Amber Bird | Press Kit
[Photo credit: Jesse Means] High Res
Amber Bird is...A writer, a rockstar, and a sci-fi simulacrum...The author of the Peaceforger books (heady dystopian/cyberpunk sci-fi), a published poet, the front of post-punk/post-glam band Varnish, half of transatlantic Autistic musical duo The Companions, and an unabashed geek...An Autistic introvert who was saved in many ways over the years by music, books, and gaming...An idealist and dreamer who now writes (books, poems, lyrics, blogs) and makes music in hopes of adding to someone else's escape or rescue...And, yes, the model for that Magic card.
Contact Amber: firstname.lastname@example.org
> Was Peace Maker always meant to be the second book in a trilogy?
It actually wasn’t. I had two standalone books in mind that would take place in the same world. But I was reading the advanced copy of someone else’s book and my (very incorrect) guess about what their twist would be sparked something in my head. Fortunately, I read that about a month before my first Peace Fire
> In Peace Maker, we learn Katja is Autistic. Why did you choose to make her Autistic in this book?
Katja has always been Autistic, I just didn’t feel confident admitting that out loud until my own autism assessment. But now, especially because I’m an advocate for autism acceptance and even appreciation, I don’t see any good reason not to just own that I’ve written an Autistic character. Honestly, most—maybe all—my main characters in my planned books are Autistic. I’m strongly in favor of diversity and representation in media.
> Is the diversity of your characters meant to be a statement?
It’s just meant to reflect the reality of the world I live in, of the people I know. (And, honestly, I can do better showing the differences. For example, there’s racial diversity in my head that never made it to the page, and I don’t feel great about that.) I’m not averse to what I see treated as the “default” character (because he’s also like people I know); I just don’t see that sticking to that narrow character type serves people or is anything like “writing what I know.” It might not have ruined my life to read mainly about straight, white, cis-gendered, non-disabled men, but I wonder what my life would have been like if I'd grown up on stories of people who were more like me. I'm an adult, a feminist, and in possession of serious self-esteem, but films like the last three Star Wars sequels, Mad Max: Fury Road, and the 2016 Ghostbusters felt like revelations to me. (And I’m so glad there have been more like that since.) Wee-Amber would have been a fiercer, brighter creature with that kind of media in her life. I'm just thrilled to know that I'm actually part of a growing wave of creators showing a more real spectrum of humanity.
> Do you think the grim future you write in is fact or fiction?
Well, there’s definitely plenty of fiction in there, but, yeah, I kind of think there’s plenty of fact...even more so since I wrote Peace Fire and the first couple drafts of Peace Maker. I have hope for good things and believe humans have the capacity for good; however, it doesn’t take more than a second of reading news to see that humanity seems, at best, inclined towards inaction and, at worst, strongly inclined towards being horrible to people, animals, and the world. Which can be good for my creative fires, but...I’d happily give up creation in exchange for my hope being justifiably brighter.
> Are there any other books in the works?
There are! I definitely have at least one more book in this series, for starters. I’ve also currently got four additional sci-fi novels in various stages of development and at least one contemporary fantasy idea. But I’ve been working on my stack of poetry as well, with some ideas for getting more of it into the world. And, of course, as I’ve been reading about Autism since my assessment in autumn 2014 and becoming more engaged with Autism acceptance and activism, I’ve been pondering whether that’s the topic to satisfy my vague urge to do something non-fiction. (Starting at passion seems like a good start for anything, even non-fiction.) I don’t really think I’m a short story writer, but I’m poking at some flash fiction ideas. So, expect my list of published works to grow.
There's more than one way to reprogram a human...
(Peaceforgers: Book Two)
Release date 6 October, 2020
The next gripping chapter in the Peaceforgers trilogy
Ears still ringing from their last explosive attempt to save the world, Katja and her friends learn that the war is bigger and the future is darker than anyone realized. So much for life after Demo Day.
To counter a threat that’s more than just scattered mind control, they’ll have to stay in Seattle. They’ll have to stay in the fight. But maybe this time they can keep their battles in the digital realm. Maybe this time someone else can do all the meat space stuff. Either way, it’s time to regroup, research, resist. And when they do, they’ll learn what the enemy already knows:
There’s more than one way to reprogram a human...
At the train station, I did what I could, hoping that I’d learned enough from watching movies. (Because using movies to figure out how to lead the criminal life had done such a great job for Jonny...Ugh.) I didn’t see anyone unexpected. Fortunately, the area had just enough office buildings that it was pretty quiet on a Sunday. And the train station wasn’t inviting to…well, to anyone. It was run down and kind of creepy. I definitely wouldn’t meet anyone inside it. Not on purpose.
When the time came to meet, I parked the vehicle a street over. As I was parking, I got a message from Bryan; the Seattle PD had issued an arrest warrant for the woman who’d grabbed ‘Randa. Excellent! I looked forward to illegally following her downfall via Seattle PD’s and the court’s paperwork.
I got out, feeling more optimistic, and slowly walked to the meeting spot, keeping my hand near my gun and an eye out for watchers or snipers on rooftops and in empty windows. I tried to make it look more like a cool swagger than a cracked kneecap. But it was wrapped up tight, so I figured the lack of bending knee was probably going to give me away. If the forearm crutch doesn’t do it, I snorted at myself.
Add in that my gun hand was currently my left hand, whilst my right one held that forearm crutch (‘cause the left one was at the end of a fractured forearm that wasn’t in any shape to take the weight…and probably wasn’t going to handle gun recoil or even aiming well, if I was being honest)...I was so dead if this was a trap. Cool. Feeling awesome about that...
The woman standing in front of the station straightened up and watched warily as I approached. Even with her g/ap mask on, I could see that her jaw was set, and her hand was near a pocket where, if I were her, I’d have a gun. My own hand was ready to grab my own gun. I warned myself not to get so jumpy that I shot someone innocent. Or tried to shoot someone...Oh, man, I was going to die.
I took a breath and slowly dropped my hand from near my gun.
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