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Ask Maria > Inspiration for Characters

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message 1: by Suzy (new)

Suzy | 7 comments Hi Maria,

What were your inspirations for your characters in the Study Series? Do you see things in everyday society that sparks interest? Did you see a need for powerful, smart female main character in books?

Thank you!


message 2: by Jane (new)

Jane (janeg) | 123 comments Mod
Running on a similar topic, I was wondering if there were times where you've seen something-- anything random that sparked an idea? For instance: one of my favorite Fantasy artists, Brian Froud, was walking one day and saw a large bunch of twigs and leaves bound up in cobwebs; this became a sort of round mummy bound creature with lobster looking arms.


message 3: by Kristen (new)

Kristen Harvey | 511 comments Is Yelena based a little off of yourself or a close friend? How do you chose the attributes and personality traits of each character?


message 4: by Maria (new)

Maria V. Snyder (maria_v_snyder) | 186 comments Arghhhhhh! I just typed out a comment - a long comment and I hit the wrong button and it was eaten! I'll try and re-do.

I like reading about strong female characters - and I think they're becoming more popular. My early influences with them goes all the way back to the old TV show The Avengers - with Emma Peel and with Daphne and Velma on Scooby Doo. And Charlie's Angels - I loved that show!

Buffy the Vampire slayer has made strong women more popular and I would love Joss Whedon to make a TV series out of the Study Books! There's not enough time in a movie.

I think there is some of me in Yelena and a part of me in each of my characters - all their thoughts and emotions and actions are filtered through me as I write - and while I'm not as horrible as Reyad or Ferde - I have to imagine being them in order to write those scenes.

For me, everything I see and do, all the people I talk to, and everything I read is all fodder for my imagination. I think my subconscious stores all of it and it ferments. Then when I'm writing, ideas and characters bubble up from my subconscious :)

I think that answers your questions - If not, let me know :)

Maria


message 5: by Jen (new)

Jen | 38 comments I love the strong female characters, too. Wonderwoman, Charlie's Angels, and Daphne and Velma are definitely among the chosen of my youth! :) And I tend to pick strong female characters now - and encourage my students to write with strong female characters. Unfortunately so many of them get caught up in writing love poems about loving someone from afar... Sigh. :)

Jen


message 6: by Alethea (new)

Alethea A (frootjoos) | 481 comments Mod
Lol, Jen! What age are your students? I think they might need a dose of Poison Study...

I'm reading a strong female character right now: Dagny Taggart of Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged. Rand's writing is great or I wouldn't labor through 1200 pages for anyone even a shade weaker than Dagny.

Yelena is the reason I picked up all three books and ran through them in 2 days! I'm seeing the strong female a lot more nowadays, especially in YA. Perhaps it's a Twilight backlash on the parts of the authors? Or maybe Twilight came after and the girls were sick of being strong, just wanted to be taken care of for a change ;-)


message 7: by Raissa (new)

Raissa | 8 comments Well, in a loot of young adult books, there are strong female leads and characters, as well as in adult books. Such as the Wild magic series by Tamora Pierce and many of her other books, The Dark Jewels Trilogy, and Silver wolf. All of these came before Twilight and Poison study.


message 8: by Amber (new)

Amber | 6 comments I luv Tamora Pierce's work...i've read all her books and would deffinently reccomend them to others for fun reading! Way better than twilight!


message 9: by Maria (new)

Maria V. Snyder (maria_v_snyder) | 186 comments I have to read Tamora Pierce! I've gotten countless emails from readers who mention her. But she has a ton of books out!

What is the best one to start with?

Maria


message 10: by Amber (last edited Nov 26, 2008 06:19PM) (new)

Amber | 6 comments well I read The Song of The Lioness... first. All the other books kind if lean on that quarlet. After that you can pretty much pick and choose from her other series. My personal favorite was The Protector of the Small quarlet--but it only makes sense if the Lioness books are read first (which i've read so many times their memorized!) a friend mentioned the author and I couldn't stop reading about the lives of her courageous female characters--finished all the books in one summer!

Amber S.




message 11: by Lexie (new)

Lexie (poisonedrationality) | 172 comments I like the Lioness Quartet too, though I'm more partial towards the Magic Circle Books (there's now...10 in total between the two quartets, sequel and prequel novels).

My sister recommends the 'Protector of the Small' quartet. I liked the first two books, but the last two were just okay for me.


message 12: by Jen (new)

Jen | 38 comments I like the Trickster duo - it's how i found Tamora Pierce - and yes, you really should read about her - the Trickster duo talks all about a girl who's abducted! :)

I should read the others - don't know where to start, though. :)

Jen


message 13: by Maria (new)

Maria V. Snyder (maria_v_snyder) | 186 comments Thanks for the advice. I think I'll ask for the Lioness Quartet for X-mas :)

Jen - it sound like the quartet is the place to start :)


message 14: by Jane (new)

Jane (janeg) | 123 comments Mod
Hi Maria! I've never thanked you for answering all our questions. I've been MIA the past few months :(

I wish Joss Whedon would take on your books. I wonder if we can get his attention for something like this. I'd watch a Poison Study miniseries just because it's Poison Study--but add Joss Whedon... I'm simply glowing with excitement at the idea. I think I'm going to make a shirt that says 'Yelena is the new Buffy'.


message 15: by Crystal (new)

Crystal | 5 comments So would that make Valek the new Angel? LOL, Joss Whedon is amazing! I think that's a great idea, so who would you have play Yelena?


message 16: by Maria (new)

Maria V. Snyder (maria_v_snyder) | 186 comments LOL - I like the T-shirt idea. And anyone who knows Joss, please buy him a set of books and I'll reimburse you!!

Actually - if you hold off for a couple weeks - I want to do a blog where I post three possible actors for each character and let readers vote! I'm going to try and do it here as well as my Myspace blog and just add all the votes together. I'm thinking the best time would be after the holidays - I'm already far behind - I had friend requests from 12 days ago - yikes!




message 17: by Alethea (new)

Alethea A (frootjoos) | 481 comments Mod
We have this thread too: Fun stuff--that Tina started, with some of our casting ideas!


message 18: by Sanzida (last edited Dec 21, 2008 06:26AM) (new)

Sanzida | 15 comments MVS: I wanted to ask you if a hard cover US version is coming out from the LUNA publishers for Fire Study? I have a penchant for hardcover books...

On a smaller note, SSSSSSSSSSSOOOOOOOOOOOO glad to ahve found this site...I am trying to get my friends to read the series, but with college apps due REAL soon, none are interested. Two are reading it, but are not as die hard fans as I am. I have been dying to talk to people about the books.


message 19: by Sanzida (new)

Sanzida | 15 comments I might be a little older than many of your fans, but I still LOVE the books. First good read in like three years.



message 20: by Alethea (new)

Alethea A (frootjoos) | 481 comments Mod
Sanzida wrote: "I might be a little older than many of your fans, but I still LOVE the books. First good read in like three years.
"


Dunno, Sanzida! I'm 30--and have talked quite a few people of every imaginable demographic to read these books! Anyway if you're looking for die-hard fans, you came to the right place. A day doesn't go by without a Study-related reference or conversation (at least where Jane and I are concerned!)


message 21: by Maria (new)

Maria V. Snyder (maria_v_snyder) | 186 comments The Study books were first published as adult titles - so no one is too old :) In fact, a 81 year old lady emailed me about how much she enjoyed the books (right after my sister told me that "older" people don't read fantasy - yes, I forwarded the email onto my sister - lol)

On the flip side - I've also had a few 9 year olds email me :) and come to my booksignings - so cute!!

Sanzida,
Unfortunately, Fire Study will only be coming out as a trade sized paperback..... I know - I know - you're not the first nor will be the last who is not happy about this - I have no control - it was the publisher's decision.

I'm lobbying for a limited edition hardcover, but, so far, no interest from my publisher and they won't sell the hardcover rights back to me. I'll keep you posted.

And I'm glad you enjoyed the books - always nice to hear...er...read :)


message 22: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 175 comments Jane wrote: "Running on a similar topic, I was wondering if there were times where you've seen something-- anything random that sparked an idea? For instance: one of my favorite Fantasy artists, [a:Brian Froud..."

Or how about how Tolkien coined the word "Hobbit"!!!
I love how some authors discover their characters. :)


message 23: by Meme (new)

Meme (mstylp) | 519 comments Alethea wrote: "Sanzida wrote: "I might be a little older than many of your fans, but I still LOVE the books. First good read in like three years.
"

Dunno, Sanzida! I'm 30--and have talked quite a few people of e..."


Yes definitely a die hard fan lol, I have drove many people crazy talking about this book. hmmmm what will I do if it comes out in hard cover? must make room on shelf hehe even though I have them in e book format and in regular books hehe you can never have to many :)




message 24: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 175 comments Alethea- oh yeah I would make plenty of space for hardbacks! I love them! And regular books are much better than e-books, in my opinion.


message 25: by Meme (new)

Meme (mstylp) | 519 comments I have to say that I am pretty taken with my ebook (for the reason that I can take up to 160 books no matter where I am going LOL) but I love regular ones just as much HEHE, just ask hubby he keeps tripping over them. :)


message 26: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 175 comments Yeah, that is really convenient, but do you read al 160 at the same time? :D
I dunno, I just really enjoy the feel and smell of paper!


message 27: by Meme (new)

Meme (mstylp) | 519 comments I am a very weird person as long as I have something to read, and yes I do jump from book to book a lot, I am a very happy person so I like both of them, I do love the feel and smell of a new book that is why I buy both :)


message 28: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 175 comments Haha that's crazy that you buy both. Book sellers must love you!


message 29: by Kristen (new)

Kristen Harvey | 511 comments Do your eyes get tired though, Meme, when you read for a long time through ebooks? I feel bleary eyed more so when staring at a computer like screen then reading a book.


message 30: by Meme (new)

Meme (mstylp) | 519 comments yes they do LOL sometimes I buy both in the same books other times I will buy it in one or the other, like my study books I have in both and my sisterhood series by fern micheles I love them also have you read them?


message 31: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 175 comments I have not read the sisterhood series. Are they any good?


message 32: by Kristen (new)

Kristen Harvey | 511 comments I haven't read those! What are they about Meme?


message 33: by Meme (new)

Meme (mstylp) | 519 comments Oh the sisterhood is great you can never go wrong when a woman is righting a wrong so just take that and add six women to it who are taking justice into there own hands because the legal system didn't and you have the sisterhood the first book is Weekend Warrior they are really great


message 34: by Kristen (new)

Kristen Harvey | 511 comments Oooh that sounds really great, I'll have to add the first one to my to-read shelf!


message 35: by Meme (new)

Meme (mstylp) | 519 comments have you read the Rachal Morgan series by Kim Harrison?



message 36: by Kristen (new)

Kristen Harvey | 511 comments I have! Have you Rachel? I can't remember who I was talking to that series about yesterday.


message 37: by Meme (new)

Meme (mstylp) | 519 comments Have any of you read the last apprentice? forgot the name of who wrote it



message 38: by Kristen (new)

Kristen Harvey | 511 comments I haven't picked that one up yet, but I have been meaning too, are they good? Did you read the Ranger's Apprentice books? The Ruins of Gorlan is the first one. Those books are written in the UK I think and are AMAZING! The first 5 are in print in the US right now and the other two should be released in the next year or two.


message 39: by Meme (new)

Meme (mstylp) | 519 comments I meant to ask about the Ranger Apprentice all though I did like the last apprentice also they are both YA books


message 40: by Kristen (new)

Kristen Harvey | 511 comments You have to read them! My fiance read them before me, loved them and then I finally picked them up and devoured them!


message 41: by Meme (new)

Meme (mstylp) | 519 comments Have you read the last one that is the only one that I have not read yet


message 42: by Kristen (new)

Kristen Harvey | 511 comments Sorry, I must've read that last one wrong. There is a fifth out.. just came out a few months ago. It's called... The Sorcerer in the North.


message 43: by Meme (new)

Meme (mstylp) | 519 comments Ok have you read that one, is it as good as the others?


message 44: by Kristen (new)

Kristen Harvey | 511 comments Yes, but it ends with a HUGE cliffhanger. So you might want to wait and see when the next book is being published in the US and then read it right before it is published.


message 45: by Meme (new)

Meme (mstylp) | 519 comments oh that is a great Idea, I wonder if I can wait until then LOL


message 46: by Kristen (new)

Kristen Harvey | 511 comments It's hard... my fiance told me I'd hate the ending and I still read it.


message 47: by Meme (new)

Meme (mstylp) | 519 comments Ok well I think that I can wait now if its that bad of one lOL


message 48: by Kristen (new)

Kristen Harvey | 511 comments It pretty much ends... TO BE CONTINUED... how lame is that?


message 49: by Meme (new)

Meme (mstylp) | 519 comments I Hate that is movies and hate it much much more in a book, just give us some place to lay while we are waiting for the next book, I really don't like standing on a cliff for months at a time.


message 50: by Kristen (new)

Kristen Harvey | 511 comments The worst thing is that his books are all published in the UK, so we're really just waiting for the US version to be published.


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