Joining me this month for an Interview is Amber Skye Forbes, author of When Stars Die. Rather than let me do all the talking, we’ll dive right into the questions:
Tell us about yourself.
I consider myself a dancing writer because I do both ballet and write—not at the same time. I am also a student at August State University majoring in English with middle education, but I plan to drop that in favor of online courses and doing a degree in creative writing, as I have the opportunity to do two English internships in this degree. I am also engaged, have a cat I love, and parents, too, of course; play video games; read as much as I can; and I also love nature.
Tell us a little bit about your book.
When Amelia Gareth finds out her younger brother is a witch, she joins a convent to cleanse this taint form her family since witches are hated in her world and aren’t allowed the chance at Paradise, which is there version of heaven, when they die. However, she soon realizes there is no redemption for a witch, but is determined to find that redemption anyway. A dangerous attractive priest named Oliver Cromwell decides to help her with this conquest, and they are both determined to find a way into Paradise.
Where did you come up with this idea?
I just knew I wanted to write about witches and convents. I had an obsession with witches as a child, so I always knew I wanted to write about them, but I also knew I wanted to mine unique. I wanted my witches to exist as a punishment for the Seven Deadly Sins. I wanted my witches to be a blight upon mankind for the sins of those who are not witches. I also added the convent element because Amelia is a witch wanting to be a nun—she doesn’t find out she is a witch until a few chapters into the book. So the whole idea of a witch being in a convent fascinated me because it’s pure blasphemy.
Who did the cover art for your book?
Did you learn anything about yourself or your writing while working on this book?
Well, I learned that I am a very dark writer. I once tried to write a fantasy comedy, but that didn’t go over too well because I started to add some dark elements to it, so I just began to accept that I am a dark writer. I struggle with mental illness, so my mental illness often affects what I write.
When did you start writing and what made you start?
I started writing at the age of eight. It was during journal time that I found my love for writing. I just liked being able to put words on paper, and I suddenly had this fervent desire to start writing stories. It just sprang from nowhere. I suppose it was an innate thing that suddenly arose at that age, like I was born to do it.
What are you reading right now?
I am reading The Scriptlings by Sorin Suciu. It is a comedic contemporary fantasy. While I am not that far into it due to school and my own book release, it is an enjoyable read.
Besides the genre you write, what genres do you like to read?
I have been on a YA contemporary lit kick lately. I think it’s my favorite genre to read right now because it’s so real. I’ve been reading a lot of books about teens struggling with mental illness, and since I struggle with mental illness, it’s very relatable.
What is the most embarrassing mistake you’ve made as a writer?
The most embarrassing mistake as a writer was believing I was publishable ready at the age of 13. I desperately wanted to query this Harry Potter rip-off, but luckily I never did. I also never re-wrote it, thinking I didn’t need to. I thought that if I put all the work into a novel, why would I want to re-write it when I already worked so hard on it?
When you are not writing, what are you doing?
I attend school and play video games and watch anime. I’m also promoting my book as well by doing interviews and guest posts. I work a part-time job as well with Southern Siding as a Marketing Trainee. It’s a glorified title that basically means I try to get people to enter drawings and make appointments with homeowners. I also do ballet, which is probably the best thing I’ve ever started.
What is one thing about you most people find interesting (or unusual etc.)?
Most people seem to like the idea that I do ballet. Adults who wanted to do ballet are too embarrassed to do it because they’re afraid they’ll be bad at it, but I don’t care. I’m semi-descent and am going up in levels. I also do pointe work, so I don’t feel embarrassed about doing ballet, and I dance with kids.
Are there any more projects you are currently working on? Do you know when we might get to see those?
I am working on the sequel to When Stars Die titled Stars Will Rise. There will be a new protagonist in it, and you’ll hopefully be able to read it by next year. I am also working on a contemporary fantasy that I hope you’ll also be able to read next year. I am also outlining a YA contemporary literary novel that I hope to query to an agent or at least to a small press that can really work with this book.
What secrets would you share with aspiring authors?
Use your experiences in your writing. Having experiences in life often creates the best writing.
Name one author you’d love to meet and tell us why.
John Green. He is my favorite author right now. He’s the first author whose books I’m now on the look out for. I can’t wait to see what book he writes next.
You’re throwing a fiction character party. What fictional characters would you like to invite (name and where they are from (book/TV/Movie/etc.) and why?
Gemma Doyle from A Great and Terrible Beauty. I love her character because her and I are alike. I would also like to invite Hazel Grace from The Fault in Our Stars because she’s real. She doesn’t gloss over her cancer and doesn’t make herself some poster child for it. Also, and this might be a little embarrassing, I’d like to invite Simba from The Lion King. The Lion King is my favorite book of all time, and I love that little character. I love how he is able to gain strength at the end of the movie in order to bring his kingdom back to how it was in the beginning.
Thank you so much to Amber for stopping by today. If you want to know more about her, please find her on Facebook or Twitter. She also has a blog. Her book, When Stars Die, is also available now on Amazon.