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Marta Acosta Interview
Posted By admin On January 29, 2008 @ 6:45 pm In | 10 Comments
Publication Date: February 1, 2008
Marta Acosta is author of the Casa Dracula series, and also operates the Vampire Wire .
Give us an update on yourself. What’s your latest news?
I’m just finishing up the third novel is the Casa Dracula series, The Bride of Casa Dracula. These romantic comedies follow the adventures of Milagro De Los Santos, a smart and funny young woman who finds herself involved with a family of snobby vampires and they’re dangerous enemies.
What’s your upcoming or latest book/story about?
The third book finds Milagro engaged to Dr. Oswald Grant, a vampire and a plastic surgeon. She’d like to get married in a simple ceremony, but her plans are complicated by crazy wedding planners, a hostile vampire council, an eccentric writing project, and a series of suspicious accidents.
How did you come up with the title?
The title was easy since I was playing off the titles of the old horror films, “The Brides of Dracula” and “The Bride of Frankenstein.”
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer, and what inspired you to start writing?
Reading and writing is something that I’ve done compulsively since I first learned to read and write. I studied literature and creative writing in college because I wanted to spend my days reading and writing, not because I thought I’d graduate and walk into a high-paying job as a novelist. I loved the theatre and had a brief delusion that I would be a theatre critic because then I could get free tickets and spend my days writing. I was a kid who had no clue about the reality of succeeding in the creative arts. On the plus side, my dreams weren’t limited by actual knowledge.
When did you write your first book?
I wrote my first book several years ago. It was a grim noir thriller and the manuscript is in a box in the garage. The consensus from editors was that it was well-written and original, but not marketable. One editor said, “We’d love to see something conventional from you.” So I wrote a romantic comedy about a wacky, educated Latina, a bunch of vampires and the extremist group pursuing them.
As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
I wanted to be an architect, a lawyer, and a writer. But what I really wanted to do was write comedy – to sit in a room with a couple of funny friends and make jokes all day long. Are we seeing a pattern here? All of my career goals were basically selected because they let me hang out and have fun. I’m surprised that I never considered a job as a professional surfer.
I did hit barriers. I was a Latina kid with no money, no connections, and I had no idea how to get from point A to point B.
What projects are you working on now?
After I hand in my final draft of The Bride of Casa Dracula, I’m going to return to a Young Adult novel, inspired by Jane Eyre. It takes place in an exclusive and mysterious all-girls academy. It’s a contemporary gothic and I’m very excited about it.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I spend time with family and friends. I take my dog out to bayside parks every day, and I also garden pretty fanatically. I’ve been ignoring that lately and my garden is a disaster.
What does your family think of your writing?
My husband is quite proud of my writing, and my son is happy that I get to work at home. My family is pleased although I think they’d be happier if I had a real job. The other day my parents said to me, “You should have gone into engineering.”
How long does it take you to write a book?
I work in spurts and I also have breaks in a project while I’m waiting for my editor to give me feedback. But I’m not one of those people who says, “Oh, I knocked out this book in a month.” I like to think about my stories, weave the plotlines as seamlessly as I can, and rewrite for syntax, clarity, and humor.
What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
I get up and take the dog out to the park and admire the vistas and the weather. Then I come home and read the paper while having my first cup of coffee. I have a blog, Vampire Wire, that I update daily, so I write and post and then answer emails. I write until about five. If I’ve got a deadline, I write in the evenings and on weekends, as I’m doing now.
Do you have an interesting writing quirk?
I fidget with a Slinky while I write, dash out to the garden to do little tasks, and play a game called Spider Solitaire when I’m stuck. There is frequently a level of insanity at my house, and I can write even when my house is infested with loud teenage boys.
Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
I get my ideas anywhere and everywhere for my writing. I’ll pick up a turn of phrase from a conversation, a fact from the news, or an anecdote from a friend. While I was writing my first book, I was channel surfing and caught a documentary on people who believe they’re vampires, which was fab.
I was inspired by all the wonderful literary hoaxes to come up with a character and plotline for the book I’m finishing now.
What do you think makes a good story?
A good story requires an interesting plot, intriguing characters, and good craftsmanship. There are fascinating stories that are badly told and boring stories that are well-crafted.
Do you have a specific writing style?
When I’m writing humor, I like to use a colloquial, friendly, slightly clueless first-person voice. My other writing tends to be a little terse, which is so sad since I’m fond of flamboyance. When I’m writing a short piece, I often indulge in parody, and I have great fun in mimicking someone with a very particular style, such as Raymond Chandler, Hunter Thompson, or Anne Rice.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
I think the most challenging thing is finding people to pay you for what you write. Come on, it’s sticking words on a page. I’m too close to my blue-collar roots not to realize how very lucky I am to write for a living.
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I’ve got many favorites, and Jane Austen is in the top five. I love the humor and humanity of her stories. I find new and different things every time I read one of her novels. She doesn’t neglect fleshing out her secondary characters, whether they’re for comic purposes like Mr. Collins in Pride and Prejudice, or for laughs, such as Anne Elliot’s always-ill sister in Persuasion. I especially like the complexity of her villains, like Henry Crawford in Mansfield Park, who can appreciate Fanny Price’s goodness and intelligence before anyone else recognizes it.
Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
I love hearing from my readers. The comments I get most often are “I’m just like Milagro!” and “I couldn’t put it down.” I wrote Milagro as a type of girl that I like very much — she’s figuring out her way in the world, makes mistakes, but she’s trying to do the right thing.
When they tell me that they couldn’t put the book down, I know that the pacing and plotting work.
When they tell me my book is hilarious, I feel utter delight.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I’d like to thank everyone who’s read my books! It’s such a thrill for me to realize that I’ve brought a little laughter to people all over the country. Writing is communicating and when people enjoy my books, it not only means that they get me, it means that I get them.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Many writers thrive in a group setting, but I’m concerned that too many opinions can cause a writer to lose her way. If you find one person whose judgment you trust, you’re lucky. You should listen to criticism, consider it, and decide if you find it valid. Don’t take it personally.
Article printed from Vampire Romance Books: http://www.vampireromancebooks.com
URL to article: http://www.vampireromancebooks.com/author-interviews/marta-acosta-interview/
URLs in this post:
 Vampire Wire: http://www.vampirewire.blogspot.com
 Visit Marta Acosta’s Blog: http://martaacosta.blogspot.com/
 Image: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1416520384?ie=UTF8&tag=vampireromanc-20&link_code=as3&camp=211189&creative=373489&creativeASIN=1416520384
 Other Titles by Marta Acosta: http://www.vampireromancebooks.com/library/index.php/Main/Marta_Acosta
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