Today I have a special guest on Genuine Jenn, Maria V. Snyder who is an Indie Author. Maria was kind enough to do an interview for my readers and also host a giveaway! Enter to win a copy of Maria's book Storm Glass!
Tell us a little bit about your book(s) and yourself.
A: Nine of my books are what I'd like to call fantasy adventure with a touch of romance because I like a little romance in my stories. I also call them accessible fantasy as I don't have lots of world building details like Lord of the Rings, with all those races and generations of history. I focus on the characters—especially my main protagonists who are very strong ladies who can take care of themselves. Two of my books are a dystopian duology called the Insider series. The world of Inside is basically a big metal cube and they've forgotten what's outside their world. Again I have a strong female protagonist dealing with lots of action and intrigue. And I've a middle-grade book for readers 8 to 14 years old and that one doesn't have any fantasy or science fiction elements – just storms and dogs. And it has a male protagonist, a 13 year old boy named Luke.
If anyone is interested, you can read the first chapter of all my books here: http://www.mariavsnyder.com/books.php
I'm an ex-meteorologist turned novelist and the mother of two teens. I've been writing for the last 20 years and enjoy traveling a lot! I'm very pro girl-power and have a brown belt in Isshinryu Karate, I learned how to fence, and collect weapons—lots of sharp pointy weapons ;>.
When was your first book published?
A: Poison Study was published in October 2005.
Why did you decide to become an Author?
A: I didn't decide, it just happened. I was working as an environmental meteorologist right after college and I worked at a consulting firm so work came in waves. I was either very busy or very bored. During those bored times, I started jotting down story ideas. I've always been a big reader of mysteries, thrillers, science fiction, and fantasy and I've always been a daydreamer (especially in school) so the combination worked well for telling stories. When my son was born, I spent his nap times writing and just kept at it, writing mostly short stories. I started writing Poison Study after my daughter was born and when it was done, I submitted it to publishers – either the writing thing would work out or I'd have to go back to meteorology. I'm happy I'm no longer doing air quality reports!
Are you currently working on anything?
A: Yes, I'm working on what will be my fourteenth novel! I've returned to the characters and world I created in my Study series of books (Poison Study, Magic Study, and Fire Study), and am writing another three books. This one is the second of the three.
Who and what inspired you to write?
A: I already explained what inspired me (boredom). As for the who, I'd have to credit Dick Francis, the mystery author. When I was fourteen, I picked up, Nerve, one of his many mystery novels set in the world of steeplechase racing in England and was hooked. I loved the first person point of view and how he ended his chapters with mini-cliffhangers. When I started writing, I also used first person and tried to keep my readers in suspense. From the emails I've gotten at 3 and 4 a.m., I think I've been successful.
Each author has his or her own inspiring journey. How did you begin writing?
A: I started writing science fiction short stories because at the time I was reading quite a bit of SF by Ursula K. LeGuin and Marion Zimmer Bradley. I wrote one or two and discovered I didn't have a clue how to write fiction so I bought a few copies of Writer's Digest magazine and signed up for the Philadelphia Writers' Conference. The con had a short story track and one of the workshop leaders would critique stories submitted a few months before. I sent one of my stories and hoped for the best. She edited my story and gave it an overall grade of 7 out of 10. I talked to her after the class to ask if a 7 was good and should I pursue this writing thing. She said yes. That was all I needed to hear, I went home and kept writing short stories (didn't sell any) until I sparked on the idea for Poison Study. By then I'd found a wonderful critique group, and submitted a chapter to them each month (doable with two little kids at home). Three years later I finished the book. Two years after that I found a publisher, and it was another two years before the book was published. A lesson in patience and persistence!
What is on your writing playlist for your book(s)?
A: I don't make playlists for my books, but I do listen to music while writing. I listen to mostly pop 40s songs – Maroon 5, Matchbox 20, INXS, 3 Doors Down, Plain White Ts, etc... I've a few others like Santana and Shania Twain in there as well as some classical.
Who is your favorite character in your books?
A: This is always a hard question because I've many favorites for different reasons. My favorite overall is Valek – he's an assassin and all around cool guy. Many of my readers agree with me – he's my most popular character. My favorite character to write is Janco – he's quirky and just so much fun to write. In fact, his point of view is included in the new Study book just because I enjoy writing his scenes!
What is your favorite book of all time?
A: Another tough question! I've many favorites, but the one that jumped to mind when I read the questions is, The Gate to Women's Country, by Sheri S. Tepper. It's a SF novel written way back. It's the ultimate girl power book and it's one I recommend to my girlfriends.
Tell us in one sentence why we should read your books.
As a glassmaker and a magician-in-training, Opal Cowen understands trial by fire. Now it's time to test her mettle. Someone has sabotaged the Stormdancer clan's glass orbs, killing their most powerful magicians. The Stormdancers—particularly the mysterious and mercurial Kade—require Opal's unique talents to prevent it happening again. But when the mission goes awry, Opal must tap in to a new kind of magic as stunningly potent as it is frightening. And the further she delves into the intrigue behind the glass and magic, the more distorted things appear. With lives hanging in the balance—including her own—Opal must control powers she hadn't known she possessed - powers that might lead to disaster beyond anything she's ever known.
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Giveaway ~ Enter to win a copy of Storm Glass by Maria V. Snyder! This giveaway is open International!
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