Saturday 7 July 2012


Please introduce yourself?
My name is Maria Schneider and I write mysteries and Urban fantasy.  
I've picked a few questions from Jeanz' blog in which I hope to reveal the secrets of the universe or at least reveal what I had for lunch yesterday.

If you could invite three favourite writers to dinner, who would you invite and enjoy chatting with?
I think I'd invite Frank Tuttle, Mark Twain and Patricia Briggs.  Twain was an interesting fellow while he was alive; I think he'd make a fabulous ghost!  Can you imagine the conversation?   I wouldn't expect him to bring a dish though.  Egads.  I don't know what ghosts might eat, but given where they come from, I just think it would be better for all involved if he left the home.

We'd need Frank Tuttle in the mix because he's used to dealing with ghosts.  He's written a number of ghost stories and a fabulous one about a banshee too.  (I'm not inviting the banshee, Frank, no matter how well behaved she is.  The neighbors already think I'm weird; I don't need to add to the rumor mill.)  

Patricia Briggs has been a favorite author ever since I discovered "When Demons Walk" all those years ago when I was just out of college.  The woman can *write.*  I swear I'd read her grocery lists and possibly plagiarize them for the meal.  Let's hope if that happens that she can cook as well as write.  I think she owns horses and while I'm big on eating whole grains, I'm pretty sure I don't want the horse's oats.

I know the question said I could only invite three authors, but I'd really like to invite Elizabeth Peters if she's free.  She's my favorite cozy mystery writer, has traveled all over the world and is an Egyptologist.   I suspect that she and Twain could go on for hours entertaining the rest of us.  Plus, she might bring an Egyptian dish and that would be very fun.  She's not very tall, so she won't take up much room, although in the one picture of her that I've seen, she did have rather voluminous skirts.  Do you think she hides weapons in the folds?

Have you ever based characters on people you know or based events on things that have happened to you?
I've never based characters on people I know, except for maybe that one neighbor, you know the one. Who in their right mind goes out to get the newspaper in their underwear???   But after a dinner with the four writers above, I am POSITIVE that Twain the Ghost would make an appearance in a future book of mine.  He's dead, so he can't sue.  If he decided to haunt me in punishment, imagine what I could learn from him!  I'd tease out all kinds of interesting facts--history, philosophy and since he's a writer, I know he'd have thoughts on the afterlife.   I think he must still travel about by train when he gets the chance.   I know he could help make me a better writer.
Do you basic plot/plan for your book, before you actually begin writing it out? Or do you let the writing flow and see where it takes the story?
I rarely plan out my plots. It's the character that comes to me first and as I begin to wonder just who this character is, the story takes shape. Sometimes I have three or four characters in my head before I know what they will do.  

What genre would you place your books into?
I love writing ghost stories and paranormal creatures, but at heart, I'm a mystery writer.  There will probably always be a crime or three to be solved and a touch of romance in every story I write.  Love and mystery make the world go around.  

Do you have a favourite character from your books? and why are they your favourite?
I do have a favourite character from my books, but it's generally the character I'm currently working on.  In this case, that would be Zoe.  Zoe came to life in the fantasy short story, "Snitched, Snatched" and when the story was done and published ... she had more to say.  I had no intention of writing her story, but she kept intruding in my thoughts.  Her interest in dragons and Wendal...well, I kept wondering what was so special about Wendal and decided to find out.  Here we are a few months later and Dragons of Wendal will be out in July.  

Well, it will be out if I get busy on the edits.  I have much to do between now and then.  If only I really could stop and have lunch with the dear authors above.  Well, reading a book by any of the four is almost the same thing.  

Where can readers follow you?

You can find me at my blog,

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