What Stace had to say on Thursday, September 30th, 2010
A Visit from Marta Acosta!

A special treat today! You don’t have to read more of my own disjointed ramblings, you get to read an interview with an actual real writer, lol, who makes sense and doesn’t just whine about stuff. Marta Acosta, who in addition to writing her terrifically funny books also runs the very popular Vampire Wire blog, has agreed to grace us all with her presence and show me how real writers behave when being interviewed (I suspect she wasn’t even drunk when she answered these questions!)

An artist’s rendering of Marta:

So Marta, thanks for stopping by today! You’ve written four books in the Casa Dracula series; the new one, HAUNTED HONEYMOON, is the last. Could you give the readers a general idea of what the series is about?

Thanks for having me, Stacia! The Casa Dracula books are romantic comedies about quirky, fun, sexy, and bright Milagro de Los Santos, who gets accidentally infected with vampirism and involved with a pack of snobby vampires. These people claim that they aren’t vampires, but have a genetic condition. During the course of the books, Milagro falls in and out of love, escapes anti-vampire extremists, defeats vampire zealots, tries to earn a living, while finding time for flirting and parties.

Each book is also a step forward as Milagro grows up and finds her place in the world.

Haunted Honeymoon is the final book in the series. Can you give readers a hint of what to expect?

Mil is having a torrid affair with dangerous and secretive Ian Ducharme, a member of the Vampire Council, but she still misses her ex-fiance Oswald Grant. She distrusts Ian and finds him immoral, while she admires Oswald. When Ian’s shenanigans with his seductive neighbor infuriate Mil, she takes off to London for a job assignment and meets a sexy young vamp who’s both a good guy and fun, too.

When she returns home, though, the bodies start piling up and Mil is being set up for murder. She’s basically kidnapped, held, and “harshly” questioned by a nameless organization. She escapes and runs to Oswald’s ranch. An accidental blow to her head results in amnesia and she forgets all about her life with the vampires. She’s got the opportunity for a re-do with Oswald, but she’s also got enemies looking for her. Will she make the same mistakes again?

So what made you want to do more humorous urban fantasy? Did it just come out that way, or did you always want to write funny?

I always wrote funny. I wrote serious too. I studied creative writing at a Fancy University and I wrote really grim, third-person, present tense fiction. However, every now and then I’d crack and turn in a completely inane story with cartoons. I’d read it to the class and everyone would stare at me and I could practically see the little WTF? bubbles over their heads.

It wasn’t my intention to write urban fantasy. When I started my first Casa Dracula book, I hadn’t even heard the term urban fantasy. I was just writing a funny story to amuse myself. I wanted to make spoof cliches about vampires being rich, gorgeous, and accomplished, and that fit well with a comedy-of-manners set up. Toss an aimless, broke, sexy, bright, and snarky girl into the scene and hit the frappe button.

Legend has it that Sir Donald Wolfit’s last words were, “Dying is easy. Comedy is hard.” Do you agree? And do you think he came up with that line years before and was just waiting to use it?

Hey, you’ve been reading my guest blogs! I do agree. I can write stories that make people cry. (Pretty much all you need is a kitten lost in a storm and voila!) But I really get a thrill when I can make people laugh. I think Sir Donald had been trotting out that phrase for years, but no one paid any attention to him until he was about to croak. It’s good to plan ahead with a deathbed epigram, though. I haven’t settled on mine yet, but I’ve instructed that my gravestone read “Mayhem ensues.” I’m also going to have an excruciatingly boring PowerPoint presentation at my funeral service set to an endless loop of “The Wind Beneath My Wings.” Naturally, my husband will be allowed to speed-date during the service. One of my friends suggested setting up tables for Texas Hold-Em Poker, too, but I’m concerned that it might take away from the solemnity of the occasion.

If you could live in Casa Dracula for real, would you?

Yes, I would absolutely live in the real Casa Dracula. It’s located on a gorgeous hillside so it must have fabulous views. I live in a cozy bungalow, which means that there aren’t guest wings, nooks, or formal halls. I like all that stuff. I’m down with the wainscoting, the cartouching, and the parqueting. The weather at Casa Dracula is probably not as nice as mine in California, though. I guess that’s what real estate agents mean when they say location, location, location.

Tell us an embarrassing story from your childhood. Come on, we won’t tell anyone. *snicker*

Gawd, there are so many. I can tell you a sad one, like I was invited to my best friend’s other friend’s birthday party when I was about seven, and we bought one of those plastic balls as a gift. I thought it was a nice present because I would have been happy with it. I overheard the birthday girl complaining to all the other girls about the “cheap” present I’d given her. We just didn’t have any money or know what was expected and I was humiliated.

Okay, a funny embarrassing story. I was invited to another birthday party. There would be a movie first and then a slumber party. My mother was this sweet Mexican immigrant, very young at the time, and she was told that we were supposed to wear pajamas. So she took me already dressed in my pajamas, a robe, and slippers to the gathering and I had to go to the movies dressed like that. It was humiliating, but everyone laughed in a nice way and I still had a great time afterward.

Hmm, you know, I’ve wondered why most of my books have parties that go awry in some way, and I never quite put that together with my childhood experiences. Stacia, I think we’ve made a psychological breakthrough here.

Yeah, that happens to people who visit me here a lot. So you just sold a YA novel, The Shadow Girl of Birch Grove with Tor. Awesome! What’s that one about?

Thanks! I was so happy about finding a home for this book, and Tor is a terrific publisher. The Shadow Girl is a gothic story about a foster teen, Jane, who is invited to attend an elite private school, the Birch Grove Academy, on a full scholarship. She leaps at the chance to escape her miserable foster home and terrible environment.
The headmistress and her family, including two attractive sons, are very attentive to Jane, the classes are amazing, and she meets interesting and accomplished students. But Jane begins to notice that the headmistress and others in the small town are keeping secrets. Why did they bring her here and what do they want in exchange for all they offer?

Are you working on anything else you can tell us about?

I’m working on an adult gothic, a ghostly story that takes place both in the present and in the 1850s. It’s quite depraved and dark, so I’m having a grand time writing it. I have no idea when I’ll be done.

Is Stacia Kane the most irresponsible person who’s blog you’ve ever visited, or just one of the most irresponsible people whose blogs you’ve visited?

No, Stacia Kane is decidedly not the most irresponsible person who’s blog I’ve ever visited. That would have to go to my arch-nemesis SciFi Guy, aka Doug Knipe, who is cavalier and callous with regard to blog tour schedules. He made me do a needlework pillow for him that says “I Wub Hugs” with a moose motif because he claimed that all the other authors had given him moose-themed needlework in appreciation for visiting his site. Then I saw the exquisite pillow listed on one of Ebay’s 99 cent auction. And it wasn’t even real money, but fake Canadian cents. However, you, Stacia Kane, are next on the list. (Also, I’m sending the box of homemade saltwater taffy via overnight mail, like you asked me to!)

Thanks, Stacia, for having me on your blog! Readers know where to find me.

Yes, and in addition to the website and Vampire Wire linked above, Marta has a story in the Mammoth Book of Scottish Romance anthology, so check that one out!

Thanks so much for visiting today, Marta!

AAAND…Marta’s doing a contest! Just tell us in comments what you’d like to have on your tombstone (I know, cheerful, right?) or leave any comment at all for Marta and she’ll pick one random winner for a FREE copy of HAUNTED HONEYMOON! (US/Canada only, sorry.)

So…comment away!

36 comments to “A Visit from Marta Acosta!”

  1. Qwill
    · September 30th, 2010 at 2:12 pm · Link

    I would like my tombstone to say “I thought so.”

    I would love to win the book because 1) I adore this series and 2) I can’t find it at either bookstore in my area. I am miffed about that.

    What a great interview!

    • Marta Acosta
      · September 30th, 2010 at 3:40 pm · Link

      Hi, Quill, hey, if no one else comes, maybe you’ll win. I got a rather small print run, so I guess a lot of bookstores don’t have my books. Heck, even when they do have my books, they sometimes say they don’t. That’s happened to me when I’ve visited on signing tours. The clerks say it’s not there and then my book escort and me have to hunt for it. I’ll add that to my humiliating stories list if Stacia has me again.

      • Qwill
        · September 30th, 2010 at 5:02 pm · Link

        Oh no. I can order it online if I’m not random enough. :smile: I can’t wait to find out what happens.

  2. Van P.
    · September 30th, 2010 at 3:28 pm · Link

    Probably the usual, Beloved daughter and sister. Or maybe a poem haha

    • Marta Acosta
      · September 30th, 2010 at 3:42 pm · Link

      Van, beloved is a classic. I would love a weeping angel statue on my grave, but I think those are very expensive. There was mausoleum in a grove at my college with a gorgeous weeping angel on a tombstone. It was white marble and almost luminous at dusk.

  3. Linda Henderson
    · September 30th, 2010 at 4:02 pm · Link

    I’ve led a pretty uneventful life, so I’d probably just put on it, Beloved Mother & Grandmother.

    seriousreader at live dot com

    • Marta Acosta
      · September 30th, 2010 at 5:23 pm · Link

      Linda, I bet if we got together and had a cocktail or two, we’d find out that there are lots of adventures in being a mother and grandmother! Nope, it’s not climbing to the mountain peaks physically, but it certainly is riskier emotionally.

  4. Melissa (Books and Things)
    · September 30th, 2010 at 5:05 pm · Link

    Sounds like a fun book! As to my gravestone. I like the idea of the WTF bubble… but for the kiddies I guess I’ll go with…

    What the… ??

    Leave ’em guessing. :)

    • Marta Acosta
      · September 30th, 2010 at 5:24 pm · Link

      I’m cracking up! I’m always worried about what my family will say if I write anything too scandalous or explicit. I still want to be the good daughter, I guess.

  5. Calliope
    · September 30th, 2010 at 5:08 pm · Link

    A couple of years ago my friend got really into looking up weird and clever epitaphs. My favourite one she found was::

    Remember friend as you walk by
    As you are now so once was I
    As I am now you will surely be
    Prepare thyself to follow me.

    Question, though: will the rest of the series ever be joining HAPPY HOUR as mass markets?

    • Marta Acosta
      · September 30th, 2010 at 5:32 pm · Link

      Hi, Calliope, that’s lovely. One of my favorites is too a pet and it’s from the 1800s, I think, but I can’t find it now.

      I do hope to have my other books printed in mass market, but I don’t have any say or control in the matter. That’s my publisher’s call.

  6. Sue R
    · September 30th, 2010 at 5:10 pm · Link

    Mine would say: “Here lies Sue. Waiting for the zombie apocalypse.” lol

    or maybe Ill do a religious proverb

    • Marta Acosta
      · September 30th, 2010 at 5:33 pm · Link

      Sue, but what if you’re a victim of the zombie apocalypse? Personally, I’m concerned about a robot uprising because they would get rid of us. Zombies would just convert us…or maybe eat our brains. Zombies are terrible dressers and worse dancers.

      • Calliope
        · September 30th, 2010 at 5:55 pm · Link

        But if she is a victim of the zombie apocalypse, wouldn’t she just rise again? Like a poptart?

  7. Doug Knipe [SciFiGuy]
    · September 30th, 2010 at 5:18 pm · Link

    Thanks Marta, I am going to change my blog catch phrase to “Irresponsible blogger and purveyor of urban fantasy reviews, news etc…” LoOL but its nice to be #1 at something.

    • Marta Acosta
      · September 30th, 2010 at 5:34 pm · Link

      Doug, see you soon whenever we’re scheduled. You bring the beer, I’ll bring the attitude.

  8. tina werner
    · September 30th, 2010 at 5:31 pm · Link

    i don’t really want a tombstone…

    i have a question… marta will you be writing anymore vampire stories in the future? or other paranormal?


    stampitchick at yahoo dot ca

    • Marta Acosta
      · September 30th, 2010 at 5:36 pm · Link

      Hi, Tiina! Well, my young adult novel, The Shadow Girl of Birch Grove, has a vamp theme and one of the Casa Dracula characters even shows up for a few scenes. I never really considered myself a paranormal writer because I like to write in a variety of styles and on a variety of topics. However, after five vampire books I may have to do a serious reassessment.

  9. Missy Ann
    · September 30th, 2010 at 5:41 pm · Link

    Umm… I’ve told my husband I want one of those huge weeping angels. I mean huge, 8ft of white marble that costs more than the mortgage. 😆

    My husband has told me plans on throwing me in the nearest ditch. Which is fine, so long as I get a huge weeping angel with my name on it in a cemetery somewhere.

    • Marta Acosta
      · September 30th, 2010 at 5:57 pm · Link

      Missy, those marble weeping angels will last longer than a house and be a fab memorial to you! The husband and I have an economical “do not resuscitate” plan which involves the use of a shovel.

  10. Jillene
    · September 30th, 2010 at 5:47 pm · Link

    I’d really want a custom headstone with a big fairy instead of an angel. I’m not sure what I’d want it to say. Maybe some witty song quote or something. “Father Lucifer, you never looked so sane.” or “I am a MILF, don’t you forget.” Tori Amos has all sorts of fun lyrics I could pick from. 😉

    • Marta Acosta
      · September 30th, 2010 at 5:58 pm · Link

      Jillene, now whenever I hear a Tori Amos song I’ll be listening for good tombstone quotes!

  11. Anna (Bite Club)
    · September 30th, 2010 at 6:03 pm · Link

    I want one of those extravagant mausoleums with creepy gargoyles guarding the door and torches. Not sure what the torches are for but I know they should be there. My headstone should have poetry, Byron is my favorite, so maybe:
    She walks in beauty, like the night
    Of cloudless climes and starry skies;

    • Marta Acosta
      · September 30th, 2010 at 7:35 pm · Link

      Moonsanity, I think you’re going to start saving your money for that now! Or better yet, start buying lottery tickets. It’s a lovely quote. My grandfather is buried in a church he helped build, but I’ve never been able to visit it. My father did, though, so I’ll ask if there are any good quotes or plaques for him.

  12. Moonsanity (Brenda)
    · September 30th, 2010 at 7:04 pm · Link

    Hello Marta 😉 I really don’t want a tombstone. I told my husband and kids to bury me somewhere on our ten acres and plant a rose bush over my ashes– I think I would be lovely fertilizer for a rose. 😆 More importantly, I want them all to dress up and play Black Parade by My Chemical Romance– I expect a big ass parade too.

    I’m wondering if there is humor in your YA book? It’s hard to imagine you writing without humor!

    • Marta Acosta
      · September 30th, 2010 at 9:27 pm · Link

      Hi, Moonsanity! Unfortunately, it’s against the law most places to bury someone in the backyard. I’m a gardener and it was the first thing I thought of. However, it’s nice to give someone rose bushes to plant in honor of a loved one. I have an “Abraham Darby” rose from a friend’s garden and I always think it him when I see it.

      I keep such a humorous voice online that I know a lot of readers are surprised that I enjoy writing in a more serious style. I couldn’t resist putting a character named Mary Violet into the gothic novel: her dream is to write novels and she recites crazy poetry at the drop of a hat.

  13. Nellie B
    · September 30th, 2010 at 7:27 pm · Link

    Hmmm…. I’d like my tombstone to say: “The hand basket is comfy for the ride.”

    • Marta Acosta
      · September 30th, 2010 at 7:36 pm · Link

      Nellie, oh that’s very clever!

  14. Melame
    · September 30th, 2010 at 8:28 pm · Link

    Marta, I am a huge fan of the Casa Dracula series. It is hillarious. I would love the new book. 😀 The YA novel sounds like it will be interesting, too.

    I would like “Godless Heathen” on my tombstone, but my mom woulld object and my husband would go along with her. “The. End” would be pretty good, too.

    • Marta Acosta
      · September 30th, 2010 at 9:29 pm · Link

      Hi, Melame, thanks for reading my books! I was really glad to hear that people think Haunted Honeymoon is as funny as the others because I was balancing some dramatic events with the humor. Often times, I think something is hilarious, but no one else does.

      “The End” would be a good tombstone saying except that people might think you were buried upside down. Just saying…

  15. Lisa S.
    · September 30th, 2010 at 9:09 pm · Link

    No tombstone for me, I want to be burned up and scattered in the garden!

    • Marta Acosta
      · September 30th, 2010 at 9:32 pm · Link

      Hi, Lisa, a real gardener would want to go in the compost pile! My beloved dog Dr. Buddy Valentine is buried in the back. We have stones on his grave from the places he loved to run.

      A lot of people bury their pets near home and it’s sad, but also nice to remember how they were part of the family.

  16. Synde
    · September 30th, 2010 at 10:31 pm · Link

    I think i would want this .. It’s nerdy yes but I’m a fool for
    elvish (lotr)so
    Elen Sila lumen omentielmo
    (a star shines in the hour of our meeting)

  17. Gayle Jackson
    · October 1st, 2010 at 4:23 pm · Link

    “No Regrets”
    That says it all :)

    • Marta Acosta
      · October 5th, 2010 at 12:12 pm · Link

      Hi, everyone! I see there are more comments.

      Gayle, love your epitaph!

      Chris, yes, I feel that she’s my friend, too. It’s making me a little concerned about myself.

  18. Christine Moore
    · October 1st, 2010 at 6:49 pm · Link

    It is what it is.
    My favorite saying.

    And Marta please please more Milagro! If this is really the last book it will be like saying goodbye to an old friend!


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