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Thursday, January 28, 2016

COGLING Author Interview and Giveaway!

Today I have the pleasure of interviewing author Jordan Elizabeth about her latest YA release COGLING (love the cover!). Jordan emailed me years ago.  She enjoyed my books and she asked me for some writing advice. Over the years, she's been in touch with questions and updates about her writing.  She even invited me to be a guest speaker at her writing critique group in upstate New York!  Needless to say, I was thrilled when Jordan sold her stories and even more honored when she asked me to read COGLING for a cover blurb.  And this is what I said, "Hooked from the very first chapter, I loved this unique tale of adventure filled with engaging characters and non-stop action!"

Jordan is giving away one copy of COGLING.  It's open to ALL - see below for the Rafflecopter to enter the giveaway.

Here's the blurb: When fifteen-year-old Edna Mather tears an expensive and unfamiliar pocket watch off her little brother’s neck, he crumbles into a pile of cogs right before her eyes. Horrified, Edna flees for help, but encounters Ike, a thief who attempts to steal the watch before he realizes what it is: a device to power Coglings—clockwork changelings left in place of stolen children who have been forced to work in factories.

Desperate to rescue her brother, Edna sets off across the kingdom to the hags’ swamp, with Ike in tow. There, they learn Coglings are also replacing nobility so the hags can stage a rebellion and rule over humanity. Edna and Ike must stop the revolt, but the populace believes hags are helpful godmothers and healers. No one wants to believe a lowly servant and a thief, especially when Ike has secrets that label them both as traitors.

Together, Edna and Ike must make the kingdom trust them or stop the hags themselves, even if Ike is forced to embrace his dark heritage and Edna must surrender her family.

Take 10 with Jordan:

1.) COGLING puts a Steampunk twist on the legends of the fay stealing children and leaving changelings behind.  How did you spark on the idea for this?

A local illustrator, Aaron Siddall, and I sat down to plan out this book.  Many of the ideas came from our planning.  He drew the pictures and I wrote the words.  Unfortunately, it turned out that the book was published without his artwork.  [Too bad :(  However, Aaron said I could share a few pictures and here they are!]

Got Her by Aaron Siddall


Foxkin by Aaron Siddall
Aaron's Website

2.) The book has both Steampunk and magic.  Can you explain how you developed the idea to blend the two aspects?

I learned about steampunk while working at a Victorian Fair one summer.  It combined a lot of my favorite things – pocket watches, corsets, long skirts, and high-button boots.  I explored more of the genre and became even more excited.  I knew I wanted my characters to experience that world.

I have always loved magic since my grandmother read to me from a collection of fairy tales.  I have tried to write just fiction, but magic always slips in.  I have given in to my muse and when I brainstorm a novel, I always consider how a little bit of magic will fit in.

3.) What do you love about Edna and Ike?

I love their love.  I didn’t intend for them to form a relationship, but it started to develop during their first meeting.  Most of the scenes I wrote for them that involved tender moments had me smiling at the computer screen.  I also love how they are both strong individuals who will do anything for those who are important to them.

And what do they do that drive you crazy?

Whenever the moment didn’t fit for them to kiss.  Romance always makes me giddy.

4.) I really liked how you had hags and ogres as your antagonists.  How did you decide on their names and abilities?

I have much of that to thank Aaron Siddall for.  It was so much fun imagining what these ogres and hags would be like, and even though so many of them were evil, I wanted some to be good.

5.) Did you have to do any special research for this book?

I did quite a few searches on steampunk costumes.  The costumes are always so beautiful, and I really feel like the clothes make the genre.  I wanted the readers to be able to picture all of that.

6.) The Steampunk genre has created a sub-culture in not only books, but art and cosplay as well.  Do you participate in the Steampunk culture by attending conventions and wearing costumes?

I do wear the costumes, especially to my book signings.  I am a huge fan of costumes.  You should have seen what I wore throughout grade school!

So far I haven’t gotten to a convention, but I hope to make it to one in 2016.

7.) How did you become a writer? Is this what you saw yourself growing up to be? Or did it take you by surprise?

I wanted to be a writer ever since my mother read my first book to me.  My maternal grandmother would write down my made up stories for me from the time when I could first talk until I had my first computer.  I would record the stories into a tape recorder and she would keep playing it back to get it down right.  I had horrible handwriting and her writing was beautiful.  She also spoiled me with books.  Whenever we went to the bookstore, she would get me a stack.  My fondest memories are of curling up in the plush rocking chair in her living room with a book in my hand.  At night, she would read to me from collections of short stories.  She used to do different voices for the characters, and my mom does it too now.

I really wouldn’t be a writer today if it wasn’t for her.  She always believed in me.  She bought me my first computer just for my stories and all subsequent computers except for the one I have now.

I did always want to be a writer.  I also wanted to be a teacher.  I am a teacher now too.  

8.) Do you have a writing routine? Talk process for a moment, how do the words get on the page?

I aim for any free time I can find.  In the past, late morning has been my best time, but my day job gets in the way.  I usually don’t write until pretty late at night.  I try to write at least a chapter a night, depending on how much the day has drained me.

I am not a planning person.  I have a main idea and just go for it.  Sometimes the ending is something I never expected when I started Chapter One.

9.) Office? Closet? Corner of the living room? Do you have a set place to write?

I have to write in my bedroom on a desktop computer with the door shut.  I don’t usually listen to music.  I like it very, very quiet.  Okay, I’m very loud at typing, so it isn’t that quiet!  I have a laptop I take with me on vacation, but I’ve found that I can’t type on it.  The words just won’t flow.  Sometimes I lock the bedroom door to ensure I’m not disturbed.

10.) What are you writing now?  What’s coming out next?

My next book from Curiosity Quills Press is RUNNERS AND RIDERS, a companion to my Treasure Chronicles series.  I also have two young adult novels, GOAT CHILDREN and VICTORIAN, coming out from CHBB in 2016.  I based much of GOAT CHILDREN off my relationship with my grandmother.

Right now I am working on another fantasy-steampunk.  As of right now, it is untitled, but it is about magic in Alaska.  I am collaborating on it with illustrator Aaron Siddall.

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Links!
Website
Facebook
Goodreads
Amazon


Monday, January 25, 2016

NIGHT STUDY's Release!

I've been getting reports from readers in Canada and Australia that they've found copies of NIGHT STUDY!  And my local Barnes & Nobles has copies on the shelf! As it seems to go when my books come out, some stores have the book, but they remain in boxes, while others haven't gotten them yet. Check with your local bookseller before venturing out.

Lots of fun things are going on to celebrate the release.  See below for links and info!

The BLOG TOUR and 10 book give away is on-going - here are this week's stops:


Week Two:
1/25/2016- Seeing Double In NeverlandReview
1/26/2016- Magical Urban Fantasy ReadsExclusive Excerpt
1/27/2016- a GREAT readReview
1/28/2016- Tales of the Ravenous ReaderInterview
1/29/2016- Mundie MomsReview

I'm doing a LIVE CHAT on Tuesday, January 26, 2016 at 6:00 p.m. Pacific Standard Time (PST) in Inkitt's Ask Me Anything. Here's a link: http://www.inkitt.com/ama/mariavsnyder If you can't make the event, you are welcome to submit a question before the event and I will answer it during the event. You can stop by later and read my answer.  

And I'm doing a couple of BOOK SIGNINGS at the following stores:


January 30, 2016  NIGHT STUDY Release Party Cupboard Makers Books http://www.cupboardmaker.com/
(157 N Enola Rd (Routes 11/15), Enola, Pennsylvania, 17025, (717) 732-7288). Book signing, prizes, food, and cats! 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. 


February 6, 2016  Book Signing at Barnes & Noble. (Red Rose Commons, 1700 H Fruitville Pike, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, 17601, (717) 290-8171). From 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. 

You can order a copy of the book here: Amazon

Also the Audio book is now available!  Here's the link: Audible

Monday, January 18, 2016

NIGHT STUDY Blog Tour + Giveaway!

Today the blog tour for NIGHT STUDY kicks off with a bang! Or rather a quiet little assassination... Valek has agreed to do an interview with Dark Faerie Tales - read it here:
http://darkfaerietales.com/blog-tour-giveaway-night-study-maria-snyder.html

Also enter for a chance to WIN 1 of 10 copies of NIGHT STUDY (signed and personalized by you know who).

Here's the rest of the tour stops:

Week One:
1/18/2016- Dark Faerie TalesInterview
1/19/2016- The Bibliophile ChroniclesReview
1/20/2016- Two Chicks on BooksGuest Post
1/21/2016- The Moonlight LibraryReview
1/22/2016- Read Now Sleep LaterInterview

Week Two:
1/25/2016- Seeing Double In NeverlandReview
1/26/2016- Magical Urban Fantasy ReadsExcerpt
1/27/2016- a GREAT readReview
1/28/2016- Tales of the Ravenous ReaderInterview

1/29/2016- Mundie MomsReview

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Recommended Reading Order of the Study Books!


Are they the Study Series or the Glass Series or the Soulfinder Series or perhaps the Chronicles of Ixia??  There's been lots of confusion over the names and lots of questions coming my way over the reading order.  So I'm posting the definitive AUTHOR recommended list of the books and short stories in reading order from first to last (covers are current USA print editions):


POISON STUDY


MAGIC STUDY

 
FIRE STUDY



POWER STUDY (short story - http://www.mariavsnyder.com/powerstudy.php)


STORM GLASS

SEA GLASS

SPY GLASS

ICE STUDY (short story - http://www.mariavsnyder.com/IceStudy.php)

SHADOW STUDY

NIGHT STUDY (January 26, 2016)

DAWN STUDY (forthcoming February 28, 2017)
No cover art yet!

I hope this helps :).

Friday, January 8, 2016

Countdown to Night Study!

NIGHT STUDY will be out in...17 DAYS!!

If you live in the US or Canada.  For those in Australia/New Zealand, the book will be released on 25 January and for those in the UK, the eBook will be out 1 February and the print will follow on 25 February (My UK publisher decided on the 3 week delay not me - just saying :).

There will be a blog tour and giveaways starting on January 18th.  



Here's the info:

Week One:
1/18/2016- Dark Faerie TalesInterview
1/19/2016- The Bibliophile ChroniclesReview
1/20/2016- Two Chicks on BooksGuest Post
1/21/2016- The Moonlight LibraryReview
1/22/2016- Read Now Sleep LaterInterview

Week Two:
1/25/2016- Seeing Double In NeverlandReview
1/26/2016- Magical Urban Fantasy ReadsExcerpt
1/27/2016- a GREAT readReview
1/28/2016- Tales of the Ravenous ReaderInterview1/29/2016- Mundie MomsReview

And I will be at the following events:

January 30, 2016: Release Party Cupboard Makers Books. (157 N Enola Rd (Routes 11/15), Enola, Pennsylvania, 17025, (717) 732-7288). Book signing, prizes, food! 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. 

February 6, 2016:  Book Signing at Barnes & Noble. (Red Rose Commons, 1700 H Fruitville Pike, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, 17601, (717) 290-8171). From 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. 

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Truthwitch Interview and Giveaway!

One of my new year's resolutions is to blog more!  So I'm posting a super fun interview with author Susan Dennard.  Her latest book, TRUTHWITCH is out today!!  I had the pleasure of reading this book a few months ago and loved it.  Susan has also graciously offered to give away one signed copy of her book to a winner living in the USA.  I know my international readers will be disappointed, so I'm offering a copy of her book to one international reader.  See the Rafflecopter below to enter!

Here's the cover copy: On a continent ruled by three empires, some are born with a "witchery," a magical skill that sets them apart from others.

In the Witchlands, there are almost as many types of magic as there are ways to get in trouble--as two desperate young women know all too well.

Safiya is a Truthwitch, able to discern truth from lie. It's a powerful magic that many would kill to have on their side, especially amongst the nobility to which Safi was born. So Safi must keep her gift hidden, lest she be used as a pawn in the struggle between empires.

Iseult, a Threadwitch, can see the invisible ties that bind and entangle the lives around her--but she cannot see the bonds that touch her own heart. Her unlikely friendship with Safi has taken her from life as an outcast into one of of reckless adventure, where she is a cool, wary balance to Safi's hotheaded impulsiveness.

Safi and Iseult just want to be free to live their own lives, but war is coming to the Witchlands. With the help of the cunning Prince Merik (a Windwitch and ship's captain) and the hindrance of a Bloodwitch bent on revenge, the friends must fight emperors, princes, and mercenaries alike, who will stop at nothing to get their hands on a Truthwitch.

Take 10 with Susan Dennard:

1.) TRUTHWITCH is the first book in a new series for you.  How did you spark on the idea for this series?

Truthwitch was one of those interesting collisions of lots of ideas. I had an idea for a book about best friends; I had an idea for a book set in an alternate, fantastical Croatia; I had an idea for character who could see the emotional bonds of people; and I had an idea involving a pirate prince.

Then one day, I discovered a composing duo called Two Steps from Hell. I heard their amazing piece “El Dorado” and BAM! All these disparate ideas crashed together, and the story unfolded from there!

2.) I thought the magic system in the book was very unique and engaging.  Can you explain how you developed the idea of the different types of witches?

It honestly began with a Threadwitch. I heard the word as I was falling asleep one night (isn’t that always how it happens?), and I scribbled it down. The next morning, I spent a while mulling over what a Threadwitch did. What her place in society might be—and who her best friend might be. The magic system and ideas just poured out from there.

Interestingly, though, the elemental divisions came later. My editor suggested it to help keep things organized, and it fit so neatly into the world I’d built (with the Origin Well and empires) that it seemed like it had been meant to be all along!

3.) I really loved the idea of the characters having a Threadsister or Threadbrother, can you explain that relationship?

Threadsisters or Threadbrothers (or Thread-families) are the “family we choose.” They’re the people in our lives that we can’t live without. Who are as close to us as siblings or parents, but who aren’t related to us by blood.

I have so many epic, powerful friendships in my life, and I knew I wanted to include that in a book—especially female friendships.

4.) What do you love about Safiya and Iseult?  And what do they do that drive you crazy?

I love Safiya’s boundless energy. I might’ve borrowed some of that from myself (or I’d like to think I did), but she’s also so reckless—which is something I am not. I’m more like Iseult in that regard: I weigh all sides before I make any decision. Of course, Iseult can drive me crazy too with her tendency to hate on herself. I mean, we all do it, right? But sometimes I just want to shake her and say, “YOU ARE WORTH!” ;)

5.) I read your bio and am dead jealous that you have been to 6 out of the 7 continents (although I have been to China ;) and lived in Europe for awhile.  I also noticed the map of the Witchlands has a vaguely European shape.  How does traveling factor into your writing?

Traveling is one of the biggest source for my ideas. Especially for Truthwitch, which was so deeply inspired by my travels in Croatia. It’s all about feeling a place for me—tasting the air, touching the soil, and experiencing the way a culture intersects with the landscape.

In my first series, I set the books in Philadelphia, Paris, Marseille, and Egypt—and you can bet I went to each location before writing.

6.) Did you have to do any special research for this book?

Oh my gosh, I did so much research! Ha! Just because a book is fantasy doesn’t give me license to write whatever I want. So I took a workshop on ships and seafaring life. I took a workshop on horses. I studied tides and moon cycles. I researched the empires of Europe (and beyond). I traveled. I forced my sensei into weird poses just to see how he would get out of them…

So yes, lots of special research. I’m kind of a glutton for it—I mean, what better way to procrastinate?

7.) How did you become a writer? Is this what you saw yourself  growing up to be? Or did it take you by surprise?

So it’s kind of a funny story, that. As a child, I wanted to be a marine biologist. I spent hours pretending to travel the world in a submarine or building complex underwater labs out Legos.

Then in my tweens, I decided an author I was meant to be! I wrote and wrote and wrote, and then I headed off to university with all these plans of getting some a creative writing degree.

But a single class in marine biology (to fill my science requirement!) hooked me. Hard. I fell deeply in love with ecology and marine conservation, and a few years later, I ended up with a Masters degree in it.

Funnily enough, though, I fell in love with a French guy along the way, and when it came time to move with him to Europe, I couldn’t get a job! I mean, I didn’t speak the language, and we were moving somewhere landlocked. So while I continued to do some freelance ecological modeling for my old school, I also used my spare time to write a book.

And the rest is history!

8.) Do you have a writing routine? Talk process for a moment, how do the words get on the page?

I have a routine, but the outcome of said routine is different every day. I’m such an organic writer—chasing after whatever ideas my muse deigns to provide. Each book has come out differently.

You see, I’m not a “commit 1000 words to paper every day” kind of person. I’m more of a “stay mindfully focused on writing/brainstorming/revising for an hour” writer. I used to try to write 1000 words a day, but after a few years of that, I realized I was scrapping so much of what I forced myself to write each day. So I started trying this new approach of “mindful focus sessions.” After about a year of that, I find it jives much better.

Honestly, I think the key is to just Do The Work, but what qualifies as “work” will vary from writer to writer and book to book.

9.) Office? Closet? Corner of the living room? Do you have a set place to write?

Oh, it’s so bad for my back, but I like to write in bed (when typing). That said, I also write by hand a lot (and revise entirely by hand), so I have a standing desk for that.

If I could write ANYWHERE, though, it’s my childhood bedroom at my parents’ house. Seriously, the instant I’m in there, the creativity just unfurls and the words flow.

10.) What are you writing now?  What’s coming out next?

Right now, I’m working on the sequel to Truthwitch, entitled Windwitch. I won’t lie: it has been a monster! I’ve really stretched my limits with this book, and I’ve had to tackle this Problem Child in ways that I’ve never had to before.

But like I said, every book is different!

Links:
Website: http://susandennard.com/ 
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SusanDennardAuthor/?fref=ts
To Buy: Barnes and NobleBook Depository
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com 

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