This is my very first guest post here on my blog and I’m thrilled to tell you that the author of When Stars Die, Amber Skye Forbes, personally contacted me through email to share with us the background of When Stars Die’s protagonist, Amelia. Amelia’s background is amazing and very detailed which made me even more excited to read the novel for review!
When Stars Die’s Amelia has changed and warped throughout her creation. In the sequel, The Stars are Infinite, Amelia was an assassin for the antagonist, a man named Purgatory–though he now exists as someone else in When Stars Die. As an assassin, Amelia was charged with eliminating anyone who opposed the Shadowmen Alliance, but she was especially in charge of eliminating the protagonist of The Stars are Infinite, Alice. Alice was originally some chosen one who bore an immense power that was a threat to the Shadowmen Alliance, so she was Amelia’s number one target. This is no longer the case. In The Stars are Infinite, Amelia is not an assassin, nor is she a threat. She is something else entirely, and you’ll have to read the sequel to find out. Alice also is not the typical chosen one anymore. She is something much greater and more complex than that.
In any case, Amelia became a character that I needed in When Stars Die. Her backstory in the sequel was just too interesting for me to simply leave it as backstory, so I decided to make her the protagonist in WSD. But I wanted her to be so much different than the vicious, cruel person she originally was in The Stars are Infinite. I needed to make her vulnerable and dark, a character I could tear apart and then re-build. In the first draft of When Stars Die, Amelia was already a professed nun. She still saw the shadowy figures, but instead of vying for a place in the Order, which I knew would add immense tension to her, the only tension she bore was stressing about these figures, and that was it. So I needed to do more to add tension.
In the third draft, I decided to make Amelia a novitiate, someone ready to be tested into the Professed Order. So she is put through painful trials to become a nun, all for her brother, Nathaniel, who is a witch. She puts herself through this torture all for him because she believes that by becoming professed, she will become closer to Deus, and Deus could forgive her brother for the sin of witchcraft and allow him a place in Paradise, which is the heaven in her world. She puts herself through lashings, leeches, and isolation. While she is vying for a position, she is also seeing the aforementioned shadowy figures, thus adding more tension and more stress. Then she murders her best friend in the second trial and finds out she is a witch, doomed to having no place in Paradise–she isn’t even sure where she will go if she can’t go to Paradise.
So Amelia becomes a very dark character, filled with stress and longing and indecisiveness and doubt. But she is still determined to be professed, in spite of knowing there may be no place in her for Paradise. At the same time, Amelia feels she doesn’t deserve to be professed because she is a witch, and a witch being in a convent is blasphemous in her world.
So throughout the book, Amelia is often very indecisive. She doesn’t know what she wants. She traps herself in this circle of wanting and not wanting–but, ultimately, she has to inevitably choose what she wants and what needs to be done, especially against the shadowy figures that threaten the existence of everyone in her world.
Amelia is innocent and troubled all at the same time. Everything she does is for her brother. She rarely puts herself first, and this leaves her filled with misery, which only seems to be abated by her love interest, Oliver Cromwell; however, even he can’t save her.
I hope you all enjoyed this glimpse into Amelia’s character, because she is certainly someone I would want to meet because of her undying loyalty to those she loves.