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, Fire Study, Shadow Study, Night Study and Dawn 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 been 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.

However, Maria's meteorological degree did not go to waste, nope, not at all. And to prove it to her she is still fascinated with the weather, she was able to play with the weather while writing her award-winning Glass Series (Storm Glass, Sea Glass, and Spy Glass) about a glass magician who can capture magic inside her glass creations. To research for the Glass books, Maria attended several glass blowing classes. There is no need to worry that she will change careers to glass artist anytime soon. Maria does not possess the hand-eye coordination and would need years of practice to produce a piece worth displaying. However, the whole experience was educational, and she now owns an extensive collection of misshapen paperweights, tumblers, and bowls.

Maria's environmental experience also did not go to waste. Her about the environment comes out in her Insider books (Inside Out and Outside In) comes out in both books. Trella's world is completely contained and they must reuse and recycle everything. One thing they got right in one otherwise messed-up world!

After writing the Insider series of books, Maria decided to write another fantasy series in a new world and featuring a magical healer who can heal others with just a touch. As a mother of two, this idea appealed to Maria as bandages and kisses only go so far. The first Healer book, Touch of Power and the second Scent of Magic won the Golden Leaf award (Yay!). The third, Taste of Darkness was a finalist for the Golden Leaf, but didn't win. However, Maria received the Gold Leaf Hall of Fame Award for winning the Golden Leaf three times. Woo Hoo! As you can guess, Maria was quite excited about that.

Maria finished writing two new series in 2020. She wrote 6 books in 3 years! The Sentinels of the Galaxy, which is a science fiction series, is basically Terracotta Warriors in space. Yes, those Terracotta statues that were discovered in Xi'an, China back in 1974. Maria has been fascinated with them for a long time and thought it'd be fun to write a story of them being discovered on other planets in our galaxy. The first book, Navigating the Stars won the 2019 PRISM Award for best YA SF! Woot! The second book, Chasing the Shadows won two 2020 PRISM Awards for best YA SF and for the Best of the Best. Woot times 2!! Defending the Galaxy is the third and final book, which also won two 2021 PRISM Awards. Woot times...5?

The other series was a fantasy series set on a desert world and is called the Archives of the Invisible Sword. The world is so hot that the inhabitants have to live in vast underground cities. Book 1, The Eyes of Tamburah has won the 2020 PRISM Award for best fantasy (yes, she won 3 PRISMs in 2020 and was quite excited about it). The second book is The City of Zirdai was released in June 2021, and the third and final book, The King of Koraha was released in November 2021.

Between writing her books, Maria has also written several short stories that have been published in a number of anthologies (to learn more click here: Short Stories). Writing for anthologies is a fun challenge and creative break from writing longer stories. Maria never would have considered writing a vampire tale until she was asked to write one for an anthology. Once she learned her vampires could be bad guys (i.e. street punks with their boxers hanging out), she accepted the challenge and wrote one of her favorite short stories. Maria has collected 14 of her published SF & Fantasy short stories for a collection titled, Up to the Challenge. She also wrote two brand new stories for the collection.

Maria's latest release is The Study of Poisons. It's Poison Study from Valek's POV, which has made many of her loyal readers very happy. Maria has lots of fun writing the book and is considering writing more of Valek's story. Time and sales will tell. ;)

As you can see, Maria is a stickler for research. She takes classes and experiences as much as possible so her stories are realistic. She has learned how to ride a horse, pick a lock (shhh...don't tell anyone...okay?), learned how to fence, toured a maximum security prison (scary!), worked with molten glass (very hot!), studied Issinryu Karate and took fencing classes all in the name of research. Of course she isn't all work and no play. Playing volleyball, taking pictures, and reading are her hobbies. Maria just recently started playing the cello again (after a 20 year hiatus). Kitty is not amused and he hides until she's finished practicing. She was into scrapbooking until she fell hopelessly behind. The pile of photos and stickers are all waiting for the scrapbooking fairy to arrive. Uh...if you see this fairy - please tell her Maria is 10 years behind and is really, really, really in need of major help.

Another excuse Maria uses for not writing, besides researching, is traveling. She loves to travel and go on cruises with her family. Her list of destinations grows each year and she never says no to a trip. However, sometimes her trips can be considered research. Maria was super excited to visit the real Terracotta Warriors in Xi'an, China. Currently, Maria has been to all seven continents, and to eighty-four countries.

Maria lives with her family and a black cat name Kitty (a.k.a. Valek the bug assassin!) in Pennsylvania where she is at hard at work on another book and/or short story (yes this is purposely vague - as you can see, Maria is very busy and updating her website takes time).

You can contact Maria at maria AT mariavsnyder DOT com. Maria always says one of the most gratifying aspects of being a published author is hearing from readers, and she prides herself on answering all her emails...eventually (delays can be caused by deadlines, family issues and traveling :)

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