Kelly: A month or two ago, I was browsing the website for one of the local bookstores in NYC I frequent when I saw three words that made me gasp out loud: MARIA V. SNYDER.
I immediately proceeded to go on twitter and type out in all caps “MARIA V. SNYDER IS COMING TO NYC. OMG.” I was shocked to see that several people had no clue what I was talking about. They didn’t know who Maria V. Snyder was and had never read my favorite book of hers, POISON STUDY, before. (It’s a crime I’m telling you, A CRIME.)
That’s when I (finally!) found someone that shared my love for Maria and her books; this awesome person named Chiara. Together, we fangirled all over Maria, her books, and how we can’t wait for SHADOW STUDY until we finally decided on a *secret plan*…namely to ask her for an interview. I, myself, was ready to beg if I had to.
Chiara: Hello! *waves at you all happily* I’m Chiara from Books for a Delicate Eternity ^.^ And I am here to join in the lovefest for the amazingly awesome and talented Maria V Snyder :D
When I saw that Kelly was going to be able to have the chance to meet Maria V Snyder, I was instantly awed and a little envious all at the same time. I then proceeded to inform Kelly that I would be living vicariously through her and that I expected numerous updates. Because this was Maria, people. MARIA. (Kelly: YES. I APPROVE OF THIS.)
We proceeded to flail and cry and weep over many a thing (okay, let’s be honest it was mainly Valek), and then came the *drum roll please * SECRET PLAN. Of which I never truly thought would happen until we actually got a reply and a confirmation. I couldn’t believe it. Blogging life (and maybe life itself) was made.
Kelly + Chiara: So today, we’re interviewing Maria V. Snyder to learn a little bit more about herself and her books! Make sure to enter the giveaway for an ARC of STORM GLASS, courtesy of Maria V. Snyder herself! Isn’t she generous?
Author: Maria V. Snyder
Series: Study #1
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Fantasy
Release Date: March 1, 2007
About to be executed for murder, Yelena is offered an extraordinary reprieve. She’ll eat the best meals, have rooms in the palace—and risk assassination by anyone trying to kill the Commander of Ixia.
And so Yelena chooses to become a food taster. But the chief of security, leaving nothing to chance, deliberately feeds her Butterfly’s Dust — and only by appearing for her daily antidote will she delay an agonizing death from the poison.
As Yelena tries to escape her new dilemma, disasters keep mounting. Rebels plot to seize Ixia and Yelena develops magical powers she can’t control. Her life is threatened again and choices must be made. But this time the outcomes aren’t so clear…
Why We Approve:
This is the book that started it all.
Interview with Maria V. Synder:
1. Tell us something we don’t know about you, something we won’t discover from a simple Google search.
When I was growing up in Philadelphia, I took gymnastic classes at the local Police Athletic League (a.k.a. PAL), and while I was pretty good on the mat, I once was “stuck” on the uneven parallel bars. I was too afraid to let go of the upper bar so I could swing down and dismount. Two of the coaches had to help me down! While gymnastics wasn’t quite my thing, I did use the experience when writing about Yelena’s acrobatic exploits in Poison Study.
2. Out of all your published novels, which story was the first to present itself to you as an author? How did you get the idea?
Poison Study is my first novel and the first idea I had for a novel-length story. I was reading Orson Scott Card’s book, How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy. In chapter 3, Card tells the writer to consider some questions before choosing the main character. He wrote, “Too often—particularly in medieval fantasy—writers think their story must be about rulers. Kings and queens, dukes and duchesses—they can be extravagantly powerful, yes, but too often they aren’t free at all. If you understand the workings of power in human societies, you’ll know that the greatest freedom to act in unpredictable ways is usually found away from the centers of power.”
This comment led me to think about a person who was close enough to the center of power to witness important events, yet not be the Prince or Princess. I thought about a food taster and a scene jumped into my mind. I saw a woman tasting food that was most likely poisoned through the eyes of the King. He watched her with heartbreaking horror because he had fallen in love with her. That led me to wonder about this woman. Who was she? Why was she there? Why would a King fall in love with her? And Poison Study was born. Of course things changed as I worked on the story with the Commander and Valek assassinating the King.
And the reason I thought of a food taster is because of my husband. He works with chocolate and had to taste it as part of his job so I heard a lot about tasting and chocolate.
3. Did you have to do any research for Poison Study and if yes, what was the creepiest/weirdest/most gross thing you had to research about?
I did a great deal of research for Poison Study. Among the things I learned were how to properly taste foods—there’s a science behind it. I also learned how to pick a lock and took fencing classes. The grossest thing was learning all about the tongue and all its parts, including the taste buds. It was way more information that I really needed to know. Yuck!
4. Why did you decide to write three more books in the Study series? (Not like we’re complaining, the more Valek, the better. ;D)
The biggest reason was because of my readers! They weren’t content with the short stories I’ve written, and they’ve been begging me to write more about Yelena and Valek since Fire Study was published in 2008. The next reason was I finally had a great story idea. I wasn’t going to write more novels if I didn’t have a complex plot with conflict, tension, and interesting antagonists.
5. Are there any romantic moments between Yelena and Valek we can look forward to in Shadow Study?
Yes. Although I will admit they spend most of the book apart. In Night Study, book #5 they’ll be together more and there should be a number of romantic moments.
Terms & Conditions:
- This contest is for US OR CANADA ONLY. Sorry international people!
- The giveaway will run until May 12, 2014.
- You must be 18 years or older, or have parents’ permission to enter.
- All your entries will be disqualified if you pickup entries for something you haven’t done. (I had to do this for so many of my last giveaways, please don’t make me do this again.)
- If you only use ONE account to do all these tasks and enter under different names, they will still only constitute as ONE entry.
- If the winner does not respond to my e-mail within 48 hours, I will have to choose another winner.
- I am not responsible for any items lost in the mail.