My Favorite Things with Maria V. Snyder

They might not be raindrops on roses or whiskers on kittens, but that doesn’t mean that we love them any less. Welcome back to My Favorite Things, the weekly column where we grab someone in speculative circles to gab about the greatest in geek. This week, we sit down with Maria V. Snyder, author of popular Chronicles of Ixia series that debuted in 2005 with Poison Study and concluded this past February with Dawn Study. She’s also the author of the Healer fantasy trilogy, which starts with Touch of Power, and the YA science fiction duology Inside Out and Outside In, which has been collected into the digital-only omnibus Inside.

What does Maria Snyder love when she’s not writing about poison tasters, assassins, magic, or space? Spoiler alert: strong female leads, women of wonder, old school tv, and 88 cups of tea. Curious? Read on for more!

Thanks for inviting me to gush about my favorite speculative things. I try to do this at home, but my kids always seem to have more pressing things to do, like clean their rooms and organize their sock drawers rather than listen to me. 😉

Wonder Woman: Saw the movie and LOVED it. It had it all, girl power, cool fighting scenes that didn’t make me roll my eyes about how implausible they were, and great supporting characters. Steve! Finally, after a million male-dominated superhero movies, there’s a movie about a young woman who can kick ass.

Let me give you a little back story that will unfortunately reveal my age. Back in 1975, I watched and loved the Wonder Woman TV show with Lynda Carter.  In fact, my cousins and I used to pretend to be the characters and make up adventures. No, I wasn’t Wonder Woman, my cousin Danny took that role and I was Steve.  I always wondered why he wanted to be WW, but now I finally get it — he didn’t want to be rescued — he’d rather do the rescuing. Which makes sense because he’s now a police officer! And I didn’t mind being Steve, I was a bit…cough…of a tomboy back then and it was better than being Gilligan (read more about that later).

Back then, I was also loving Charlie’s Angels and Scarecrow and Mrs. King, shows that portrayed woman as smart and capable of taking care of themselves and others.  It was during my early teen years and those shows gave me the courage to forge my own path.

A Promise of Fire, by Amanda Bouchet: This is one of my favorite books right now! I would have never known about it except the owner of Cupboard Maker Books, an independent bookstore, handed it to me as soon as I walked in the door. Michelle said, “You’re gonna love this.” It was an ARC and on the cover was a woman with a sword and fire in the palm of her hand. Now, I love strong female protagonists, but sometimes they can be too stubborn. On my own, I probably wouldn’t have read it, BUT because Michelle knows what books I enjoy, I trusted her. And she was so right!

The fantasy setting with magic and Greek gods are all familiar, but I really enjoyed the characters and their interactions. This book is equal parts fantasy and romance. And it reminds me a little of my novel, Touch of Power, because the main female protagonist is not with the group because she wants to be. She’s been coerced. However, despite being pissed off at them, she still protects them and will sacrifice herself for them. Eventually she understands what they’re trying to accomplish and has to decide if she wants to be a part of it.

88 Cups of Tea Podcasts: This is from the website,

“88 Cups of Tea is a podcast produced and hosted by me, Yin Chang, that features kick-ass creative souls. I connect with inspiring guests to empower the heck out of your writing aspirations.”

Many of her guest are speculative fiction writers, like V.E. Schwab, Melissa De La Cruz, Kiersten White, and Beth Revis to name a few! The episodes focus on the authors, their writing process, and advice for other writers. She’ll post about her next guest and then will ask the author questions from her listeners, who she calls the Tribe.  The episodes are long, but worth the time.

Favorite Non Speculative Thing: Gilligan’s Island! Now this goes way back as well. However, I was invited to write for an anthology called TV Gods. The premise was writing a parody of a well known TV series using either Greek or Roman gods as the main characters. I immediately choose Gilligan’s Island because I loved that show. This time it was me and the neighborhood kids that acted out the show in my friend’s backyard. I always ended up playing Gilligan. I even received a white sailor’s hat for Christmas one year from my parents. I think everyone was trying to tell me something…probably that I was a goofy kid! 😉

In order to write this short story, I had to watch lots of old episodes of Gilligan’s Island. I was a little worried at first: would my adult self still find the show amusing? Plus I’ve always been a little embarrassed that I loved the show so much. But guess what? Despite how implausible the situation was, it’s still funny. There are some great lines — lines I couldn’t appreciate back when I was a kid, but now that I’m an author — they’re genius!

Meteorologist turned novelist, Maria Snyder’s been writing fantasy and science fiction stories since she was bored at work and needed something creative to do (shhh…don’t tell!). Fifteen novels and numerous short stories later, Maria’s learned a thing or three about writing. She’s been on the New York Times bestseller list, won a half-dozen awards, and has earned her Masters of Arts degree in Writing from Seton Hill University where she’s been happily teaching and mentoring students in the MFA program. You can learn more about Maria and her work at her website,

1 Comment

  • Heidi Ruby Miller September 22, 2017 at 12:37 pm

    Definitely going to check out 88 Cups of Tea, Maria. You had me at tea, but all the writerly stuff makes it even more appealing. Thank you for sharing, and a big thanks to Speculative Chic for bringing you to us!


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