Rummanah Aasi
  I'm very excited to have Maria V. Snyder on the blog today. I took a shot in the dark in contacting Maria for an author interview and was thrilled when she accepted my invitation. Maria's latest book Touch of Power was released last month and now available in your bookstores. I enjoyed the book and you can read my review here. Before we get to the interview, check out the awesome British book trailer for Touch of Power:




Welcome and thank you so much for stopping by, Maria! Your Study series was one of my favorite finds from last year and I have been recommending the series ever since.

MVS: Thank you for inviting me. I’m thrilled to be here!

I know that characters are not an autobiographical representation of their author, but they do share some similarities. Which of your characters would you say is most like you as a person?

MVS: I’d have to say Opal [from the Glass series] was the most like me at that age. Not now, but when I was in my late-teens, early 20s, I wasn’t as confident or as brave as Yelena [from the Study series], or as smart as Trella [from Inside Out].

Out of all the worlds that you have created in your books and short stories, which would you like to live in the most?

MVS: The world of Ixia and Sitia that is featured in my Study and Glass books. Inside is too crowded for me, and the Fifteen Realms (Touch of Power) is recovering from a horrible plague. Plus all my friends live in Sitia and Ixia. After writing about them for over ten years, we’ve become close. ;>

What I love about your books is that there is a balance between the presence of strong female protagonists who can take care of themselves and at the same time don't lose sight of who they are when love comes into their lives. What do you hope readers will take away from these portrayals?

MVS: I hope my reader sees that you can be independent and be in a relationship. That a relationship isn’t someone taking care of another, it is a partnership. Both partners are equals. They complement each other.

You have generously offered your readers short stories featuring our favorite characters from the Study series through your newsletter and now on your website. And I know you get asked this a million times so please forgive me but I have to ask: do you have any plans to write a book from that world in the near future?

MVS: Yes, I do plan to write another Study book with Valek and Yelena. However, it will probably be more from Valek’s point of view than Yelena’s and it will include some flashbacks about Valek’s early years. Don’t get too excited. There are no definite plans as to when this will be published – I haven’t discussed this with my editor yet. :)

YAY! Just knowing makes me happy. :) I'm super excited to read your new series. What can you tell us about Avry, your new heroine? What do find most interesting about her?

MVS: Avry has healing powers, but she’s been on the run from bounty hunters and mercenaries for three years. Her world blames healers for starting the plague that killed two thirds of the population. At the start of the book, she’s tired and lonely and decides doing something is far better than doing nothing. She heals a child, is caught and slated for execution. Avry is like my
other heroines—smart and stubborn, but she also has a more defined nurturing instinct than the others.  

    What is the most interesting is Avry’s healing powers. She has to take on the injury or illness and then heal herself. Yelena has this power as well, but it was a side effect to her other magic. I really wanted to explore that aspect of healing. The ability to heal with magic is very appealing to me. As a mother, I hate to see my children sick or injured and always wish I could make it all go away. I also have to give credit to an old Star Trek episode titled The Empath about a race of healers/empaths who would can take on the injury or illness of another. I watched all the Star Trek episodes, but this one always stayed with me.

From reading your blog, I know that you take researching very seriously when it comes to writing your books. What did learn while creating Touch of Power?

MVS: I learned about the Black Death in Europe and what happened after. I also read books on medieval medicines and found a few interesting nuggets. Right now, I’m researching traditional warfare versus guerrilla warfare for the second book, Scent of Magic.

What made you decide to write Touch of Power? Was it a story that you had been working on for a long time or was a struck of brilliance that made you go "I really have to write this story!"?

MVS: I had this vague idea about a healer or an apprentice healer during an epidemic. She was either going to be sought after for her powers – like everyone wanting her, or be hunted. I wasn’t sure. Then one night my daughter couldn’t sleep and she wanted me to tell her a story. She knew all my other books, so I started telling her about this healer. And every night, she’d ask, “What’s next?” That’s why Touch of Power is dedicated to my daughter.


If I visited your house, what books would I find on your bookshelves?

MVS: You’d find a lot! To save time, I’ll break them down by section. I’ve a mystery/suspense section with books by Dick Francis, Harlan Coben, Barbara Vine, Tess Gerritsen, and Laura Griffin. Then there’s the SF/F section that has Barbara Hambly, Kate Elliott, Mindy Klasky, Jeri Smith-Ready, Lynn Flewelling, David Eddings, Anne McCaffery, and Sheri S. Tepper. And then there’s the Young Adult books I love, including Rachel Caine, Julie Kagawa, Melissa Marr, Susanne Collins, Scott Westerfeld, and Rick Riordan.

You got some of my favorite authors listed. :) As a reader, I can't help but develop literary crushes. The love interests in your books are very swoon worthy. Do you have any literary crushes of your own?

MVS: Ilya Bahktiian from Jaran, by Kate Elliot, and Prince Ash from Julie Kagawa’s Iron Fey series.

I know there are many who would agree with you about Prince Ash. I've yet to met him! Which book characters do you love to hate?

MVS: Finding complex villains is very hard, and I can’t think of any right now. I really liked Hans Gruber from Die Hard, but that’s a movie. In my Glass books, Devlen was one of those characters – I hated him, but he just wouldn’t go away.

What books have you read recently that you think everyone should read but haven't discovered yet?

MVS: For the ultimate book about girl power, I’d suggest the ladies read, The Gate to Women’s Country by Sheri S. Tepper. It might be a little too much girl power for the guys ;) I also really enjoyed Shadow’s Son, by Jon Sprunk. The main protagonist is an assassin, and the book is well written and impressive for a debut novel.

Maria, thank you so much for stopping by! I know you're insanely busy these days so I really appreciate you taking the time to be here today.

MVS: 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. 

Readers, be sure to stop by Maria's blog too to learn more about her upcoming works, author interviews from upcoming writers, writing advice, and giveaways. You can also find Maria on Facebook, and on Goodreads.

GIVEAWAY

 Maria and her publishers have generously offered to giveaway ONE (1) signed copy of Touch of PowerThis giveaway is open to U.S. and Canada mailing addresses only. To enter, simply leave your name/alias and an email address so I can contact you if you win. This giveaway will end 11 PM EST on Friday, February 17. The winner will be selected by Random.org and announced on my blog on Saturday, February 18. Good Luck!

Giveaway is now closed
14 Responses
  1. Yodamom Says:

    Excellent interview ! Thanks Rummanah and Ms. Snyder
    Yodamom ; )


  2. I also seriously love Rachel Caine!

    I've heard some really good things about TOUCH OF POWER and I've even had a GR friend email me and tell me it was a must read. I really need to pick it up. Excellent interview, Rummanah! I love meeting authors and getting to know things and why they write the way they do.


  3. "I hope my reader sees that you can be independent and be in a relationship. That a relationship isn’t someone taking care of another, it is a partnership. Both partners are equals. They complement each other." Love this advice!

    Oh good, I'm not the only one who hasn't read the Iron Fey series. Ash and Puck are two characters I still need to meet too.

    Thanks for the giveaway, Rummanah!

    ayareader@hotmail.com


  4. LoriStrongin Says:

    AWESOME INTERVIEW!!! As if I wasn't already a fan of hers, I totally would have been reading her thoughts on a character remaining their individuality even when in a relationship. That's one of my major turn offs in so many books, where the protag suddenly forgets how to stand on their own two feet just because they've got a boy/girlfriend. Thank for Maria for knowing that and not giving us characters we can look up to and admire for their strength!


    Smiles!
    Lori


  5. Tina~ Says:

    Maria is awesome, I read one of her series a few years back...;)

    Would love to read this one!!


  6. Small Review Says:

    I loved this interview! Thank you both :)

    "I’m researching traditional warfare versus guerrilla warfare for the second book, Scent of Magic."

    YAAAYYYYY!!! This teaser and the idea of a book from Valek's POV has totally made my day!


    And thank you for the giveaway! Imagesandwords at optonline dot net :)


  7. Gaby Says:

    OMG I WANT THIS SO BAD!!!

    My name is Gaby


    gaby891 AT YAHOO DOT COM


  8. Vivien Says:

    I love Maria's books!!! She's such a fantastic world builder. I get sucked in and hooked. I can't ever get her characters out of my head either! Can't wait to read this one!

    Vvien
    deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com


  9. Anonymous Says:

    Want it sooooo much!!!
    Jessica Hicks jesgavriel@yahoo.com


  10. I have loved all of Ms. Snyder's books that I've read so far, and would love to get a copy of Touch of Power to experience another of her doubtlessly wonderful worlds.
    Fingers crossed.

    Masquerader888@yahoo.com


  11. Jessie Says:

    Love this book! I'm so excited for the next one! Also a book from Valek's point of view! Can't wait for that one!
    Jessie
    jharker3210@gmail.com


  12. Amoonsiong Says:

    Look forward to every new interview. Thanks for the giveaway.

    emotional.vamp@yahoo.com


  13. Amanda Says:

    Great interview. Well done and quite interesting.

    Amanda Tse
    ajtse@hotmail.com


  14. Gabi Says:

    I can't wait to read this! I love the idea of being able to heal with a touch. I've heard such fabulous things about Touch of Power, thanks for the interview and giveaway!

    teddycavygal at yahoo dot com


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