Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Guest Blog and Giveaway with Marta Acosta

First, I’d like to thank Roxanne for having me here at Fang-tastic Books! One of the best things about being a writer is meeting all the book lovers who spend so much time and energy sharing the book love.

I was listening to the radio the other day and I heard an interview with Woody Allen. The reporter was asking him if characters were based on him and he said no, that that’s always the assumption, but that he makes up stories. And I thought, oh, it even happens to famous directors/writers – because that’s the question most people ask writers: “Who are you in your book?”

The answer is “None of them and all of them.”

Writers are grown-up versions of kids who spent all their time daydreaming and making up stories and games. We treat experiences, facts and observations like an interior designer treats an economy motel room. We alter and arrange them until we’re happy. We’re always thinking “what if?”

Urban fantasy and paranormal romance give an author the freedom to say “what if?” about any situation. So I thought, “What if there were vampires and they were as wealthy, sophisticated, and attractive as the stereotype? Wouldn’t they be terrible snobs? What if a quirky, broke, bright, and fun girl got involved with them?” That’s how I thought of the premise to my Casa Dracula series.

And Milagro, my heroine? I created her with the traits I loved most in fictional characters: cheerfulness and determination, a lively mind, and an affectionate and impulsive nature. Because she’s young and optimistic, she tends to believe people who shouldn’t be trusted. She’s got a sense of humor that helps her survive. She tries to do the right thing even if it means that she’ll suffer for it.

I’m a Jane Austen fan and I was always fascinated by the decadent and charming brother and sister in Mansfield Park. (To the best of my knowledge, I’m the only living person who likes this novel.) Henry and Mary Crawford are attractive, sophisticated, fun, and all kinds of wrong. I adored them and wanted to use that idea in a book. So I came up with Ian Ducharme and his sister Cornelia.

A few characters come to me whole, like Edna Grant, the snarky grandmother. As soon as I imagined her, I knew what she’s look like, what she’d say, and how she’d behave.

While I research some locations and settings, others are taken from places I’ve been heard about. One of my friends was humiliated when she failed a test for a job polishing silver at a department store. I worked that into Milagro’s story.

Writers like to claim that writing is really hard work. Oh, it’s so difficult, it’s so terrible, it’s a struggle! But the next time you see a few children acting out imaginary characters, ask them if it’s hard.

This book is the conclusion of my Casa Dracula series – and the really hard part is letting go of Milagro and the other wonderful imaginary friends I’ve had in her world.


Learn more about Marta & her books:

website: http://www.martaacosta.com/

Vampire Wire: http://www.vampirewire.blogspot.com/

Twitter: http://twitter.com/MartaAcosta

Vampire Wire Twitter: http://twitter.com/vampirewire

Facebook: www.facebook.com/people/Marta-Acosta/615530904

Newsletter: http://www.martaacosta.com/contact-me/

Giveaway Time

Marta is offering one lucky reader a copy of Haunted Honeymoon

US and Canada shipping only please

To enter leave a comment and tell us

did you ever have an imaginary friend?

Be sure to leave your email address

One Winner will be chosen

Winner TBA Announced Wednesday Oct 13


J. L. Jackson said...

Yes, I had an imaginary friend and I talked to her all the time.


Kristen said...

This book sounds amazing!

Yes as a child I had an imaginary friend and she was my best friend as a kid!


Lisa said...

I can't say that I ever had but I do talk to myself sometimes


tina werner said...

no, no imaginary friends for me, although i've always envied those that had one LOL!

thanks for the chance to win!

stampitchick at yahoo dot ca

katsrus said...

I was an only child so I sure had one. Love your book cover and your book sounds really good.
Sue B

Cleverly Inked said...

Hard for you to let it go..Ohh thats awesome!

Autumn said...

I can say that's one kid thing I never did. I never had an imaginary friend...at least not that I can remember. I'm pretty sure if I did, someone would have reminded me of it at some point.

autumn. crochet (at) gmail .com

Marta said...

Hi, Roxanne, and thanks for having me here!

-JL, I had a pack of brothers so I longed for some quiet time. My imaginary friends were all in books.
-Kristen, hope you'll get a chance to read my series. When did you give up your imaginary friend? What was her name?
-Lisa, I talk to myself all the time. My most frequent expression is "I am really annoyed."
-Hi, Tina! I think you should make up that you had an imaginary friend: she could be your imaginary imaginary friend.
-Hi, Katsrus, I'm so happy with my new book cover! It finally reflects my book's sexy, flirty, fun, vampy style.
-Cleverly Inked, I'm in a panic now, trying to think of how to keep the characters around while I pursue other projects.
-Hi, Autumn, but maybe you did! I'm fairly sure I didn't, but I was always imagining stories.

elaing8 said...

Great post.
No I never had an imaginary friend.

Marta said...

Hi, Elaine, I can be your imaginary friend. Let's imagine that I've whipped up a pitcher of margaritas and you've brought some DVDs over and then you tell me about the cute guy at your auto mechanics and then I tell you that the "Engine Problem" light is on in my car and then we go shopping...in my car...and it breaks down. Sigh. I don't know if this imaginary relationship is going to work out.

*yadkny* said...

Hi Marta,
I wish I had an imaginary friend:) Might make life a little more interesting, but sadly I don't. I can't believe I haven't seen the Casa Dracula series before! It's definitely going on my wishlist and I absolutely love the cover of Haunted Honeymoon. What a unique name for the heroine... I love it! I obviously haven't read the series yet, but I find it sad anyway that the final book has been written:( I'm afraid now that I'll fall in love with them and then it's just going to be over. Oh well it won't be the first time!
BTW - I too liked Mansfield Park:)


Estella said...

I didn't need an imaginary friend, I had six brothers and sisters.

kissinoak at frontier.com

Sandy Jay said...

I never had an imaginary friend. I think I should find one, though. I wouldn't always be talking to myself then. Probably have more interesting conversations.

forwhlz at gmail dot com

Judy said...

Me and my brother are 10 years apart so I had one. It was a girl and for the longest I even knew her name, now I can't remember it.

Your book looks great!!

Judy Cox

cories5 said...

With all the kids around the house (siblings and cousins), I didn't need an imaginary friend although I did wish to be an only child at times.

Marta, was it hard to write the last book of a series or are you looking forward to new worlds to make up?


Marta said...

-Hi, Yadkny, one of the comments I hear most about my series is "Why haven't I heard about this before?" Probably because I never intended to write a vampire series, and my book got shelved with General Fiction. Even now my books are in General Fiction. It's a long story. I love the new cover and the artist is Elena Dudina. My dream is that the others in the series will be released in mass market, placed in urban fantasy, and that people will discover them.
-Estella, I didn't have as many siblings, but they were all boys and LOUD. I thought it must be wonderful to have a sister.
-Sandy Jay, technology has come to help you! Just wear one of those Bluetooth thingies and people will assume you're talking on the phone.

Wanda said...

When I was a little girl I had an imaginary friend but that was so long ago that I don't remember details. But I do remember always talking to "someone" who was only there in my mind. Ha!Ha!
I would love to be entered in your draw. Thanks.

Robin K said...

Hmmm... I did not as a child. My husband calls all my networking friends imaginary. That being the case my current "imaginary" friends are some of the best I have had.

robin [at] intensewhisper [dot] com

Marta said...

-Hi, Judy, thanks for your comment. I can't believe you forgot your imaginary friend's name! Maybe someone in your family remembers.
-Corie, writing the last book wasn't hard because I had so much to say. But finishing it..writing the last sentence and then thinking that that was the end of my time with Milagro, that was really hard.
-Hi, Wanda! I didn't realize it was so common to have an imaginary friend. I really envied my friends with older sisters and I wished I had someone to explain girl stuff to me instead of brothers who'd throw things at my head and yell "Flinch!"
-Robin, I think your husband has a point. Are you going to see The Social Network? I'm very close to my online pals and I liken them to how people would have pen pals that they never met. I have met some of my internet friends though and for the most part, they've been delightful.

Edna said...

I didn't have an imaginary friend exacty. But I did make up random characters according to what my cousin and I played. For example one day we'd play ninjas and think up enemies and people we needed to save. The next day we'd play cowboys and we'd imagine fighting against some evil sheriff.

nalynboni AT gmail DOT com

Ciara Dallas said...

I did have a couple imaginary friends when I was little. Always a creative imagination! :)

ciara at ciaradallas dot com

van_pham said...

I don't think i have ever had an imaginary friend,i mutter to myself sometimes haha.


jmspettoli said...

I never had an imaginary friend but I did have an overactive imagination that got me in trouble a lot.

Thanks for the giveaway!

spettolij AT gmail DOT com

Stephanie said...

I did not have any imaginary friends. I was more into reading and having those characters be a part of my life. This book looks great. Thanks for the giveaway.

smccar1 at hotmail dot com

JenM said...

No imaginary friend for me - any time I was lonely, I just cracked open a book. They kept me company quite well.

jen at delux dot com

Shaiha said...

No I didn't have an imaginary friend. I had a cat, dog and my ever present book when I was a kid. Come to think of it, I guess that I just wasn't that social with people.


Heather B. said...

According to my grandmother, my imaginary friend's name was Mary Jane and she had to go everywhere we went. I wouldn't let them shut the car door until she got in, I asked for 2 popcicles so she could have one.

I'm not sure how old I was but I do not remember any of this.

habrewer@rocketmail .com

Marta said...

-Hi, Edna! That's the name of my chic, sexy and snarky grandmother in my books. Everyone loves her. Yes, making up stories is what writers do.
-Ciara, I do have an imaginary assistant named Derek. He agrees with everything I say and is always enthusiastic.
-Van, if you're just muttering, I'm sorry to inform you that you're crazy. I predict a future of peering out the front window and yelling at kids to get off your lawn.
-JM, I think you have to give us more details. We'll keep them secret, honest!
-Jen and Shaiha, books are the best companions. I remember finding a quiet place where I could read undisturbed for hours and hours.
-Heather B., great story! But the question is: did Mary Jane eat her popsicle or did she decide to give it to you every time?

YzhaBella (aka Kate) said...

Hi Marta! Hi Roxanne!

I had an imaginary friend! Her name was Sophie, and she always defended me when my big sisters ganged up on me! She was my best friend!


LSUReader said...

I never had an imaginary friend. I did (and still do) talk to myself sometimes, so maybe I can pretend it's a friend I'm conversing with?
(Email in profile.)

Moirae(thefates) book reviews said...

I had an imaginary friend, it was a tiger cub. LOL



booklover0226 said...

No, I didn't have an imaginary friend when I was a child. I have quite a few as an adult, though! ;-)

Tracey D
booklover0226 at gmail dot com

Jolene Allcock and Family said...

No, I never had an imaginary friend. My middle child use to carry around an imaginary spider though. The first time he told me he said "Look at my spider mom" and held out his hand. Him being just 4 I thought he really had a spider in his hand, so I smacked his hand. He started crying, picked it back up and said "you hurt him mom" Ooops, I felt really bad. That imaginary spide went every where with him for about two months till grandma sent him a stuffed spider which he now takes everywhere


heatwave16 said...

Yep, I had lots of imaginary friends. One was a butler, and the other was bear named Phil. Phil was actually a college professor...:)


Marta said...

-Kate, I wish I had your imaginary friend! You gave her a good name.
-LSU Reader, sadly you're just in the crazy category. My advice is: embrace your inner loon.
-Moirae, was your friend Tigger? I love Tigger. TTFN!
-BookLover, it's never to late to have an imaginary friend. I have Derek, my imaginary assistant. He's perfect.
-Jolene, what a wonderful story! I've never heard of an imaginary spider before. Too bad about smacking his hand but you couldn't have known. Real spiders bite.
-Heatwave, Prof. Phil the Bear would make a wonderful children's picture book.

Chris J. said...

I love the cover, it is just sassy!
As to an imaginary friend, or should I say friends. Yep I was an only child and the land of fairy was my imaginary playmates. We ran through the woods, went on quests to find hidden treasures and all sorts of adventures. I wanted to grow up to be a fairy. One day I will get those wings I just know it, lol.
Growing up in North Carolina, we had forests of pine trees and underneath beads of ferns, the perfect place to play and stay cool, while my imagination ran wild. They didn't have names really though, just kept me company for hours.

Best Wishes!

Marta said...

Hi, Chris J., thanks for sharing a bit about your childhood running through the woods. I played in fields with my brothers. I think our games were more aggressive than fairies. I love our camping trips to the redwood forests and the shadowy coolness on a hot summer day.

Julie said...

I did have imaginary friends when I was a kid because I'm an only child.


Cathie said...

I never had one. My pets were enough for me.