BH: Thank you, Maria, for taking the time to answer a few questions. Since you are one of my favorite authors, I must say that it was difficult keeping the list to a minimum!
MVS: Thank you for inviting me to your blog. I am honored to be one of your favorite authors.
BH: After two wonderful series, both set in the lands of Ixia and Sitia, what made you break away and begin a whole new world of adventure in the Insider series?
MVS: Even though I thoroughly enjoyed writing the Study and Glass books, I was ready for a new creative challenge. It's fun to create a new world and meet a number of new characters. It also helps to keep my writing fresh and interesting...at least I hope it does!
BH: You have chosen incredibly strong females as your protagonists in all four of your series. Were they a reflection of yourself or inspired by someone you know?
MVS: As a reader, I've always been drawn to strong female protagonists. Growing up, my mother and father always encouraged both me and my sister to be very independent and be able to take care of ourselves, and I think that translated into all my lead characters.
BH: What made you lean toward a more dystopian genre and pick a science fiction setting for the Insider series?
MVS: Actually, I didn't pick the genre or the setting - the story came to me in a dream. I dreamt about Trella, Cog and Broken Man, the Pop Cops, the twists, the setting all in one dream! I haven't done it before or since (wish I knew what I had for dinner the night before). In fact, I didn't really consider it a dystopian until my editor mentioned how it was similar to the "Hunger Games".
BH: Have these stories been building for many years now or did their inspirations come together quickly and unexpectedly?
MVS: Both. The Study and Glass books started with an idea for a food taster to be the main character of a fantasy novel. I thought it would be a stand alone book, but it turned into three books and spun off the Glass series. "Inside Out" was one dream in one night! A gift from the sandman ;>
BH: You've done a lot of research for your books, like glass blowing, horseback riding, and even studied poisons. What was that like?
MVS: I love doing hands-on research for my books. It's the best way for me to be able to translate an experience into words. All my classes and lessons have been loads of fun and sometimes scary (horses are big and kilns are hot!) and I learn so much more than what goes into a book. I would love to do more with glass, but I don't have the time or resources right now. What I like best is exploring new subjects and skills - I don't need to become an expert at anything, but I learn enough to be dangerous ;> I have a legitimate reason to be a dabbler.
BH: If you could be any one of your countless characters, whom would you be and why?
MVS: Avry who is the main protagonist in "Touch of Power". She's a healer and I've seen so many friends and family members suffer with various problems, that I wish I could just...heal them. All the money in the world is nothing compared to good health. Also as a mother - healing would be wonderful. I hate to see my kids sick or hurt. My second choice would be Valek - 'cause, well...he's Valek ;>
BH: You have a new book coming out December 20, Touch of Power. Will you give us a little synopsis of what we can expect out of the first book in the new series?
MVS: "Touch of Power" is a fantasy novel about a healer set in a world that is recovering from a deadly plague. Avry's 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 blaming the plague on the healers 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.
You can read the first chapter of Touch of Power here: http://www.mariavsnyder.com/books.php
BH: If you could choose your theme song, what would it be and why?
MVS: This isn't quite a song...but I would choose the little ditty Dory sings in the movie "Nemo". She sings, "Just keep swimming, just keep swimming..." when it looks like all is lost. I really love that attitude and it's so true with writing. Just keep writing and submitting and eventually things will happen. That's exactly what happened for me.
BH: What was, is, or would be your favorite toy to play with in the bathtub?
MVS: I used to take in my Fisher Price toys - those little plastic people with the cars and various furniture. I'd set up an underwater city for them and they'd have to fight off sea dragons and other denizens of the deep. LOL - I haven't thought about that in years!
BH: What's quirky and unusual about yourself that one wouldn't read about in a typical biography?
MVS: I love office supplies. My office lacks for nothing and my kids refer to my well-stocked supply closet as "little Staples".
Want to get more info about Maria V. Snyder and her books? You can learn about her and even read the first chapter of all her books as well as a number of free short stories!
Did you know she's a blogger? Stay in touch with new books and learn more about this splendid author!
Now for the best part...
Enter for a chance to win an autographed copy of Maria's newest book:
The contest will end: Saturday, December 24 at 11:59pm ET