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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Author Interview & Giveaway w/ Marta Acosta!

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Hey Everyone! I know it’s not Tuesday, but this week’s interview and giveaway is coming up on a Wednesday =D

I am very happy to have here today the author of one of my favorite book series, Mata Acosta! She wrote the Casa Dracula series, that has just released it’s final installment, Haunted Honeymoon at Casa Dracula =D

Hope you enjoy the Interview and check out the Giveaway at the end =)



- When did you first start writing?
I started writing in one form or another as soon as I learned how. I was coming up with stories and poems and writing letters. It was a way to entertain myself at school.

- Have you always been interested in Romance?
I don’t follow romance conventions so my books are not categorized as romance, but I’ve always loved romantic stories, especially romantic comedies. I like humor in a story, mishaps, confusion, chaos, and eventually a cheerful resolution.

We know that Elizabeth Bennet will marry Fitzwilliam Darcy. We know that Julia Roberts’ character in “Pretty Woman” will end up with Richard Gere. The delight in these stories is how the characters interact and finally arrive at their destination.

- What about in the Paranormal?
Paranormal stories allow authors to place a sensible, ordinary person in extraordinary circumstances and then try to figure out how to resolve problems without the usual recourses. You can’t exactly run to the police and complain about vampires or werewolves. For example, Buffy Summers was a popular, reasonably normal teenage girl and then she discovered that she was fated to save the world (many times) from demons and vampires.

My character thinks she’s logical (she may be wrong) and she gets thrown in with a snobby, sophisticated family of people who are sensitive to the sun and drink blood, but deny being vampires. She’s a freak magnet and lunatics are always trying to manipulate her, party with her, and/or kill her. There’s bound to be fun.

- Why writing Paranormal Romance?casadracula
My books are often called paranormal romance, which confuses romance readers who expect the conventions: an alpha male hero and a happily ever after ending in every book. As a humorist, it’s fun to put together two things that shouldn’t go together. Comedies-of-manners are about social
class, banter, flirtatious exploits… Popular images of vampires always show them as successful, gorgeous, accomplished, and wealthy. Of course they’d be terrific snobs! I thought it was fun to throw a bright, snarky, rather aimless party girl in with them.

They refuse to acknowledge that they’re vampires and call their blood-drinking a “condition.” They really wish she would go away, but eventually they all come to care for one another. Milagro finds the family she’s always needed with these vampires.

- Were there any Books, Movies or Writers that have inspired you?
Milagro’s situation was inspired by both gothic novels and Jane Austen’s novels. An impoverished young woman finds herself at an isolated country estate with snobs. She falls in love with someone who is unattainable. Mayhem ensues.

I didn’t do this consciously, but I think Haunted Honeymoon might have been inspired a bit by the underrated comedy “Overboard” with Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell. Hawn plays a rich bitch who hits her head and gets amnesia. Her interactions with the brawny, uncouth Russell are funny and sexy.

Milagro gets amnesia, but instead of being traumatized or depressed, she reverts to the happy-go-lucky girl she was before she met the vampires. Now they’re the ones trying to convince her that they’re vampires, and she’s the one saying, “Don’t talk crazy. It’s just a condition.”

- What is your favorite subject in the Paranormal Romance Realm?
I’m more a fan of grittier urban fantasy than paranormal romance. I like stories that incorporate humor with tension, so you get the tension of a situation and then the release of laughter. I like characters who don’t take themselves too seriously or whine or are filled with angst. I don’t have
much tolerance for angst.


- Favorite Paranormal themed Movie?
There are too many to name, but I thought the recent Swedish vamp film “Let the Right One In” was really good.

- Favorite Paranormal themed TV Show?
I’m a fan of the BBC’s “Being Human” and “Torchwood,” and I love “Supernatural.” I still miss “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” All of these shows have humor with drama, action, and some romantic elements.

- Favorite Paranormal themed Book?
I can’t decide between Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Prachett and Everything But the Dog by Connie Willis. Or maybe The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde. In terms of non- humorous stories, it’s probably Kindred by Octavia Butler, or American Gods by Neil Gaiman.

n223024- Favorite Author?
Jane Austen, because I can read her books over and over again. Persuasion is probably my favorite. My characters Ian and Cornelia Ducharme were inspired by the immoral, charming Henry and Mary Crawford in Mansfield Park.

- Favorite Paranormal Romance Author?
Oh, if my books were categorized as paranormal romance, it would be me. I crack myself up and I can make myself cry.

- Favorite Genre that is NOT your own?
I love reading mysteries with lots of twists and character development. I also like reading mysteries or suspense set in a different historical era like Fingersmith by Sarah Waters.

- Favorite one of your Books?
If I exclude Haunted Honeymoon, then I’d choose Midnight Brunch. I like the wacky setting in the California desert.

- Who is your favorite of your own characters?
Besides Milagro? It’s a difficult choice. I’m not going to say one of the men because then you’ll know who she chooses. I love chic, sharp-edged Edna Grant, the grandmother. She was wild when she was young and I think she identifies with Milagro. I love writing their snarky banter.

I’m crazy about Bernie Vines, the tabloid writer/English teacher who quotes poetry, makes Milagro grade papers for him, hangs out at a dive bar, and has a personal library filled with first editions.

- Which was the hardest to write?
It would be Midnight Brunch. I never intended to do a second book and when my editor asked for one, I had no idea what to do. I wrote a story that I really liked, but she didn’t because it wasn’t “romancey” or glamorous enough for her. I had to completely rewrite it. I posted my first version, Monster Motel, as a free read at www.scribd.com.

- What would you be if not a writer?
I would have some crap office job. Why? Because that’s what English majors do. I used to work in the theatre, which I loved, but theatre jobs are unstable and pay really badly and you have to work nights. My family takes priority over any job.

- If you could be a Paranormal Being, Who would you be?
I have no desire to be a paranormal creature – there are too many drawbacks to the job descriptions.


- Coffee or Tea? Coffee in the morning and tea later.images
- Up or Down? Sideways.
- Virtual or Real? Real.
- Right or Left? Ahead, but in a meandering fashion.
- Day or Night? Day.
- Here or There? Here because I’m in California.

- Sooner or Later? Sooner. I’m impatient.
- Light or Dark? Clear days and dark stories.
- Fast or Slow? “I was driving just under the limit, officer.”
- Vampires or Werewolves? Vampires.
- Angels or Demons? Neither, unless you can write like John Milton.
- Reading or Writing? Both.

- What is your favorite part of the writing process? Coming up with some idea that brings my whole story into focus.

- What is your least favorite part? Trying to figure out the mechanics of scenes with multiple characters.

- The Casa Dracula series in your own words? Vampires, margaritas, mayhem, oh, my!

- Haunted Honeymoon is the last book in the Casa Dracula series, will you miss writing those characters? I miss them already. I’m thinking that maybe Milagro and her sexy husband can solve mysteries.

- Any plans for more stories for them, maybe a short story? I’m not thinking that far ahead.

- What is coming up next for you?
I have a story in The Mammoth Book of Scottish Romance anthology which comes out in February 2011. I had to figure out how to work my ideas into an entertaining tale that romance readers would enjoy. I didn’t know how graphic I was supposed to be with sex scenes, or how detailed so I visited romance websites to see what those readers like. Writing a short story was also a challenge because I’m used to a longer format.

Haunted Honeymoon med cover (1) - What are you working on right now?
I’ll be working on The Shadow Girl of Birch Grove, a young adult gothic, with my new editor at Tor Books, as soon as I get my notes. I’m thrilled to have sold this story to Tor, because it’s such a great house for genre fiction and YA.

I’m also writing an adult gothic that’s set in 1850 and 1990. I’ll probably have to visit museums and talk to historians about details for every day life during the Gold Rush because I think readers of historical fiction like to know the nitty-gritty. I know I do.

- Do you have any advice or tip to those like me that want to become a published Author someday?
You’re doing the right thing now by writing on a blog. It teaches you discipline and helps you hone your communication skills. You’re also developing a readership and connecting with writers and editors who can give you advice. You’re learning how the business side of how it all works.

Other than that, I’d say that you can’t be sensitive. People who are easily hurt and get angry whenever they’re criticized or rejected should stick to writing private journals. You have to be tenacious, willing to listen to advice, and willing to work hard to promote yourself.

- Anything you would like to say to your fans out there?
I’d like to say thanks to all the people who’ve taken the time to read my books, to write to me, and to join my social sites. It’s amazing to me that I’m able to entertain people all over the US and all over the world. I realize how very lucky I am.

- Thanks so much for being here!
Thank you for having me, Larissa! I wish you the best of luck with your writing.

marta costa title


Find Marta Acosta Online:

Website | Vampire Wire | Twitter | Facebook

Buy Marta’s Books:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books On Board


Giveaway graph4


Win a Copy of “Haunted Honeymoon at Casa Dracula” by Marta Acosta!

Haunted Honeymoon med cover (1)

4th & Last Book in The Casa Dracula Series!

To Enter:

- Leave a comment about anything on this post.
- Leave an EMAIL for contact! (if you don’t feel comfortable leaving it here, email me at larissa@larissaslife.com)

Extra Entries:

+5 Google Friend Connect Follower
+5 Networked Blogs Follower
+3 Follow me on Twitter (@larissa_sarah)

+3 Follow Marta on Twitter (@MartaAcosta)

+2 “Like” Larissa's Life on Facebook
+2 Be my friend on Goodreads
+1 Add all your entries! (including this one!)

U.S. Only!

Ends October 19th!

Good Luck!


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19 Responses so far.

  1. Thanks for the wonderful interview! I absolutely love the look of this book :D

    +5 Google Friend Connect Follower
    +5 Networked Blogs Follower
    +3 Follow me on Twitter (@ashleybookshelf)
    +3 Follow Marta on Twitter (@ashleybookshelf)
    +2 “Like” Larissa's Life on Facebook
    +2 Be my friend on Goodreads
    +1 Add all your entries! (including this one!)

    = 21


    Ashley's Bookshelf

  2. BJ says:

    OMG I so want to read this Book!!!!
    Love the window into your world it was nice! (1)
    Extra entries
    +5 GFC follower
    +5 Network Blog follower
    +3 Your twitter Follower
    +1 Adding all up
    total including first entry = 15
    Thanks for the chance to win

  3. Danielle says:

    A 'Buffy' fan! As if I didn't love this author enough already...?
    Plus a shout-out to 'Being Human' and 'Torchwood'? How freakin cool!

  4. Great Interview. I havent read any of your books yet, but will be adding them to my read pile.


    +5 Google Friend Connect Follower
    +5 Networked Blogs Follower
    +2 “Like” Larissa's Life on Facebook
    +2 Be my friend on goodreads
    +1 Add all your entries!

    16 total

  5. Tore says:

    I am a follower and email subscriber. I love reading books above vampires. I loved Buffy the Vampire Slayer and I love the Twilight Series. Please enter me in contest. I would love to win this book. Tore923@aol.com

  6. Marta says:

    Hi, Larissa, thanks for having me here! You started early since we're on different continents, and I just got up and am having my coffee on this Wednesday morning. (Sun shining, temperatures rising, azure sky here in California.)

    -Ashley, I love the cover, too, which I think finally gets across the flirty, playful, sexy style of my heroine Milagro. The cover artist is Elena Dudina.
    -BJ, good luck to you in the contests! Even tho this is book 4, people who've never read the series love it and it can be read as a stand-alone.
    -Danielle, I think what those shows and I have in common is a type of humor. If you like them, you should try my books.
    -Stacy, thanks! I've also got free reads and chapters at www.Scribd.com so you can get a sense of my writing.

  7. Melissa says:

    Love Jane Austen! For some reason that really peaked my already peaked interest! So, yea... I really want to read your books. :)

    books (dot) things (at) yahoo (dot) com

    +5 Google Friend Connect Follower
    +3 Follow me on Twitter @BooksThings
    +3 Follow Marta on Twitter (@MartaAcosta)
    +2 Be my friend on Goodreads
    +1 Add all your entries! (including this one!)

  8. Marta says:

    Hi, Melissa, a few reviewers have noted that I'm paying homage to Jane with my comedy-of-manners. Amanda at Love Vampires said, "Above all the author never insults the intelligence of the reader – drawing on the influences of classic literature, Jane Austen in particular, and mixing it up with her own unique style to create a hugely enjoyable and intelligent reading experience." Yes, that makes me feel all happy and fuzzy.

  9. I've wanted to read this book just from the cover. It's beautiful. I can't wait to get my hands on it! I love how the author talks of romantic comedies. I never thought of it that way...yes you do know that the two main characters get together, but the fun part is how.

    5 Google Friends
    3 Twitter Follower
    2 Like on FB already
    2 Friend on Goodreads
    1 Add

    Total = 13

  10. I adore the writing style of Marta!
    +5 Google Friend Connect Follower
    +5 Networked Blogs Follower
    +3 Follow me on Twitter (@larissa_sarah)
    +3 Follow Marta on Twitter (@MartaAcosta)

    +2 “Like” Larissa's Life on Facebook
    +2 Be my friend on Goodreads
    +1 Add all your entries! (including this one!)
    I think I count 22 entries...
    Many thanks, Cindi

  11. lynnb says:

    Just discovered your blog Larissa- nice work.
    Love Marta's stories- especially the out-loud laughs. I appreciate the fact that she shares her writings on sites like scribd.

    1- this post
    +2- like on facebook
    +2- friend on goodreads
    +1- add entries

  12. Andrea I says:

    I can't wait to read this one. I've enjoyed the other Casa Dracula books.

    +5 GFC follower
    +5 Networked Blogs follower
    +3 Follow you on Twitter. @lillieblue613
    +3 Follow Marta on Twitter @lillieblue613
    +2 Like on Facebook Andrea Infinger
    +2 Follow on GoodReads. Andrea Infinger
    +1 Total

    Total = 21


  13. I loved the "this or that" portion of the interview!! Sooo fun!! I absolutely love her books, so I would be thrilled to win! Thanks for the giveaway opportunity!

    Original entry = +1
    Like Larissa's Life on Facebook = +2
    Friend on Goodreads = +1
    Add all entries = +1

    Total = 5

  14. Marta says:

    -Hi, Midnydt, yep, in romantic comedies, we're certain of the outcome so the fun comes in the set up and mishaps before the characters get there.
    -Windy, thanks! I love writing humorous fiction and have a great time at my Vampire Wire blog.
    -LynnB, glad you've been able to go to Scribd and read my freebies. I keep telling people that there's a hawt no-quite-sex scene in Monster Motel with two favorite characters from the Casa Dracula series, and that scene isn't anywhere else.
    -Andrea, this book is my favorite of the series! My second fave is actually Midnight Brunch.
    -Hi, Princess, so nice to hear your kind words! Good luck in the contest! If you go to the Simon & Schuster site, you can read the first chapter of Haunted Honeymoon.

  15. I love this series! Thanks for the giveaway!

    Extra Entries:

    +5 Google Friend Connect Follower
    +5 Networked Blogs Follower (Jessica Spettoli)
    +3 Follower on Twitter (@jmspettoli)
    +3 Follower of Marta on Twitter (@jmspettoli)
    +2 “Like” Larissa's Life on Facebook (Jessica Spettoli)
    +2 Friend on Goodreads (jmspettoli)
    +1 Total: 22

    spettolij AT gmail DOT com

  16. Carol M says:

    I love humor in a story! I'm sure I would enjoy this book very much!

    +5 Google Friend Connect Follower
    +3 Follow me on Twitter-@CarolAnnM
    +3 Follow Marta on Twitter-@CarolAnnM
    +1 Add all your entries!


    mittens0831 at aol dot com

  17. hendy says:

    Thanks for the giveaway, book looks awesome.
    +5 Follow via GFC
    +3 Follow on Twitter @HendyMartin
    +1 Add entries
    Total =9 extra entries
    hmhenderson AT yahoo DOT com

  18. amyt865 says:

    Great Interview and I would love to try the Casa Dracula series! Please enter me. Thanks for the giveaway!

    +5 GFC
    +3 Follow/Twitter (larissa_sarah)
    +2 GoodReads Friend

    Total 11

  19. Anonymous says:

    thanks for the post and giveaway! I love to read about author's and be able to see them as regular people by knowing more about them (such as if they like coffee or tea).

    Extra Entries:

    +5 Google Friend Connect Follower
    +5 Networked Blogs Follower (FB Emma Melero Juarez)
    +3 Follow you on Twitter(@emjuarez)
    +3 Follow Marta on Twitter
    +2 “Like” Larissa's Life on Facebook
    +2 Be my friend on Goodreads
    +1 Add all your entries! (including this one!)

    Total amount of enteries =21

    Thanks again,

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