Thursday, December 23, 2010

Cover Model and Cover Art

Yesterday I had a photo shoot.  Yes, me - I'm going to be on the cover of the March 2011 Business Woman magazine (a local Pennsylvania magazine).  A local hair stylist did my hair and makeup.  It took her an hour and a half - the photo shoot lasted half and hour.  LOL - it took more time to make me look decent than to take the pictures!  And it took way more time the night before picking out an outfit.  I don't own any business suits and I try to find fun clothes that have an artistic flair.  I actually ironed for this shoot - something I never do - the cat was fascinated by the squeaky ironing board.

Below is a picture my daughter took last night - my family thought I cleaned up nice ;)  Since I was out and dressed, I went to the mall to buy my last x-mas present.  YAY.  I was in Sears and a very nice man asked me if I was Maria V. Snyder the writer?  He recognized me!  First time I've been recognized in public that wasn't in my home town AND I looked good (unlike being recognized in the grocery store wearing my sweat pants and glasses).  He even gushed - such a nice early x-mas present for me :)

Speaking of cover models...  MIRA INK, the new teen line in the UK has released the cover art for OUTSIDE IN.  Another snazzy cover from my publisher in the UK - just be warned - if you find it posted on other blogs - DON'T read the story synopsis unless you've read INSIDE OUT - otherwise it will spoil the twist in INSIDE OUT.  Both books are coming out in the UK in 2011 - INSIDE OUT on January 1, 2011 and OUTSIDE IN on March 18th, 2011.

What do you think of the cover?  A blogger named Love Fantasy Novels has put up both the USA and UK covers and asked people to vote for their favorite.  If you like to express your opinion and vote go here:


And I also have the Australian cover for INSIDE OUT.  It will be released in Australia in April 2011, with OUTSIDE IN coming out in July 2011.

I really like this one - what do you think??

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Coming full circle!

As you may know, I graduated from Pennsylvania State University (a.k.a. Penn State) with a Bachelors of Science degree in Meteorology (a BS in weather ;>)  One of the classes I took during my four years, was TV Meteorology with teachers Fred Gadomski and Paul Knight.  They also are the hosts of Weather World, along with Dr. Jon Nese.  Weather World does a nightly forecast for Pennsylvania as well as some other cool weather features and interviews.  It's shown on the Pennsylvania Cable Network (PCN) or you can watch it online at:  And if you watch it on Tuesday, December 21, 2010 at 5:30 p.m. Eastern Standard time or later on that day, you'll see an interview with me :)  If you miss it, don't fret - you can watch it here the next day:

My TV meteorology class was...interesting.  I learned the graphics/maps are not really behind you, but on a TV screen off to the side.  You can't wear blue or that part of your body disappears on screen, and the second that camera light turns on your mind goes completely and utterly blank.  (Most on-air weather forecasters ad lib as they go - they know the weather forecast and don't have a script.) Well, my mind went blank, and I couldn't remember the names of states or cities.  At the end of the class, we made a resume tape that we could send to TV stations in hopes that they would hire us.  I enjoyed the class, but forecasting on TV wasn't what I wanted to do.  Occasionally, we'll watch the video for laughs as my children find it quite hilarious.

I recently went back to Penn State to tape an interview with Dr. Nese for Weather World.  He was a Ph.D student while I was there, and way to studious at the time to mingle with us undergraduates.  You may recognize him from his 3 years on The Weather Channel.  The weather station is still located in the top floor of the Walker Building - a nice big area with windows all around so we could see the weather fronts coming in.  It was recently renovated to keep up with the technology.  As soon as I walked into the elevator in the Walker building, the memories just slammed into me.

Back in my day, we had a map wall filled with maps that were printed off these huge printers.  They used purple ink that reeked.  We hung them still damp.  Below is a picture of me and Ed Chiang, another graduate student, but he was cool.  We both wore our Dept. of Meteo sweatshirts and the department wanted to get a picture of us.  I was supposed to look like I was asking Ed to explain some weather detail like we were a couple of weather weenies.  We called the people that would drool over big storms, weather weenies :)  And yes, we all acknowledged the fact we were all weather weenies. In that picture, you can see the map wall behind us.  When friends and family used to ask me what the weather was going to be like the next day or so, I would say, "I don't have my maps."  Of course now the maps are available online.

I also included a picture of the map wall as it looks today - a big difference.  And the other renovations to the weather station looked sleek and modern and comfortable -see picture below.  Me and my meteo friends hung out in the station all the time - we did our homework there, worked the campus weather station there, we goofed off there, we fell asleep on the couches there, we hooked up there  ;>  Let's just say, at that time, there were about 10 female meteo students and 65 males - odds were good for the girls.

Right before I graduated, my good friend Jennifer and I sneaked up on the roof of the Walker building and had a picnic with a bottle of wine.  The classes were hard - all math, science and fluid dynamics - but the people were fun and I had a blast.  When I went back, I watched the students in the station.  They hadn't changed - they still wore their Penn State sweatshirts - a group still sold special Dept. of Meteo T-shirts and hoodies - they still drooled over the weather forecasts - they still mooched food. 

Yep, I had come full circle.  I might miss those days, but I'm happy to be where I am - writing books, hanging with my family, traveling, and not having to mooch food anymore :)  And I still have my curly hair!  It's just not as long (see picture below).

Monday, December 13, 2010

Busy Blog day...just not my blog

I already posted some links, but I wanted to re-post them as there are 4 different blogs where I've been featured or interviewed and 3 of them are holding contests to win a free copy of one of my books :)

An interview and international contest at The Secret Writer:

Interview and contest at The Page Turner's Blog: 

Interview and contest at Between the Covers Blog:

And an interview at Finding Wonderland for their Winter Blog Blast Tour:

Stay tuned... I have another interview and contest coming up.  This time, we're offering all 3 Study books and not the US editions...oh no!  But the Australian editions!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Last minute blogging

It's sort of like last minute shopping - where you rush around and can't find exactly what you were hoping to find.  If only you had planned ahead, or had more time, or could clone yourself...

I keep wanting to post blogs, but I want them to be wonderful, informative, and interesting.  I have pictures from the rest of my European trip, but they require me to re-size them and crop and... So what happens?  I delay and delay posting because the post in my mind has grown into this huge time commitment which would be wonderful, informative, etc... except it ends up being a quick post with links.  

So I'm making my New Year's resolution early - I will blog once a week in 2011 even if it's short and includes links.

A last minute notice about a book signing next week!  On December 17th, I'm going to be at the Penn Presbyterian Medical Center: at 51 North 39th Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104. 215-662-8000. The hospital is hosting a craft/book fair in their Wright/Saunders building on the first floor corridor outside of the cafeteria. I will be selling and signing all my books from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. This event is FREE and OPEN to the public. Feel free to bring your own books (as many as you want) for me to sign! Here's a Campus Map:

Penn Presbyterian is where my father works! So come meet my Dad :)

So here's what I've been doing these last two weeks:
  • I updated my Appearance Page - I have trips to Ohio and Texas planned for March and April!!  I also added a last minute event - for more info go here:
  • Doing interviews for various blogs and providing prizes for various contests.  Here are some links:
  • I attended my first Photoshop computer class - an all day affair, but filled with oodles of info.  It's an amazing program that is another procrastination generator as I play with my new knowledge.
  • I'm hard at work on the new Healer fantasy novel - no title yet, but we're getting close.  The title has to be approved by my editor, her boss, the marketing and PR department - lots of people so many early titles have been knocked out of the running.
  • I did an interview on Weather World at Penn State University's main campus in State College, PA.  The interview will be shown on December 21st over the local TV stations, but if you don't live in PA, don't fret, the interview will be posted online the next day!  I'll post a link next week.  The meteorology department updated the weather station and it looks sleek - with computer monitors instead of the old maps that used to print out of these giant printers.  They'd be damp and the purple ink reeked.  I probably lost a few brain cells sniffing those maps.  Here's a link if you want to see today's show:
  • I'm working on a short story set on the Penn State Campus :)  About a meteorology student who has a run in with a furry co-ed.  Let's just say my recent trip to my Alma mater inspired the setting for the story and keep it at that.
 That's it for this blog.  Let's hope I keep my New Year's promise!