After a wet, but warm, couple of days, Fall has finally descended on South Central Pennsylvania. And it's freezing! I'm sitting at my dining room table with a furry blanket wrapped around me, shivering as I wait for the heat in this house to freaking WORK, already!
Today, we have Amber Skye Forbes, author of WHEN STARS DIE, here for an interview. I hope you enjoy it. I'm off to daydream about how awesome it would be to live in Florida (except for the bugs ... I hate bugs).
Welcome to We Do Write, Amber! Tell us a bit about yourself.
I am an adult ballet dancer who has been doing ballet for a little over 2 years. I have been en pointe for a little over a year, and received my pointe shoes at the 10 month mark, which is exceptional, considering for adults, it generally takes about 2 years to receive these special milestones. I am also a university student, but that isn't very remarkable to me because I'm majoring in something I don't want to do. Next year, however, I will be moving to an online college and doing a degree in creative writing, especially because I have the chance to take two english internship classes--so more experience on my resume! I really want to be a freelance editor and private tutor, but I'll let the future surprise me.
How long have you been writing?
I have been writing seriously for 9 years, but I have been writing since I was eight years old.
Tell us about WHEN STARS DIE. What’s the story about?
WHEN STARS DIE is about Amelia Gareth, who finds out her brother is a witch. Upon this discovery, they run away from home so Amelia can join a convent and become a nun. She believes that by becoming a nun, she will draw closer to Deus, and Deus will forgive her family of witchcraft, as witches are viciously hated in her world. However, she soon learns redemption is not possible for a witch. Oliver Cromwell, a dashing priest, may be the only one to save her and her brother, but can he really?
Nice! How did the idea of the story come to you?
Well, the idea just came about because I wanted to write about witches and a witch being in a convent, since that is a very blasphemous concept. Everything else just poured from my brain. Perhaps I did have external inspiration, but I can't think of it right now. My imagination is just pretty wild and overactive, so I'm still impressed that WHEN STARS DIE came from my own mind. I often hold the physical book of WSD and look at it in wonder and disbelief. "Did this really come from my head?"
Do you have a critique group/partner or beta readers, or do you self-edit?
I have one beta reader, my assistant Mariah Wilson, but WSD was largely self-edited. Of course, my publisher edited it, there was proofreading involved, so it wasn't fully self-edited, but the story didn't need drastic changes upon its acceptance. AEC Stellar Publishing, Inc. loved the story as it was and didn't see any need to change it.
Are you a plotter or a pantser?
I am a plotter because I learned my lesson the hard way when the sequel to WSD completely derailed, and I was left trying to figure out what to do to un-derail it. Georgia McBride, founder of YALITCHAT, then suggested I needed to do an outline, and that made an ENORMOUS difference! It GREATLY helped with WHEN STARS DIE, which is probably why WSD didn't need a complete overhaul because I already had Georgia's critique from its sequel to apply to the prequel.
Georgia is pretty great! What’s the hardest part of writing for you?
The hardest part of writing for me is probably the revising part because it's where I bring everything together and make certain I have everything cleaned up, like plot holes or inconsistencies, like a character who wears a dress on one page but is suddenly wearing a pair of pants on the next. It's also cleaning up the little details, too, like using a certain word too many times in one paragraph. It's very easy to skip over those things.
Too true. What are you reading right now?
I am currently reading Sorin Suciu's book, THE SCRIPTLINGS, which I encourage everyone to buy. It's being sold on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Basically, it's a comedic contemporary fantasy, and I don't have the blurb right in my head, but you guys should check it out anyway.
Hmm ... comedic contemporary fantasy? Sounds fun! If you could have any super power, what would it be?
If I could have any super power, it'd probably be the super power to easily come up with ideas for stories and novels and what not. My creative writing courses are going to be writing intensive, and while the writing won't be the troubling part, coming up with ideas may be.
What's the weirdest thing you've googled?
God...I can't even tell you what the weirdest thing I've ever googled is, but I can tell you what the weirdest thing people have googled that have somehow led to my blog. A lot of people have been looking for porn through google, and for some reason, my blog sometimes pops up. My blog has no porn-related material, so I have no idea how that happens.
Quick writing test! Use the following words in a sentence: astronomy, celebrity, and parallel.
I love astronomy, the study of the universe, and I took it as a college course.
I don't have a favorite celebrity because I find celebrity fandom a little sad, as they are just as mortal as we are, so, to me, they're nothing remarkable.
I sometimes wonder if I exist as another me in a parallel universe.
Finish this sentence: If I'm not writing, I'm probably ...
If I'm not writing, I'm probably reading, playing video games, being with my fiance, or doing ballet.
Here’s the part where you thank the people who are supporting you. Let's hear your shout outs.
I want to thank my AEC Stellar Publishing, Inc. team for creating WHEN STARS DIE as it currently stands. I want to think Shannon Thompson and Ky Grabowski for being my social PR team. I also want to think my assistant, Mariah Wilson, for being my first beta reader. Last, I want to thank my fans, who are Stars, for being there and supporting me and looking forward to the release of this book. Oh, and I also want to thank all the people who have interviewed me and let me do guest blog posts for them.
Thanks for joining us, Amber!
You can learn more about Amber Skye Forbes and her books below:
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.