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Risika, a teenage vampire, wanders back in time to the year 1684 when, as a human, she died and was transformed against her will.
-Text from http://catalog.loc.gov
Library of Congress Online Catalog
I was born to the name Rachel Weatere in the year 1684, more than three hundred years ago.
The one who changed me named me Risika, and Risika I became, though I never asked what it meant. I continue to call myself Risika, even though I was transformed into what I am against my will.
By day, Risika sleeps in a shaded room in Concord, Massachusetts. By night, she hunts the streets of New York City. She is used to being alone.
But now, someone is following Risika. Someone has left her a black rose, the same sort of rose that sealed her fate three hundred years ago.
Three hundred years ago Risika had a family- a brother and a sister who she loved. Three hundred years ago she was human.
Now she is a vampire, a powerful one. And her past has come back to torment her.
This atmospheric, haunting tale marks the stunning debut of a promising young novelist.
-Text from Random House- In the Forests of the Night
Delacorte Press (c) 1999
Cover art: Eric Dinyer
In the Author’s Words
* Amelia began writing White Wine in May 1997 when she was 13. According to Boston.com Article “Young Adults Are Reading One of Their Own, “I finished it in August,” she says. “It was the first book I showed to my friends, and they said, `This is good. You should publish this.’ I decided it wouldn’t hurt to try, so I did all the research on literary agents. I promised myself I would send it out before the end of the year, and on Dec. 31 I was at the post office with my mother, mailing submissions to agents. All of them were rejected.”
Amelia’s Letter About The Book’s History:
- In the Forests of the Night was started on my beloved Mac, my first computer. I use “my” loosely here, as it was actually a computer Mother bought for work. She never used it. I always used it. I plopped a red recliner chair in front of it, cranked up Alanis Morisette’s “Jagged Little Pill” (Perfect, Forgiven, Not the Doctor, Mary Jane, Wake Up), and started typing up a scrap of scene I had jotted into my notebook– a blue, 5-section CVS paper-cover wide-ruled notebook at this time– at school during lunch that day while my best friend recited William Blake’s “The Tiger” over and over at super speed as practice for a recitation she had to do in English class.
A cage of steel.
I believe those words, the first words I wrote for this book, remain even still.
About half-way into the book, I hit a snag. Writer’s Block– a tiny
little demon that lives under the “Esc” key on every writer’s
keyboard, and asserts itself when it has had its sleep interrupted too
much lately by a writer’s work.
Around this time, I hit a more major problem– absolute computer failure. In a panic, I backed up the computer, only to have my backup disks destroyed. I managed to print everything I was working on before the computer, my darling Mac, died.
We all still mourn.
Then I went on vacation, and if you’re reading this, you probably already have heard of Panthera Tigriess of Ni!, which my mother bought me at Cape Hattaras. I was writing about a tiger; I decided I wanted a tiger. It sat on my head one day, and I was inspired.
I made a few little changes. Ather’s bloodbonded human Aubrey was promoted to one of the most powerful vampires in history, for example. Rachel’s mother died. Little things like that, you see… which gave the book a plot, and vwola!
But the story ends not there, where the books final pages were written on a laptop during a few late-night stints at my aunt’s house on the eastern shore of Maryland.
It does not even end after I printed the manuscript.
In fact, I suppose it ends in your hands… for that manuscript was my first to be published, and is now the beautiful book you– assuming you are a fan, for if you aren’t, I don’t know why you’re reading this– have either read, seen, or own.
Did you know..?
* In the Forests of the Night was the sixth or seventh book Amelia wrote in Nyeusigrube.
* Because of how young she was, at first Amelia was going to use a pen name to publish her novels. It was later agreed upon to use her real name, though some sites still list Forests as being written by both Amelia Atwater-Rhodes and the once-upon-a-time pen name of Carol Sutch!
* Early in 1998, Atwater-Rhodes and her eighth-grade friends were touring Concord-Carlisle Regional High School in preparation for attending in the fall when she met Thomas Hart, chairman of the English department and a part-time literary agent. “I knew her name,” Hart says. “She and my son were classmates, and I had taught her sister.” One of the visitors told him Atwater-Rhodes had written a novel.
“I wanted to be a nice guy,” says Hart, who represents adult literary authors. “I said I’d take a look and give her some gentle professional feedback. I’m not a fan of vampire fantasy novels, but when I read the manuscript, I thought, `This is quite good. It goes down easily.’ ” He agreed to take it on and that spring sent it to several publishers. “It was the fastest sale I ever made,” he says. When Random House offered a contract, Hart called the author to tell her. It was April 16, her 14th birthday, and the family was just sitting down to birthday cake.
Hart, who says he is not seeking other young-adult authors, says the quality of Atwater-Rhodes’s writing is only one of her strengths as an author. The other part is her capacity for sustained work and disciplined rewriting. After he sold “In the Forests of the Night,” Hart recalls, “I knew she liked to write, and I asked her what else she might have on the way. She said, `Wait here,’ went upstairs, and came down with five or six completed manuscripts of novels. She is a consummate pro and has been since she was about 13. I would be happy if some of the adult authors I work with had her ability to keep plugging.”