And Maria V. Snyder is back…with a new STUDY book. Can you believe it? It is so good, Valek and Yelena are one of those epic couples that you can’t get enough of – and they are back! With a few new POVs, but they are the major ones. And of course you get to jump all up in Valek’s head.
I had a chance to interview Ms. Snyder…want to take a look at what she had to say? Of course you do.
Thank you so much for submitting to this interrogation Ms. Snyder, I’m very excited to have you back at parajunkee.com and now so close to the release of Shadow Study. I know I am very excited to see Yelena and Valek staring in their own book, how does it feel to bring them back to the center stage?
A: Thanks so much for having me back! When I started writing Shadow Study, it was like hanging out with my old college friends. I’ve been having fun writing their new adventures, but I’m also a bit worried since they are so beloved by my readers, I’d hate to disappoint anyone!
Is it harder to write for older, established characters, or come up with new characters and worlds?
A: It is harder to write for my established characters! I’ve put them through so much and they’ve both grown and changed quite a bit that coming up with new problems and obstacles for them is much harder than starting a new series with new characters.
Is Shadow Study the only book that will feature Yelena and Valek, or will there be more?
A: Oh yes! Night Study (book #5) also features them as well, and Dawn Study (book #6) will, too. When I first returned to writing about Yelena and Valek, I’d figure I’d only have enough for one book, but as I’ve been working on the stories, it’s expanded into multiple books and I’m pretty sure my readers won’t mind a bit ;). I think having multiple POVs has made it easier. If I had to be in Yelena’s head the entire book, I would have had trouble doing more than one.
Other than the new STUDY books, will there be other books set within the world of Ixia and Sitia?
A: There are so many characters who I love that I’m sure to return to the world sometime in the future. No set plans for right now, though. The characters would probably be Reema, Teegan, Heli, Fisk, and Quinn – those five are the next generation.
You have teased that the book is set within Yelena, Valek and Janco’s POVs, shifting back and forth from chapter to chapter, was it good to write from Valek and Janco’s point of views?
A: Teased? Who me? ☺ It was so much fun writing Janco’s POV – he’s just a joy to write. I also enjoyed writing Valek’s POV and getting into his head. Also I do a number of flashbacks to Valek’s past and that was an interesting part of his life to explore. And the school her learned how to be an assassin at ended up helping me with the Study titles. It’s the School of Night and Shadows. As for Dawn Study, I thought after having rather dark titles, I’d end with something lighter.
There is a lot of clamoring around the Book Fan Girl World of Awesome about SHADOW STUDY and how epic it is that there is another book in the STUDY series. The 5-star reviews are flowing in – do reactions like this still get you all excited now that you are such a seasoned writer?
A: I’m glad to hear that! And yes, I still get excited. Every book is different and each once has its…quirks and difficult sections to write. What I worry the most about in a certain book usually ends up being my reader’s favorite part. For example, in Magic Study, I thought my readers would think Kiki, the “talking” horse would be cheesy and childish, but they love Kiki. So I obviously don’t know what’s going to resonate.
Even though we are excited to see favorite characters come back to life in a new book, writing established relationships can also be hard to keep reader’s interest, what do you think is necessary to include in established series books?
A: Conflict is key. Giving the characters hard problems to solve and making it very difficult for them is what I think keeps a reader engaged. I had a hard time with Yelena because of her Soulfinding abilities. She’s pretty powerful, which means not many people or magicians are going to threaten her. So I thought what would really cause her trouble and that was taking away all her magic. I did a similar thing with Opal, but with Opal, she willingly sacrificed her powers for another, while Yelena’s are taken and she wants them back. For Valek, I introduced an assassin who is a young hot shot to threaten his job as Chief of Security for Ixia. Having Valek interact with this assassin also gave me the opportunity to show Valek’s past. Throughout the novel, he’s remembering when he was that young and stupid ☺.
Finally, thank you so much for your frank answers – is there anything else you would like to share with parajunkee.com readers? Events or promotions?
A: You’re welcome! Beside this blog tour, I’m also having a release party at Cupboard Maker Books in Enola, PA on February 28th, starting at 1 pm. I haven’t had a release party since Storm Glass came out in 2009 and we had that one in Los Angeles, CA (Alethea of Read Now Sleep Later hosted ☺). Everyone is invited to Enola – you just need to RSVP by calling 717-732-7288. We’ll have food, cake, prizes, and a dramatic reading at 2:00 pm (I bribed some friends to help me do a stage reading of parts of Shadow Study – should be a blast!). I’m also going to the United Kingdom for a book tour from March 24 to 31! I’m very excited to be returning to London – love that city! And I have a number of other events scheduled that your readers can see at: http://www.mariavsnyder.com/appearances.php
I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Shadow Study by Maria V. SnyderSeries: , Study #4
Published by MIRA on February 24th 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Fiction
Also by this author: Poison Study (Study, #1), Inside Out, Touch of Power
New York Times bestselling author Maria V. Snyder wowed readers with Poison Study, the unforgettable story of poison taster Yelena. Now she's back with a new tale of intrigue.
Once, only her own life hung in the balance.
Oddly enough, when Yelena was a poison taster, her life was simpler. But she'd survived to become a vital part of the balance of power between rival countries Ixia and Sitia. Now she uses her magic to keep the peace in both lands and protect her relationship with Valek.
Suddenly, though, they are beset on all sides by those vying for power through politics and intrigue. Valek's job - and his life - are in danger. As Yelena tries to uncover the scope of these plots, she faces a new challenge: her magic is blocked. She must keep that a secret - or her enemies will discover just how vulnerable she really is - while searching for who or what is responsible for neutralizing her powers.
Yes, the days of tasting poisons were much simpler. And certainly not as dangerous.
10 finished copies of SHADOW STUDY! International
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