Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Maria V. Snyder’s latest novel Night Study. I tore through the original Study series — Poison Study, Magic Study, and Fire Study — during my first pregnancy and then had to follow along real time with the Glass books. After these the blog really took off and I’d somewhat lost sight of Maria V. Snyder’s work. So I was pleasantly surprised to discover that she’d return to the world of Ixia and to Yelena and Valek in her latest series, starting with Shadow Study and now continued with Night Study. I was stoked to be able to pose Maria some questions for an Author Query as part of the blog tour. Please check the banner at the bottom of the post for more tour stops and a link to Maria’s blog for a chance to win a copy of Night Study!
Let’s start with the basics. Who is Maria V. Snyder?
I’m an ex-meteorologist turned novelist who is married with two kids and a black cat. I’ve been writing for about 20 years now and published for the last 10 years. My books are mostly fantasy, but I have a science fiction dystopian duology and a novel for younger readers (ages 8 to 14) that isn’t fantasy or SF, but has both storms and dogs—two of my favorites ☺️. Besides writing, I enjoy photography, making jewelry, skiing and playing volleyball.
How would you introduce people to the lands of Ixia?
Ixia is ruled by a Military Dictator named Commander Ambrosia. He has divided the territory into eight military districts each ruled by a General. Everyone living in Ixia wears a uniform and has a job. While there is a strict Code of Behavior and permission is needed for travel and any new construction, Ixians don’t need to worry about starving. The Commander is very no-nonsense and practical. Extravagance offends him and he lives a simple life with no excesses.
With Shadow Study you returned to Yelena and Valek and their story. Was it difficult to get back into their heads after being away from them for so long? And was it easier when you were writing Night Study?
I had to re-read all the Study and Glass books before I could write Shadow Study. And it did take me a few days to get back into the rhythm of the world and characters. Night Study was much easier as it just picks up right after Shadow Study since the characters are all firmly in my head and talking to me. ☺️
Why did you decide to return to Ixia?
My readers! They really wanted me to write more about Yelena and Valek. However, I needed a good story with conflict and action. So when I thought about Valek and his past and what would happen to Yelena if she lost her magic…it clicked.
According to the biography on your website, you’ve picked up numerous unusual (and not so unusual) skills in researching your books. Did Night Study make you acquire a new skill as well?
No. Since I’ve been writing in this world for eight books, I don’t need to do any major research at this stage. However, I think my writing is improving. Having multiple POV characters and writing from a male perspective has been an interesting challenge (and, according to my readers, a successful one).
As you’re currently revisiting the Study series, will you be revisiting the Glass series as well?
I’m not planning on writing anymore books from Opal’s POV. However, I am working on a novella about Opal that I hope to release this summer. Key word: hoping!
What’s next for you? Any appearances or conventions planned?
I am traveling to Australia in April to attend SupaNova Con. It’s a big convention that is similar to the US’s Comic Con. I’ll be at the one at the Gold Coast and also the one in Melbourne. In between the two cons, I’ll be in Sydney for a few public events. I’m really excited about the trip!
Is there something else you’re passionate about other than writing and books?
I love to travel! My trips are a source of inspiration for my stories and I meet so many fascinating people. I also enjoy taking pictures and try to have my camera with me whenever I’m out. My perfect day is when I’m traveling and I have a day with no agenda or plans and I can just wander around a city or location with my camera. It also helps if it’s sunny, but that’s not a requirement.
As a book reviewer, I’m all about the book enabling; I can’t help but want to make people read all the good books out there. But I can always use help. What are your top recommendations of books we should look out for in the coming months?
There’s a couple that have just released or are coming out that I can recommend. Truthwitch by Susan Dennard is a fast read with an unique magic system. The Shadow Queen by C.J. Redwine is a re-telling of Snow White, however, the main character is far from a damsel in distress and there are dragons! I also really enjoyed The Progeny by Tosca Lee. It’s a contemporary YA book about the descendants of Elizabeth Bathory, the most infamous female serial killer. And for Paranormal Romance fans, Deborah Blake’s Baba Yaga series is terrific. Wickedly Dangerous and Wickedly Wonderful are already out, and Wickedly Powerful just came out this month.
Finally, I have to stay true to my roots and ask a librarian question to finish off with: Do you shelve your books alphabetically, by genre or do you have an ingenious system?
I shelved them alphabetically and I separate the fiction from the non-fiction. And I think I’m a closet librarian, because I love to recommend and loan books out to my friends.
Bio: Meteorologist turned novelist, Maria’s been writing fantasy and science fiction since she was bored at work and needed something creative to do. A dozen novels and numerous short stories later, Maria’s learned a thing or three about writing. She’s been on the New York Times bestseller list, won a half-dozen awards, and has earned her MA degree in Writing from Seton Hill University where she’s been happily sharing her knowledge with the current crop of MFA students. She also enjoys creating new worlds where horses and swords rule, ’cause let’s face it, they’re cool, although she’s been known to trap her poor characters in a giant metal cube and let them figure out how to get out. Readers are welcome to check out her website for book excerpts, free short stories, maps, blog, and her schedule at http://www.mariavsnyder.com.
You can also find Maria on Facebook and Goodreads. You can find Night Study at Waterstones or your local bookseller. You can also enter Maria’s giveaway for a UK edition of Night Study on her blog. Please check out the other stops on the blog tour, found in the banner below.