Exclusive Blog Interview with International Best Selling Author from The U.S, Maria V. Snyder

International Best-Selling Author from The U.S, Maria V. Snyder visits The Land Down Under!!!! During her visit, Maria spent some exclusive time over a delicious High Tea with Read3r’z Re-Vu… We hope you enjoy the exclusive blog interview Maria did with us!!!

What does the “V” in Maria V. Snyder stand for?
Victoria.

When did you first get inspiration to write?
I was always a big reader and I enjoyed being creative. I danced, acted, painted, etc… When I was working my first job as an environmental meteorologist, I was either crazy busy, or bored. It was during those lulls in work, that I started jotting down story ideas.

What is the title of your debut novel and what inspired you to write this book?
My debut novel is Poison Study. I was reading Orson Scott Card’s book, 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 centers of power.” This comment led me to think about a person who was close enough to the center of power to witness important events, yet not be the Prince or Princess. I thought about a food taster and a scene jumped into my mind. I saw a woman tasting food that was most likely poisoned through the eyes of the King. He watched her with heartbreaking horror because he had fallen in love with her. That led me to wonder about this woman. Who was she? Why was she there? Why would a King fall in love with her? And Poison Study was born.

Have you tried vegemite on toast? Thoughts?
I’ve tried vegemite. A friend of mine sent me a jar of it. I thought it tasted like beef bullion. I’m not a fan.

Where is your favourite place to read?
The beach! I love lounging on my beach chair with my feet in the waves and a book in my hand.


What are your hobbies?
I enjoy taking pictures and traveling. When I’m in a new place, I love to just wander around take photos. I also make jewellery, play volleyball, and love to read.


If you had the chance to have a dinner date with any fictional literary character, who would it be, where would it be and why?
I’d pick Valek. He’s one of my characters and we’d eat Chinese in the worst part of town just so I can watch him protect me from ruffians 😉


A flight from the US to Australia is approx. 20 hours? (How long is it?) What would you normally do on the flight?
It will actually take me a total of 30 hours to travel from my home to Brisbane. The longest of my 3 flights will be the leg from San Francisco to Sydney, which is 15 hours! I love to watch movies, so if the plane has on-demand, I’ll spend most of my time watching movies. If not, I’ll read, play solitaire, do Sudoku puzzles, and sleep! If I have a friendly seat mate, I’ll also chat with him/her.


What’s the craziest gift you’ve ever received from a fan?
My readers have been very generous over the years, but I can’t think of anything really strange. One of the coolest gifts I received was from a reader who had been living in Japan, she brought me Japanese candy, a fan and a really cool print.


Is this your first trip to Australia? If not, which is your favourite place in Australia and what do you love most about the Land Down Under?
This will be my second trip to Australia. On my last trip, I didn’t have that much free time, but I did get to spend some time in Byron Bay and that was gorgeous! The view from the lighthouse was worth the hike. What I like the most about Australia is the people! You are without a doubt, the most friendly, kind and generous people I’ve met, and I’ve been to lots of places.


Which one of your books would you like to see turned into a film adaptation?
I believe that my book, Inside Out would be the best one to turn into a movie. It’s shorter than the others, action-packed and takes place all in one location. I think my fantasy novels would be better as television series. Too bad Hollywood doesn’t agree. At least, not yet.


What is your favourite Aussie Dish?
I don’t know of any – sorry! But I love Tim-Tams and Snickers Pods – we can’t get either in the US so I’m planning on indulging while I’m here!!!


As an author, what was the best piece of advice you were ever given?
Persistence! The advice to keep submitting and writing despite the rejections. Truthfully, I didn’t think it would work, but it did! 

The top 10: This or That

  • Ice cream or Ice Block? Ice Cream
  • Library or Bookstore? Bookstore
  • Chicken or Beef? Beef
  • Winter or Summer? Winter
  • Tea or Coffee? Tea
  • Bungee Jump or Sky Dive? Sky Dive
  • Favourite Chocolate: Lemon crèmes
  • Favourite Colour: Red
  • Ultimate Holiday Destination: Beach
  • Famous last words: No regrets

For great insight into Maria V. Snyder’s books, log onto: Goodreads.com

Thankyou very much Maria V. Snyder for spending your time with Read3r’z Re-Vu!!! It was an honour and pleasure to hang out with you and get to know you better, we hope you will return to Australia one day soon.. thanks for visiting us!!!

-Annie

The Things I didn’t Say by Kylie Fornasier

A powerfully inspiring read!  5 stars!!

I have so many things to say about ‘The things I didn’t say’.

A very thought provoking read about a girl who suffers from a disorder called Selective Mutism (which is very similar to severe social anxiety).

Piper Rhodes’ story is one every reader will take something away from, she has all the same emotions as we would have and she has a boyfriend too… except she has one bigger problem… she can’t talk to him or anyone at her school.

Piper is the kind of character that I didn’t realised just how much I bonded with until the last few chapters when I was struck with the reality that the book was going to end and I would hear no more about Piper’s story.

At one point I was almost in tears as she faced some bullying all because of a lack of awareness and understanding about her disorder (which is a very real issue in the world today and is a much more harmful issue facing teens. I believe the author captured that fact so well in this book) and I was amazement at how Piper handled the bullying.

I loved everything about this book, it was so incredibly deep and I found myself connecting with the characters so effortlessly.

I loved the way piper sits in nature and hears every sound and it had me thinking just how much have I myself forgotten how to listen and appreciate all the natural sounds in the world.

I still have so many things to say about ‘The things I didn’t say.’

– Crystal

Read the book blurb.

The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski

An unforgettable, emotional epic ending

The Winner’s Trilogy # 3 …. 4.5 stars

“There is a difference between you and me. If I die, you’ll survive. If you die, it will destroy me.” -Arin

The Winner’s Kiss combined all the best parts of The Winner’s Curse (book 1) and The Winner’s Crime (book 2); there’s more character development, more tender moments for Arin and Kestrel, more plot twists, tension and strategy games between Herran, Valoria and Dacra. You’ll feel as if you’re reading a chess game, you’ll end up second guessing every choice made by the characters, and you’ll discover that trust is such a delicate, precious commodity in times of love, friendship and war. 

What I loved most about this book is what was left “unsaid”. Much of the feelings and emotions were inferred through simple actions and clipped dialogue between the characters e.g. a nod of acknowledgement, a tender look between characters, gestures of thanks and forgiveness, a sigh of resignation, a meaningful touch, or a perceptive remark. It makes the story heartfelt; the emotions delicate, exquisite and raw. It also added more depth to the characters. There’s not many YA books I would re-read but I would re-read this book as I loved the way it’s written. The Winner’s Trilogy is well worth the investment! Recommended for readers that love political intrigue, plot twists, love, ‘everything hanging on the balance’ moments and character development.

Other great quotes:

“She thought of her past. Her whole life. ‘I want better choices’
‘Then we must make a world that had them.'”

“‘It’s not like you to question someone’s friendship.’…
‘Maybe I should’
‘Maybe it would make you less yourself, if you did'”

“You don’t need to be gifted with a blade. You are your own best weapon.”

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Click here to read the book blurb on Goodreads.

– NJ

Flamecaster by Cinda Williams Chima

Advanced Review Copy – Due release date in Australia: June 2016
5 star epic read

Set in the world of the acclaimed Seven Realms series a generation later, this is a thrilling story of dark magic, chilling threats, and two unforgettable characters walking a knife-sharp line between life and death.

This is was a fantastic read, one of the best advanced review copies I have read in awhile!!! At first it is a little mind boggling given the story has multiple characters and storylines however it pans out smoothly pretty early on and grips you from the first chapter, I read the first 8 chapters in one sitting… The concept of seven realms of wizards and mages where kingdoms are ruled with an iron fist is very creative.. The mystery of the Flamecaster kept me on the edge of my seat and the entire book I had a theory that proved me wrong like a slap in the face with a twist towards the end.. 

Highly recommended to those who love fantasy fiction, multi-realms, magic and mystery.. Many thanks to Harper Collins Publishers for sending me an advanced review copy in exchange for my review.. I’m really looking forward to the sequel..

-Annie

 

A Stolen Kiss by Kelsey Keating

A whimsical fairytale retelling that steals the heart…4.5 stars

“I’m expected to marry a girl I just met and live happily ever after with her. We were supposed to fall in love at first sight, right? But the thing is, I don’t even know if I like her much right now. She attacked me! Look at the bite marks!” 

Reading A Stolen Kiss is like reading a fairytale that broke all the rules; it is vivid, beautiful, thought provoking and unputdownable. Imagine the Prince, Princess, Sorcerer and the Lady’s maid all having multiple dimensions to their personality with weaknesses, self doubt, fears, choices, opinions that’s different to what’s expected in their traditional role in fairytales; where the story turns the traditional tale of “true love’s kiss breaking the swan transformation curse” on its head; the result is a well executed whimsical fairytale retelling with endearing characters. I enjoyed the adventure, character depth/development, magic (an essential ingredient), lots of plot twists and beautiful tender dialogues. This fairytale retelling definitely went above my expectations. It is also empowering to read a fairytale where the characters are self-aware of their role in a traditional fairytale while having choices to be different! Highly recommended for readers of romance, fantasy novels and especially those that like fairytales with a twist.

Other great quotes:

“The one you care for. You don’t care for this version? He’s rather honest, though, isn’t he? Or are his truths like mine—unwanted? You want the pretty package…. the heart of gold. You don’t want the baggage that comes with it.”

“If you focus on your mistakes and your failures, you’ll never grow past them”

“Everyone’s so obsessed with doing the right thing, but if you’re miserable doing it, how can it be the right thing?”

Click here to read the book blurb on Goodreads.

– NJ