Interview with Maria V. Snyder plus Giveaway
Maria V. Snyder has a new series out and she is here to tell us all about it.
You have a new series! Book one, Touch of Power, was released on December 20th. Can you tell us about it?
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.
Your readers can read the first chapter of Touch of Power here: http://www.mariavsnyder.com/top.php
This series does not take place in Ixia and Sitia like your Study series and your Glass series. Was it a nice change to switch things up? Did you ever shake your head and wonder why you didn’t write your Healer series in those more familiar worlds?
Yes, it was fun switching things up. Even though I thoroughly enjoy writing the Study and Glass books, I was ready for a new creative challenge. I didn’t regret my decision. 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!
Where did the idea for the Fifteen Realms come from?
I needed a world where there were a number of different government structures so when the plague decimates the population, there is confusion and conflict as to who will lead the survivors. I chose fifteen because I was born on the 15th of April 🙂
You really stretched your imagination while creating this new world! The Fifteen Realms is almost more fantastical than your previous worlds with new vegetation (that plays a huge role in the book) and new (creepy) creatures too. Were these ideas that came to you while writing this new series or are these ideas you’ve been toying with for a while?
The Death and Peace Lilys was an idea I’ve been toying with for a while. I liked the idea of something so big and beautiful being so deadly. As for those creepy creatures, they were created while I was writing – I love it when that happens!
For your previous two adult series, you went out and did tons of research. You’ve even learned new talents (such as glass blowing for your Glass series). You mentioned in your acknowledgments that your son learned to juggle for this book but did you learn anything new to help you write Touch of Power?
I learned about the Black Death in Europe – not so much the plague, but what happened after everyone died – like what they did with the bodies and how did they cope, etc… It was fascinating. As for my son – I taught him how to juggle. I had learned in college and it was lots of fun to share my skills. Of course, now he’s better than me.
One of my most favorite things about your books, and it’s very true for Touch of Power, are your characters. They are so well developed and their relationships seem so genuine. Do you start writing a new series knowing all about your characters’ traits and personalities or do they surprise you and develop while you’re writing them?
My characters always surprise me. I start with an idea of the character, like Avry – she’s a healer so she has a nurturing instinct, but she’s also terrified of getting caught and from there I throw all kinds of trouble her way and she develops as I go. Touch of Power starts with a very ill child – what is Avry going to do – heal the child and risk capture or let the girl die – how she reacts shows her personality. Of course she heals the child!
Is your Healer series going to be a trilogy?
Yes. Although I don’t like to call my books trilogies because in a true trilogy that second book tends to be all middle – nothing is resolved. I like each of my books to have a central plot that is solved by the book’s end so I call them a series even though I only write three. The next book will be Scent of Magic, due out next year, and the third is Taste of Death.
The second book in the series, Scent of Magic, is due out sometime in 2012. Can you tell us a little bit about what to expect?
Avry’s adventures continue. There are basically two leaders who are trying to unify the Fifteen Realms into one. Sounds good except Tohon of Sogra is a psychopath and Estrid of Ozero is a religious fanatic. Avry and her friends help the lesser of the two evils, but are hoping to eventually restore the original Fifteen Realms.
Since this is the second time I’ve interviewed you, I am going to ask you a different set of Flash Four questions: (questions that require short answers)
Do you need to have coffee in the morning to function?
I need tea – mass quantities of tea 🙂
What’s your favorite flavor of potato chip?
I love Sun Chips – original flavor.
Diet Coke or regular Coke?
Diet Coke with Lime – yum!
If you weren’t allowed to write Fantasy or Sci-Fi books, what genre would you most likely try?
Thank you so much Maria for agreeing to answer a few questions. I really enjoyed Touch of Power and I can’t wait to see where Avry, Kerrick and Tohon end up next.
Thanks for a great interview! If your readers would like more info about me and my books, I have the first chapter of all my books on my website as well as a number of free short stories they can read. Here’s the link: http://www.mariavsnyder.com And my blog is: http://officialmariavsnyder.blogspot.com
Maria’s first book Poison Study was one the very first ‘adult’ books I read and I just fell in love with it. I have read it four times! With Maria, it’s all about the characters and the interesting worlds she creates. I think you should all go check out the chapters she posts on her site to see if they interest you. Something different for you guys to check out. 😉
Now it’s giveaway time! Maria is offering a signed copy of Touch of Power to one lucky winner! Simply comment below and your entered! Giveaway open internationally and you have until January 2nd 2012 at 11:59EST to enter. Winner will be chosen and contacted shortly after.
Good luck to everyone and don’t forget to say a big THANK YOU to Maria for the giveaway! And I’m saying another big THANK YOU to Maria for answering my questions and for writing another great story.