Friday, 12 September 2008
This week the avid gardener, blogger and author Marta Acosta is my guest on Amberkatze's Book Blog. Marta already has 2 books under her belt and her third release is due out next week. If you haven't already read any of the Casa Dracula books then be sure to check them out. The mix of chick-lit and paranormal goes down well in this funny series.

Not only does Marta write books but she also keeps people up to date with the vampire world via her blog Vampire Wire. If you ever feel the need to know who is writing what, what is worth watching or what paranormal goodies are on offer then Vampire Wire is worth checking out.

After the interview there is a contest so keep reading because it is time for Casa Dracula's leading lady Milagro to have a little bridal shower here on Amberkatze's Book Blog!

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Amber - Marta it is great to have you here on Amberkatze's Book Blog! To start things off could you tell us a little bit about your Casa Dracula series?

Marta - Hi, Amber, it’s great to be here! I’m not very good at coloring within the lines, so my books are romantic comedies with mystery, adventure, and paranormal elements. They are classified as contemporary fiction, and readers can find them in the General Fiction section of their bookstores. Milagro de Los Santos is a funny, smart, sometimes impulsive young woman who finds herself among a group of people with a genetic anomaly that some would call vampirism. She’s something of a freak magnet, so no matter what situation she resolves, another loony comes along with another problem. Her main romantic interest is Oswald Grant, a very decent and hard-working doctor, but she’s constantly tempted by Ian Ducharme, who has a very murky background.

Amber - The Bride of Casa Dracula is the third book in the series and will be released on the 16th of September. Is that the end of the series or are there more books about Milagro to come?

Marta - I’ve sold the fourth Casa Dracula book, and it will be published in 2010. That seems a long way off, but somehow deadlines rush up on me.

Amber - Did you have to do a lot of research for your books? Milagro is a writer like yourself but she is also a gardener. Do you like to potter around in the garden?

Marta - I do garden, but I didn’t originally conceive of Milagro as a gardener. I was trying to think of a job that her father might have and decided on landscape work, since I was familiar with a few landscapers. I thought it would be nice if Milagro had learned some skills from her father’s business.

Amber - How did you come up with the idea for the series? Was it something that came to you over night or more of a long drawn out process?

Marta - I came up with the idea in a moment when I was complaining about stereotypes and clichés in fantasy and sci-fi. But then I had to think my concept through. I’ve always loved romantic comedies, especially in the form of comedies-of-manners, such as Jane Austen’s work. So, in classic comedy form, I put two disparate things together and tried to find the humor.

Amber - Is Milagro (also a writer...maybe a gardener?) or any of the other characters in the series based on yourself or people in your life?

Marta - Milagro was very much a conscious construct. I wanted a character who resembled the characters I loved in my favorite books. I thought about the traits that made them special to me: humor, intelligence, decency, self-reliance and a bit of cluelessness. They’re not whiners or cheaters or purposefully cruel, but they do make mistakes and try to fix them. When people tell me that they want Milagro for a friend, I know I’ve succeeded.

Amber - When did you decide you wanted to be a writer and why? What advice would you give to anyone who wants to become a writer?

Marta - I can’t remember when or if I make a decision to become a writer. I wrote stories and poems from childhood. I think that writers write. It’s the way we express and entertain ourselves. My advice to anyone who wants to be a writer is to read extensively and write. I think that many people like the idea of being a writer more than actually sitting down and writing.

Amber - What are some of the best moments you have had so far as a writer?

Marta - There have been a lot! Recently my first novel, Happy Hour at Casa Dracula, got picked up as a book selection by the Russian Harper’s Bazaar, and that was a thrill – thinking that people are reading my book in Russia. I love getting emails from readers. The fact that someone took the time to look up my email address and send me a note means so much to me.

Amber - Are you working on any other projects other than the Casa Dracula series?

Marta - I’ve finished up a Young Adult novel, a gothic story set at an exclusive all-girls school, and I have that very happy feeling I get when something is right. It’s with my agent now. I’m also finishing up a romantic comedy/social satire about an event planner and her fall from grace. That will be published by Simon & Schuster next year.

Amber - You also blog alot and have a wonderful site 'Vampire Wire.'. How did that come about? Please tell my readers a little about it ;)

Marta - I’d been visiting various blogs and trying different approaches to my own blog when I realized that there was no comprehensive paranormal entertainment site. I came up with the idea of a blog which had daily updates on reviews, news, and stories. I made a decision not to review books, but to help promote other authors. At first Vampire Wire. had just a few links a day, but people started noticing the blog and sending me books and news. Now I run contests on a regular basis and have a great group of regular visitors.

Amber - What films do you like to watch? TV? Any favourites?

Marta - I love comedies and independent films. My TV watching is all over the place, but I’m a big fan of “Dr. Who,” “Torchwood,” and “Supernatural.” They’re that mix of smart, funny, scary that really appeals to me. I love “Project Runway” and “Ugly Betty.”

Amber - Your Casa Dracula books are paranormal, romance and a little chick-lit. What books do you like to read?

Marta - I read the classics, natch, but I like to wander around the bookstore and I’ll buy whatever takes my fancy. In my current TBR pile are Connie Willis’s Doomsday Book (sci-fi), Julia Spencer-Fleming’s I Shall Not Want (mystery), Kathleen Givens’s Rivals for the Crown (historical fiction), and Nancy Mitford’s Don’t Tell Alfred (literary fiction).

Amber - Do you have any favourite music/bands? Any you listened to while writing the Casa Dracula series?

Marta - I listen primarily to rock and punk, but I like old soul. Right now I cannot get enough of the Dandy Warhols. Lately, I’m listening to Death Cab for Cutie and the new Coldplay album, which is odd because I usually hate Coldplay. My iTunes has everything from Placido Domingo to Terrence Blanchard to the Velvet Underground.

When I was writing Midnight Brunch, I listened to the Eagles’ “Hotel California” and Andrew W.K.’s “Party Hard” a lot. I listened to Aretha Franklin and Dionne Warwick singing Burt Bacharach songs for Happy Hour at Casa Dracula.


Amber - If Casa Dracula was going to be made into a TV series or film who would you like to see playing in the production and as what character?

Marta - I shall leave Milagro to your imagination, but I could see Jude Law as Oswald and I’ve always thought that someone like Holland Taylor would make a wonderful Edna. You can watch the trailers I made for my novels on You Tube! The quality is terrible, but I like them anyway.

Amber - You are stranded on a desert island....who would take with you and what 3 items must you have to survive!?

Marta - I would have to take my fabulous husband Miguel, who is very practical and can hunt and fish and never gets tired of having ridiculous conversations with me. And my dogs. I would take a library of books (yes, that counts as one thing!), my laptop, and a waterproof tarp.

Thanks, Amber, for having me as a guest!


Amber - Thank you Marta for taking the time to answer my questions and for your support!

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My review of Happy Hour at Casa Dracula

My review of Midnight Brunch


My review of the Bride of Casa Dracula



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Contest time!!

The Bride of Casa Dracula is due out on September 16th so the theme for this contest is 'Weddings'!

I want to hear about your funny, interesting or outrageous wedding related stories! The best 2 will win the following prizes!

One US winner will win a copy of The Bride of Casa Dracula from Marta herself!! While the other winner (international) will win their choice of book from the Casa Dracula series from me!

To enter the contest you must make a comment on this post telling me and Marta your wedding story! No story no entry! You must also state if you are in the US or not!!! Anyone who doesn't add a note about being in the States will not be entered for Marta's prize ans will only be entered to win my prize. People in the States will be entered for both prizes.

The contest will stay open till Thursday the 18th of September 8pm CET. Please come back and check if you won!!! I don't always have time to hunt down the winners.

Enter away! I can't wait to read the stories ;)

Oh and make sure you go over to Vampire Wire because Marta is also giving away a copy of her new book there and posting about her other contests she has open ready for the release of new book.

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posted by Amber Katze at Friday, September 12, 2008 |


17 Comments:


At 12 September 2008 at 11:08, Blogger Susan Helene Gottfried

Hey, babe! Another good one!

No need to enter me (sniff); I'm just letting you know I've got this posted at Win a Book.

 

At 12 September 2008 at 11:47, OpenID morgaine77

Last year my host-sister in San Diego got married, so I of course went to her wedding! (I still lived in Switzerland then)

Anyways, the food was provided by Alyssa's uncle Bruce, who's a caterer. To save money, all the family and friends that were there a couple of days before the wedding were put to work.

On the wedding day, I was the last one at home, putting on the finishing touches on me - nice dress, careful make-up - the whole nine yards, you get the idea. Suddenly the phone rings and Bruce rather panicky tells me: "We forgot the Strawberrys and Tortillas for the dessert!" No worries, that's what I was there for, to help. So on my way to the wedding I drove by Henry's and bought about 4kgs of Strawberries, 300 flour tortillas and 200 corn tortillas. As you can imagine, that was a rather funny view - a totally made up chick (in heels! I never wear heels!) going to buy loads of Strawberries and Tortillas! Sure enough, at the check out the bagger says rather drily: "Oh, someone's working at a restaurant..." And my reply: "No, someone's going to a wedding..."

So that's how I saved the dessert. :-) the wedding was awesome, by the way!

cheers
Tanja aka Morgaine77

 

At 12 September 2008 at 15:17, Blogger pussreboots

My grandmother was a wedding coordinator and I was her assistant. I would earn $15 a wedding and sometimes we'd do as many as 3 in a day, making for exhausting work. Over the course of being her assistant I learned how to cut and serve wedding cake. We got invited to so many receptions just so we could cut and serve cake!

By the time I was engaged I was so sick of wedding planning I ended up letting my fiance do most of the planning. He picked the colors, the cake, the location, the food and all I had to do was pick out my dress and the cake topper. And yes, my grandmother was our wedding coordinator. It was the last wedding she did.

 

At 12 September 2008 at 18:18, Blogger Kathy

My son was getting married and both my daughters were going to be bridesmaids. About a week before the wedding, I ask my daughters if they had a strapless bra to wear, yes, they both assured me they had one. Well they did, they had ONE and they both intended to wear it. I heard them the morning of the wedding upstairs fighting over it. By 9am I was at the store searching for a strapless bra in the right size.

 

At 12 September 2008 at 18:44, Blogger Shannon

I have the books so please skip me, I just had to share this.

I live in Florida & my sister-in-law is a photographer so I've seen some pretty funny stuff but I can think of one that iced the cake. There are a lot of people in Florida who just don't care how bad the whether is they are getting married on the beach. One women with very bad taste in wedding decorations decided she would get married & no hurricane would stop her. It was I belive about a day before Ivan was set to hit the cost her red rose decorations were strung over half the beach because they set up at 8AM & Were getting married at dusk. Chairs were in the water, the alter was flowerless, & her red velvet carpet was soaked, but she was getting married. When then rain settled down to a drizzle she demanded that they flip her red carpet over to the plastic side & set the arch upright. Everybody took there place & the bride rushed up the carpet to slip on the wet plastic & land dress up face in the fathers crotch wherein blue boyshorts with the words DO ME printed across the butt. I've never seen someone turn so red needless to say I think that was the last straw that bride. She decide to postpone the wedding. Who gets married in hurricanes, & most of all who were panties that say do me under there white wedding dress. The worst part of it all was my sister could not even take any pictures because they were suppose to start taking photos of the bridal party at 2 but the whether didn't allow it & she ran through both of her camera batteries & her notebook battery. One of the family members got a great video of it they should really try to put it on Americas funniest home videos are something, I'm sure it would win.

 

At 12 September 2008 at 19:14, Blogger Marta

Morgaine, I am trying to figure out what kind of dessert you can make with strawberries and tortillas!

Pussreboots, I'm glad your grandmother was there for your wedding. I bet she didn't mind cutting that cake.

Kathy, I missed all that drama by having only brothers.

Shannon, that story is hysterical. Too bad your sister didn't get a picture of the wedding lingerie.

 

At 12 September 2008 at 23:47, Anonymous Lina

Sounds AWESOME! I would love a chance to win a book by Marta Acosta!
So, my sister just got married three weeks ago and at the end of the reception everyone started dancing. My dad use to be a DJ so he had everything set up, it was great. Well, my little nephew, my sister and her new husband's 3yr old loves music and he was really feeling the music. I mean he was getting down! Everyone was watching him as he got down in the middle of the dance floor. It was sooo cute. Anyways one of my sisters friends he really likes and kept grabbing her hand, trying to get her out in the middle of the dance floor. She danced with the little guy for a while then would go sit down or dance with us girls and he would find her and drag her back onto the dance floor. It was the funniest thing. Well, finally she refused to get dragged back out in the middle of the dance floor by 3yr old 'Mr. Smooth' so she just sat down and watched the dancing for awhile. And as you can guess, little 'Mr. Smooth' wouldn't have it. He tried pulling her back out there and she wouldn't buge. So, you'd think he'd give up and go back on the dance floor and entertain everyone, right? Nope. Not this little guy. He broke out the moves right there infront of here while she sat in her seat! And when I say 'he broke out the moves' I mean 'he really really broke out the moves.' It was hilarious and everyone was cracking up! Now everyone teases her about the 3yr old who wouldn't leave her alone and practically gave her a lap dance. I don't know where he got it from and my sister swears she doesn't either. She's blaming it on MTV. I guess that's the end of music vidoes for little 'Mr. Smooth' for while. LOL. ;)

-Lina (US)

 

At 12 September 2008 at 23:57, Blogger SusB

After our wedding rehearsal, we were in a hurry to pick a tablecloth for the cake table for the reception and since we couldn't find the light switch, we just flipped a tablecoth over the table to see if it fit and then left it. The morning of the wedding our florist was beside herself because the baker had set up the cake and its four attached rounds, but the tablecloth was on upside down so all of the lace seams were showing. I just laughed and used things like plates, cups and napkins to cover it up. I figured that it wasn't a big enough deal to worry about. Not a single person brought it up, so either they were all polite or nobody saw it.

 

At 13 September 2008 at 07:26, Anonymous Fuzzmom

My late hubby and I got married in 1974. Smack in the middle of the first "gas crisis"! We had forgotten to fill up the day of the wedding and so when we awoke the next morning to drive to our reserved honeymoon getaway.....no gas! So we ended up taking the motorcycle (exempt from gas rationing) to a local "Japanese Village and Deer Park" and a "Wax Museum". It was fun, unigue for sure, and since space is severely limited on a motorcycle...my only memorabila from my honeymoon is keychains! Since then I have been collecting them and now have close to 700!

 

At 13 September 2008 at 09:25, Blogger catslady

39 yrs. ago and the night before the wedding, my last words to my soon to be was don't forget to get gas for our new car. Yeah, you know what's coming but here he was in his tux with his best man, pushing a new fancy english sports car down the street. He gets it to a gas station and says, "I don't know what's wrong with it" and the mechanic says he doesn't know anything about those kind of cars. Lucky for me a little kid was standing near by and says, "Hey, mister, you got gas?" Well he was half an hour late and when he enters the church, he turns to tell his mother in a booming voice that he ran out of gas so I got to start down the aisle with everyone laughing their heads off!!! He still never listens to me! I'm in the u.s. :)

 

At 13 September 2008 at 10:23, Blogger Kimberly Swan

No entry for me, I've already had the pleasure of reading all 3. Good luck to everyone sharing their stories for a chance to win! :)

Great interview ladies! I think Marta's the first one I've read who thought to take a waterproof tarp with her to the deserted island. *grin*

 

At 13 September 2008 at 12:14, Blogger Sassy Mama Bear

My wedding horror, before we were able to get the photos done my best man in his adorable silver/grey tux helped my mother set out the punchbowl, ALAS the punchbowl which my parents had gotten as a wedding gift chose that moment to break splattering our best man in cranberry based punch. My pictures include a stained tuxedo and a half-dressed ring bearer who kept stripping out of his clothes. And the Pastor forgot the commitment candle portion of the ceremony. thankfully that messed up day was not the start of a bad marriage. We have been married 17 years and are going strong here in WI, USA!

Penelope Anne
sassylucylootoo(at)yahoo(dot)com

 

At 14 September 2008 at 06:57, Blogger Inara

Big sigh! I just have nothing to say about weddings, being not married myself and my friends - well, let´s say before they don´t have at least two children they don´t even consider it...
But - last year my cousin married (exception: he has only one child so far)and it was winter, misty and cold and I froze my a.. off in my flimsy dress, caught a cold and bad temper. No, weddings are nothing for me...
Inara

 

At 14 September 2008 at 08:26, Anonymous hippolein

Living in Finland, so this would be international ;-)

Wedding problem, was when my sister got married, the guests found it necessary to pack in the whole car (they were planning to use for the wedding trip after the party stopped) in WC-paper and on top of that they had been thinking about taking out all the screws of the seats (but my father noticed that and made them put them back all ok - my brother in law had a brain surgery shortly before the wedding and he was afraid for the consequences).
My parents haven't talked to the parents of the boy for ages after the wedding, as the mother had found it necessary to change almost everything about the wedding without telling anybody anything (food, presents, ...).

Some luck my own wedding had as only problem the terrible storm we had that day, and our party was on a small boat cruising outside town ;-)

 

At 14 September 2008 at 16:24, Blogger Cherie

Alas, I didn't see a copy of this arrive in the mail from Marta herself (though I did email her about it, but on Facebook) so let me go ahead and enter here. Oh and I'm in the US as you know. :)

Wedding story? Hmmm... I'll have to think long and hard. I've been to so many weddings, been a bridesmaid in several more, but I can't think of anything super outstanding or funny about any of them. Isn't it always just the same old dull affair over and over again? (Which is why you will never find me in a frilly dress and a stuffy old building. Ick!) Though Mike and I have discussed doing something informal out on the beach once we get settled out in California. *shrug*

Is that enough of a story? No? Alright, how's this one then... Mike had to remind me of it and it didn't happen at an official wedding but at Engagement party for some friends of ours. But that's close enough so it should count. ;)

The party was held at a fancy hotel in Marlborough, MA with a beautiful glass elevator in the lobby. By the end of the event, a few of us friends were quite drunk, so Michelle and I rode up in the glass elevator and when we were half way down, I pulled up my dress and mooned the lobby, while she pulled up her shirt and flashed her boobs. :P

I'm not sure how many people from the lobby saw us, but our guys got a picture from down on the ground (in the lobby). Heh, the things I do when there's nobody to tell me No (or they're all drunk themselves). Mwaahahahaha!! :D

 

At 15 September 2008 at 19:36, Blogger Book Spot

I was thinking about making something up because this interview made em want to read these books so, so badly (I was agreeing completely with Marta Acosta's taste in things...and loving that someone else loved those same three shows...and then worrying when she mentioned Coldplay only to have it all better again ;))

But...I'd feel really bad if I lied--and I have a wedding coming up that's going to be pretty crazy. It's going to be three days (a rehersal, a party, and then the wedding & reception) :-D And there are going to be (at least) fireworks--and I mean full fireworks, not the kind you buy for fun at your house but the US 4th of July kind!...

 

At 18 September 2008 at 10:44, Blogger Marta

Cherie, weddings aren't always the same dull affair! I've been to some great parties and some dull ones. One of my friends married a professional musician and all his friends brought their instruments and were playing at a very cool restaurant reception. The waiters were saying, "We've never had a band like this!" It was about 100 degrees but the floor was packed with dancers.

Book Spot, fireworks? All kinds of possibilities for mayhem there!

 






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