August 5, 2019 at 9:44 am
Hi Ella West.
My name is Hope and I am one of the people that read your book. In class we were doing a novel study on your book Night Vision. It is a really good book, I really enjoyed it. The next book we are reading is Rainfall. I am really excited to read it, it looks so interesting. I have some questions to ask you so I hope you can reply with answers.
For your Night Vision book is there anything you would change about it? Like the characters or the setting or even the way the book ended, to be honest I kind of thought it was a bit weird. I just felt like something was missing.
I like the way some of the setting from Night Vision was a New Zealand based area.
When you wrote your book Night Vision were you in New Zealand at the time or was the setting of the port hills just by memory?
I was really excited when we started Night Vision because I thought it was going to be a really enjoyable book and I was right, it was an awesome book I would read it again anyday.
August 5, 2019 at 3:05 pm
No – nothing to change in Night Vision! Before any book is published it goes through lots of editing and proofing by the team at the publisher and by me so all changes done!
Don’t worry, I will explain the ending when I visit your class (I’m really looking forward to meeting you all – very exciting!).
I have family that live in the area the book is set so I know it reasonably well (it’s the Mount Somers area kind of – but not exactly) and the rest is from my imagination.
See you all in September!
All the best
July 26, 2019 at 9:38 am
My name is Addyson and I’m a year 8 student at Hornby High.
Last term my teacher, Mrs Allan Fletcher picked a book for my reading group. The book she chose for us happened to be Night Vision I loved this book a lot, It was interesting, mysterious and awesome.
If I had known about this book a long time ago I would have definitely have read it already.
Sadly I know that you are not doing a sequel for Night Vision but if you were what do you think you would write it about?
If you were Viola what do you think would be your biggest fear and why?
Can you remember how long it took you to write this book?
What was the hardest part of writing Night Vision and while you were writing this book did you connect with any of the characters or feel like you made a bond with him or her?
How old were you when to first decided to write books and did you ever have doubts about the career you went with?
When you were a little girl did you read a lot of books and which one was your favorite?
My favorite book is the goosebumps books.
Then you were younger what was your dream career?
This term my teacher has chosen rain fall I’m super excited to read this book. I hope it is as good as Night Vision
If you ever around Hornby please make sure you come and visit my teacher would jump up and down all across the room.
If you want to have a look at my blog my link it here
July 30, 2019 at 9:34 am
The main reason I won’t write a sequel to Night Vision is because in it Viola will be older and so probably she will be dying of her condition and I don’t want to write a story about a dying kid because it would be so sad (think about me writing it – I would be crying every day!) I think dying from XP is her biggest fear, but she doesn’t admit it. She knows it will happen and tries to deal with it but it’s so scary and awful and sad.
From memory it took about six months to write the book then several years (yes, years) to get it edited, proofed and published. The book industry takes forever! Writing the story is the easy part!
I read heaps of books when I was a kid and loved lots of science fiction like the dragon books by Anne McCaffrey. I always wanted to write books and luckily I got to make it happen – a publisher gave me the chance.
Hope you like Rain Fall!
All the best
July 25, 2019 at 9:48 am
Kia Ora, my name is Kody and i'm a year 8 boy at Hornby High School, Christchurch, New Zealand . I love your book ‘Night Vision’ hence why i've made a book review on it. I found the book to be really enjoyable and addictive to read. You are now my favorite author and I can't wait to start reading RainFall. I have a few questions if you wouldn't mind answering them.
- What will your next book be about?
- Why did you pursue the world of writing?
- What was your inspiration for Night Vision?
Can't wait to read Rain Fall it's going to be so enjoyable to read. I wonder what happens? Just reading the blurb on the back makes me want to read it. I will definitely be back to discuss RainFall with you as I am starting to read it tomorrow morning.
I think the book was THE BEST and It was very hooking. Im looking forward to the next book after RainFall!
I wish you good luck on your journey and hope you keep making books in the future I will be sure to read them and I will inform you what I thought of it.
July 30, 2019 at 9:16 am
Hope you love Rain Fall too! Let me know!
To answer your questions: I’m not sure what my next book will be about – talking to publishers at the moment (fingers crossed!)
I love writing which is why I do it, it’s as simple as that.
My inspiration for Night Vision was watching a TV documentary by accident about children with XP. Until then I didn’t know XP existed.
All the best
July 25, 2019 at 9:31 am
Recently I have heard about and read one of your book Night Vision and I loved the book. It is an enjoyable book to read, it was great that our teacher Miss Allan had found a book that was so interesting. In my opinion, the book was an enjoyable book to read at the start I already started to put my mindset into the book and imagined that I was really in the scene of the book. At the start, my emotions were all over the place I was shocked, thrilled and excited. Who wouldn't after a kid just witnessed a crime of theft and murder. At the front of the book, there was a question saying "Would you take the money and run?" when I reached the point in the middle or towards the end it started to make sense.
Rating this book I would rate it 8/10 the reason I have chosen this score is that it was a really interesting book in the story I don't think that there was any part that I was interested in I loved it. I would have given it a full score but I would love the ending to be a bit longer I feel like it was a bit rushed in the end. When I finished reading the book I had so many questions in my head for example, "Is that it?" or "I want to know more". It just would have been a bit better if the ending made more sense and was not so rushed. once reading we did activities that were based on your book. After reading I had so many questions that I wanted to ask. I was so happy that I got the chance to ask you questions about your amazing book. I was wondering-
Where did you get inspiration from before writing this book?
Did you know about XP or knew anyone who had it if so why pick XP?
What would you be thinking or if you were in Viola's situation?
Who is your favorite character and why?
What made you think to become an author?
I really loved your book and in my blog, I have posted a book review about your book and it would be amazing if you commented on it.
July 30, 2019 at 8:56 am
8/10 is not bad! I can live with that! I saw a TV doco about XP by accident and it inspired me to write the book – it was so unusual! (This was also when vampire books were huge so writing a non-vampire book about a person who can’t go out in the sun was pretty cool!) I think Viola is a lot braver than me – I couldn’t do the things she does. I like the owl I think – it is my favourite character. Especially how it watches over everyone. I’m an author because I love doing it! Easy.
I have commented on your book review – well done!
All the best
July 25, 2019 at 9:17 am
Dear Ella West
My Name Is Nici (pronounced Nicky just spelt differently), I’m an 11 year old girl 12 soon. I go to Hornby High School and I am a year 7 and I am from Christchurch.
I really liked your book Night Vision. It was really interesting, could you make a sequel to the book because it still left some questions for me and I'm still really interested in the book the ending didn’t tell us much but the blurb on the back got me hooked. A lot of people in the reading group thought Viola was a vampire because of the condition she has but as we read the story further into it we found out that she was not a vampire she just has a condition. I am very sad that you are not writing a sequel but then again you get to decide what you do with your books
Here are a few questions I have for you
What inspired you to make night vision?
What inspired you to write books?
How old were you when you first started writing?
I have done a book review to night vision if you want to see it
Thank You So Much For Reading My Letter
(If your ever in christchurch please come and visit us)
July 30, 2019 at 8:45 am
I’d love to come to talk to your class in Christchurch – get your teacher to get in touch with me and we’ll see what we can do. Sorry, no sequel, but I loved your review on your blog. To answer your questions – I think I’ve been writing all my life, either as a journalist or later on books for teenagers and when I was a kid I was always writing stuff. I do it because it’s fun. Lots of things inspired me to write Night Vision but I think it was mostly the idea of a kid who couldn’t go outside in the sun. That was so weird.
July 25, 2019 at 9:11 am
My name is Callum I am a student from Hornby High School, and I just finished reading your book “Night Vision” and I loved it. It was so entertaining and so intense, IT WAS SO GOOD.
I liked how you wrote it BECAUSE I never knew what was going to happen next, I like the setting and the main characters. Night Vision is one of my favourite books now and all the people in the reading group im in LOVE it. I have done some work on the book “Night Vision” and it was so fun and so cool to do. I have read that you are not doing a sequel to Night Vision but if you did I would love to read it !
If you want to check out the work I have done it is on my blog
July 30, 2019 at 8:37 am
Love that you and your reading group loved Rain Fall! And your word search on your blog is really cool – I used to have so much fun doing those when I was young!
All the best
July 23, 2019 at 10:19 am
Kiora, Ms Ella West!
My name is Skyler, I'm 13 years old, I live in New Zealand and I go to Hornby High School. I recently found out about you because of my teacher. When doing reading, she takes students groups by groups and in that group she makes everyone read specific kind of book, mostly novels and do activities about it like making a description of the characters which tests us if we actually read the book and thought about it deeply. My reading group and I read your book "Night Vision" and even did a review about it and posted it on our blog.
I really enjoyed reading your book "Night Vision". The summary was intriguing. It hooks the reader, I think I know why our teacher chose the book for us to read.
If you made a sequel of the book, I'd love to read it because I'd want to know what will happen if it was extended.
I have questions about Night Vision for you if you don't mind answering them.
- What were you feeling when writing the book?
- What inspired you to write the book?
- If you were Viola in the story, would've you done the same things that she did?
- Were there certain events in the book that you wished you could've improved on?
- Who's your favourite character in the book? if you have one :)
For me, your book Night Vision is a Top-Notch, I wish it gets more recognition though. Please continue to write more amazing stories in the future.
July 24, 2019 at 8:03 pm
To answer your questions all together (because they overlap), I was listening to a lot of music when writing Night Vision – mostly the music Viola plays. I wanted to make the words as musical as possible (try reading some of the passages aloud) and I hoped it worked. I don’t know if I would be brave enough to do some of the things Viola does, but then she has already been through a lot before the book begins and knows she will go through a lot more before her short life will be over. I think my favourite character is the owl – I like how it looks over everything silently! And yes – have commented on your book reviews. THANK YOU for doing them. Wow!
Hope you read some fun books this term!
(and say hi to your teacher for me!)
July 23, 2019 at 9:42 am
Dear Ella West,
Our group here at Hornby Highschool have read one of your fantastic books. Last term we began and finished reading Night Vision. It was a really excellent book, we all enjoyed reading it; we were all really interested in the plot. I admire that you tackled on a real sickness/disease and brought awareness in it using your writing. Though I hoped that you've extended on how it concluded, I have an understanding of why you may have ended it. It seems the most realistic way that a story such as that would end, at least in my opinion. Thank you for writing that book, I would like to read more of your books in the future.
July 24, 2019 at 7:32 pm
I always think about Viola’s story in Night Vision as moving from the darkness into the light – the darkness of being on her own to stepping into the light and being acknowledged for who she is. Doing this, whoever you are (whether you have a weird disease or not) always takes courage and Viola finds this courage by dealing with what happens to her in the book. Stepping into the spotlight in front of an audience playing the violin was the only way to end.
So glad to hear your class enjoyed the book – all the best with the new term!
July 22, 2019 at 7:07 pm
Will there be a book 2 of Rain Fall? Rain Fall is my favourite book I have ever read! I love the characters and everyone and everything in it, I would love to read more about Annie and Jack. Please respond to this...... I figured that this is a new book so you may write another one.
I'm from Goldenbay in NZ I'm not sure if you know where that is. I love horses, rain and I find Annie reminds me a lot of me.
July 24, 2019 at 7:27 pm
Sorry, there won’t be a second book of Rain Fall. I did think about it – what would happen to Annie once she moves to Christchurch – but I don’t know if she would have as many adventures as she would on the West Coast. Westport is a very special place where, as Annie says, anything can happen.
I’m so glad you loved the book and found a friend in Annie. Yes, I’ve spent many summer holidays in Golden Bay. It’s one of my favourite places!
All the best
May 8, 2019 at 5:54 pm
Hi! My name is Ella West too! I'm in 8th grade and I go to Parchment Middle School in Parchment, Michigan. I just found out about you like a month ago and I really like the book Thieves, but I really wanna read Rainfall. You books inspired me to start reading way more than I used too. You are really good at writing stories! I hope you see this!<3
May 22, 2019 at 6:15 pm
Wow – my books are being read in Michigan! Do you get them as ebooks? As well as Rain Fall you might like Night Vision too!
They are both set in New Zealand where I live.
May 8, 2019 at 12:01 am
I am a yr 8 student at Ashley school NZ. I am a horse mad person and Ride but unfortunately I dont have a horse.
I love the book rain fall and have read it too many times I have stoped counting. I am doing a book report on the book Rain fall for a class assignment and am woundering if you could tell me a bit more about your self.
May 9, 2019 at 8:57 am
Love that you love Rain Fall! Hmm – something about me. There is lots on this website under “About Me” but also, just like you, I was horse mad as a kid and didn’t have a horse. My parents knew nothing about horses and there was no way we could have one in our tiny backyard. It wasn’t until I got older, left home and met other horse-mad people that I learnt to ride and had a horse. So, my advice to you is there are lots of horses out there that aren’t getting ridden. Go find one and ask the owner if you can ride it (only do this if the owner is a nice person!). Horses need to be ridden at least once a week if not more otherwise they get difficult to ride – they just get lazy and forget that their purpose is to have people on their backs. If you get the horse so it can be ridden again the owner will be really happy. But you have to be a good rider to do this (or be prepared to be bucked off a few times!) Also, maybe check out your local pony club. They might be able to help. Good luck!!!!!
April 15, 2019 at 10:53 pm
i am a big fan of your book rainfall i got it out at my school library. i am 12 and i go to diocesan school for girls i auckland. i am a new zealander too. i have a big trouble finding the right book to read and i refuse to read if i can't find the right book. i was wondering why you don't write more books like rain fall. if you did i would be speechless. right now I'm reading rain fall but I'm on the 25th chapter and i want to read it so bad but i don't want to read it because it will finish and i am so sad about that. so if you could write more books like rain fall with all the drama horror and romance then i would be the luckiest kid in the world!!!
April 18, 2019 at 9:08 am
So great to hear from you and that you love Rain Fall (one of my favourites too!) Yes, I am writing more books don’t worry and hopefully will have news soon of another one being published. Getting a book published takes forever but the more that kids like you read and want more books by me the easier it is – it lets the publishers know to get another one out quickly!
Thanks again and I hope you enjoy the ending of Rain Fall!
February 26, 2019 at 10:49 pm
I'm a huge fan of your books.
My favourite one would have to be deffinetly Rainfall, I was at your workshop thing at James Hargest last year, when you were there you showed us a pile of papper writing thats going to become your next book, when do you plan for that book to come out? I can't wait to read it!
February 27, 2019 at 12:26 pm
Great to hear from you. Sorry, I still don’t know when that book is coming out. Fingers crossed for next year. Will keep the website updated!
All the best
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!