Aug 31, 2009

Interview with Maria V. Snyder

Okay, since my reading is a little slow because of school, I was thinking of what else I could do with this blog, since I'm a blogger newbie as of this year. Then I thought what about author interviews? I see them on other blogs I follow so I thought that that might be something I would do, if I ever get the time.

But I did do a mini interview with Maria V. Snyder once three years ago. Yeah, a little old, but I still had the Q/A's saved since I had to have an interview in a paper I did for an English class my freshman year. So I thought I post it here, the info is really nothing too new and has more to do with wanting to be a writer than about Maria's books.

Maria is one of my favorite authors as you can see from my sidebar of favorite authors. I even had the pleasure of meeting her at RT 08 in Pittsburgh. I didn't have enough cash for the hotel, convention and flight, so I just did the book-signing event held on that Saturday and we went to lunch together that day. It was without the doubt one of the coolest days of my life!

Since I want to be a write someday soon, but have to go through the hard-hard-hard process of trying to get published, which is hard from what I hear. ;) These tips I found to be very useful. This interview was done online through email, on November 9 2006. So here it is:

  • Do you write full time or part time?
Full time.

  • If you write full time, is it hard to just write as a career and make ends meet?
Well - I started out working another job full time - I worked as an Environmental Meteorologist at a consultant firm. Fiction writing doesn't pay enough to pay the bills. Even right now I probably would need a part time job - but I am fortunate my husband's job can support our family. My other full time job is raising the kids :)

  • How long does it take you to finish a novel?
Nine months to a year.

  • Is it hard to meet deadlines for your books?
Yes - I'm a slow writer.

  • How do you get new ideas for your books?
From everywhere. Magazines, books, tv, newspapers, dreams, people I meet, and from the places I go. Basically I just need to be observant and I never know what will strike me.

  • Was it hard to find a publisher for your books?
Very hard - Poison Study collected 17 rejections over 2 years and that's not counting the rejects from literary agents.

  • Was it hard to get noticed, meaning like finding an agent or someone who decided that you should be published.
Yes - I wanted to find an agent first, but when over 20 rejected Poison Study - I started sending my manuscript to publishers - eventually Luna bought the book!

  • How did you get noticed for your work?
When submitting a story, the writer needs to find publishers that publish your genre and type of book. So I first queried agents who handled science fiction/fantasy writers and then moved on to publishers. Another way is to find a book that is very similar to yours and then send your story to that publisher. It's hard work and just because one editor says no - doesn't mean your story is bad. It's very subjective. Poison Study had 17 rejects but has gone on to win an award and get great reviews from everyone!

  • Any suggestions for aspiring writers?
Persistence is my biggest advice. I’d been writing for ten years and submitting for eight before I sold anything. Learn the craft of writing as well as the business of writing and attend writer’s conferences and classes if you can. Consider that time an apprenticeship. 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!

Be sure to head over to Bitten by Books on SEPTEMBER 1 2009, for an interview with Maria and a contest to win a copy of Sea Glass!!!


  1. Hiya Jessica, great post. Thanks for passing on the interview, I love the poison books...I've been meaning to pick up the glass series.

  2. Ooh those were good! I have some reviews on them here as well. They should be under August--for Sea Glass and A review for Storm Glass under May, that one's titled Another NEW series.


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