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  • Review: The Conspiration of the Universe by Kenneth Olanday

Saturday, June 4, 2011

[Dystopian Domination] Day 14: Interview with Maria Snyder + Giveaway!

* This is not a repost!

I'd like to officially welcome the lovely Maria Snyder to our blog!

I have recently read her book, Inside Out, which is the first book in the Insider series and I absolutely loved it! Now we are hosting Maria on Amaterasu Reads as part of our Dystopian Domination and she will answer a few questions about her Insider series, and talk about them more!


Book summary (Twitter version)! Can you give us a summary of Inside Out in 140 characters or less?

Trella reluctantly gets involved with an illegal search for a Gateway to the Outside. Trouble, deception and life changing danger ensues. (137 characters with spaces!).

This is an unusual question (I think), but if you were asked to blurb your own book (either Inside Out or Outside In), what would you say about it?

You’re evil – you know that, don’t you? J I always have a hard time writing blurbs for others! Okay – I’m not one to back down from a challenge.
INSIDE OUT – Maria V. Snyder takes the dystopian genre and turns it inside out with a unique and chilling tale of Trella’s search for Gateway and escape from her enclosed world.
OUTSIDE IN – Another page turner that will leave you gasping for breath. More trouble follows Trella and, this time, she has no place to hide. A must read!
How’s that? Sounds like shameless self promoting to me, but YOU asked the question J

If Trella and Riley were to live in the same world we are in right now, how do you think they'll survive?

I think they will need some time to adjust to the vastness of our world, but both would be able to adapt. Trella would love to explore our world – I see her camping and hiking and climbing mountains. Riley, would be content to work and stay in one place, but he’d happily tag along on Trella’s adventures, protecting her back.

Are there any plans of writing/adding a third book in the Inside series? (I hope it’s not obvious that I am begging for a third book!)

Right now there are no plans for a third book. Sorry! However, I won’t say “never” as there is plenty of potential problems in this world.

Your other series, Study, is a mix of magic and fantasy. What made you decide to write a dystopia series like Inside?

I didn’t really decide (see the answer below for more on this). With INSIDE OUT, I dreamt the story, the world, the characters, and even the twists and surprises all in one long dream. While it’s a departure from my fantasy stories, I’ve always enjoyed reading science fiction and have written a number of SF short stories. It was fun to dabble in another genre and a creative challenge, which I think is important for authors.

Did you intend to write Inside w/ a specific genre in mind? And why dystopia?

I’d no idea the story I was writing about Trella and her world was a dystopia. I started writing INSIDE OUT back in 2006 and finished it in 2008. When I handed in the story to my editor, she asked me if I had read the recently released THE HUNGER GAMES. She said, “It’s also a dystopian.”

Dystopian? Really? My story is a dystopian? Time for a confession – at that time, I didn’t know what a dystopia was – I had to look it up in the dictionary (shhh…don’t tell). And I read the THE HUNGER GAMES – enjoyed it – and had to agree that, yes, INSIDE OUT is a dystopian novel. Wow.

So you’re thinking an author shouldn’t be surprised about their own novel, right? Guess not. When writing, my focus is always, always, always, on the characters – their problems, their fears, their hopes and desires. The world and setting details are the stage for them to perform.

Lastly, any thoughts on the sudden rise in popularity of books in the dystopia genre? Having written a book that falls in the said genre, can you share us your thoughts about it?

I agree that dystopia is popular right now, and I think there are many reasons for this trend. One, because there have been a number of great books released in the last few years and readers are clamoring for more. Two, the current global economy is rather glum and it's all over the news. These books portraying horrible societies gives readers a sense that compared to say THE HUNGER GAMES, things aren't THAT bad. Third it could also be a generational feel since the main characters in these books change their world and teens are constantly being told they're the future and they CAN change the world. Plus these characters are strong survivors and proactive – they're great role models, making the best of the worst situations.

And I would like to comment that I finished INSIDE OUT well before the dystopian genre became popular. And I'm sure other authors of this genre have as well and I think it's interesting how these ideas form in many writers around the same time. It's not like we all rush to write a dystopia because it's popular (some do – but it’s probably because they are inspired by the genre). Many writers have already finished the story and it's either been sitting in their drawer or making the rounds of editors.


Thank you so much for inviting me to your event! 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. I also have a page full of writing advice for any aspiring writers out there :) Here’s the link: And my blog is:

Maria V. Snyder switched careers from meteorologist to novelist when she began writing the New York Times best-selling Study Series (POISON STUDY, MAGIC STUDY and FIRE STUDY) about a young woman who becomes a poison taster. Born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, Maria dreamed of chasing tornados and even earned a Bachelors of Science degree in Meteorology from Pennsylvania State University. Unfortunately, she lacked the necessary forecasting skills. So she worked as an environmental meteorologist until boredom and children drove her to write down the stories that have swirling around in her head. Writing, proved to be more enjoyable than meteorology, and Maria returned to school to earn a Master of Arts degree in fiction writing from Seton Hill University. Unable to part company with Seton Hill and its wonderful writing program, Maria is currently a teacher and mentor for the MFA program.


Maria is so generous that she is giving 2 SIGNED, FINISHED COPIES OF INSIDE OUT!


Must be a follower
Comment with your e-mail address
Leave a MEANINGFUL comment on this interview
ENDS June 15, 2011

Extra entries:
(not required)

+2 Comment on my review HERE
+2 Follow Fragments of Life
+2 Spread the word: twitter, sidebar, tumblr, etc.
+3 blog about it
+3 post our Dystopian Domination button on your blog and link back

* If you have entered in our other Maria Snyder post where I featured Inside Out and Outside In, you can STILL enter here. Just leave a MEANINGFUL comment on this interview and tell me that you have already entered on our other post. You will get an extra point if you leave a comment here! Also, I extended the contest deadline from June 10 to 15!


  1. wow, Maria V. Snyder not knowing (before) what dystopia means? kinda ironic :)

    +2 Comment on my review HERE.
    +2 Follow Fragments of Life
    +2 Spread the word: twitter!/lakwatchera/status/77522962340786176
    +3 post our Dystopian Domination button on your blog and link back

    I also joined the other post/giveaway. Thanks!

  2. Harlequin Teen - PLEASE- I would love a 3rd book and would be first in line to buy it! I am so bummed that there's not 3rd book lined up yet....

    I love Inside Out and am such a huge fan of Maria V. Snyder! I would seriously be beyond thrilled if I won a signed copy of Inside Out! Thanks for this awesome giveaway!

    TaraTagli at gmail dot com

    I'm a follower

    +2 Tweeted !!/TaraLin/status/77543286977474561

  3. I love Maria V. Snyder's books. One of my favorite books that I have EVER read is Poison Study. I've read that book so many times that I lost count. I love all of her series out and I can't wait to read her new series about the healer when it comes out.

  4. From, Hannah A W

    It's no hidden fact that Maria V Snyder is my favorite author of all time! I think my friends gets tired of me ranting about her books :) Always in a good way ;) {unless I'm mad about something the characters did!!) So I'd luurve a signed copy of the book! Oh, and don't worry Maria! I didn't know what dystopian meant untell... now :D I'm a follower on twitter?

  5. I fell in love with M.V. Snyder's Study series. I also believe there are many reasons why dystopia is so popular in the market recently. It's a great concept to explore and has an infinite amount of ways to be perceived.

    +2 Tweeted:!/Lilixtreme/status/79619967363977216
    +2 Follower of Fragment of Life


  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. I can't believe there will not be a third book in the series. That's so sad. And I admit I didn't know about the dystopian genre until recently, but I am hooked on it now!

    I entered the other contest too. Thanks for the giveaway!

    GFC Follower
    +2 Commented on the review
    +2 Follow Fragments of Life
    +2 Tweeted:!/un3xpectedfate/status/80455463434584065


  8. Thanks for the review, this book sounds very interesting! I didn't even know that there was a rumoured female pope. And hey, try Godiva, if you like historical fiction you will love this one!
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