Interview and contest with Maria V Snyder

Jen: Please help us welcome Maria V. Snyder as our guest this today. Maria, will you please share a short bio with us?

Maria: I’m the author of eight published books, (six fantasy and two science fiction) and multiple short stories. I live in Pennsylvania with my family, husband, 16 year-old son, 13 year-old daughter, and a black cat named Valek. I love to travel and go on cruises. When I’m not writing, I like to play volleyball and take pictures.

Jen: Tell us about OUTSIDE IN and where is can be purchased.

Maria: OUTSIDE IN begins about twelve weeks after the first Insider book, INSIDE OUT. For those who haven’t read INSIDE OUT yet- DO NOT read on – just jump down to the next question.  For those who have in OUTSIDE IN, the world is trying to recover from all the changes that has happened and not everyone is happy about the new state of affairs. Trouble starts soon after and Trella has to deal with a whole laundry list of problems: sabotage, the new Committee, and her mother. If that wasn’t bad enough, there is something from Outside and it wants in! I do have the first chapter of the book up on my website. Here’s the link: http://www.mariavsnyder.com/books/OutsideIn.php

Unfortunately, OUTSIDE IN is hard to find in book stores. You have to ask at the customer service desk for the store to order you a copy. Otherwise, you’ll find it online at all the major book sites like Amazon, B&N and Borders.

Jen: At what age did you discover writing? When where you first published? Tell us your call story.

Maria: I started writing because I was bored at work around age 24. I wrote a bunch of non-fiction articles for a local newspaper called The Senior News, doing profile stories about active and fascinating senior citizens. That was around 2000. My first novel was published in 2005.

As for my “call” story, I had been sending POISON STUDY around to every publisher that published fantasy (after being rejected by 40 agents) when I saw a notice about LUNA books looking for fantasy stories with strong female characters with romantic subplots. I wasn’t sure I had the romance, but I had a stubborn protagonist so I sent the manuscript in even after collecting 17 rejections. On October 6, 2003 I received a phone call around 11:00 am. The woman had a British accent, so I thought she was calling for my husband at first (his company is international). She went on about how she loved my book and it was fantastic and I was wracking my brain trying to remember if I had sent the story to England. Turns out LUNA books, an imprint of Harlequin, has an office near London, and my first editor worked at this office. It was so exciting. And she said she wanted POISON STUDY and the second book. “You have a second book, right?” she asked. I was like, “Yeeeessssss….when do you need it by?” LOL – I’ll never forget that conversation!

Jen: Describe your writing in three words.

Maria: character-oriented, fast-paced, unique

Jen: How do you approach your writing? Do you plot or go with the flow?

Maria: I’m bascially a go with the flow writer. I do have to do some plotting as I have to write a synopsis in order to sell an idea, but I never stick to my synopsis. As I write, I’ll do mini plots, figuring out where the story is going in the next couple scenes, but that’s about it.

Jen: What are your biggest motivations to write? What keeps you going?

Maria: My readers! They’re so supportive and enthusastic, I’d hate to let them down.

Jen: Is there a genre you’d like to write? Is there a genre you’ll probably stay away from? Why?

Maria: I’d like to write a romantic suspense story. And I would probably never write a straight romance because I get really annoyed when all the characters do is obsess over the other and pages are dedicated to internal angsty dialogue. At least with a romantic suspense, they’re too busy dodging bad guys to obsess over each other.

Jen: Do you become attached to your characters and have a hard time letting them go, or are you happy that their story is told and you can move on?

Maria: I’m pretty happy at the end. After writing three books with the same characters, I start to get bored and need a creative break. I’m the same when I’m reading as well. After book 3 or 4, I’m usually done with a series even if there are more books. I’ve only encounted two excpetions, so far—Harry Potter and Rachel Caine’s Morganville Vampire series.

Jen: Who has inspired you as an author?

Maria: Growing up, I read a bunch of mysteries, including every Dick Francis book I could find. I think his use of first person point of view and cliff-hanging endings are the reason I use both in my writing. Barbara Hambly, Kate Elliott, and Marion Zimmer Bradley also influenced me as I write about strong female characters as well.

Jen: Do you do anything to celebrate a sale, new contract or release?

Maria: When my first book, POISON STUDY was released, I had a super big party. I invited everyone, and I mean everyone I knew and my entire extended family. And almost everyone came! My cousin flew up from Flordia to attend, the place was packed. Now, I don’t do much for a new release – except for promotion. As for celebrating a new contract, I might open a bottle of wine or treat myself to a new necklace or watch. Mostly, I’m relieved that I get to keep writing for a living. That’s the best gift of all!

Jen: Most people only dream of becoming a published writer. Now that you’ve accomplished this, is there something else you dream of doing?

Maria: There are always milestones to dream about. I’ve been on the NY Times bestseller list for a couple weeks at a low spot – so I’d love to be on the NY Times top 10 – and the number 1 spot is coveted by most authors. I’d love to win a major award for my writing. And I wouldn’t mind having one of my books made into a movie.

Outside of writing, I’d like to travel extensively—where I can stay in one place for more than a week and really get to know the people and area.

Jen: What’s next for you?

Maria: I’ve working on a new fantasy series about a healer. The first book, TOUCH OF POWER is being released January 2012 in the US.

Here’s the cover copy for TOUCH OF POWER:

Laying hands upon the injured and dying, Avry of Kazan assumes their wounds and diseases into herself. But rather than being honored for her skills, she is hunted. Healers like Avry are accused of spreading the plague that has decimated the Territories, leaving the survivors in a state of chaos.
Stressed and tired from hiding, Avry is abducted by a band of rogues who, shockingly, value her gift above the golden bounty offered for her capture. Their leader, an enigmatic captor-protector with powers of his own, is unequivocal in his demands: Avry must heal a plague-stricken prince—leader of a campaign against her people. As they traverse the daunting Nine Mountains, beset by mercenaries and magical dangers, Avry must decide who is worth healing and what is worth dying for. Because the price of peace may well be her life….

The second book is SCENT OF MAGIC and the third is TASTE OF DEATH.

Jen: Where can you be found on the web?

Maria: I have a website: http://www.mariavsnyder.com
A blog: http://officialmariavsnyder.blogspot.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/#!/maria.v.snyder
Facebook fan page: http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Maria-V-Snyder/33763514321
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/445303.Maria_V_Snyder
I don’t tweet ;>

Jen: Is there anything you’d like to ask our readers?

Maria: For those who have read my books, if you could pick a character from any of my eight books to have his or her own book, who would it be? And yes, I already know everyone wants to read more about Valek – so pick someone else! Be creative.

Contest details:

  • The prize is two signed copies of INSIDE OUT (unless the winner has already read the book, then I can send him/her a copy of OUTSIDE IN).
  • The contest is open to all readers, international ones included.
  • You must leave a comment for entry.
  • A valid email address needs to be included in your comment.  If you’re worried about spam, please modify your address, such as admin.bookblog AT gmail.com.  You can also send a message to this email after your comment has been posted.
  • While following the blog isn’t required, it is appreciated.
  • The contest ends on Sunday July 3.

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