Oct 14, 2010

Marta Acosta - Interview and Contest

A huge welcome to one of my favorite writers Marta Acosta author of the acclaimed Casa Dracula series. On Tuesday, September 28,  Haunted Honeymoon, the fourth and last book, will be available.  It is a terrific wrap-up for the series, but I can't help feeling a bit sad. I will miss the often funny, always fascinating characters Marta has created.

Recently Marta took time for an interview with PVN.

[see contest details at the end of the post]

PVN: Marta, thank you for being here!

PVN: Haunted Honeymoon is the last in the Casa Dracula series. Do you feel relieved? Elated? Sad? Any or none of the above?

MARTA: When I finished writing the last sentence of the book, I was shocked to find myself crying.  It’s been a great ride taking her through adventures and love, and she’s always kept her optimism and good nature.  However, I’m elated that I gave Milagro the ending she’s earned and deserves.

At the end of the book, Oswald tells Milagro, “I wouldn’t have missed a second of it, I wouldn’t have missed you, for anything in the world.”  That’s how I feel, too.

PVN:  For readers not acquainted with the series would you mind given some background, especially what sets your vampires apart from the more common garden variety?

MARTA: My vamps have a genetic condition that causes a craving for blood, photosensitivity, an ability to heal rapidly from injuries, and an extended lifespan.  They’re very family-oriented, quite career driven, and pretty snobby because vampires would be snobby, wouldn’t they?

Their snobbery adds to the fun with Milagro, who attended a Fancy University (F.U.), but can’t pay her rent.  They’re tasteful and her favorite color is “leopard print.” They savor fine animal blood blends and she enjoys dancing on tables at dive bars. They use an agency for proper vampire matchmaking and she habitually flirts with any “fabulous man” around.   They have serious professions and she writes loony political horrors and is convinced that someday her talent will be recognized.

PVN:  Through all her trials and tribulations Milagro has kept her sense of humor. Tell us how you see her and how she has changed over the course of the series?

MARTA: Milagro’s humor is what’s allowed her to keep her sanity after criminal childhood neglect.  She desperately wants family and love.  That’s what the vampires offer her, and Happy Hour at Casa Dracula is about Milagro finding a home with them. 

In Midnight Brunch, Milagro finally begins to accept that she’s not like others.  She’s not a born-vampire, but she’s far from normal.  She also has to adjust to a secondary infection that saves her life and makes her stronger than most born-vampires.

In The Bride of Casa Dracula, Milagro and her vampire fiancé Oswald are squabbling a lot over the wedding.  While compromise is essential for a happy relationship, where do you draw the line?  Milagro’s got to decide how much she’s willing to change for others and she has to battle new enemies, as well as deal with her attraction to an ex-lover, the dangerous and enigmatic Ian Ducharme.

Haunted Honeymoon has Milagro still missing her ex-fiance, Oswald, while carrying on a torrid affair with Ian.  She’s filled with regret for all the mistakes she’s made and she longs for a chance to do things over again.  When she suffers trauma and hits her head, she loses her memory and forgets her whole history with the vampires.  Can she do things right this time?  Milagro finally comes into herself as a woman and a vampire.  She also knows who she truly loves.

PVN: Throughout the series Milagro shows a love and knowledge of gardening. Why is that important to her character? Do you have a fondness for it as well?

MARTA: Milagro’s fondest memories are of the years she spent with her grandmother, who had a vegetable garden.  Her father is a landscaper, but he likes rigidly controlled borders and lawns, so perhaps Milagro’s reacting against that with her boisterous gardens. So gardening represents her grandmother’s love as well as her own individuality; it’s nurture and nature.

PVN:  Will we see Milagro, Ian, or any of the other wonderful characters of the Casa Dracula world in future novels or short stories?

MARTA: Milagro has some fun scenes with her best friend from F.U., Nancy Carrington-Chambers, in Nancy’s Theory of Style, written under my pen-name Grace Coopersmith.   Ian shows up in my young adult novel, The Shadow Girl of Birch Grove, which will be published by Tor in 2012.

I can see Milagro and her husband as a glamorous couple solving mysteries, flirting, and partying.  I don’t’ know if I’ll ever write that story, though, because I’ve got other ones I’d like to finish.

PVN:  Since Mil's friend Nancy now has the starring role in her own wonderful book - Nancy's Theory of Style [read review] - would you care to tell us about her recent adventure?

MARTA: Finicky, rich girl Nancy takes a “marriage sabbatical” from her boring husband and leaves the tacky McMansion he built.  She returns to her chic apartment in posh Pacific Heights and hires a gorgeous gay British assistant to help her with her event planning business.  She thinks he’s the perfect man and they’re trying to reinvent San Francisco’s most important and most boring fundraiser when Nancy’s irresponsible cousin abandon’s her four-year-old at Nancy’s. 

It’s all quite a challenge for a control-freak like Nancy, and she has to decide what – and who – is really important to her.

PVN:  You have written a lovely YA story The Shadow Girl of Birch Grove set in the same universe as the Casa Dracula books. Where is it now in the publishing pipeline?

MARTA: Thanks for asking about The Shadow Girl !  I’ll be getting my notes from my editor next month and then I’ll be working on improving the story and characters.  Booksellers now want to see books far in advance of publication, and I’m not quite sure when in 2012 it will be released.

PVN:  So, let’s say HBO or Showtime wants to make a series based on the Casa Dracula novels. Who would play some of the characters - Milagro, Ian, Edna, Oswald, etc?

MARTA: Oh, these impossible questions!  I “cast” actors in my video book trailers, but they are not how I see the characters in my imagination.  That said, I’d love someone like Holland Taylor to play Edna.  She’s the queen of a snarky line, sexy, and smart. 

The Casa Dracula books state that Milagro has a look that’s frequently seen:  she’s a pretty, curvy Latina of average height with brown eyes and black hair and she dresses in a lively, sexy way.  I often see girls on the street and think, that’s Milagro!

 Holland Taylor

PVN:  What other writing projects can we expect from you?

MARTA: I’m working on two novels.  One is a romantic comedy set in San Francisco about a couple of losers who make a decision to do anything and everything to improve their lives.  That’s the comedy so naturally mayhem ensues.

The gothic is a more ambitious work, at least in terms of research, that is set in the 1990s and the 1850s.  The actions in modern times are replicating the actions of the past, which a grand and murderous scheme to steal a fortune. 

PVN:  I love your blog Vampire Wire. My favorite feature is Gratuitous Video of the Day. Where did the idea come from and what is your criteria for choosing said video(s)? Any favorites?

MARTA: I spend way too much time on Vampire Wire, which I started as a way to promote my books.  I read the phrase “gratuitous video” somewhere and got the idea.  The video must be entertaining and the music can’t suck.  Or, if the music sucks, it’s got to be wretchedly awful.  I especially like horrible Euro-disco.

A video has a great chance of being selected if it’s set to Tom Jones’s “Sex Bomb” and has vampires.

Fans of “Supernatural” have made some great videos. They pick terrific songs and have the editing skills to turn out exciting three-minute videos. Some terrible movies are great for video tributes, and one of my favorites is “Dracula 2000” starring Gerard Butler. 

PVN:  Why did you start the Naked David Boreanaz Club, and what are some of the perks of membership?

MARTA: As much as I want to take credit for Naked David Boreanaz, I can’t.  I interviewed Amanda Ashby on my blog once and she said that if you mention Naked David Boreanaz in a post that your site visits will skyrocket. That’s how it all got started. If you Google “naked David Boreanaz” in quotes, Vampire Wire is the top result. I’m both proud and humbled.

PVN:  Where can readers find or contact you?

MARTA: I’m all over the place, although I check in at Vampire Wire most often.

Marta Acosta website with my author blog:  www.martaacosta.com.
Marta AcostaTwitter (which I pretty much ignore)
Marta Acosta Fans on Facebook
Vampire Wire
Vampire Wire Twitter
Grace Coopersmith website (which I totally ignore)

And I’m always happy to get emails from readers at Marta AT martaacosta DOT com.

Patricia, thanks so much for having me here on your site!  Yours is one of the first vampire fiction sites I discovered and it’s still a “must read” for me!

PVN: Thank you for the kind words, Marta, and for this interview and contest!


To enter make one comment on any subject mentioned in Marta's Interview.

The winner may choose any one book in the Casa Dracula series.

Contest is limited to residents of US and Canada.

Contest ends October 28, 2010.


SiNn said...

her books sound seriously awesome and i have visiste dher iste googlingnakied david lol hey i was courious really please count me in


SandyG265 said...

The gothic sounds like it'll be interesting.

Julie said...

yum, Naked David Boreanaz is a great idea lol. I think you're right about the woman who plays the mom on Two and a Half Men, that attitude would be great for a similar character.

Please enter me in the first book in the series.

Tore said...

I love reading vampire books and I would love to see David Boreanaz naked lol. Please enter me in contest. Tore923@aol.com

Marta said...

Hi, everyone! Thanks for your comments...I see that my association with Naked David Boreanaz has helped my writing career. I'm going to recommend this to all aspiring authors!

I wish I could give books to everyone who wants them but can't afford them. I do have some free reads of entire manuscripts over at www.scribd.com. And there's always the library!

katsrus said...

Naked David Boreanaz~yummy! LOL. I love your book cover.
Sue B

tina werner said...

vampire wire is an awesome blog, if you haven't been there, go now and become a follower... marta rocks!!!

thanks for the chance to win...

yes, marta, it's still me, trying to win!!! LOL! fingers crossed!

angeleyesak said...

Oh Marta, I feel like such a groupie following you on your blog tour :) I finished Bride and can't wait for honeymoon. I thinks it's very interesting that Ian appears in your YA book. I'll have to pretend I'm a teen again and read it lol.

angeleyesak said...

Oh and she would be perfect for Edna!!

Marta said...

Hi, all!
-Katsurus, the cover was illustrated by Elena Dudina and I think she did a terrific job.
-Tina, your chances are getting better with every contest. I may just give you a consolation prize.
-Angel, rocker have groupies and writers have fangirls! I'm honored. I have been a longtime Holland Taylor fan. I think she's marvelous.

catslady said...

The gothic sounds very iteresting but I totally like the idea of the humor which is not your usual vampire novel.


Robin K said...

LOL, I love that SEO strategy. I need to consider it for our website!

robin [at] intensewhisper [dot] com

Marta said...

Hi, Catlady, hope you'll check out my books. "Hilarious" and "laugh-out-loud funny" are frequently used to describe my books.

Robin, you're welcome to use the strategy, but you'll have to pry Naked David Boreanaz from my cold dead hands!

elaing8 said...

Naked David Boreanaz club..where do I sign up :)
Great interview.

windycindy said...

I think the novel that she is working on that is a romantic comedy set in San Francisco sounds delightful!
Many thanks, Cindi

Sarah Bryant said...

I know she is ready to move on to something else and it would be a shame to write books that you don't want to write anymore just because it is expected but I am so terribly sad to see this series coming to a close. I have enjoyed each and every book so much and I love all of the characters. I think I might cry :'(

Rachel said...

I cannot wait to read Haunted Honeymoon. I have not had a chance to go out & purchase yet, (as I am holding out to win!!) but I have thoroughly enjoyed this series. I will be sad when it's over. Where is my Ian?!?! :0) He's yummy. Speaking of yummy...Naked David Boreanaz? Um...yes please. That is just truly awesome.

Lynn said...

So very excited that Marta will continue to write- especially glad to see a romantic comedy on that list.... she's so good at it. I am sad to see this series wrap up, but now I can look forward to comical San Francisco adventures.

Marta said...

-Elaine, you can grab the Naked David Boreanaz Club badge here or on Vampire Wire under Extras & Freebies. Display it proudly!
-Windy, I've got the complete draft of my first San Francisco romantic comedy, Nancy's Theory of Style, at www.scribd.com as a free read. I love San Francisco and it features in all the Casa Dracula books.
-Sarah, it's quite bittersweet to leave Milagro. I never intended to spend so much time with her world and though I'm happy that I did, I have a dozen other stories that I want to write.
-Rachel, you will be happy to know that there's a lot of Ian in Haunted Honeymoon and we finally learn some of his mysterious activities!
-Lynn, I love writing comedy, but I also love writing darker, more serious fiction. I can never stick to just one kind of writing.

PrincessOfBooks said...

I loved being introduced to Vampire Wire! I hadn't heard of it before now *gasp* And the David Boreanaz was a bonus :P

Absolutley love the interview!! Thanks for another awesome giveaway!

julesallen29 said...

I loved the part about the mom from Two and a Half Men. She is great!! I am a huge fan of yours, Marta, and would love a chance to win!


Marta said...

-Princess, I started the blog to promote my books but it's taken on a life of it's own, like an evil robot!
-Jules, I'll watch Holland Taylor in anything.

Pam S (pams00) said...

Great interview!

I really love your writing style Marta and looking forward to mroe of your work :). LOL really liked how Naked David Boreanaz started.

Congrats on your YA as well!

Pam S
pams00 @ aol.com

jmspettoli said...

I love this series and I love David Boreanaz!

spettolij AT gmail DOT com

booklover0226 said...

I think it's interesting Milagro has in interest in gardening. I was raised on a dairy farm and we grew vegetables every summer.

To this day, I still garden (more vegetables than plants) and enjoy every minute of it.

Tracey D
booklover0226 at gmail dot com

Marta said...

-Hi, Pam, I'm actually concerned that one of my more serious friends will find the Naked David Boreanaz stuff on my blog and think I've cracked.
-JM, thanks so much! I had a lot of fun writing the books. It's really rewarding to know my books are loved.
-BookLover, I had a lot more information about gardening in the books, but my editor had me cut it down because not everyone is so fanatical!

Oh, my word verification is "grone."

rachel445 said...

Haha, I love the "Naked David Borenaz" thing. That guy is gorgeous. These books sound really good, I'd love to enter.


mbreakfield said...

I love the naked David Boreanz membership card. I want one. ha ha

mbreakfield said...

forgot e-mail

dor said...

Holland Taylor would do a smash up job. hee

dorcontest at gmail dot com