Maria V. Snyder changed careers in 1995 from being a Meteorologist to a Novelist when she began working on her first novel, Poison Study. Published in October 2005, Poison Study won the 2006 Compton Crook Award for Best First Novel, won the Salt Lake Co. Library's Reader's Choice award, was a 2005 Booksense pick, was nominated for four other awards, and received a Starred Review from Publisher’s Weekly. She has also published numerous freelance articles in regional magazines and in local newspapers. Teaching fiction writing classes at the local college gives her the enjoyable opportunity to encourage novice writers and to keep improving her craft.
Born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Maria attended 12 years of catholic school before going to Penn State University to study Meteorology. Earning a Bachelors of Science degree in Meteorology, Maria discovered, much to her chagrin, that forecasting the weather wasn't one of her skills. She found employment in the environmental field as an air quality scientist, and it was during those years that she began writing. After writing many science fiction short stories, Maria started Poison Study, her first novel about a food taster.
Her research on food tasting methods with an expert chocolate taster, her husband, turned out to be a delicious bonus while writing Poison Study. Maria has a brown belt in Issinryu Karate, and has enjoyed "acting out" the complex fight scenes in her books. Playing volleyball, scrapbooking, and reading are her other hobbies.
Traveling with her family is another wonderful distraction from writing. Maria loves cruising in general and the Caribbean in particular
1) Who was your favorite character to write and why?
This question is always so hard to answer since I have more than one favorite. Valek is one of them as he constantly surprised me by breaking out of the stereotypical assassin role, and Janco is sheer fun to write and is probably why he has a bigger part in the Glass books than the Study books.
2) The piping systems for the Inside Out Series were really complex as was the overall ship design, how did you come up with the imagery for all of that and are there any plans for some sort of release for the blueprint of the ship
I dreamt the idea for the story and the dream induced some of the images. I also think helping my father added to my imagination. He was in charge of all the maintenance/repairs for a major hospital and I spent one summer working with the maintenance crew. As for blueprints, I do have some basic maps of all the levels on my website at: http://www.mariavsnyder.com/maps.php
3) Now that the Glass Series and the Inside Out Series are over, what's next?!
I'm working on a new fantasy series. The first book is titled, Touch of Power and it's about a healer and is 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. This book is tentatively set for a January 2012 release in the United States.
4) Have your kids read your books? and what do they think of them?
ABoth my children have read my books and they say they enjoy them. They named our black cat Valek. I'm happy they want to keep reading my books. My son is 15 and he is a reluctant reader – the only other books he has voluntarily read were the Lightning Thief series by Rick Riordan. Right now he's reading Spy Glass, and he'll come home from school and mention something he has read. The other day he mentioned “poor dead Opal” and asked if I based Opal's mother's character on my own mother – she does have some of my mom's characteristics, but not all. My mom can't cook (shhh...don't tell her!)
5) In your bio, you've mentioned that you love cruises. What makes you love them so much?
LOL – I'm on a cruise right now as I answer your questions!! I love them because it's like window shopping. Each day when we wake up, we're in a new port. We spend the day there and then at night we can eat and drink and watch great entertainment while traveling to the next port. This gives us a taste of each place and allows us to decide where we'd like to come back and spend more time. For example, I use to think all the Caribbean Islands were the same, but since we've been cruising, we have a few that we plan to return to. Plus on a cruise, there's so much to do on board that we're never bored.
Keep Your Head Down.
Don't Get Noticed.
I'm Trella. I'm a scrub. A nobody. One of thousands who work the lower levels, keeping Inside clean for the Uppers. I've got one friend, do my job and try to avoid the Pop Cops. So what if I occasionally use the pipes to sneak around the Upper levels? The only neck at risk is my own…until I accidentally start a rebellion and become the go-to girl to lead a revolution.
A Big Thank You to Maria for taking the time to answer my questions! You can visit her website where you can read the first chapter of all her books as well as a number of free short stories. She also has a page full of writing advice for any aspiring writers out there. Be sure to also check out her blog.
You should also take a gander at my reviews of Inside Out and Outside In ^.^
Remember: if you review one of her books, you get 2 extra entries per review ^.^