Touch of Power by Maria V. Snyder – Interview & Giveaway #BIR2012

Welcome to Author Maria V. Snyder

Maria V. Snyder earned an MA in Popular Fiction Writing from Seton Hill University. Her freelance articles appear in magazines and newspapers, and she enjoys teaching fiction writing classes at the local college.


Interview
Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book.
It’s a chance to immerse yourself in another world with action, adventure, mystery, romance and smart characters you’ll care about.

Any other books in the works? Goals for future projects?
I’m working on book 3 of my Healer series, TASTE OF DEATH. It’s due out next December. After that is written, I’ll be returning to my Study series and continuing the adventures of Yelena and Valek.

What inspired you to want to become a writer?
Boredom. My first job after college was as a Meteorologist for an environmental consulting firm. The amount of work came in waves, and we were either extremely busy or bored. During the slow times, I started writing a short story. Ideas were always floating around in my mind, but that was when I began using them. I submitted my first short story for critique at a writing conference in Philadelphia, and when the workshop leader gave me 7 out of 10, I thought that was pretty good for a first effort and decided to stick with writing for a while. After my son was born and I only had about one hour a day to myself, I had to decide what was important enough to spend that precious time on. Most days writing won.

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
I received an email from a teenage who told me reading Poison Study helped her overcome her dark thoughts of suicide. She said that by seeing Yelena go from a hopeless situation to a better one by overcoming such odds, she learned that no matter how bad her life seemed there was hope. After confirming that the email wasn’t a joke, we have been corresponding for the past two years, and I’ve even spent an afternoon with her and her parents and she has visited me. To know Yelena’s story kept a beautiful and intelligent girl alive is the best reward possible, and I’m very proud of that. No award will ever match the joy I feel every time she emails me.

What’s one piece of advice you would give aspiring authors?
Persistence is my biggest advice. I’d been writing for ten years and submitting for eight before I sold anything. Poison Study was rejected many times, but I kept submitting the book and had planned to submit until I ran out of publishers to send it to. I also tell writers to be wary of predators, if someone is asking you for money proceed with the utmost caution. Get feedback on your stories from fellow writers before submitting. Joining a critique group is very helpful. I also find that if I let a story sit on my desk for a few weeks I can pick out all the problems, typos and inconsistencies easier. And I agree whole heartily with Stephen King’s advice in his book, On Writing. He wrote, “If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.” And don’t give up! Ever!

That’s more than one piece, but I think it’s very important. I even have writing tips on my website at http://www.mariavsnyder.com/advice.php

What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?
Moose Tracks

You have won one million dollars what is the first thing that you would buy?
A beach house.

Which authors have influence you most how?
The mystery author Dick Francis influenced me very much. He always wrote in first person POV and always ended his chapters with little cliff hangers – I do the same. Also reading Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Darkover novels and Barbara Hambly inspired me to write strong female protagonists.

What do you do in your free time?
Free time? What free time? J I enjoy playing volleyball, making jewelry and dabbling with photography when I have some time.

Favorite Food?
Italian – especially spaghetti.

Favorite Candy?
Ethel M’s lemon crèmes with dark chocolate – yum!

If someone wrote a book about your life, what would the title be?
Glitter Love – As I mentioned above, I was emailing a girl who had been inspired to stay alive and she had a Tuesdays with Morrie project for her English class so we emailed every week for three months. She wrote that if I’d ever visit her, she’d meet me at the airport with a huge sign with my name in glitter. I’d responded that I’m just a regular person and if you’d look closer at me and my life you’d see some glitter missing (i.e. I’m not a saint J) – she liked that so we started ending our emails with glitter love.

Give us a glimpse into a typical day in your day starting when you wake up till you lie down again.
I wake up around noon, get up, eat breakfast and then go to my home office (my husband built the furniture for me and it has built in bookcases!). I check email, reply, write blogs, answer questions etc… until dinner time. I cook dinner, eat with my family and run the kids around to all their afterschool activities. I tucked everyone into bed around 10 pm and then go back to my computer and write until 3 or 4 am.

Pets? – childhood or adult
I had a dog growing up name Megan – a mixed breed. After I married, we adopted Hazel, a yellow lab and she was with us for 16 years. Now we have adopted a black cat named Valek – he’s our bug assassin and he thinks his name is Kitty (we tried).

Favorite place you’ve been and/or would like to go

New Zealand! Gorgeous country, friendly people and so much to see and do. I must go back!

How did you celebrate the sale of your first book?
I had a BIG party. I invited everyone – and I mean everyone (high school friends, college friends, co-workers, my son’s teacher, my writing buddies, etc…) and my entire extended family. I rented this place called The Barn and had food, drinks, music, cake, and my book for sale. I figured I might have only one shot at this – that this book might be my last so we partied late into the night. Everyone bought a book which was wonderful – later I started getting these “surprised” emails. I know they all bought the book to support me (I’d do the same), but then they went home and read it and were quite surprised it was good – not that they said it in those words, but the whole tone of the email was one of pleasant surprise – LOL.

Touch of Power was one of my Top Picks for the Best of 2012.

Title: Touch of Power
Author: Maria V. Snyder
Series: Healer #1
Publisher: Harlequin Mira
Released: December 20, 2011
Website: http://www.mariavsnyder.com/

Summary:

Laying hands upon the injured and dying, Avry of Kazan assumes their wounds and diseases into herself. But rather than being honored for her skills, she is hunted. Healers like Avry are accused of spreading the plague that has decimated the Territories, leaving the survivors in a state of chaos.

Stressed and tired from hiding, Avry is abducted by a band of rogues who, shockingly, value her gift above the golden bounty offered for her capture. Their leader, an enigmatic captor-protector with powers of his own, is unequivocal in his demands: Avry must heal a plague-stricken prince—leader of a campaign against her people. As they traverse the daunting Nine Mountains, beset by mercenaries and magical dangers, Avry must decide who is worth healing and what is worth dying for. Because the price of peace may well be her life….

I love Maria Snyder’s writing.  Her Poison Study series is one of my favorites.  Honestly I had high expectations for Touch of Power and thankfully I was not disappointed.  This book had a similar feel to her Poison Study series.  I loved how the relationship between Avry & Kerrick developed.  Their constant bantering back and forth was so fun to read.

I was sucked into the story from the first page and this was a book I didn’t want to stop reading and stayed up way too late to finish.  I’ve got the sequel Scent of Magic on my Kindle and can’t wait to have to time to start it. 

Rating: 5 Stars – I loved it!

Content: About a dozen swear words throughout. Does contain sex but it’s not graphic.

Source: I have it on my Kindle but listened to an audio download from Audible.com

#BIR2012 Giveaway Details
Thanks to Harlequin Mira I have 1 copy of Touch of Power
Open to US or Canada
Ends 12/26/12

a Rafflecopter giveaway