Synopsis: Amelia Gareth’s brother is a witch and the only way to save her family from the taint in his blood is to become a professed nun at Cathedral Reims. However, in order to become professed, she must endure trials that all nuns must face. Surviving these trials is not easy, especially for Amelia, who is being stalked by shadowy beings only she can see. They’re searching for people they can physically touch, because only those they can touch can see them. Amelia soon learns why she is being stalked when she accidentally harms her best friend with fire during the third trial. Fire is a witch’s signature. The shadows are after witches. Now Amelia must decide what to do: should she continue on her path to profession knowing there is no redemption, or should she give up on her dream and turn away from Cathedral Reims in order to stop the shadows who plan to destroy everything she loves?
Sounds exciting doesn’t it? Amber was kind enough to do an interview with me for the launch of her wonderful new book, When Stars Die. Check out what Amber had to say in below!
1. How long have you been writing? What inspired you to start?
I’ve been writing since I was 8, so that’s about 15 years, but I’ve been seriously writing since I was 14, which is when I started the sequel to When Stars Die called The Stars Are Infinite. Nothing really inspired me to start, honestly. I just feel like it was something I was born with, if that makes sense. I wouldn’t say it was some higher power endowing me with this “magical ability,” but it’s just something I absolutely have to do. I love it, but there’s no explaining what started it.
2. Is this your first published work – if not, what else have you published, and if so, what prompted you to publish now?
When Stars Die isn’t exactly my first published work. I’ve had a few short stories published, but I didn’t feel like a “real” author until WSD was picked up by AEC Stellar Publishing, Inc. And I’ve always wanted to publish. I knew that ever since I was 8. Back then I thought you had to have a college degree to publish, but, obviously, I’ve learned A LOT since then. But what prompted me to finally start seeking publication was that my assistant, Mariah Wilson, believed in my work so much, and so I just decided to take a chance on it by sending it off to AEC and waiting to see what they said. Obviously, they liked it, and here I am with a published work. I know most people advise you wait before signing on with a new house, but, well, if all authors did that, the house wouldn’t survive. Plus, I liked the first book they were publishing, and they aren’t drastically different from other independent presses in terms of how they do things.
3. You describe your genres as paranormal and romance. Did you set out to write in those genres, or did the story come first and the genre allocation later?
I actually had no clue what genre it was when I first began writing it. I thought fantasy at first, but then later down the road, paranormal seemed to have launched as its own genre, so I knew my trilogy was going to be paranormal. But the romance part of the paranormal didn’t get tagged on until much later in the process of When Stars Die. I knew I had to beef up the romance to make the ending as effective as I wanted it to be—as in, more shocking, not necessarily the reader crying over what happens.
4. Is there a key message in your work or is it written mainly for fun and entertainment – or both?
I generally always try to write with a message. I have no problem with books written for pure fun, but I personally want readers to think about my book long after I’ve written it, and books with some sort of message are usually remembered best. The key message in my work is basically to question everything you’ve been taught: your beliefs, values, morals, ect. Sometimes it’s hard to question those things, especially if, for example, you’ve been a devout Christian all your life, but you should be a devout Christian because you know why you want to be, not because you were raised that way. As Ciel from Black Butler says, “There is a fine line between education and brainwashing.”
5. Any hints for aspiring writers? Anything you would do differently in your publishing journey with the wisdom of hindsight, or would absolutely do again because it worked so well?
For aspiring writers, do your research on what path of publishing you want to take, be it big press, small press, or self-publishing. I had a school visit not too long ago where I stressed to the kids that they do their research, that publishing is as much a business as it is an art. I hope they took something away from that.
I wouldn’t do anything different, really. I suppose I would have just done a lot more research so that way I could realize that whether or not you have marketing behind you, you still need a platform, which I didn’t really have when I signed on to AEC. But I am building one, and it’s never too late to build one, even if you’ve already had a book published. I know a lot more now than I did back then, so by the time the sequel to WSD comes out, things should be going pretty smoothly for me now that I know what to do.
6. If your book was a person, how would you describe his/her personality?
Dark, determined, sensitive, strong, intelligent, and loyal.
7. Why did the author cross the road?
The author crossed the road so she could be hit by a car after having edited her novel to death.
Want more? (Of course you do!!)
Bio: Amber Skye Forbes is a dancing writer who prefers pointe shoes over street shoes, leotards over skirts, and ballet buns over hairstyles. She loves striped tights and bows and will edit your face with a Sharpie if she doesn’t like your attitude. She lives in Augusta, Georgia where she writes dark fiction that will one day put her in a psychiatric ward…again. But she doesn’t care because her cat is a super hero who will break her out.