Maria V. Snyder Interview & Giveaway (CLOSED)


I own more of her books but these are the only complete series I currently have.

I’m extremely proud of this post, I sent an email to Maria a few days ago not really expecting an answer, imagine my joy when I did receive a reply and she has kindly agreed to answer my questions as well as offer to help me hold a giveaway for you.

I have been reading Maria’s books for a few years now and in my opinion her books don’t get nearly the amount of recognition they deserve. I read Poison Study while I was still in High School and to this day it is still one of my favourite books. Her books are gaining a little more hype now that some popular Youtubers are talking about her books for example I know that Christine over at PolandbananasBOOKS has read the Poison Study series and Sasha over at abookutopia has recently started reading them and is loving them.

A Little About the Author

Maria has published a total of 13 books along with a bind up of her duology series, Inside, and she has written a few short stories to accompany her Chronicles of Ixia series. You can view these for free here.

She has also published a few short stories in anthologies with other authors.

If you want a list of her books then most of them are included in my list of Books I Have Read This Year. I don’t own all of her books yet but it is a work in progress.

Poison StudyChoose:
A quick death
Or slow poison…

Yelena has a choice – be executed for murder, or become food taster to the Commander of Ixia. She leaps at the chance for survival, but her relief may be short-lived.

Life in the palace is full of hazards and secrets. Wily and smart, Yelena must learn to identify poisons before they kill her, recognise whom she can trust and how to spy on those she can’t. And who is the mysterious Southern sorceress who can reach into her head?

When Yelena realises she has extraordinary powers of her own, she faces a whole new problem, for using magic in Ixia is punishable by death… (Via Goodreads)


This is my first giveaway so I’m still a little unsure how to handle this, I did a little research and decided to use Rafflecopter as I have seen quite a few people use it on WordPress.

In this giveaway Maria has been kind enough to offer the winner a copy of her first published novel Poison Study.

To enter the giveaway you can go to the bottom of the post where there should be a Rafflecopter insert. The giveaway will be open for one week so it will be closing next Wednesday.

Now enough dallying on to the interview!

Interview with Maria V. Snyder

Where do you get your inspiration from?

Everywhere! I’ll get ideas when I travel. Also from newspaper and magazine articles, from television shows or when watching a movie. I’ve gotten ideas from a conversation and from dreams (but that’s rare). My children’s comments or observations have sparked ideas as well. I tend not to lack for ideas just time!

Are you equally as proud of all your books or is there one that stands out above the others and why?

I’m equally proud of all my books. Each one has scenes that I really love and also has spots where I cringe when I re-read it. Poison Study does stand out a bit more mostly because it’s my first book and I had the most time to work on it. I lived with Yelena, Valek, Ari, and Janco in my head for years – they’re family now :).

Are there any books on writing that you would recommend to an aspiring writer? Did any of them help you?

There are a couple books that I recommend to my writing students. Bird by Bird, by Anne Lamott, and On Writing by Stephen King. I also recommend all of Nancy Kress’ writing books. She has a good way of explaining things that I found extremely helpful. Orson Scott Card’s How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy sparked my idea for Poison Study! I also have free writing advice on my website. If anyone is interested, here’s the link:

Have you ever had a character in mind but you could never get them down on paper because they were just so stubborn? Or for any other reason?

No – I’ve never had that problem. They come out on the page just fine. But I’ve had characters refuse to cooperate with my plans for them in a story. For example, Devlen in my Glass series of books was supposed to be the antagonist for the first two books and disappear. Except he decided to change during the second book and kept coming back, making Spy Glass the hardest book I’ve written!

Was Poison Study your first idea for a novel or did you dabble with other ideas before you had that idea? What was it about Poison Study that had you so invested?

I dabbled with short stories first. After every one I wrote, my writing critique group told me I needed to expand it into a novel (and I wasn’t able to get any of them published either). As I said earlier, I was reading How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy, and, as I read the chapter on characters, a scene popped into my head – a king who had fallen in love with his food taster. After I explored the idea, I was excited about it because I’ve read a ton of fantasy stories and none of them had this element. But as I worked on the story, it morphed into a military dictator because there are tons of fantasies out there with monarchs. Poison Study was my first novel written and published.

How long did it take for Poison Study to be accepted by an agent\publisher? Did you ever get discouraged when it was turned down? (I’m assuming it was turned down by some)

It took about 3 years for Poison Study to find a publisher. I sent it to 40 agents who all passed and to 17 other publishers before it was accepted – 57 rejections! I did get discouraged (did lots of ice cream therapy!) and even made plans to switch to writing non-fiction and applied to a MFA program so I could teach. However I didn’t give up on Poison Study. I had made a list of all the publishers who would look at fantasy and was determined to send the book to them all before I put it in a drawer.

When you sit down to write do you set yourself a goal? For example doing 3,000 words a day.

Yes, I’m a slow writer and set a minimum of 1000 words a day before I can go bed (I write at night from 10 pm to 3 or 4 am). Most nights, I write more, but I found that when I haven’t written in a while and get back to it, the words come slowly and it takes all night to reach 1000, but, after a few nights, my word counts are much higher. Which is more evidence that writing daily is a good idea!

Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions I have only one more. Are there any book series’ that you love but feel as though they don’t get the recognition they deserve? That more people should read them?

This is a hard question, because I’m not as “plugged in” to what’s popular or selling well – I know the big ones like The Hunger Games and Divergent, but am not sure about the ones I do love. There is one series called the Stormlord series by Glenda Larke that is an excellent epic fantasy that doesn’t read like an epic. The characters and world are so well drawn and engaging. It’s not overloaded with dense world building details and a zillion characters to keep track of like in Martin and Tolkien’s books. The first book is The Last Stormlord.

Can I say I think my books are not as well known, but I think they are just as good (or better in some cases) than what’s hot/popular? Or does that make me sound egotistical? It can be frustrating when I read one of the bestsellers and the characters are cardboard and the writing is terrible. However, I’m not complaining at all! I’m living my dream and do well enough that writing is my full-time job. And I enjoy being able to interact with my readers. If I was popular, then I wouldn’t be able to personally respond to email and comments.

Night StudyAgain let me take this chance to thank Maria for agreeing to the interview and being willing to hold a giveaway with me, you are the first person to be featured on my blog and it means the world to me to have one of my favourite authors on my blog.

Maria’s new book Night Study, the sequel to Shadow Study, comes out 26th January 2016.

You can find Maria at her website and her Facebook page:

I hope you all enjoyed this post and interview, if you’re interested in entering the giveaway you can find a link to enter below and I wish you all the best of luck!

Until next time,

Tori x

Enter Giveaway


70 thoughts on “Maria V. Snyder Interview & Giveaway (CLOSED)

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  4. A few recent favorites in the YA Fantasy genre are The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski and The Wrath & The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh. Sarah J Maas’s books are great too! I have yet to readPoison Study, but I’ve heard it’s a great one!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. My favorite fantasy series is probably the Study series! I just love the world and the characters and its my all time favorite series! This was an awesome interview!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I really love the Throne of glass series by Sarah J. Maas. The books have a heroine that is girly, she loves dresses and jewelry, but she can also kill you with a hairpin… The books by Juliet Marillier are also awesome, her books are dreamy and have fey, Ireland and great characters!

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  7. Poison study was my first book EVER!! i basically read the whole series in 2 days! I love Yelena!! Shes like my role model. Posion study has a very unqiue story line! And then theres Throne of Glass! Celaena is friggen awesome as hell. I love the way you create your characters theyre so independent and strong!

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  8. Whew! What a hard question to answer! YA fantasy is my favorite genre so I have read quite a few amazing books of this genre. Up at the top would have to be all of Sarah J. Maas’s books, the Fire and Thorns series, and Snow Like Ashes 🙂

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  9. I ready Poison Study years ago. I discovered it at the library and thought it sounded like a good story. So I picked it up with about 7 other books. Poison Study turned out be be the best out of that selection and to this day it holds a spot in my top 5 favorite books. In fact I kind of group the whole series as 1 book because I just love them so much. I re read them often. It never gets old!

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  10. I’m with ya! I started reading this series back in high school (so about 8 years ago) and I love it so much! I’ve reread these books so many times it’s ridiculous! I’m happy it’s starting to get the recognition it deserves.

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  11. A month ago , we had a fire in our home, we unfortunately lost everything, including all my book. Events like these defiantly brings you back to earth, shows you whats important in life and whats not. Even if you think you care about your beautiful leather couch, your fancy appliances, and those fancy wine glasses …believe me you don’t . What you hold on too are the small things, the 5 $ teddy bear your son held on to all his childhood and those drawing your 3 years old that you put on your frig , your souvenirs , your pictures and all those books ! Poison study books were my favorite of all , I reread the books so many times, I was keeping them for my children, hoping one day they will have the chance to read these books themselves. Maria. V Synder is defiantly a very talented author and I continuously recommend her books to everyone I know. I hope one day I will see her books on a movie screen , she defiantly deserves it !

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  12. My favorite fantasy books would have to be any of the Study Series or Storm Glass( I haven’t gotten to read the others of the glass series) or really any of the Maria V Snyder books which are just ahead of Harry Potter and Divergent on my favorites list. They are amazing because they when I read them, its like I am living in their world and the characters are realistic enough that I can relate to them despite their magical abilities.

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  13. There are soo many good fantasy books out there it’s hard to pick. Since I have to pick one, I will pick The Last Dragonlord series by Joanne Bertin, because it brought me back to my love of reading after a period of time when I hated to read.

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  14. For the longest time, I’d have to say that Poison Study was my favorite fantasy book. I loved the world that Maria Snyder created and how believable it was, how much the book could absorb you into it and make you feel it was all true in some other place. I read the first three Poison Study books when I was really just getting into discovering YA literature, and I think that helped leave an impact on their part.

    That said, I’ve read so many books since I read Poison Study and would have to say that my new favorite would be An Ember in the Ashes. The book got to me in March, before it’s release and when I wasn’t feeling the whole reading thing anymore, especially for YA. I could go weeks without reading. Then I read that book and… goodness, it’s so great. There are probably plot holes somewhere in it and there are probably stupid things I overlooked, but I that book made me feel excited about reading again. I feel like the high fantasy effect of both Poison Study and AEITA is something that’s hard to achieve and both books did it wonderfully which it why I’ve fallen for them. They pulled me in and made me appreciate my favorite age-group of books again. 🙂

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  15. I also have way too many favorites to pick just one. Poison Study is definitely one of the top ones though. Some others are Beauty by Robin McKinley, Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce (or basically anything by Tamora Pierce), Twilight by Stephenie Meyer, The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien, and the Harry Potter series by JK Rowling. I also love The Host by Stephenie Meyer, but I don’t know whether it is fantasy or sci fi. There are many more, but I don’t want to list them all.

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  16. To be honest, I have so many favorite fantasy books, that it is very difficult to choose just one. My readings go from main stream fantasy, urban fantasy, YA fantasy to just about any book with some sort of paranormal twist. One of my top picks is definitely Poison Study. Another would be the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas. The common theme between the two is that both have main female characters who are trained to be an assassin, but have a mysterious background. They could not be more different though. Both authors have created such unique worlds and methods of magic that even though they technically sound very similar, they could not be more different. The one thing all of my favorite fantasy books have in common is that they all have strong female characters as one of the core group of primary characters. One of my most recent favorites has to be The Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard. It is unlike any other story I have read. Both the writing and characters made it difficult to put the book down. The catch with this one is that you HAVE to read it all the way to the very end.

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  17. Honestly, I’ve always loved the Harry Potter series best. I grew up with them, and they helped to shape my childhood.

    On a more related note, this book looks lovely. If I don’t win, I’m definitely going to try to get my hands on a copy!

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  18. One of my favorite fantasy series is the Study series by Maria V. Snyder. Valek is my all-time #1 fictional crush. I also love the Emperor’s Edge series by Lindsey Buroker. I kind of love those bad boys who aren’t really so bad after all storylines and I love that the women in these books are smart and capable but they have vulnerable moments as well.

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  19. Fantasy is my favorite genre. Asking me to choose one favorite is a cruel and unusual request.
    So I will just list my favorites: Harry Potter (duh), Throne of Glass series, Poison Study, the Falling Kingdoms series, the Grisha trilogy, the Mistborn trilogy, and the Winner’s Curse. Game of Thrones may work its way onto my favorites list too, but as I’ve only read the first book it is too early to tell.

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  20. Waah. My FAV fantasy book, hard to choose, depend on my mood, but if the lux series by JLA can be called Fantasy. That would be that series. I can’t describ how much I love this series. JLA writing skills, how she created such strong caracter, the world and societe around them, how they grown up trought the series..
    Thank’s for that interview! I read the healer series first (In french, then since it was THAT good, decided to keep reading in English!), then since I really enjoyed it, i read the study series.. god, awesome story! Thanks for remind me that I need to put the glass series (Didn’t reed it yet) and the soulfinders on top of my TBR. 😊

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  21. I’m going to have to be really cliché and say that at the moment my favorites are anything by Maria 🙂
    Other than her I like Ann McCaffrey, Mercedes Lackey, Kim Harrison, Jim Buthcher, and too many more to list here. Each book or series is my favorite for a different reason: the atmosphere the author creates, the kick ass hero, the character depth, the setting, etc.

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  22. It’s so hard to name one favorite book, or even one favorite author. As of right now Sebastian by Anne Bishop is my favorite, I suppose. I just re-read it, and I love it as much as, if not more than, the first time I read it in high school. There’s something about coming back to a familiar book. But I also love it because Anne Bishop has this way with worlds and characters. I remember reading it for the first time and longing to be in that world and to know the people, despite the possible dangers present. Ephemera is a wonderful place, and this book lets me experience it, and I believe this novel, as well as her other novels and books by other authors, have helped me grow as a writer.

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  23. My favorite book? This is so hard. How could I ever choose a favorite. I guess my favorite classic book would be Farenheit 451. If I’m looking at modern books I love the Lunar Chronicles, The Selection series, Harry Potter of course. It’s entirely roo hard to choose. I could go one for decdes!

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  24. That is such a difficult question to answer, especially as a self admitted bibliophile. Maria’s books are right up there and I’m beside myself for January to hurry up and get here. While I don’t knowv if it’s catagorized as fantasy, i just read “Salt snd Storm” by Kendall Kulper and it was so haunting – it’s still with me. Even dreamed about it which hasn’t happened in a really long time.

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  25. María is my favourite author, I read poison years ago but I’m still waiting to see what happens with yelena and valek! she is awesome! and I’ll read every single book she’ll write

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  26. Excellent interview! I LOVE Maria! She is my favorite author. On other series suggestions not by Maria: Brandon Sanderson-Mistborn. Awesome. If oh like Maria you will like this one. It’s well done.

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  27. My favourite fantasy books must be J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. If I had to choose one, I think I like book nymber five, HP and the Order of the Phoenix, just a little bit more than the others (it just has a certain feel that I love). I grew up with HP, so i could connect really well with the books, as i had the same age as the main characters, and I love Rowling’s ability to blend magic, friendship, love, darkness, puzzles and plot twists. (Poison Study and Sea Glass are my favorites of all Maria’s books – love the premises and magic twists!).

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  28. My favorite books are the study series and healer series by Maria .V. Snyder, which is exactly why i am entering this giveaway 🙂 They are my favourite because they have a story that draws you into the drama of the characters and their lives. I find I feel bad when they fail and shocked when they find out who has been behind the the problem the whole time (looking at you master magician Roze!)

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  29. I absolutely love all of your books. Study, Glass as well as Healer!!! You have an amazing way to captivate an audience. A friend recommended these to me, and I couldn’t put them down. Twice through now, I’m ready for more. Thank you for continuing the story. And thank you for the slight insight on Devlin. That surprised me the first time, but I almost looked forward to it the second time around. ❤

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  30. Hi, I enjoyed your post. I would have to say my favorite fantasy series at the moment is Game of Thrones. I am enjoying the series on HBO and wanted to read the source material since we all know the book is usually better. 😊

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  31. I love Graceling. The characters are awesome and the world the author created was so unique. There was a great plot with both action and romance. I really loved Graceling

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  32. Maria has changed my life for the better! Her books are such an inspiration to me. All the Study books are my favorite. I also enjoyed Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard.

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  33. Except from The Study series and all the book by Maria V. Snyder, I also love “Falling Kingdoms” by Megan Rhodes and Rae Carson’s “The girl of Fire and thorns”. Thank you for the giveaway!


  34. my favourite fantasy book would have to be the maze runner series as it has great story line that kept me hooked thought the whole thing and i couldn’t put the books down

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  35. I have only just started reading the Study Series and I am completely in love. I cannot wait to finish them. My favorite fantasy books are the Harry Potter series

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  36. Poison Study is definitely among my all-time favorites, I recommend it to my friends more than any other book. But when asked which fantasy novel is my favorite how can I say anything but Harry Potter?! As a member of the Harry Potter Generation I think it’s a law or something…

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  37. I don’t think I can pick one favorite fantasy. There are too many to choose just one. Great interview! I’m glad she waited out 3 years for poison study i loved it! and the others too!

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  38. Great interview!!

    My favourite fantasy book is actually a 3 way tie between the study series, Richelle Mead’s age of X series and Australian author Isobelle Carmody’s Obernewton series. If i had to made a life or death decision between those 3 id be in some serious trouble because i honestly don’t think i could

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  39. My favoriye fantasy book would have to b the otherworld series from kelley armstrong. Then ur study series followed by ur spin off series glass study. I love all ur books and so cant wait to read more of what u write

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  40. Favourite fantasy book is definitely the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J Mass. The plot and characters and mind blowing and it’s so easy to get absorbed into the world.

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  41. Honestly, it’s a draw between the first 3 Poison Study books and Janet Edwards Earth Girl trilogy. Their very different series but are both really good and, like you said, neither is actually all that well known when they should be. I think I like them so much because of the characters, the way they interact is so realistic that you can just get lost in the books 🙂

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