Interview with Maria V. Snyder: Inside Out

As part of a blog tour, I am really pleased to welcome Maria V. Snyder to Magic Bean Review, with questions about her new book, Inside Out..

  • Hi Maria! I’ve read Poison Study before, and completely enjoyed it, and I am really enjoying Inside Out as well, but where do you get your source of inspiration? Landscape, items, other people? How do your book materialise, basically?

I get my inspiration from a variety of sources.  Movies, TV, books, newspapers, magazines, my children, my husband, and travelling are all fodder for my imagination. The idea to use a food taster as the main character for Poison Study sparked from reading Orson Scott Card’s How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy.  In chapter 3, Card tells the writer to consider some questions before choosing the main character. He wrote, “Too often—particularly in medieval fantasy—writers think their story must be about rulers. Kings and queens, dukes and duchesses—they can be extravagantly powerful, yes, but too often they aren’t free at all. If you understand the workings of power in human societies, you’ll know that the greatest freedom to act in unpredictable ways is usually found away from the centres of power.”  From this I thought of a food taster 🙂

For Inside Out, I dreamt the idea, including plot, characters, the Pop Cops, the society, and even the twists! I’ve never had a dream like that before or since, and I’ve been wracking my brain to remember what I had for dinner that night 🙂

  • There are a lot of books about the future around, and the ones I have read have always astounded me in the way they have interpreted the current crisis’, and made the novel really realistic in that way. Why did you choose to write a book about the future?

Who says it’s about the future? 🙂  It could be set in the present and we may have visitors in our future.  It could be set in our past – did you ever wonder what sparked the whole Industrial Revolution??  In any case, the book choose me.  After that dream, I just had to write it 🙂


  • Do you think your interpretation of what could happen become true, or is there a book you’ve read which has a future you think might actually happen?

The whole “we’ve destroyed our world and must seek out a new one” concept isn’t new. It is one of those science fiction conventions that are popular in that genre.  As I said in the last question, I don’t necessarily see the story as our future.  However, I haven’t read anything that I thought would happen.  The future is so hard to predict, and I don’t feel qualified to even make a guess!

  • Out of the future novels I have read, I always have thought: How did they think of this? and it is true with your book too. How did you go about thinking of a possible future?

I have written a few science fiction short stories of the near future.  In those stories, there was a trend in today’s world that triggered an idea.  For example, in my short story Welcome.  It’s set about 40 years into the future and it is set in a school. Except they’re called learning homes and the ratio of teachers to kids is very high.  Between the recent craze of school shootings and parents who have no interest in raising their own children, I thought of a future where the government has taken over the parenting role as well as the kids’ education.  If anyone would like to read this story, it’s up on my website along with some of my other short stories at:

  • What are your plans for the future?

I hope to keep writing and travelling as long as I’m able 🙂  I have a pretty busy schedule of events this year and I list them on the website on the Appearances pages (which I need to update!).

  • Thanks for answering my questions! Before you go, can you tell me what have you been working on recently?

Thank you for inviting me to your blog!

Right now I’m working on another fantasy novel about a healer set in a world that is recovering from a deadly plague. Her world has blamed the plague on the healers and has hunted them down.  She is finally caught only to be rescued by a group who wants her to heal their Prince.  The group’s leader, Kerrick, knows the healers aren’t to blame for the plague and that she could do some good for a change instead of hiding. Unfortunately, she believes this Prince is the one who started the plague as an attempt at biological warfare so she isn’t risking her life for some pampered Prince. As they travel to the Prince’s hidden location, they’re pursued by others who have realized having a healer around might just be a good thing for them, but not necessarily for her.   This book is set for a January 2012 release in the US.

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 the short stories I mentioned.  I also have a page full of writing advice for any aspiring writers out there 🙂  Here’s the link: And my blog is:

Thanks Maria! Inside Out came out on 1st January 2011, and Outside In, the partner novel, is out April 2011, both from MIRA books.


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