I think she would have always fallen for Jake right at the start but he was with Tina. In the fourth book, it makes sense a lot more (still to find a publisher for the fourth book but things are happening . . .) Of course Nicky is from New Zealand – so am I and will always be proud of it. It’s Nicky against the world!
And yes, I’m still writing books – there’s Night Vision which got published by Allen & Unwin in 2014 and won lots of prizes last year and today my agent just sent a new book to them and (coincidence!!!!) one of the characters is called Stella – I’m not kidding. Fingers crossed the publisher likes it!
PS I love your librarian!
September 19, 2015 at 8:33 am
I have recently been reading your new novel ‘Night Vision’ with the rest of my class and it is a fantastic thriller. I would have never wanted to read a thriller but ‘Night Vision’ has changed that. I have just picked up ‘Thieves’ and I cant wait to start reading it. For my friend birthday I have bought her ‘Night Vision’ and I know she’ll like it.
September 20, 2015 at 8:55 pm
September 18, 2015 at 7:57 am
To Ella West,
Hi I’m Evie Howe and I am from Kaiapoi North School. I went to the Authors workshop on Thursday and really enjoyed it. I was wondering if I could email interview you about your career as an Author?
Please reply asap.
September 18, 2015 at 10:58 pm
Of course – have emailed your gmail account!
May 15, 2015 at 3:53 am
Hi, Ella. I’m Jessica. For my English project, I need to write about you. I read your book ‘Night vision’. I was wondering how you got the ideas for the night vision. And I love your books!
May 15, 2015 at 4:05 am
Easy question – I saw a 60 minutes doco on TV about kids with XP and I thought what would a kid see who could only go out at night and then I thought the worst thing they could see would be a murder. Then would they tell anyone about the murder, if it then meant they would no longer be able allowed to go out again at night? The rest, after that was easy – of course Viola would lie to protect her freedom, she has to live on a farm because that makes her isolated and vulnerable and her understanding that one day soon she will die makes her brave. She’s a great character. So glad you like my books.
Good luck with your English project!
May 17, 2015 at 3:30 am
Thanks a lot! I really love your books!
November 5, 2014 at 1:39 am
Hi Ella, i met you in Dunedin and i had you sign Night Vision. i have kept up with your blog and you’re a really great author (my favorite). Please write more books!
November 5, 2014 at 2:07 am
I am writing more books don’t worry but it’s not easy. I must admit one of the few times in my life when I feel really dumb, that is not intelligent enough, is when writing (okay – 3D Trig back at high school was pretty hard too). But writing is soooo hard.
September 25, 2014 at 2:32 am
Dear Ella, Room 7 here from Arthur Street School. Thank you for coming to our class earlier in the year and talking to us about being an author. We liked the lesson you gave us about narratives and how we need to have the ‘wrong person at the wrong place at the wrong time’
We have just finished having ‘Night Vision’ read to us and thought we would leave you some comments.
Night vision is an easy book to read to a class of year 7&8 children. the description and information is well balanced for learning and teaching. Ms P.
It is awesome!!! Tea-Jack H.
It was amazing OMG wow i loved it WOW!!!!-Josie B
This book is fantastic!!!!! Wow!!!!!! I loved it!!!!!!-Caitlin B
A very amazing book you’re a great author – Cailyn M
Thank you for the epicness! I am glad I read this awesome book! – Amelia R
You’re a great author Ella West i loved your book Night Vision we thought a movie of this book would be awesome as well – Storm B
This is a really good book and i really like it P.S you should make a movie -Tenuri E
Amazing book, awesomeness (enter jazz hands here). Corey S
loved your book different to most books that i have read so you should keep the good books up. Timothy Tim Tam Lattimier W.
This was a great book! Alice HP.
September 25, 2014 at 2:48 am
September 26, 2014 at 12:00 am
Thanks for posting back the kids really enjoyed your book and the visit. Thanks for being so generous with your time.
August 13, 2014 at 3:50 am
I am a year 12 aspiring to become an author and was wondering if I could ask you a few questions?
The first is about money. I’m not going to ask how much you earn because I don’t that would be fair. I’m not really sure how to word this. But..is your income substantial enough to support you? I’ll understand if you don’t answer this one but I wanted to ask anyway because its something I’m a bit worried about. The next is..with it currently being so difficult for New Zealand authors to get published, do you have any tips that might help?
And lastly, would you recommend any writing courses?
Thank you xo
August 13, 2014 at 4:15 am
No problem – Money, hmmmm. No, I don’t earn enough to support me (or my family) from writing novels. One day maybe I will. One day maybe I’ll have so much money we won’t know what to do with it but so far that hasn’t happened. But besides that, you never know how much you are going to earn say, in the next 12 months. You never know how many books you are going to sell, if you are going to win any awards, get arts funding or speaking engagements that pay. All this means you can’t go to the bank and get a mortgage to buy a house as you can’t state what your income will be. There are other ways to earn money from writing which do have more reliable incomes such as journalism, PR, a job writing TV scripts, so if you can juggle one of these plus writing fiction then you can find a way to make ends meet and still do what you love.
Getting published – well that’s easy, just write a brilliant book. Which is not so easy. If you have a fantastic novel and persevere until you find the right publisher, don’t worry, you will get it published. Worry about writing the story, not what happens next.
Writing courses – I haven’t really done any so I can’t recommend any personally but Victoria University is the big one and people who go to it seem to do very well afterwards. There’s also the New Zealand Society of Authors mentoring programme for high school kids and adults (google it and you will find out about it) which is something you should aim for. But mostly read lots. Figure out yourself what works and what doesn’t and why a book is successful or not successful. I hope this helps and all the best. If you have anymore questions just ask.
May 25, 2013 at 5:29 am
I absolutely love your books, you should definitely write more novels. It’s really cool that you come from New Zealand :). What inspired you to start writing?
KEEP WRITING :D
Jean 12 Auckland
What inspired me? Not a person, maybe a few books, but mostly I write because it’s fun. This is what I do. I’m a writer and some days it’s really hard and some days it just works but it’s me. Does that sound weird?
And so, of course, I’ll keep writing!
June 2, 2012 at 2:50 am
I am Shae and I’m 12 years old.
I have your book, Thieves, out from my school library and after a lot of avid reading this morning, I am on page 184, I am addicted. And I think I’ve fallen in love with Paul =)
I’m dreading the end of this book because I just want to keep reading and reading!
My library doesn’t have the sequel and trilogy so no doubt I’ll be searching desperately for them!
I’m hoping Paul & Nicky stay together!
Thanks so much for your amazing books,
June 2, 2012 at 10:54 pm
Great to hear you’re enjoying Thieves! Don’t panic about finding the other two books of the trilogy. Either you can buy them (see the Where to Buy page of this blog) or go to your library and ask them to do an interloan for you. An interloan is where your library borrows books from another library – they do it all the time so don’t worry. You just have to ask. Let me know how you get on.
all the best
January 2, 2012 at 12:25 pm
I have just finished reading the third book of Thieves and was wondering if you were going to write a fourth book or write another book from another character’s point of view? I have to say that your books were amazing and that I loved each one of them! Uour books have inspired me to read more so I would just like to say thank you, from Eva :) xx
January 3, 2012 at 11:45 pm
Fourth book hopefully coming up this year – fingers crossed!
November 24, 2011 at 10:34 pm
Hi, I have just started reading your books for a novel study in my english class and really enjoyed them. I am going to get out Real Life from the library today. I really have become attached to both Paul and Nicky and the other characters as well. I hope you keep writing because they are amazing
November 25, 2011 at 12:47 am
I hope this site is useful for your novel study. If you have any questions let me know and I’ll see what I can do.
Glad you like the books.
May 23, 2011 at 1:59 am
Hi Ella. I’m not sure if you remember me, but you interviewed me for The Star a few years back and I attended your book launch. Way back when you had just put out Thieves. =)
Anyway, just wanted to drop you a line and find out how you’re getting on.
May 23, 2011 at 10:32 pm
Of course I remember! As you can see, I’m still writing, still working hard. How about you?
May 29, 2011 at 10:59 pm
I moved to Auckland after graduation, and I took a few years off writing, but I’m getting back into it once again.
Do you have any idea when Absorbed will be out? I’ve checked out that chapter you posted, and it looks really really promising. =)
May 31, 2011 at 12:23 am
If I knew when Absorbed would be on the bookshelves I’d be telling everyone! It’s still at the wait and see stage I’m sorry. Glad to hear you’ve got back into writing. All the best.
June 2, 2011 at 10:01 pm
=) I’ll be waiting for it with baited breath nonetheless! You’re a great writer, and I’m sure it’ll be another hit for you.
May 20, 2011 at 4:11 am
My name is Jarno and the last 2.5 years i have been working on a book and i am trying to get in touch with the right people who can help me finish the book. It is my first book and i would love to get to know some people who currently write as well. Get some general background, some ideas etc.
I have been in touch with the Uni off Otago in CHCH and they suggested to contact Ray Prebble, they gave me his e-mail. So i send an e-mail and now waiting with patience.
It would be great to hear your feedback and love to hear about any gathering at some stage.
May 22, 2011 at 9:58 pm
People think writing a book is the hard bit but it is sending it off to someone who hopefully will help you get it published that is really hard. The waiting, the wondering if it’s good enough – I hate it all! There are a few things that can make it easier (although there is no route to guaranteed success I’m sorry). Firstly, have a look at the New Zealand Society of Authors (NZSA) website http://www.authors.org.nz and you might even think about joining. There is lots of information available through NZSA to help you and at the very least you will get to meet people who are going through the same struggle as you. Secondly – keep writing and don’t give up.
all the best
December 31, 2010 at 6:40 pm
I discovered ‘Thieves’ about a year ago through my grandma. I live in England and she sent the book to me through the post. I read it immediately and was hooked! It means a lot as I don’t really go for thrillers but your writing just captivated me. I have now lent out that book to so many of my friends it is well read. I hope you carry on writing! It is nice to read something different once in a while!! I agree about the tv series because it sure would make it easier to get over the internet than having to get sent it.
Izzy 13 England
January 2, 2011 at 8:07 am
Great to hear from a reader from the other side of the world! I wonder who your grandma is and whether I know her???? Whoever she is, it’s great she sent you Thieves. If you want to get other New Zealand books there is a website http://www.nzbooksabroad.com where you can order them (including Anywhere but Here and Real Life) – go to children’s then click on literature then young adult.
We’ve heard lots about the snow in England recently on the news so hope you’re keeping warm. Must be perfect weather for reading!
October 20, 2010 at 3:53 am
hey you came to Tahuna school and talked to my class i really enjoyed your talk and want to say thanks for coming.
October 20, 2010 at 7:34 am
No problem – it was great to talk to you guys! Thanks for inviting me.
October 4, 2010 at 3:07 am
This is so exciting if your reading this.
My teacher gave me your book about three years ago and she said it was great even though I never read I gave it a shot; I loved it!!! It was the first real book I read and I hated that there wasn’t more after them. Then afew weeks ago I was at the library and searched your book to get it out and I saw that it was a trilogy!! So I got them all out and have been falling asleep with your books in my hands at about 5am. Now I’m getting width draws because I’m not hearing about what Nicky is doing. I can’t wait until Asorbed comes out and more of your books after that. Thankyou soooooo much :D Its great to hae awesome kiwi authors.
From Jess 15 Wellington(:
October 6, 2010 at 9:11 pm
Of course I’m reading this! Messages like this make my day – thank you so much. And please thank your teacher for me. Hopefully Absorbed will be out soon!
July 24, 2010 at 8:02 am
Hello. Yes a tv series would be very brillaint I think. I know lots of people who would watch it. Two of my friends have also read your books. I think they would like to watch it on tv also. If we wrote a letter to a place that does TV series would that help it become a TV series?
Thank you for replying. I was very suprised. It is nice to get a reply from a writer you think is brilliant. thank you. bye.
July 18, 2010 at 5:21 am
I course I would always reply – you read my books!
And thank you for getting me thinking just how to get the story told on the screen – it’s not easy knocking on doors in Hollywood, especially when you live in Dunedin, but I’m going to give it a go and, of course, will let you know what happens. As to writing letters, I think the best thing is for you and your friends to leave comments on this site about how you would love to see the story as a movie or a TV series. Then interested producers, when they check out this site, can see them all.
Here’s fingers crossed. I’ll need a lot of luck!
September 9, 2010 at 9:57 am
I would watch it! it sounds awesome
July 17, 2010 at 12:19 pm
Hello. I am a fan of your books. I have just finished reading real life. I like it alot. It is very brilliant. The only problem with it is now there is none left to read. I did not want it to end. I want to know what hapens next. I also want to know who lived and who died. I hope that you write lots mroe books. I will read them. Even if they are not about Nicky and the others. I will keep cheekign the libary when I am there. I hope that you write lots more books. Thank you for writing the books about Nicky and the others. bye.
July 18, 2010 at 5:21 am
Thanks so much – it’s great to know people are loving the Thieves Trilogy.
It makes all the hard work so much easier!
Yes, it would be great to figure out “the what happens next” at the end of Real Life but at this stage the publishers are not interested and unless film or TV get involved (wouldn’t it make a great TV series?!) there is not a lot I can do – getting a story out there is not just in the hands of the writer! But thanks again for your comments – they made my day!