Sunday, November 17, 2013

Sunday Brunch 11/17/13


First and foremost, it is a pleasure to have you here. Welcome to Harper’s Sunday Brunch Interview!

So, can you tell us what makes Amber Skye Forbes tick? What got you started on the path to becoming an author?
There isn’t a whole lot that can make me tick. I suppose close-minded people do, but I’m not 100% open-minded myself either. I’m a humanitarian, so when someone does something that goes against my humanitarian feelings, I get ticked off.

As for what started me on the path of becoming an author, it was one of those spontaneous things. I struggle with mental illness, so I know any moment I could have a crisis that prevents me from being able to do what I want to do. So when I found Shannon Thompson’s blog and discovered she got published with AEC Stellar, I decided to take a chance on them. I know you apparently shouldn’t submit to publishers that haven’t been around for a year, but I know anything can happen to me at any moment, and I really wanted to make my dream come true. And they did make my dream come true, and I am blessed to be a part of them. I know they’re going to continue to grow and that their model is going to continue to improve, so I have a lot of faith in them. This doesn’t mean I’m axing out the idea of a literary agent, because I probably will seek one in the future, but I think I’ll continue to publish with them for a long time.

What are you currently working on? Would you care to share a snippet?
I am currently working on Stars Will Rise in The Star Trilogy. It actually takes place from the POV of a new character named Alice Sheraton. Here is a snippet from the first chapter:

I am a child of The Seven Deadly Sins. Witches, many people believe, are worse than murderers.
Rivulets of blood stream down my back, splashing red dots on the parquet floor that look like cherry spatter. On my knees, I watch this in a dirty mirror and even count the number of welts I wasn’t able to keep track of during my whipping sessions: fifteen. Perhaps there are more.

One welt for each year of my life.

I touch a welt on my shoulder and wince. Since movement is difficult, the rest sting as well. The flesh is puckered and cracked, sending forth beads of blood that join together and trickle down my side, caressing the ribs sticking through my pale, clammy skin. This will be the last welt I ever receive in my life. I take comfort in knowing I’ll never be beaten again. Or I should take comfort in knowing I’ll never be beaten again.

Tomorrow I’m going to be burned at the stake.

Do you include some of your own personal experiences in your books or do you prefer to use your imagination?
With When Stars Die, I used purely my imagination. In fact, the entire The Stars Trilogy will come from my imagination. As for what I have been writing now and what I have planned for the future, those stories will come from my experiences, mostly with mental illness and being in two psychiatric units.

What genre do you typically write in and why did you choose this over others?
I actually write across genres. The Stars Trilogy is paranormal, another book I wrote titled When Heaven Was Blue is a contemporary fantasy, and another short story I wrote is a contemporary literature piece. But I think where I’m going to take my writing in the future is contemporary literature because I am becoming more and more interested in the real lives of teens.

Do you have a specific process or a ritual you go through when sitting down to write?
I have absolutely no rituals what-so-ever, which I suppose makes me a kind of boring person, but there you have it. I just need motivation, and I’m good to go.

Where do you find your inspiration for your plots? Do you have any tricks of the trade you would care to share?
Inspiration just comes to me, I guess. I think of a concept, and then my imagination takes over from there. But lately things that have been happening in my life are inspiring to me, so I’m going to be drawing from those things from now on until whenever. And I really don’t have any tricks of the trade. While I am published, I just don’t feel like an expert in my field. I suppose that will change with the more I publish, and I hope to be able to offer concrete writing advice in the future.

What is the oddest place/situation where an idea for a book/plot has come to you?
School. I get these ideas during lecture times, and suddenly I’m pulling out my journal and jotting down ideas. One of my education classes is very small, so the professor probably thinks I’m strange when I’m suddenly reaching into my bag for one of my special journals and jotting stuff down.

What makes a book stand out and perk your interest?
THE COVER! There are so many books out there that the cover has to be attractive enough to garner my interest. Then, I’ll read the synopsis and a few pages from there to determine whether or not it’s worth buying.

We all have our favorite authors. Can you share some of yours and tell us why you like them?
Libba Bray, because she really helped me with When Stars Die—not physically, but her A Great and Terrible Beauty Trilogy certainly did. Another is John Green. He helped me indirectly with writing my short story I Am the Bell Jar that will be published in an anthology AEC Stellar is doing. He has also inspired me to take my writing in the contemporary literature direction.

We all have a pet peeve, care to share yours?
When people bother me while I am writing. I will glare at you if you come into my writing space and try to talk to me about whatever. I don’t care in the moment. I’m writing.

When you’re not writing, what are the things you enjoy doing to relax?
Ballet, video games, spending time with the fiancé, watching shows and movies, things of that nature.  

Thank you so much for joining me here today, Amber. I know my followers will enjoy this spotlight as much as I have conducting it. Good luck on all your future endeavors.

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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