Get 2 top 10 audiobooks free with a LoveReading exclusive

LoveReading has teamed up with Audiobooks.com to give you the chance to get 2 free audiobooks when you sign up. Try it for 30 days for free with no strings attached. You can cancel anytime, although we're sure you'll love it. Click the button to find out more:

Find out more

Maria V Snyder - Author

About the Author

Maria V. Snyder has been writing fiction and nonfiction since 1995. She has published numerous freelance articles in magazines and newspapers.

 

Born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Maria earned a bachelor of science degree in meteorology at Penn State University. She discovered, much to her chagrin, that forecasting the weather wasn't one of her skills.

 

Her research on food-tasting methods with an expert chocolate taster, her husband, turned out to be a delicious bonus while writing Poison Study.

 

Maria has a brown belt in Isshinryu karate, and enjoys playing volleyball and the cello. She lives with her husband, son, daughter and yellow Lab in Pennsylvania.

 

Below is a Q & A with this author.

 

How would you describe your Study Series?
The series begins with Poison Study and is basically about Yelena. She starts out at rock bottom, awaiting execution in the Commander's dungeon. The Commander is the military dictator of Ixia, which has been divided into eight military districts. Each district is ruled by a General and everyone who lives in Ixia wears a uniform.Only after the book was written, did I realize the world of Ixia is a combination of my 12 years attending Catholic School, where we all wore uniforms, and the business practices of the company my husband works for.

Instead of being executed, Yelena is offered a choice and given a glimmer of hope for the first time in two years. She chooses to live and is determined to find a way to escape her situation. Poison Study concentrated on Yelena’s inner conflicts and her self-confidence. She has walled herself off from others and has to learn how to trust and to love again.

In Magic Study, Yelena travels to the southern lands of Sitia. Raised with the strict military rule of Ixia, Yelena finds the democratic and relaxed way of life in Sitia strange. There are eleven clans within Sitia's borders and each has a vote. Yelena's also dealing with a family she doesn't remember and trying to justify her feelings of loyalty to the Commander. The main reason she's there is to focus on discovering the extent and type of her magical powers. But she is frequently frustrated with the committee mindset and having to discuss every decision to death before any action is taken. Her tendency to rush head long into a situation doesn't endear her to the Sitian Council Members. She has to mature and settle down a bit and trust that her loyalty for Ixia isn't a betrayal of Sitia.

In the third book, I wanted to show the extent some magicians will go to gain power over others. Using magic to solve problems can be addicting, and, in Fire Study Yelena realizes how much she depends on her magical abilities. She must learn how to balance the use of her power with more mundane methods and to discover that completely turning your back on magic isn’t the right answer. Loyalty is again an issue and she spends half the book back in Ixia.

I really liked what Jo-Ann Greene, a local reviewer said about my series: "...a great coming-of-age narrative. Don't young people wonder who and what has made them what they are? (That's Book1, Poison Study). Don't they wish for a special talent that will take them from being nearly powerless to being powerful? (That's Book 2, Magic Study). Don't they struggle to define their true selves, despite other's expectations? And don't their elders, even those designated as teachers and mentors, sometimes betray them out of ignorance or envy? And, facing failure, don't they entertain the gravest doubts about themselves? (That's, Fire Study)."

 

What gave you the inspiration for the series?
I was reading Orson Scott Card’s book, How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy. In chapter 3, Card tells the writer to consider some questions before choosing the main character. He wrote, “Too often - particularly in medieval fantasy - writers think their story must be about rulers. Kings and queens, dukes and duchesses - they can be extravagantly powerful, yes, but too often, they aren’t free at all. If you understand the workings of power in human societies, you’ll know that the greatest freedom to act in unpredictable ways is usually found away from the centers of power.”

This comment led me to think about a person who was close enough to the centre of power to witness important events, yet not be the Prince or Princess. I thought about a food taster because my husband tastes chocolate as part of his job with a major candy company. A scene then jumped into my mind. I saw a woman tasting food that was most likely poisoned through the eyes of the King. He watched her with heartbreaking horror because he had fallen in love with her. That led me to wonder about this woman. Who was she? Why was she there? Why would a King fall in love with her? And Poison Study was born. Then the Commander came along and assassinated the monarchy – he was tired of reading all those fantasy novels with monarchs.

I didn’t plan for Poison Study to expand into two more books. When I wrote the first draft, I figured it would be a stand-alone. But after I finished, I thought I could continue her adventures. After Magic Study I knew I had one more story in me to show Yelena’s character arc.

It’s interesting how Yelena’s story ended up being told through three books. I don’t like trilogies as that middle book is all middle—nothing is resolved. I tried very hard to make each of the Study books a stand-alone story with a beginning, middle, and end.

Who do you base your characters on?
I don’t choose my character’s personality ahead of time; they develop as I write about them, just like a Polaroid picture. I start with a general stereotype and then the character comes alive as they move through the story. For example, Valek. He started as an assassin stereotype—athletic, confidant, skilled in the martial arts. But as he interacted with the other characters (mainly Yelena), he diverged from the stereotype. He’s a pack rat with an insatiable curiosity. He’s also a sculptor and has a very dry, sarcastic sense of humour.

There is a little of me in all the characters. I have to “become” them in order to know what their thinking, what their motives are, why are they who they are. It’s very similar to acting (which I dabbled in High School). So when I write about a character, it is filtered through me.

Where do you get your ideas from?
From everywhere! I get ideas from newspaper and magazine articles, from something I see on television, from something that comes up in conversation, from dreams, from my research, or from something my children say or do. I tend not to lack for ideas, just time!

 

What are you writing next?
I’m working on the third book of the Glass Series. The Glass Series is about Opal Cowan. She’s Tula’s younger sister, and she played a significant role in Fire Study.

 

With her abilities with glass, she really fascinated me while I wrote Fire Study, so I wanted to see how she would do on her own. Storm Glass is mostly about Opal’s efforts to help the Stormdance Clan. The time is five years after the events in Fire Study, and Yelena, Leif, Irys, and many other characters from the Study Series are part of the story. Storm Glass is coming out in the UK in July.

Featured books by Maria V Snyder

Other books by Maria V Snyder

Dawn Study

Dawn Study

Author: Maria V. Snyder Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 09/02/2017

New York Times bestselling author Maria V. Snyder brings her Chronicles of Ixia series to its exhilarating conclusion. Despite the odds, Yelena and Valek have forged an irrevocable bond-and a family-that transcends borders. Now, when their two homelands stand on the brink of war, they must fight with magic and cunning to thwart an Ixian plot to invade Sitia. Yelena seeks to break the hold of the insidious Theobroma that destroys a person's resistance to magical persuasion. But the Cartel is determined to keep influential citizens and Sitian diplomats in thrall-and Yelena at bay. With every bounty hunter after her, Yelena is forced to make a dangerous deal. With might and magic, Valek peels back the layers of betrayal surrounding the Commander. At its rotten core lies a powerful magician...and his latest discovery. The fate of all rests upon two unlikely weapons. One may turn the tide. The other could spell the end of everything.

Night Study

Night Study

Author: Maria V. Snyder Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 25/02/2016

Bestselling author Maria V. Snyder transports readers back to the realms of Sitia and Ixia in an exciting new Study novel full of magic, danger and intrigue. Ever since being kidnapped from the Illiais Jungle as a child, Yelena Zaltana's life has been fraught with peril. But the recent loss of her Soulfinding abilities has endangered her more than ever before. As she desperately searches for a way to reclaim her magic, her enemies are closing in, and neither Ixia nor Sitia are safe for her anymore.

Shadow Study

Shadow Study

Author: Maria V. Snyder Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 12/03/2015

Once, only her own life hung in the balance... When Yelena was a poison taster, her life was simpler. She survived to become a vital part of the balance of power between rival countries Ixia and Sitia. Now she uses her magic to keep the peace in both lands-and protect her relationship with Valek. Suddenly, though, dissent is rising. And Valek's job-and his life-are in danger. As Yelena tries to uncover her enemies, she faces a new challenge: her magic is blocked.And now she must find a way to keep not only herself but all that she holds dear alive. A CHRONICLES OF IXIA NOVEL 'A compelling new fantasy series' - Rhianna Pratchett, SFX on Poison Study

Taste Of Darkness

Taste Of Darkness

Author: Maria V. Snyder Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/04/2014

THE FINAL BATTLE BEGINS... Powerful healer Avry knows hardship and trouble. She fought a plague and survived. She took on corrupt King Tohon and defeated him. But now her true love, Kerrick, is missing and Avry fears he's gone forever. Yet she faces a more immediate - and deadly - threat. The Skeleton King plots to claim the Fifteen Realms for his own. With the territories' armies in disarray and the dead not staying dead, Avry's powers are needed now more than ever. Torn between love and loyalty, she must choose her path carefully. For the future of Avry's world depends on her decision...

Chronicles Of Ixia (Books 1-6) (Mills & Boon e-Book Collections)

Chronicles Of Ixia (Books 1-6) (Mills & Boon e-Book Collections)

Author: Maria V. Snyder Format: eBook Release Date: 01/02/2014

Let fantasy star Maria V. Snyder steal you away to a darkly enchanting world of powerful magic and dangerous deeds in these six incredible stories from The Chronicles of Ixia series, following young magicians Yelena Zaltana and Opal Cowan on a dark and deadly journey.'A compelling new fantasy series.' -Rhianna Pratchett, SFX

Taste Of Darkness

Taste Of Darkness

Author: Maria V. Snyder Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/01/2014

Powerful healer Avry knows hardship and trouble. She fought a plague and survived. She took on corrupt King Tohon and defeated him. But now her true love, Kerrick, is missing and Avry fears he's gone forever. Yet she faces a more immediate - and deadly - threat. The Skeleton King plots to claim the Fifteen Realms for his own. With the territories' armies in disarray and the dead not staying dead, Avry's powers are needed now more than ever. Torn between love and loyalty, she must choose her path carefully. For the future of Avry's world depends on her decision...

Spy Glass

Spy Glass

Author: Maria V. Snyder Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/09/2013

A new legacy is rising... After siphoning her own blood magic, Opal Cowan has lost her powers and been separated from Kade and Ulrick, the two men who divide her heart. Now an outsider looking in, Opal spies through the glass on those with the powers she once had. Until spying through the glass becomes her new power. Suddenly, the beautiful pieces she makes flash in the presence of magic. And then she discovers that some of her blood has been stolen - and that finding it may let her regain her powers for good. Or learn if they're lost forever.

Fire Study

Fire Study

Author: Maria V. Snyder Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/06/2013

THE APPRENTICESHIP IS OVER NOW THE REAL TEST HAS BEGUN When word that Yelena is a Soulfinder - able to capture and release souls - spreads like wildfire, people grow uneasy. Already Yelena's unusual abilities and past have set her apart. As the Council debates Yelena's fate, she receives a disturbing message: a plot is rising against her homeland, led by a murderous sorcerer she has defeated before. Honour sets Yelena on a path that will test the limits of her skills, and the hope of reuniting with her beloved spurs her onward. Her journey is fraught with allies and enemies. Yelena will have but one chance to prove herself - and save the land she holds dear. `...a compelling new fantasy series. Snyder has a lovely, light touch, but manages to make Yelena's journey and her back story so engrossing' Rhiana Pratchett, SFX

Magic Study

Magic Study

Author: Maria V. Snyder Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/06/2013

Confronting The Past - Controlling The Future. With an execution order on her head, Yelena has no choice but to escape to Sitia, the land of her birth. With only a year to master her magic - or face death - Yelena must begin her apprenticeship and travels to the Four Towers of the Magician's Keep. But nothing in Sitia is familiar. Not the family to whom she is a stranger. Not the unsettling new facets of her magic. Not the brother who resents her return. As she struggles to understand where she belongs and how to control her rare powers, a rogue magician emerges - and Yelena catches his eye. Suddenly she is embroiled in battle against good and evil. And once again it will be her magical abilities that will either save her life...or be her downfall.

Storm Watcher

Storm Watcher

Author: Maria V Snyder Format: Paperback Release Date: 05/05/2013

Scent Of Magic

Scent Of Magic

Author: Maria V. Snyder Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/05/2013

The army of the dead are coming... Avry of Kazan, the last Healer of the mystical Fifteen Realms, has a power that can't be matched. But in the minds of her friends and foe alike, Avry no longer exists. Now, as the psychotic King Tohon builds an army mightier than any that has been seen before-a league of undead soldiers-Avry must face her toughest, most terrifying battle alone. Fighting to be reunited with her family and her lover Kerrick, Avry must infiltrate Tohon's troops. But does she have the power, the rare magic; to do what legend says is impossible? FOR FANS OF TRUDI CANAVAN AND GAME OF THRONES

Touch of Power

Touch of Power

Author: Maria V. Snyder Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/04/2012

THEY DESTROYED HER WORLD. BUT SHE'S THEIR ONLY HOPE... Avry's power to heal the sick should earn her respect in the plague-torn land of Kazan. Instead she is feared. Her kind are blamed for the horrifying disease that has taken hold of the nation. When Avry uses her forbidden magic to save a dying child, she faces the guillotine. Until a dark, mysterious man rescues her from her prison cell. His people need Avry's magic to save their dying prince. The very prince who first unleashed the plague on Kazan. Saving the prince is certain to kill Avry - yet she already faces a violent death. Now she must choose - use her healing touch to show the ultimate mercy or die a martyr to a lost cause?

Spirited 13 Haunting Tales

Spirited 13 Haunting Tales

Author: Maria V Snyder Format: Paperback Release Date: 13/02/2012

Maria V. Snyder Collection: Poison Study (Soulfinders, Book 1) / Storm Glass

Maria V. Snyder Collection: Poison Study (Soulfinders, Book 1) / Storm Glass

Author: Maria V. Snyder Format: eBook Release Date: 21/12/2011

Let fantasy star Maria V. Snyder steal you away to a darkly enchanting world of powerful magic and dangerous deeds.... Poison Study About to be executed for murder, Yelena is offered an extraordinary reprieve. She'll test the Commander of Ixia's meals to prevent assassination attempts. But as Yelena develops magical powers, choices must be made. And this time the consequences aren't so clear...Book One in the Study Trilogy Storm Glass With her unique magical abilities, Opal has always felt unsure of her place at Sitia's magic academy. But when the Stormdancer clan needs help, Opal's knowledge makes her the perfect choice - until Opal taps into a deadly new power, which could save them all...or destroy her.Book One in The Glass Trilogy 'Reminiscent of early Anne McCaffrey' -Rhianna Pratchett, SFX

Glass Collection: Storm Glass / Sea Glass / Spy Glass (Mills & Boon e-Book Collections)

Glass Collection: Storm Glass / Sea Glass / Spy Glass (Mills & Boon e-Book Collections)

Author: Maria V. Snyder Format: eBook Release Date: 01/08/2011

Storm Glass Untrained. Untested. Unleashed.With her unique magical abilities, Opal has always felt unsure of her place at Sitia's magic academy. But when the Stormdancer clan needs help, Opal's knowledge makes her the perfect choice - until the mission goes awry. Pulling her powers in unfamiliar directions, Opal finds herself tapping into a new kind of magic as stunningly potent as it is frightening.Now Opal must deal with plotters out to destroy the Stormdancer clan, as well as a traitor in their midst. With danger and deception rising around her, will Opal's untested abilities destroy her - or save them all? Sea Glass Her power remained hidden - until challenged by enemy forces. Student glass magician Opal Cowan's newfound ability to steal a magician's powers makes her too powerful.Ordered to house arrest, Opal dares defy her imprisonment, searching for Ulrick, the man she thinks she loves. Thinks because she is sure another man-now her prisoner-has switched souls with Ulrick. In hostile territory, without proof or allies, Opal isn't sure whom to trust. And now everyone is after Opal's special powers for their own deadly gain... Spy Glass An undercover mission leads to danger, adventure and an impossible choice...After siphoning her own blood magic, Opal Cowan has lost her powers and is now immune to the effects of magic. Now an outsider looking in, Opal spies through the glass on those with the powers she once had. Until spying through the glass becomes her new power.Suddenly, the beautiful pieces she makes flash in the presence of magic. And then she discovers that some of her blood has been stolen - and that finding it may help her regain her powers for good...

Study Collection: Magic Study / Poison Study / Fire Study (Mills & Boon e-Book Collections)

Study Collection: Magic Study / Poison Study / Fire Study (Mills & Boon e-Book Collections)

Author: Maria V. Snyder Format: eBook Release Date: 01/09/2010

Let fantasy star Maria V. Snyder steal you away to a darkly enchanting world of powerful magic and dangerous deeds in these three incredible stories from The Chronicles of Ixia series, following young magician Yelena Zaltana as her deadly journey begins.'A compelling new fantasy series.' -Rhianna Pratchett, SFX

Author Info

Author's Website

http://www.mariavsnyder.com/

Author's Facebook

Find Maria V Snyder on Facebook

Twitter Updates

If this is your author page then you can share your Twitter updates with your readers right here on LoveReading

Find out more