Friday, November 22, 2013

Author Interview & Book Highlight ~ When Stars Die by Amber Skye Forbes

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 in the snowy city of Malva. 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? 

~ Goodreads ~ Amazon ~ B&N

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.  

~ Author Interview ~ 

Konstanz: How did you get started in writing? 

AmberI've answered this question a lot, so I'm going to mix it up and say something different instead of the usual "second grade journal class, required to write thirty minutes every day, suddenly started writing stories." I suppose writing is a thing you're born wanting to do--at least, it feels that way for me, because I fell in love with writing before I fell in love with reading. I had a hard time getting into reading because the only books we could read in our elementary school library were books that were grade appropriate, and they were neither challenging nor interesting to me. Sure, I loved the Magic Treehouse Series, but that was about it. Harry Potter fueled my reading desires, and it only took off from there. 

In any case, having the fervent need to write stories fueled my passion for writing. I knew as young as eight that I wanted to be an author, but I thought I had to go to college and get a degree to be such, and, obviously, I know better. There was even a time where I considered not going to college because I didn't need a degree to be an author, but then a small part of me, even at a young age, also knew that having a book published couldn't be easy, so, of course, I then changed my mind about going to college. Perhaps my parents told me many authors couldn't make a living off it, or I just used common sense to say that finishing a manuscript and sending it off for publication couldn't possibly mean automatic publication, but I was determined to develop my skills, because even at a young age I knew I was not ready to submit--and I wasn't ready to submit for a while, even though I started the sequel to When Stars Die at fourteen, which was a monster initially. 

So, in short, I have to write. I just have to.

Konstanz: Do any of your characters have any of your hobbies? If so, which ones?

AmberWell, the characters in When Stars Die don't share any of my hobbies at all. In fact, Amelia doesn't have any hobbies. She's in a convent striving to be a nun, so she has no time for hobbies--unless you consider her love interest, Oliver Cromwell, a hobby, but that's a complex relationship to get into, and, anyway, spoilers could be revealed. Now in the sequel, the Stars Are Infinite, Alice Sheraton, the new protagonist, once used to paint, so I do share that hobby with her. From time-to-time, I do like to throw paint on canvas paper for the sheer joy of it. I'm more into abstract stuff, but, occasionally, I try to make something that isn't abstract. 

Also, in a book I hope to get back to in December, When Heaven Was Blue, Gene, the protagonist, loves to paint as well--and read--so he and I share those hobbies. 

Tyler, in my short story "I Am the Bell Jar," in the AEC Stellar 2013 Anthology loves to read, so I, of course, share that hobby with him, too. 

Konstanz: Is your cat (you know, the superhero cat) in one of your books? 

AmberMy cat is not in any of my books at all, although I will mention that in The Stars Are Infinite, Alice originally had a pet mouse named Tripp that turned into this super-awesome magical being at the end of the book--I told you that TSAI was a mess originally. 

Konstanz: What was the inspiration for When Stars Die? 

Amber I'm asked this question a lot, too, so I'll just sum it up: my need to write witches. Otherwise, I like to explain what sets my book apart from other books in the paranormal romance genre. 

I would argue that When Stars Die is among one of the darkest paranormal romance books out there. Some reviewers have said it is far more paranormal than romance, but because the romance is integral to the dark plot, it still has to be labelled as a paranormal romance; thus, it isn't your typical paranormal romance at all. Far from it. Chapter two immediately points to the darkness that you're going to run into throughout the book.

Also, my witches are not your typical witches. They are hated in Amelia's world. They don't have special magical spells or mix potions or anything or ride on broomsticks, or what have you. Their only power is fire, and that is to mark them as a witch. Also, when they die, they turn into these beings called Shadowmen who serve Deus for all eternity, unless they themselves are killed by the powers of one another, or by the fire of a witch. 

As a nod to The Stars Are Infinite, readers are eventually going to find out that there is a lot more to being a witch than simply being a hated icon. In When Stars Die, people are taught to hate witches through The Vulgate, and Deus is viewed as a vengeful god, who uses this hatred to make people unknowingly miserable. However, in TSAI, there is a huge twist to why witches really exist, and so I can't wait for readers to get through When Stars Die, and then to ultimately read TSAI. 

Also, as another nod to TSAI, I didn't think TSAI was going to be as dark as WSD, but by the time you get to the middle of the book, it becomes even darker than When Stars Die, and I didn't think that was possible. 

Konstanz: And with the holiday so near I just have to ask, what is your favorite Thanksgiving tradition? 

AmberMy favorite Thanksgiving tradition is simply eating turkey with my family. I mean, who doesn't love turkey? Also, we sometimes have other family members come over, which is cool with me, but we don't exactly do anything special on this day. I primarily look forward to the food. 


  1. Great interview and the book sounds fantastic and different. Thanks so much for sharing. Happy Thanksgiving!

    1. Thank you! I do agree, the book sounds fantastic!! Thanks for stopping by! <3

  2. This book sounds so fascinating and I have to admit I do like the dark elements. Seeing to be damned no matter which direction you turn makes for interesting reading to see how the character turns out. Like Amber I too love writing, it is my heart and I'll write until my last breath and if allowed, even after.

  3. Love the ideas in this book, such a great imagination.