Maria V. Snyder is the author of extremely popular series such as The Study Series and The Glass Series and various short stories to name a few. April celebrates the release of Maria’s new young adult novel Inside Out and as it is our current book of the month, Maria was kind enough to answer some of our questions for your reading pleasure. I should warn you, there are a few spoiler-ish moments. Enjoy!
Trella has had an interesting childhood, one that has left her with very little trust for anyone else around her, yet it was those people who ultimately Trella needed to survive. Was it a conscious decision to have Trella start from this place of no-trust to slowly understanding why she needed the people around her?
MS: Yes – I did try to have Trella start out basically hating her world and the people in it—except for one person. Then as she learns that not every thing in her world is as she had thought, her view changes with time and experience. I’m like to put my characters in difficult situations and see how they change.
Where did the idea for Inside Out come from? I’ve read it was a dream, but was there any other events that inspired the setting? I’m particularly curious as to how the concept of ‘weeks’ and ‘centiweeks’ came around.
MS: It was from a dream. But I created some of the details in order to turn the idea into a story. The idea to use weeks actually came from my daughter. She was mad at my son and told him she “wouldn’t talk to him again for a million weeks.” Then she paused and asked me how long was a million weeks. So I calculated it out and came up with 19,000 years. I tucked this little nugget of information away and then when I needed a way for the Insiders to keep track of time, weeks sounded better than years. Centiweeks is just like centimeters – my world uses base 10 for everything so centi and deci all worked well.
Originally Trella and Riley are lead to believe that there are vast differences between Upper and Lower lifestyles, largely stemming from lack of knowledge. How important was it to need the Uppers and Lowers to work together to discover a solution to their problems?
MS: It was very important since the uppers controlled all the mechanical systems. And also the Pop Cops encouraged the lack of knowledge between the uppers and lowers so they would not trust each other and wouldn’t compare notes and see how they both suffered under the Pop Cop’s rule. I was trying to show how making assumptions about people because of their race or religion is not the right way to go about it. That you need to learn more about another person before you judge them.
The harsh methods taken by LC Karla to control the scrubs and Uppers were eventually her downfall. If there was more understanding between scrubs and Uppers, would life be better for everyone?
MS: It would be better, but still having that division of people – uppers and lowers and different set of rules for each will make people unhappy.
Favourite holiday destination?
MS: I enjoy spending a week at the beach – any beach will do as long as I have sand, sun and an ocean to swim in
Can you tell us anything about the next instalment, Outside In?
MS: I can’t tell too much as I don’t want to give away the twists of Inside Out, but it continues Trella’s story and how she and the Insiders deal with a new threat – one from Outside.
All time favourite novel?
MS: This is a really hard question for me to answer. I have so many favorites and each is a favorite for a different reason. Since Inside Out has a strong female protagonist, my favorite girl power novel is The Gate to Women’s Country by Sherri S. Tepper.
What is currently in your To-Be-Read pile?
MS: It would probably be easier to list what isn’t in my TBR pile Right now I have a bunch of young adult books in my pile, Catching Fire, by Suzanne Collins, Fire, by Kristen Cashore, the last two books of the Percy Jackson Olympians series by Rick Riodian, Ink Exchange, by Melissa Marr, Bad to the Bone, by Jeri Smith-Ready, How to Make a Wish by Mindy Klasky, and I’m eagerly awaiting Rachel Caine’s newest Morganville Vampire book, Fair Fight.
Any quirky writing rituals or habits?
MS: When I sign books, I like the color of my pen to match the color of the book’s cover. Right now, I take 5 different color pens with me and they have to be Uni ball’s vision elite pens
Any last thoughts to share with us?
MS: I like to add that because the layout of Inside can be hard to imagine, I posted maps of all four levels of Inside on my website. Here’s a link: http://www.mariavsnyder.com/maps.php I was hoping my publisher would print them in the book. But they are excited about the book and have created a website just for it: http://www.whatsinsideout.com On the website is a personality quiz to see what type of scrub job you’re suited for, and a video book trailer for the book.
Inside Out is available now at all good bookstores.