Home > X Authors and Book Tours X > Author Interview with Maria V. Snyder (Scent of Magic)

Author Interview with Maria V. Snyder (Scent of Magic)

Katy and I are both huge fans of Young Adult fantasy author Maria V. Snyder, and I’m thrilled to have had the opportunity recently to ask her a few questions, just in time for the release of her new book Scent of Magic. (If you haven’t heard, it’s already out now and available at places like Amazon and B&N.)

For those of you new to the series, it follows a girl named Avry who’s the last Healer in the land, and she has to choose to use her powers wisely to help the survivors of a devastating plague that’s unbalanced the power among various kingdoms.

Katy and I both loved the story and characters and encourge you all to check out the first book, Touch of Power, and of course read Scent of Magic to see what happens next. And now the interview:

Maria V. Snyder

What inspired you to write the Healer books? How did you come up with the idea?

In my Study books, Yelena has the power to heal, but it’s but one of her many skills.  So after writing the Study books, I wanted to explore healing powers more in depth.  I had this vague idea about a healer or an apprentice healer during an epidemic.  She was either going to be sought after for her powers – like everyone wanting her, or be hunted.  I wasn’t sure.  Then one night my daughter couldn’t sleep and she wanted me to tell her a story.  She knew all my other books, so I started telling her about this healer.  And every night, she’d ask, “What’s next?”  That’s why Touch of Power is dedicated to my daughter.

One of Katy and my favorite parts of Touch of Power is Avry’s conflict over being such a selfless character. What inspired you to pick that particular trait for her?

I think that inspiration comes from an old Star Trek episode titled The Empath about a race of healers/empaths who can take on the injury or illness of another (like Avry).  The Empath sacrifices her life to heal Dr. McCoy, and that has stayed with me all these years later. Plus I’ve always found the question of “who is worth saving” fascinating and wanted to explore it in depth.

Besides Avry and Kerrick, the series is full of amazing supporting characters. Who was the most fun to write about and why? Are any of them based on real people?

Loren and Quain (a.k.a. The Monkeys) are always fun to write.  I’ve two friends who call themselves “the drunken comic book monkeys” and I must admit my monkeys are based on them – loosely based on them.  I’ve mixed them up a bit to keep it interesting and to torture them over who’s who :).

Scent of Magic

What was the hardest part about writing Scent of Magic?

Second books are always the hardest for me to write because I need to balance the amount of backstory with what’s going on now.  Some of my readers haven’t read the first book in over a year and so they don’t remember everything that happened in book 1 and like reminders from time to time.  But I’ve readers who will re-read book 1 just before sitting down with book 2 and they get impatient and bored with too much backstory.   Also the timing between Kerrick’s sections and Avry’s was hard to match up – but I enjoyed writing from Kerrick’s POV very much!

Can you tell us anything about Taste of Death? Any teasers you don’t mind sharing?

In Taste of Death, Avry and Ryne argue…a lot!  And Sergeant Odd has a bigger role.  The war isn’t going well, either.  That’s about all I can say without spoiling Scent of Magic 😉

What is the one thing you want readers to remember about the Healer series?

That flowers can be dangerous!  It’s true – ask anyone with allergies 😉

So far, you’ve written several fantasy series and one dystopian series. Is there a reason you picked these two genres? Which one do you enjoy writing about more?

I enjoyed writing them both.  The dystopian series was a creative and challenging break from fantasy. I write in these genres because I enjoy reading them – I’ve been reading fantasy and science fiction since high school and all my novel story ideas have these elements in them.  Plus it’s an ego trip 😉  My world – My rules!  And I like horses and swords.  I don’t think guns and cars and cell phones create enough conflict.

Is there another genre you want to try? Is there one you won’t consider tackling? And why?

I’d like to write a mystery/suspense novel and I’ve an idea for an urban fantasy (not really another genre is it?).  Even though all my stories have a romantic element, I won’t write a straight romance.  I can’t do all that internal thought/dialogue and angst over a relationship – it drives me crazy!  I do like romantic suspense, because there are other things going on – like a mystery to solve.

Touch of Power

We’ve heard after Taste of Death there’s going to be a new trilogy of Study books. Would you consider returning to the Healer series as well in the future?

I never say never 😉  That’s why I call my books series and not trilogies.  And it would all depend if I got an idea for those characters that was interesting and complex enough to write another book.  Also time helps – after three books, I’m ready for something new.  If I had to write a fourth right away, all the characters would die in chapter 1!  I’ve had enough time away from the Study characters plus I sparked on a fun idea.  And let’s face it, my readers begged for more and I can’t say no to my loyal readers.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Thank you for inviting me to your blog!  Also if your readers would like more info about me and my books, I have the first chapter of all my books on my website as well as a number of free short stories they can read (including stories with Yelena, Valek, Ari and Janco).  Here’s the link: http://www.mariavsnyder.com. And my blog is: http://officialmariavsnyder.blogspot.com.

And that’s a wrap. Special thanks to Maria V. Snyder for dropping by and answering so many questions about her series.

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  1. December 21, 2012 at 2:55 pm

    Thanks!
    what a great interview!

  2. December 23, 2012 at 11:32 pm

    Thanks for posting the interview – it looks great 🙂

    • December 24, 2012 at 1:57 am

      Thank you for taking the time to chat with us. Good luck with your future books. Can’t wait to see what you have in stored for us.

  3. Lioness
    December 23, 2012 at 11:40 pm

    That was fun to read 🙂
    Thank you!

  4. December 24, 2012 at 5:32 am

    just finished scent of magic…. just loved it 🙂

  1. December 21, 2012 at 3:33 pm

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