Maria V. Snyder is an outstanding writer -- who started out as a meteorologist. Honestly, we have tons of blogging and writing friends who started out in law, but meteorology? That's such a huge leap, but happily for us, Maria Snyder made it well, and has happily worked in the realm of fiction since 1995. She's here to talk with us about her fantasy projects for adults and young adults, and her new dystopian YA books, Inside Out and the sequel (can we just say, after the cliffhanger ending of the first book, THANK GOD there's a sequel??), Outside In.
We also ask about book covers, feminist characters, and writing for (::dramatic GASP!::) Harlequin.
Let's get right to it -- we found it interesting that the Poison Study books have been packaged both as YA books and adult books, while Inside/Out is being marketed as a crossover title. Did you initially approach these projects with the intention of writing for a particular age group? Or was it a publisher/marketing decision to package them that way? Do you see yourself more as a writer of fiction for adults?
Maria V. Snyder: When I wrote Poison Study, I thought it would be a standalone book for adults. However my niece, who was 14 at the time, asked if she could read my book. Since she was an advanced reader, I let her and she read it in two days. She loved it and that was when I thought the book might appeal to young adults as well. LUNA books published it as an adult book, but I kept getting emails from young adults who loved it. Eventually, my publisher started a YA line and they re-released Poison Study with a new YA cover. I don't consider myself an adult or young adult author – I don't change my writing style or voice based on the intended audience. What changes is the story.
All of your books have strong female protagonists with significant power and agency, who think their way out of problems and aren't afraid to act: Yelena, who maintains self-control even in prison; Trella, the Queen of the Pipes. Do you consider yourself someone who writes from a feminist perspective? What do you hope readers will take away from these portrayals?
In reading up on you, we discovered that you attend a lot of conferences and conventions. What kind of impact has this had on your fantasy writing career? From a writer's perspective, what's your favorite or most valuable aspect of attending these events? Do you have a favorite conference you'd recommend to aspiring fantasy or science fiction writers?
MVS: It's hard to tell if attending conferences has increased my book sales or not. However, I enjoy being with my fellow authors and meeting my readers. Hanging out with other writers is always inspiring and motivating. And meeting readers is the best! The Pennwriters' Annual conference (www.pennwriters.org) is a good conference to help aspiring writers of all genres. I also like the Greater Lehigh Valley Writer's Group conference – it's smaller than Pennwriters, but because they’re closer to NYC, they invite some fabulous agents and editors to speak. It’s also geared for all genres. Here's the addy: www.glvwg.org
1. Favorite beverage while writing?
2. Laptop or longhand?
3. Ideal writing location?
Cabin in the woods.
4. More fun to write: dystopia or fantasy?
5. Writing with tunes, or the sound of silence?
6. If you could excel at a career other than writing, what would it be?
Visit Maria V. Snyder's website to learn more about her projects for adults and young adults: www.mariavsnyder.com
Don't forget to check out the rest of today's awesome WBBT author/illustrator lineup:
First, the poetic genius of Marilyn Singer @ Writing and Ruminating
Revolutionary Jennifer Donnelly @ Shelf Elf,
Fae-lovin' Julie Kagawa @ Hip Writer Mama,
The brilliant Ted Chiang @ Shaken & Stirred, and finally,
Sassy-smart Sofia Quintero @ A Chair, A Fireplace & A Tea Cozy.