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Maria V. Snyder
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Maria V. Snyder   Maria V. Snyder is the New York Times bestselling author of Poison Study, Magic Study, Fire Study, Storm Glass, Sea Glass, and Inside Out. Her books have made it onto the Book Sense Pick list and the Locus recommending reading list. They've also been RITA and ALEX award finalists, and theyíve won the Compton Crook Award, the Salt Lake County Readerís Choice Award and the Editorís Pick Award from

Buy Maria V. Snyder's Books at the following locations: (downloadable audio books) (independent bookstores)
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This episode originally aired on 01/28/2010 with the following authors:
Note: The following interview has been transcribed from The Author Hour radio show. Please excuse any typos, spelling and gramatical errors.

Interview with Maria V. Snyder

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Bonus Question(s) that Didn't Air on the Live Radio Show

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Matthew Peterson: Let me ask you a bonus question.

Maria V. Snyder: Okay.

Matthew Peterson: You have a lot of good advice for new writers on your website. Whatís something that you think all new writers should know about the publishing industry?

Maria V. Snyder: About the publishing industry... Something I tell all new writers--and this is not something unique--I think is persistence. The publishing industry is very subjective. The editors have their likes and their dislikes. I remember meeting Anne Groell, she was working at Bantam Spectra as an editor, and she told me that she didnít like omniscient point of view or main characters that were married.

Matthew Peterson: Oh!

Maria V. Snyder: So you could have a perfectly great omniscient story thatís wonderful, but sheís not going to get it Ďcause she doesnít like that point of view.

Matthew Peterson: And she didnít like married people.

Maria V. Snyder: Right, right, which you donít know this when youíre looking at the guidelines for the publishers. She doesnít write that in the guidelines; thatís like a personal preference.

Matthew Peterson: Yeah!

Maria V. Snyder: So I think, you know, persistence is key because just because she rejected Poison Study--17 publishers did--you just have to keep sending it out until youíve hit everybody. And then wait a year or two till all the editors get switched around, because they hop jobs left and right--a lot of them do--and hit the next wave. Hit the junior editors that just got promoted or the assistant editors who are looking for authors of their own.

Matthew Peterson: Yeah, I like that advice. Iíve heard that same thing from several other authors who . . .

Maria V. Snyder: Yeah, I know. Itís not real original, but I think itís the most important.

Matthew Peterson: Yeah, what I meant was, Iíve heard that same thing from like Meg Cabot. She just had a hard time selling her book, you know, The Princess Diaries. She just couldnít sell that book. [laughs]

Maria V. Snyder: Yeah.

Matthew Peterson: Letís see, it sold 15 million now, when she finally did sell it. And even Harry Potter, you know, I met one of the editors who turned it down. [laughs]

Maria V. Snyder: Yeah.

Matthew Peterson: So you just never know.

Maria V. Snyder: You donít know, and thatís the thing with publishing. Itís like a very hit or miss kind of industry. And I think when I first sent Poison Study out, the market wasnít really going for those . . . Iím calling it like an accessible fantasy versus like a traditional fantasy, Ďcause I donít spend a lot of time on details. I mean, I have world building, but I donít have the whole elfin language there for you and all the things. Itís more focused on the characters and action. Action and characters, and I donít really get into the whole fancy language or any of that stuff.

Matthew Peterson: Yeah.

Maria V. Snyder: So, but I think when I first started sending it out, thatís what they were still looking for: those epic traditional fantasies, but now theyíre looking for a more accessible fantasy that has characters that you root for and a fast paced story.

Matthew Peterson: Yeah, and your characters, I mean, you have strong female characters especially, so that really does appeal to a female audience as well. And thereís a lot of romance in your books, but there is also mystery. You donít know whatís going on: whoís the bad guy?

Maria V. Snyder: Yeah.

Matthew Peterson: Youíre not 100% sure who the bad guy is.

Maria V. Snyder: Yeah. I can tell . . . when I tell people, Iím like, ďItís like a mix of genres sometimes. Thereís fantasy, thereís a little romance, thereís suspense thriller elements, and thereís always like a mystery element.Ē ĎCause it has to be, you know, something that they want, something they want to find out or achieve.

Extra Material That was Cut from the Show Because of Time Constraints

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Matthew Peterson: Didnít the first book, Poison Study, didnít that win an award for the cover?

Maria V. Snyder: The cover art. Yes, it did. Poison Studyís had many covers.

Matthew Peterson: Yeah, I noticed that.

Maria V. Snyder: The second cover, which is on the trade paperback, it was voted ďbest cover in the paranormal fantasyĒ category. The book also won the Compton Crook Award, which is the best first novel in the science fiction fantasy genre from Balticon. Baltimore Science Fiction Society voted for that one. So that was fun.

Matthew Peterson: Yeah, I noticed those covers were very interesting. I mean, I saw those covers like in magazines and stuff, Ďcause they were very beautiful. They were very pleasing. And the different variations of them were very interesting too.

* * * * * * * * * *

Matthew Peterson: And Storm Glass and Sea Glass, both of those came out the same year, right? I mean, just a few months ago, not too long ago.

Maria V. Snyder: They did, which is my . . . I think my readers are shocked!

Matthew Peterson: [laughs]

Maria V. Snyder: Because theyíre used to waiting [laughs] at least a year for a book. And Storm Glass came out in April, and then Sea just came out in September.

Matthew Peterson: Yeah, wow!

Maria V. Snyder: So, that is pretty close together. And then my young adult book, my official young adult book, Inside Out, is coming out in April of 2010, so this is really fast for me.

Matthew Peterson: [laughs] People are excited for that. And you also have a couple short stories, donít you? Like in the Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance and the Eternal Kiss Anthology?

Maria V. Snyder: Right, I do. I do have a short story in each of those. Though I think itís funny, The Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance . . . . the title is a little deceiving because the short story I wrote is pretty much like one of my books. There might be a touch of romance in them, but itís not the focus of the story.

Matthew Peterson: Uh, huh.

Maria V. Snyder: Eternal Kiss one, I did a vampire story, which I never thought Iíd write about vampires.

Matthew Peterson: Yep.

Maria V. Snyder: ĎCause especially now itís like a real big thing, and so if you write about them, youíre looked at as someone like thatís copying.

Matthew Peterson: Yeah.

Maria V. Snyder: Itís a trend but when Tricia, the editor, asked me to write a vampire story, Iím like, ďWell, do they have to be good?Ē And she said, ďNo, they can be whatever you want them.Ē So I made them like a bunch of punks that were evil.

Matthew Peterson: Okay. Yeah.

Maria V. Snyder: That story I had a lot of fun with.

* * * * * * * * * *

Matthew Peterson: Will there be another Glass book?

Maria V. Snyder: Yes, thereís Spy Glass, is coming out in September, next September 2010.

Matthew Peterson: Okay.

Maria V. Snyder: With... thereís a typo on Sea Glass: it says 2011, but thatís wrong.

Matthew Peterson: Thatís wrong. Okay.

Maria V. Snyder: Yeah, Iíve gotten a couple emails like, ďI canít believe I have to wait two years.Ē Itís like, ďNo, no, no, only a year.Ē [laughs]

Matthew Peterson: Are we going to see Yelena again or is that series done? The Study series, is that one . . .

Maria V. Snyder: Well, I like her as a character and I figure I will eventually go back to her and Valek and all because I look at the books as more series books than like trilogies.

Matthew Peterson: Uh, huh.

Maria V. Snyder: Itís just usually when I get to the third book I need to move on, Ďcause I need a fresh project.

Matthew Peterson: Yeah, yeah.

Maria V. Snyder: But I see myself going back and doing another study book, and Iím also writing a Study, like a short story. I have some free short stories on my website that have characters from the Study world, and right now I have my newsletter subscribers getting chapters of a new short story called Ice Study that has Yelena and Valek.

Matthew Peterson: Ah.

Maria V. Snyder: I send them to my subscribers first, and then when they get the story then Iíll post it on my website.

Matthew Peterson: And I am one of your subscribers. Actually, I think youíre one of the few authors that I actually am a subscriber of. [laughs]

Maria V. Snyder: Wow. Thatís great!

Matthew Peterson: I took some advice from your newsletter. Itís great, I like it.

Maria V. Snyder: Oh! Great! Great, yeah. I try. Itís a bi-monthly. I used to do it monthly and then I just couldnít keep up with it, Ďcause itís time consuming. And then also, you know, you just donít have much news.

Matthew Peterson: Yeah. I know. Thatís how I am. Iím always like dying for . . . ďAlright, hereís a picture of my boys . . . we went fishing . . .Ē [laughs]

Maria V. Snyder: Yes.

Matthew Peterson: Just trying to come up with something.

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