1. Please tell us about your upcoming release Inside Out.
MVS: Inside Out is about Trella. She lives in Inside, and she has a very harsh view of her metal world. Along with thousands of other “scrubs” who live in the lower levels, she cleans the pipes and ducts that crisscross her world and keep them all alive.
In order to escape the noise and presence of so many scrubs, Trella prefers to be by herself in the ductwork. She has explored almost every region of Inside and has the ability to go to any level without being detected by the Pop Cops (Population Control Police). Because of her expertise, she is recruited by a prophet to seek a gateway to Outside. As she searches for the gateway, she’s pursued by Pop Cops, and upper level workers (those who control the government and mechanical systems), but she’s also aided by a few unlikely sources which make her realize she’s been a little too critical of her metal world.
2. A strong heroine makes a story worth reading. How would you describe your heroine Trella?
MVS: Jaded, skeptical, a realist, loyal, a risk taker, and, once she decides to do something, stubbornly committed.
3. Inside Out seems to be extremely different from your other novels. What inspired you to write this story?
MVS: A dream! In one night, I dreamt the entire plot of the story, including characters, the Pop Cops (the Population Control Police) and the many twists the story takes. I have never had a dream like that before, and I haven’t had another since. I only wish I could remember what I ate that day! I also enjoy reading science fiction and it was a creative boost to be able to play in a completely different world.
4. Will Inside Out be a stand-alone novel or are the rumors true that there will be a companion novel? Are there any other projects in the works?
MVS: There will be a companion novel, Outside In, which picks up right after Inside Out. That is coming out in early 2011. As for future projects, I have a couple proposals out there.
5. I have read that you have done some extensive research for your novels including learning the art of glass blowing. Did you do any research for Inside Out?
MVS: I did. Most of my research focused on how they people could live in a world that was totally contained - like the Biosphere projects. I needed the science to be accurate, and had to decide how they would survive. Waste was the biggest concern - they do recycle and reuse everything.
6. DING. DING. You have just won dinner with a famous character from literature or film. Who will you be dining with?
MVS: This is an interesting question! As I sit here thinking, I keep coming up with authors instead of their characters. I would like to meet Sherlock Holmes, but I'd rather have dinner with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I guess I'm more intrigued by the person behind the character. If I had my druthers, I'd love to have dinner with Joss Whedon (the creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, and Firefly TV shows).
7, Lastly, What is your favorite way to unwind after a hard day of writing? Any guilty pleasures?
MVS: I love to curl up in bed with a glass of wine and a good book. But if I need to blow off steam, I enjoy playing competitive volleyball.
Thank you so much for taking time to interview with me on my blog. I am honored to be part of your tour. Congratulations on your success.
Thank you for hosting me on your blog :)
For more information about Maria and her books, visit her website.
*Follow the link to preorder your copy from Barnes and Noble or Amazon.
** On March 30, the official INSIDE OUT website will go live. You will find some great interactive features and really cool content.
Harlequin Teen has graciously offered the chance to win one of two Harlequin Teen T-Shirts!
1. Please complete the form
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4. The contest is open to US and Canada.
5. The giveaway will end on March 23. Two winners will be selected at random.