Brown River Queen cover art

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Words With Author Maria Schneider

I try to keep the blog fresh. Exciting. In line with certain oddly specific court-ordered strictures, but still fun to read.

So today I'm unveiling a new feature, which I hope to repeat once a month.

Welcome to Words With!

This edition of Words With features author Maria Schneider, a New Mexico native now residing in Texas. I met Maria a while back on the Amazon Kindle forums, and when I discovered she was an author I gobbled up her books. Literally. That was during an awkward time in my life when a head injury made me think I was a goat. I still can't look at paper without salivating.

Anyway, Maria has an impressive 17 titles below her name on her Amazon Author page, and that's no small feat. She writes everything from urban fantasy (her Moon Shadow series) to straight-up gritty realism (Soul of the Desert).

Author Maria Schneider and friend
My favorite of Maria's books are the Moon Shadow books. Set in modern-day Santa Fe, her heroine Adriel drives a battered Honda Civic and, much to her dismay, knocks heads with ghosts, vampires, shape-shifters, and other unpredictable sorts using her own unique brand of earth magic.

Of course, Earth magic isn't the only kind of magic around. Adriel's friend White Feather works as a wind energy consultant by day, but he's a wind witch when magic is afoot.

Oh, and the vampires -- they don't sparkle. Not one bit. Then there's Lynx, who can shape-shift, which I;ve always wished I could do, because then I could be skinny.

If witches and ghosts aren't quite your cup of supernatural tea, Maria is also the creator of the Max Killian Investigates stories. These stories are set in our world, but after a fictional oil crisis which resulted in the collapse of the global economy and the sudden emergence of all manner of supernatural beasties.

Max works as a private investigator. Max has the supernatural ability to smell ghosts and sense magic, but he keeps that a secret because (and I love this bit) people with paranormal senses are taxed at a higher rate if they earn a living from these abilities. Good twist! Adds an entire extra layer to the stories.

Maria's Sedona O'Hala series doesn't contain any supernatural elements at all -- but there's lots of humor, mystery, and clever plotting!

I love this fantasy novel, The Dragons of Wendal. "Cousin Lonnie was an idiot." Well, yeah, he is!

Maria's latest release, Soul of the Desert, tells the story of a troubled youth snatched away from gang life in New York to work on a remote cattle ranch in New Mexico. It's a fascinating read, and a heck of a character portrayal!

Now that you know a little about Maria Schneider, turn up thy speakers, ready your best clicking finger, and prepare to embark on a sonic journey as Maria and I talk about writing, aardvarks, her preference for ionic to covalent chemical bonds, and of course the controversy over the inclusion of Finnish synchronized otter licking as an Olympic event.

Click below to hear Words With: Maria Schneider!

Words With Maria

Thanks to Maria for taking her time for the interview!

And now, helpful links to Maria's sites and books:

Maria's BearMountainBooks blog

Maria's Amazon Author page

Maria on Twitter

Bigfoot Update

Weird how the forest light makes my golden yellow hair look grey, isn't it?

Several weeks have passed since the inexplicable howling we recording along the Yocona River (see my November 10 entry, The Wild Man of Yocona Bottom). 

We've listened for more howls, but haven't heard a thing. We got a trail camera and we keep it moving around in the woods south of our house, but so far we've only managed to photograph deer, squirrels, cats, dogs, two Muppets, a flying saucer crash-landing, Elvis, and what can only be The Invisible Man.

But no Bigfoots. We keep the camera in play, though, so who knows?

Obligatory Nature Photo

I keep my trusty Fuji Finepix handy when we tramp through the swamps of Dagoba to check the trail cam. The image below is of one of the wooded ponds, taken on a bright cold December day. Note how the pond scum takes on different colors when the sun is at just the right angle!

Okay, folks, time for me to get back to work! Again, a big thanks to Maria joining us!


  1. Excellent interview Frank! It was great being able to hear Maria after all these years. And I completely agree with her on that short story idea, Markhat (with Max or without) or Meralda or even just Mug. I'd be first in line to send it to my Kindle!

  2. You forgot Dragons of Wendal, a fantasy novel.

  3. We talked about it in the interview, but yes, I failed to include the cover in the lineup! I'll fix that asap...

  4. I can hear future generations: "Back then all the great writers knew each other. Don't you wish you could have heard Tuttle and Schneider discussing their work. What? You mean there's a recording!"

  5. Awww, thanks! But I think people will be more likely to remember Maria than, er, whats-his-name -- Turtle? Tootles? Turnip?

  6. What a great blog post and so unique with the Skype Interview - you have a great Southern Drawl Frank! I love how you are trying all different things with your blog - really great. And frankly, love the pond scum photo - eerily beautiful.

  7. Thanks Elyse! Never has pond scum been so lovely...