UPDATED CONTEST RULES:
Marta is offering a signed copy of Haunted Honeymoon or if you'd prefer, one of the earlier titles. To enter read the interview and suggest a title for a hypothetical 5th book or just leave a comment or ask Marta a question. As a bonus and because I love the series, I am offering a prize pack of the first three books. Just tell me why you deserve them rather than any other reader. I'll give a bonus entry for the best haiku about the Casa Dracula series or rhyme on the theme of 'vampires on honeymoon'. Contest guidelines are found at the end of the post.
On with the show and welcome to our illustrious author, comedian(?) and patroness of the Vampire Wire blog.
SFG: To quote a line from Vickie Pearle (Gilda Radner) in Haunted Honeymoon, “Holy baloney. Here we go again.” What prompted you to write a fourth Casa Dracula novel?
I was really happy to have the opportunity to write the next book, Haunted Honeymoon, where I could tie everything up with a nice bow. Now when Milagro decides to get married, it’s because she’s truly in love and ready to be married, not just acting on impulse. This book makes the series feel wonderfully complete to me.
SFG: Speaking of Casa Dracula, I have read all four books without a sign of Dracula. What’s up with that?
Were you ploughing through a case of Molson when you read my books? Because it’s all there! I carefully encrypted haikus to Count Dracula in a diagonal pattern throughout the series. Here’s an example.
Mina Harker’s blood
is as tasty as her bod
I heart her so much!
My coffin is cramped
With mildewed satin lining
Must buy a Serta
My technique is to think of a funny name and then build a whole story around it to justify saying the name repeatedly. That way I don’t get bored when I’m writing. I can’t remember how I thought of the name Senor Pickles, but I immediately recognized that it was a brilliant moniker for a cat. Really, it inspired the entire book. I’m also very fond of the “Does It Itch?” Free Clinic. As Milagro says so insightfully, “Everyone knows it isn’t supposed to itch.”
SFG: Two characters initiate the mystery that forms the center of the novel, Cricket and Ford Poindexter. There has to be a joke there somewhere, what is it?
SFG: You have also brought back the outrageous character Don Pedro. Surely he is based on someone you know. Spill.
Don Pedro isn’t based on anyone I know, but I adore literary hoaxers, those authors who fake a memoir and get a huge cult following and go on Oprah. They’re easy to spot, but no one seems to care that their entire stories are obviously bogus. I imagined that Milagro would be outraged to see someone with such a flagrantly ridiculous story get critical praise while she can’t even sell her fiction. Although, her fiction is pretty crazy stuff. I like to think that Milagro’s stories will be discovered in the future and that she’ll be seen as a visionary.
SFG: Given the title of the novel and without giving any spoilers it is fairly obvious that Milagro makes a choice between bad boy Ian and perfect Oswald. Did you consider other choices?
Yes, I considered having her find someone who was more moderate, yet smitten with her. In My Fair Lady, Eliza Doolittle stays with Professor Henry Higgins. The musical was based on George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion, but in Shaw’s original story, Eliza marries Freddie, the amiable young guy who’s infatuated with her. Shaw said that Eliza would be a fool if she went with Professor Higgins. She could have a very nice life with Freddie, however.
SFG: Of the four Casa Dracula novels do you have a personal favourite or is it just the one that makes the most money *grin*?
My favorite is Haunted Honeymoon and that’s partially because I was without an editor for much of it (my editor left Simon & Schuster/Pocket) so I wrote whatever I wanted. If left to my own devices, the novels would have been quite different…which is not to say better, but different. I love the way the story ended and people have been telling me that it makes them cry, but in the good, happy way.
SFG: Have we seen the last of Milagro or will she start a new series of adventures as a married woman?
If any publisher was interested in more stories, i.e., willing to buy them, I’d enjoy writing stories about Milagro and her sexy husband solving mysterious and going to parties. They’d be like Nick and Nora of The Thin Man movies with lots of bantering, flirting, a dog, parties, and corpses.
I actually have other projects to work on. The first is a young adult gothic, The Shadow Girl of Birch Grove, which will be published by Tor Books in 2012. I’m also working on a gritty and sordid adult gothic and another romantic comedy set in San Francisco.
But no one read Nancy’s Theory of Style, my romcom under the name Grace Coopersmith, so I may bag that new romantic comedy idea. I think Nancy’s Theory is delightful, however, and still hope people will discover it. I’m offering the manuscript as a free read at Scribd.com.
SFG: So when does the movie come out and who are your choices for playing Milagro, Ian and Oswald (or any of the other main characters).
Maybe it’s because I worked for theatre companies, but I saw lots of actors play lots of roles, so I’m more focused on an actor’s skill than if he or she looks exactly the way a character is described. Good actors can utterly transform themselves. Holland Taylor doesn’t look like Edna Grant, but she’d make a hilarious sharp-tongued, sexy, chic Edna.
Natalie Morales, who starred in the short-lived and hilarious sci-fi “The Middleman,” is all angles where Milagro is curves, but she has the right snarky, smart, flirty delivery to play the role.
Someone like Rufus Sewell, who’s too tall and handsome, could play Ian, because he’s got a great voice and charisma, and that’s important to the character. Someone like Jeffrey Donovan could play Oswald, because the character is polished and has a low-key intensity.
|L-R: Holland Taylor, Natalie Morales, Rufus Sewell, Jeffrey Donovan|
It’s no crime to laugh
At a girl amongst vampires
When “mayhem ensues”
Marta it is always a pleasure having you visit as it makes my nefarious undermining job so much easier when all I have to do is let you answer my simplistic queries. Laughter is in order.
- To enter for a signed copy of Haunted Honeymoon suggest a title for a hypothetical 5th book in the Casa Dracula series or simply leave a comment or question for Marta. Winner will be selected randomly.
- To enter for the 3 book prize pack just tell me why you deserve the pack rather than any other reader. For a bonus entry write a haiku about the Casa Dracula series or a rhyme on the theme of 'vampires on honeymoon'. Remember that haiku uses a 5/7/5 syllable format (have a look at Marta's haiku's). Alternatively simply provide a rhyming stanza such as -
Her loving groom
they're cozy in their tomb.
I now pronounce you vamp and vamp-wife
Please be true to sucking for life.
- Leave a way for us to contact you
- Contest is open to US/Canada.
- Contest ends October 12 at Midnight EST.
- Links to the interview/giveaway on your favourite social media site would be appreciated.