Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Chatting with Maria V. Snyder

I want to welcome one of my favorite authors. I picked up Poison Study a few years ago because I Loved both the title and the cover - and then fell in love with the series. Since then I've devoured Maria's other books and become a fan girl. I met VERY briefly at BEA this past year and had Inside Out signed!

What made you choose to write YA after The Study series? I had the idea for INSIDE OUT for a number of years and had even wrote about 7 chapters. I wanted to try something different and my publisher and editor were very supportive.

Where do you write best? At home in my office. I write from 10 p.m. until 3 – 4 a.m. – it’s the time I’m most creative and no one bothers me at that time of night J Then I slept in until 10 or 11 a.m.

Wow, that's a unique answer.

How do you get your ideas? Do you use real events in your novels and if so, can you describe one? My ideas can come from anywhere. I get ideas from newspaper and magazine articles, from something I see on television, from something that comes up in conversation, from dreams, or from something my children say or do. I tend not to lack for ideas just time!

I don’t use real events in my novels, but I do take parts of events and incorporate them into the stories. For example, when I learned how to work with molten glass, many of the mistakes the new glassblowers make are ones I made.

How did you come up with your titles? I had a hard time coming up with Poison Study at first. I knew I wanted Poison in the title, but wasn’t sure about the rest. I thought of Poison Education, Poison Test, and Educating Yelena, but none really grabbed me until I thought of Poison Study. Usually the publishers will change a title, because it’s very important to have an engaging title. My editor kept it and Magic Study was a natural title for the second book. My editor wanted to title Storm GlassGlass Study, but since I had a new main character I thought that would be confusing to my readers and they might be disappointed that Yelena was no longer telling the story. She liked Storm Glass so that was good J Inside Out was originally Inside, but my critique group at Seton Hill thought it was too plain, so they started brainstorming and the real Tricky came up with Inside Out.

I do love your titles.

Can you tell us a little bit about Spy Glass? SPY GLASS picks up a few months after SEA GLASS. Opal is home recovering from a struggle where she had to sacrifice everything in order to save another. Now without her special magic, she's feeling lost and directionless until she discovers that there may be a way for her to become powerful again. Determined to reclaim her powers, Opal will do anything to get them back. Or so she believes.

I loved this series. You can read my review of Spy Glass here

What did you do on your release day? I sent out an issue of my free email newsletter to let my subscribers know the book was available. Most of my promotion is done online, so I probably spent the day on the computer. I don’t celebrate every release – I had a huge party when POISON STUDY was released and that was a ton of fun and a ton of work J

You seem to do a lot of hands-on research for your books. Do you have a favorite or worst research memory? How about my scariest research? I toured a maximum security prison for men to do research for SPY GLASS. Walking among the prisoners was the biggest surprise to me. I thought my tour would be behind bullet-proof glass or at a safe distance, but the facility isn't all maximum security and my friend showed me the cell blocks, the cafeteria, the gym, the classrooms and the exercise yards. The cafeteria was filled with prisoners and we passed a bunch when we entered the block. We were outnumbered 50 to 1, but everyone was nice and polite. There were correctional officers nearby, but only a few, and they weren't even armed. That was uncanny and scary. And one CO (the real Black Sergeant – which he told me was how to address him) asked me what I was doing there and he called me Visitor number one three six five! He made an impression and the Black Sergeant made a cameo appearance in the book. I quoted him exactly.

That sounds scary - but great info for the book.

Will you write more books in this world? (I know I would LOVE reading stories from the other characters) There are characters from the Study and Glass books that I would love to expand on and see what happens to them. Reema and Teegan or Fisk or Heli (the young Stormdancer) or Quinn. I would also like to write another Yelena and Valek story – I am writing a short story about them for my free email newsletter subscribers right now. I'm also thinking about expanding that story and flashing back to Valek's past when he meets the Commander and assassinates the King of Ixia. But for right now, I need a break and a new creative challenge to keep my writing fresh. I do intend to go back to Ixia and Sitia in the future.

Oh good! I'd love to read about Fish and Jenco and Ari. Plus Valek and Yelena well you get the idea!

Can you tell us a little bit about Outside In? OUTSIDE IN picks up about 12 weeks after the end of INSIDE OUT. The world of Inside has been turned…er…upside down ;> and there are many changes and problems involved with the aftermath. Trella feels she has done her part and can now relax and explore, but soon events drag her back into the thick of things.

I can't wait to read the next installment. You can read my review of INSIDE OUT here

What’s up next after Outside In? After OUTSIDE IN, I’m going to work on a new fantasy novel set in a world that is recovering from a deadly plague. Her world has blamed the plague on the healers and has hunted them down. She is finally caught only to be rescued by a group who wants her to heal their Prince. The group's leader, Kerrick, knows the healers aren't to blame for the plague and that she could do some good for a change instead of hiding. Unfortunately, she believes this Prince is the one who started the plague as an attempt at biological warfare so she isn't risking her life for some pampered Prince. As they travel to the Prince's hidden location, they're pursued by others who have realized having a healer around might just be a good thing for them, but not necessarily for her.

Oh, sounds awesome!

What was the last book you’ve read that you’ve been recommending to everyone? Soulless, by Gail Carriger! So funny – it’s a Victorian Steampunk with werewolves and vampires as part of high society. I suggest that everyone listens to this one – the reader/actor Emily Gray was fantastic!

Are there any authors you’d love to meet? One of the perks of being a published author is I’ve already met a bunch of my favorite authors and have made friends with a few. I would like to meet J.K. Rowling and Stephanie Meyer just so I’d have an answer to when people ask me if I’ve met anyone famous J

Do you have a favorite literary quote? Nope. I’m not the literary type – I’m a pop culture – genre fiction kind of girl J I do have a favorite movie quote from My Big Fat Greek Wedding. When the main character Tula complains about her father being the head of the family to her mother, the mother, Maria says, “He may be the head of the family, but I’m the neck. And I can turn that head any way I want.” Love it!

Listing if your favorites:
Candy - Swedish Fish
Pizza topping - Pepperoni Genre of books - Fantasy
Singer and/or Song – Current band/singer favorite is 3 Doors Down / but I love the song, The Reason by Hoobastank.
Restaurant – Olive Garden
TV show /Movie – Bones / The Princess Bride
Color - Red
Shoe - sneakers
Video Game – Dance, Dance, Revolution

Interested in the books? Find the first chapters of all the books here: http://www.mariavsnyder.com/books.php

Maria also has a new blog: http://officialmariavsnyder.blogspot.com and is on Facebook and Goodreads and welcome new friends.

1 comment:

Jessica said...

GREAT interview. I am so jealous. Love, love, love her books.