Reincarnated as YA

This month my first two fantasy books, Poison Study and Magic Study are being re-released as Young Adult (YA) books with new cover art – which is the third cover design for them. (Long story – you can read all about it on December 8th on Harlequin’s paranormal blog  You can see all my various covers here:

Why YA?  Good question! I wish I had a good answer! One reason could be the YA market is doing rather well and editors and publishers are looking for fiction aimed at YA readers. Or because my books have a young female protagonist – she’s around 19 at the start of Poison Study.  Or because I already have a strong YA following.  Or because Harlequin is planning to launch a new YA imprint with original books in the fall of 2009, and they’re testing the YA market with a few re-issues.  Pick a card, throw the dice – it could be all of those reasons or none.  Publishing is a…strange beast :)

Despite the reasons – I’m thrilled.  Much to my delighted surprise, I really enjoy interacting with young adults.  I’ve been invited in to a few middle schools and high schools and always have a blast.

I usually do a presentation on how a book goes from a typed manuscript to a finished book.  Recently, I talked to a bunch of 9th graders (ages 14 & 15), and they all wrote me a thank you letter. Those hundred plus letters are now a treasured part of my writing career.  And I’d like to share a few quotes with you (without editing).

About me and my presentation:

 “Usually when authors come into school, their book talks are boring.  When you came in it was fun and exciting.”

 “I learned many new tidbits from your presentation, and I’m sure you learned a lot about ninth grade students.”  

 “At your visit, you thought me that it is not boring to be a writer.”

Don’t worry; my ego didn’t get too big:

 “It made me so happy because you got us out of reading Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and the worksheets on the story.”

 “I am writing a thankyou letter to you because I have to according to Miss G, and its for a grade.”

 “Mrs. Snyder I hope I get a chance to see you again. So we can goof off in another class.”

Comments on the revisions:

 “You showed us the steps in getting a book published, which made me never want to write a book in my whole entire life, not even for $1,000.”

 “Learning that taking the time to publish it seems so tiring. I thought you just turned in a bunch of papers in and a few weeks later – POOF – your published book is on the shelves of bookstores.”


 “The publishing thing would drive me crazy because I’m really inpatient and all the rejections would have made me really mad.”

 “I didn’t know authors got rejected that much.  People must be really strong to keep on trying.”

Hands on research:

 “It has to be awesome to get a chance to experience all the things you write about in your books. Adventures are sweet!”

 “The way you learned about things you put in your book, like the long sword. Also the horses, and the lock picking. I had always wanted to learn how to pick a lock.” 

Cover art:

 “Also, I hate the fact that you have no say in the covers. Like, what if they put a woman being beaten to death on the cover? Only perverted guys would buy that, am I right?”

 “I also remember you cant choose what your book cover looks like, and it seems like a total bummer, you should be able to choose, I mean its your creation right.”


 “By the way, I had no clue someone could have such a boring job just sitting there and finding grammar mistakes.  Where is the social life!”

“Yours is just good, because some books put stupid words in ‘em that I don’t understand and it drives me crazy because I need an adult for some of those words! I can understand your book though.”

Some students were inspired:

 “By the way, you have inspired me to write a book I am currently 18 pages into it.”

 “I would probably be a famous author if I wrote about my life!”

They also sent me some ideas:

 “You would be able to write a very good horror book. I also think that you could write some good books about vampires, werewolves, and zombies. Those would be some good books from you; you could also make them really interesting.  I would buy those books if you came out with books like that.”

 “One more thing here is a good idea for a book. A girl is running in the forest….., and I think you could write the rest of the story yourself because you are a genius.”

I always hand out bookmarks and postcards:

 “I was so happy that you gave us a signed autograph postcard thing. And I promise, I won’t sell it on Ebay once you get famous.”

And finally, my favorite quote:

 “Anybody can be a writer, but it takes an author to get published.”

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There are 4 comments. Get the RSS feed for comments on this entry.

  1. 1. Rene

    Those are great! Thanks for sharing them.

  2. 2. amy

    Oh, that was just priceless. It makes me miss teaching high school (almost).

    Thanks for sharing!

  3. 3. Simon Haynes

    I’ve done a fair number of school visits now, and I really enjoy talking to kids of all ages. The only thing they’re worried about is whether you’re going to be more boring than their regular lesson, so if you’re even the slightest bit more interesting you’ll win them over.

    I talk about writing, some of the hair-raising things I got up to at their age, pass around a few items like old photos & a jar containing a 1″ thorn I carried in my leg for nearly 2 years, that kind of thing.


  1. Carpe Diem | Literary Escapism

Author Information

Maria V. Snyder

Maria V. Snyder has been writing fiction and nonfiction since 1995. She has published numerous freelance articles in magazines and newspapers. Her first published novel, Poison Study appeared on the shelves in 2005, and chronicles Yelena’s challenges in surviving her dangerous job as a food taster. Magic Study follows with Yelena’s efforts to learn about her magic while searching for a rogue magician turned serial killer. Fire Study chronicles Yelena's adventures with a Fire Warper and was released in March 2008. Born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Maria earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Meteorology at Penn State University. Much to Maria’s chagrin, forecasting the weather wasn’t one of her skills. Writing, however, proved to be more enjoyable and Maria earned a Master of Arts degree in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University. As part of her research for her Study novels, Maria signed up for a glass blowing class to learn how to shape molten glass. The first thing she learned is it is considerably harder to sculpt glass than it looks. Maria now has an extensive collection of misshapened paperweights, tumblers, and bowls. When she’s not traveling, Maria lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, son, daughter and yellow Lab. She is working on her next MIRA novel, Storm Glass, due out Spring 2009. Readers are welcome to contact Maria by e-mail at, or they can find more information on her Web site at Visit site.



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