Oct 14, 2013

Interview: Amber Forbes

Hello, readers! Today I've got an interview with Amber Forbes, author of the upcoming release When Stars Die. See what she has to say about her book, male witches, having a character who wants to be a nun, and more below. Then be sure to check out the book!

The Book
Title: When Stars Die
Author: Amber Forbes
Publisher: AEC Stellar Publishing
Publishing Date: October 22, 2013
Pages: 267
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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?

The Interview
In the form of a tweet, how would you describe When Stars Die?
Amelia wants to become a nun, but discovers she's a witch, a most hated being in her world. There is no redemption for a witch; there is only suffering.

Your book features a male witch, which isn't too common in YA books. Typically, we hear about female witches. So why did you decide to feature a male witch?
From my research a million years ago, a witch is apparently a lesser form of a wizard. A wizard is much stronger than a witch, so both can be either male or female. I could be wrong, but I'm simply going off memory. So I chose to make my witches both males and females because being a witch is a stigma in her world, so it just makes sense that both sexes are able to be branded with this just by virtue of being born as one. Witches don't have special powers in my book, in any case. Their power is fire, but that fire is simply to note that they are a witch. Plus, there is a certain amount of irony in their fire because fire is the very thing that they are put to death with.

Amelia, your main character, goes to Cathedral Reims to become a nun. What gave you the idea of having nuns in your book? Would you say your book is religious?
I've always wanted to write about convents and nuns because I find their world fascinating. I found it even more fascinating to have a witch at a convent because it sort of added to the blasphemous appeal to the whole thing. A witch in a convent is absolutely absurd in her world. Amelia's dream is to be a nun in the hopes she can cleanse her familial blood of the witch taint in her family, but her faith is shaken when she discovers there is no redemption. So throughout the book she questions whether or not she should even become a nun. 

When Stars Die features more than a girl trying to be a nun and a boy witch. For example, shadows. What can you tell us about these special shadows?
These special shadows are basically dead witches. So when witches die, they turn into Shadowmen who are servants of Deus. Being a Shadowman is supposed to be a gift in the afterlife for suffering as a witch in the previous life. But there is no gift about being a Shadowman, and readers will soon discover why this is. 

Using the letters of STARS, how would you describe yourself?

Favorite star/constellation?
My favorite star is Betelgeuse because it's an enormous supernova star; unfortunately, it is nearing the end of its life, but it promises to go out with a bang, and it'll leave star dust behind to be used against for the creation of another star--or maybe life or another planet, or something cool like that. It's death certainly won't be in vain. 

Most upsetting/tragic celebrity (star) death?
James Gandolfini. I didn't like his character too much in The Sopranos, although I overall enjoyed The Sopranos, but it was really sad to hear that he died from a heart attack, especially because he was still young. He also seemed like a good person because he did a lot of good things for the world outside of his acting career. 

Chocolate or vanilla?
Vanilla definitely.

If you could spend the day with one of your characters, who would you choose and why?
I would spend the day with Amelia because her and I would likely become fast friends. She is a very loyal person by nature, so I know I could always depend on her.

After When Stars Die, what's next for you?
I am currently working on its sequel, Stars Will Rise, so there is that. I will also eventually outline the third book in the trilogy, The Stars Are Infinite. I also have a contemporary fantasy I hope to get back to in December, and I'm having a short story titled 'I Am the Bell Jar' appearing in an anthology my publisher is putting together. 

The Author
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.

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