Author Appreciation Week is brought to you by Heidi R. Kling, author of Sea!
Today, I'm appreciating
Maria V. Snyder
Author of Poison Study
Spy Glass (coming Sept. 2010)
and the soon-to-be-released YA novel Inside Out (April 2010)
I became obsessed with Maria V. Snyder's Study Series a couple of years ago. I just couldn't stop thinking about them. Her heroine, Yelena, grows and changes so much over the three novels; her strength and tenacity made such a distinct impression on me that I just had to meet the person who thought her up! In April 2009 I finally met her face-to-face when we arranged a book launch party in Los Angeles for one of her novels--her publisher sent her all the way from Pennsylvania! People drove from hours away just to meet her.
Maria as an author is very accessible and as busy as she is, always makes time to correspond and meet with her fans. She has fans all over the world! Her stories are clever and creative. Best of all, I love the world-building and action in her books. She takes time to think about how everything works (from politics to plumbing) and in real life will learn the things she wants to describe in fiction (like fighting with a bo, or glass-blowing--really!).
Maria is a great friend and an awesome author. Long may she write!
Here's what I call my Poison Story, or how I started reading and grew to love Maria V. Snyder's books:
I was trying to put the new books on displays early one Tuesday morning (and I mean early--6 am!) when the phone started ringing. And wouldn't stop. There were all these women calling for a book called Fire Study, that I had never heard of, and that baffled me because I thought I had a pretty good handle on what was popular at my store. I hadn't received any yet (it didn't release officially for another week), so I just started taking down names and numbers, and made promises to call back and hold the book for them when it turned up.
I thought to myself, what's the big deal? By Saturday the books had arrived, I had made the calls, and all but one or two copies of Fire Study were gone. I picked up Poison Study thinking, pretty cover! I read the jacket copy. Poison taster? Sounds intriguing... I bought it and went home intending to read just a few chapters, since I had to be back at the store early the next day. It was already midnight.
By 6:30 am I had read the book. And had started re-reading it. I considered not going to work, but then I couldn't get the sequel! So I went. While I was at it, I picked up the last copy of Fire Study. On Monday morning my husband looked at me as he got ready for work and said, "You're still awake, huh?" I'd been up for over 2 days!
I loved the books so much that I started emailing Maria and was thrilled when she replied back. She had (and still continues) a referral program where if you send 5 friends to tell her that you told them to read the book, she'll send you a signed copy of one of her books. I thought, that's a great idea! I can work with that.
So I told 5 friends, and I didn't ask them just to read the book and refer me so I'd get a free one (I already owned them all)--I asked if they would tell more friends and continue the chain. All in all we ended up causing the sales for hundreds of books (not all of them from my store, but a significant amount was ours) and were able to convince Maria's publisher to send her to Los Angeles for the release of her 4th novel, Storm Glass.
You have no idea how many times in the last 2 years I have gone to the front door of the shop at 9:55 a.m. and seen a person's face pressed up against it, that just the day before said to me: "Nah, I'll just take the first book. I don't need the sequels right away."
I still can't stop telling people about Maria's books. I love her heroines and action-packed stories! I hope she has a long writing career ahead, and many more tales to tell!