Author Interview with Amber Skye Forbes

when-stars-dieGet to know Amber…

Amber Skye Forbes is a dancer and 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.  For more info, visit her Facebook, Twitter, blog, Goodreads, and website.

 Quirky Questions

What question do you tire of answering?

“What is your book” about is a question I tire of answering. There are much more creative questions people can ask that give a more well-rounded review of the depth of When Stars Die. At the same time, I am still grateful for the interview.

Would you rather live in a world where there were no problems or a world where you ruled supreme?

A world where there are no problems. I would love to have a supreme rule, but it seems, no matter the person, that absolute power corrupts absolutely. I might think I’m going to rule with everyone’s best interests in mind, but then you get to a point where you realize you’re going to have to sacrifice the welfare of some people to help out the welfare of others. That’s not a choice I’d want to make.

Would you rather endure a zombie apocalypse or World War III?

That’s a tough decision. The US was never used as a battleground for WWI or WWII. At the same time, those were people we were fighting against, people we were killing, ones who were simply defending their country as we were defending ours. So I guess I’d have to say zombie apocalypse. At least the undead aren’t undead because of us—mostly.

Would you rather be able to speak with all animals or all foreign languages?

All animals, assuming I can still speak English with people. I just really want to know the thoughts that go through an animal’s mind. There are just so many days where I wish I could speak to my cat.

Would you rather be deaf in one ear or only be able to use the Internet one hour per week?

Deaf in one ear. I’m starting an online college, so the internet is rather necessary for me to get stuff done. Plus, I’m an author.

Would you rather be the richest person alive or immortal?

Immortal. I just really want to see how the world changes. I also want to live to see new discoveries, especially those involving space.

Mac or PC?

PC. Compare a high-priced PC to a Mac and the PC is exponentially better in terms of power in storage space. You can only get these PCs online, but they are totally customizable to suit your needs. Macs are only useful for creative types, sans writers, where PCs work better for us. Otherwise, PCs are more flexible in terms of usage.

If you could choose to write your next book on a typewriter or with a quill pen, which would you choose?

Quill pen, with the assumption that the pen would make my handwriting super pretty.

Would you rather live in a retirement home or a mental institution?

Well, I have been hospitalized before, but I’d have to say retirement home. At least they can go out and do things. Then again, it depends on the mental institution. With the two I was at, you were pretty much locked in until you were discharged.

Would you rather have your mind serve as an iPod so you can listen to music any time or be able to watch your dreams on TV?

I would love to watch my dreams on TV. They’d probably provide excellent story fodder. I’d probably never run out of ideas for novels then.

Would you rather talk like Yoda or breathe like Darth Vader?

Talk like Yoda. His style of speech is just cool.

Would you rather be stuck in an elevator with two wet dogs or two fat men with bad breath?

Two wet dogs. For one, I can just shove them aside in the elevator. For another, depending on the breed, those wet dogs may not smell too bad.

amber-forbesWriting Questions

If you could change one aspect of our society through your work, what would it be?

When Stars Die is pretty religious in nature. I hope it causes people to really reflect on their religion and the thinking that has resulted from that religion’s ideals. So, ultimately, I want religion to become more humanistic and less by the book, so to speak. I want religious people to think for themselves.

In terms of your writing, how would you like to be remembered?

I want to be remembered as someone who really understood the human experience and psychological aspects of a human being. I want to be remembered for the sensitivity I put into my writing, and the humanistic aspects that are often presented in my work.

What do you do to keep yourself motivated and interested in your work?

I have my personal assistant basically push me and spit out different ideas. That alone motivates me—not to mention edits from my publisher.

What is your favorite accomplishment?

Simply seeing When Stars Die in publication.

Do you ever create hidden meanings or messages in your work?

Absolutely. I’m still learning to not be preachy, though, but I think I’m doing a good job of it so far. The Stars Trilogy is really about attacking religious extremists, and I’m not ashamed to say this at all. Originally I was worried about this, but I have had Christian readers, and none of them have even mentioned being offended at all, probably because the book isn’t being preachy. Religious extremists make god seem very hateful, so I took that view point and created a hateful god in my trilogy. I’m agnostic, but if there is a God, I would view him as a very loving one, a god who didn’t punish us because of the choices of two people, but a god who granted us free will. That is the best gift, after all, even if it is abused.

Do you pay attention to others’ strong reactions to your work? Does that affect what you create?

Yep. Those strong reactions can better me as a writer. Readers are sharper than we think we are, and we have to give them more credit for the criticism they raise when reading a work of fiction. Yeah, we writers have editors and critique partners to do this, but the book isn’t meant for them.

If your writing were edible, what would it taste like?

Pomegranate. Sweet, tart, and bitter, all at the same time.

Has rejection ever affected your desire to continue writing?

Never. It stuns me for a little bit, but then I look at the feedback given, pick myself back up, and get excited again.

What kind of jobs did you have before your career took off?

I still have this job. It’s my primary source of income, but I’m a marketing trainee for Southern Siding. It’s fun because I can work different events. While I get paid minimum wage, I have the potential to make more through commissions. I’m also going to launch my freelancing business in tutoring and editing when I graduate college with a bachelor’s degree in English lit.

What was the biggest opposing force that you encountered on your writing journey?

Worrying about sales. Once you’re published, your worries aren’t over. It’s not that I’m worried sales of When Stars Die are going to affect the chances of The Stars Are Infinite being published. It’s just that I want lots and lots of people to read it—while making money—so that way they can then all go on to buy TSAI if they liked WSD.

If you had the chance to live during a different artistic movement other than now, which one would you choose?

The Renaissance. Being a woman would make it difficult for me to produce art, and I’d probably go largely unnoticed because of that, but at least I could take comfort in knowing writers were really appreciated during this time. We don’t have that too much in this century.

If you could interview any author (past or present), who would you choose?

John Green all the way.  

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