* Amelia runs Nyeusigrube, a site where fans can interact with her. The name translates in the language of her characters as “Den of Shadows.” There, she keeps a blog and has her own sprite-comic based on her characters. The site is the second incarnation, after a fan-site shut down in 2004. She said of the sites both old and new: [The fan site] was first inspired, much like my writing, by boredom. Several years ago, LJ and Kel, two friends of mine, decided – I believe while babysitting – to pass time by building me a web site. Through a great deal of hard work by those two and later by LJ and her friend Tyler, tDoS blossomed in a way I certainly had not imagined. At the time, I knew next to nothing about web site design, so a great deal of credit really must go to the love and labor that those aforementioned put into this realm.
When LJ and Tyler moved on from tDoS, I was at a first completely lost. The original code was their property, so I didn’t have that to work with (not that I could read more than the basic parts of it, anyway). It probably would have been easier to leave The Den of Shadows as a memory, but I hated to take away the heart of the community that had grown around this site. I did a great deal of research and managed to throw together some HTML while LJ and Tyler were deliberating, so I had something to put up when they officially announced their resignation on September 2, 2004.
* Favorite Authors and Books: Laurell K. Hamilton and Stephen King, but her favorite book is Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein.
* Amelia was so restless in high school (even writing books in class, according to her mother) that her parents and the school administration agreed to let her take an intense course load to graduate a year early, making her part of the class of 2001. Amelia received her BA in English/Psychology, MAT secondary education. She is licensed in English and special education! Amelia currently works as a teacher at her former high school!
* Amelia was interviewed on The Rosie O’Donnell Show! TV Guide lists the December 7, 1997 episode as having scheduled guests: “Leslie Nielsen; 15-year-old author Amelia Atwater-Rhodes (“In the Forests of the Night”); musical guest Missy Elliott.”
* Amelia created her own language, ha’Dasi, for the Kiesha’ra Series. You can learn to read it on her site!
* Amelia has participated in NaNoWriMo since 2006. She “won” in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010! From her involvement with NaNo, she has created the unpublished Mancer series (2006), the unpublished Maeve’ra Series (2010), and the novels that would go on to become Token of Darkness (2007), All Just Glass (2008), and Promises to Keep (2009)!
* Amelia enjoys belly dancing and wants to learn the flying trapeze. And she has a tattoo of a stylized lizard!
* Amelia was born to Susan Atwater-Rhodes, a vice principal of Acton-Boxborough Regional High School and William Rhodes, a public policy consultant; she has two older sisters, Gretchen and Rachel, and a cousin Angel.
* Amelia often signs her posts with AHAR: which is short for Amelia Holt Atwater-Rhodes.
* According to Boston.com, Amelia drives a Jeep, was a Girl Scout for a while, sang in the chorus in high school, plays the piano, cooks, and paints! When she was in high school, she was in a band with friends, Walking Into Walls, where she played keyboard.
* When she was first published, reporters would comment on her braces and the black bands around them. But Amelia got her braces off in time for a three-week promotional tour for Demon in My View!
* When she was 3, Amelia says she would dictate stories about Meow Stripe, the Queen of Catland, to her cousin to write down. She’s been telling stories all her life!
* Amelia used to consider herself Wiccan, a practice she became involved with after a family trip to Salem, Massachusetts. Though she is no longer Wiccan, preferring to consider herself an “ecclectic kitchen witch” and having converted to Judaism for her wife, she did say that, “A lot of things that I’ve learned from Wicca get put into my books.”
* Reported in “The Carlisle Mosquito” article ‘CCHS educators share their “coming-out” experiences’: On October 21, 2010, Amelia and six other teachers shared with students at their school. She spoke about “her terror and fear about coming out. She reported that because she seemed depressed and had trouble at school, her mother was actually relieved that she was gay because she had feared “something worse,” such as pregnancy or drugs.”
* If she could have a superpower for one day, Amelia would “like to be able to shapeshift and fly (preferably as a large, EPA-protected bird of prey of some sort, so nothing would try to eat me or shoot at me), or to survive under great depths of water so I could explore.”
* She collects dragonflies, lizards and fox ornaments.
* [Amelia has a] phobia for cockroaches which she says actually began with a jellyfish sting. “I was stung head to toe by a jellyfish and then ended up watching the meadow bugs in Florida scuttle across the floor at night,” she says. “I think that those two things got associated and basically I don’t have a phobia of jellyfish but I do have phobia of cockroaches.” [Hypable.com, March 3, 2012]
* She has had many pets growing up, but often mentions a pet Bengal cat named Prince Chivas Regal. When Demon was first published, Amelia had two Siamese cats (Ramses and Renegade), two ferrets (Nekita and Riki Tiki) and two dogs (a black Labrador named after the Egyptian woman, Hatshepsut – Pharaoh and yellow – Alexandra).
* When asked in 2003 what her favorite item of black clothing was, or if she had a priced piercing, Amelia sounded bored as she replied, “I went through the whole goth phase in middle school. I realized I like colors. My favorite is royal blue.”
* Asked if she would always keep writing, she said, “I think I’d just go insane if I didn’t. The stories are there. They have to be written.”
* Most of her ideas and characters come to form in the most random ways, says Atwater-Rhodes. She tells us that most of her ideas start with a character’s line. “I’ll have a single line from a character or single moment of interaction that just pops into my head. Sometimes it’s something that I saw in the subway or sometimes I’m just driving listening to the radio and it just shows up. And a lot of the ideas don’t pan out and some of them like Jay and Promises to Keep are pretty big stories.”
* As of March 3, 2013, according to Hypable.com, [Amelia] holds a day job as a special education teacher for Biology and in her free time loves to paint and cook. [S]he does say she has an obsession with birds and even goes as far as to garden almost just for her pet birds.
* Also from Hypable.com, [Amelia said] that she’s played around with other genres and most recently wrote a fantasy trilogy. She jokes, “I’ve considered doing something with it but I’m a little overwhelmed with revising the whole thing.” But don’t expect to see a realistic fiction coming from her anytime soon; she told us she just doesn’t find them as interesting. She explains they bore her because, “I like to be able to play around with magic and the supernatural. And the same challenges that happen in realistic fictions I try to work into my books. So it’s not necessarily anything new for me.”
To learn more about Amelia’s world, check out the Nyeusigrube Wiki!