Hi Marta and welcome to Vampire-Love-Affair and thank you for taking the time to answer my questions.
How would you describe Haunted Honeymoon
to someone like me who’s just being introduced to your books?
This is the final book in a romantic comedy series about a quirky, sexy, funny young woman who gets accidentally infected by vampirism and becomes the only known human survivor. It reads as a stand-alone novel, but it’s more fun to follow Milagro’s story as she falls in and out of love, battles anti-vampire cabals as well as vampire extremists, and finds time for parties, “fabulous men,” and lunatics. She has a very generous definition of “fabulous.”
In Haunted Honeymoon, Milagro is carrying on a steamy affair with decadent aristovamp Ian Ducharme, but she still misses her ex-fiance, Dr. Oswald Grant, who’s also a vampire. Ian’s shenanigans with a flirtatious neighbor set off a string of events that endanger Milagro. She runs to hide from her enemies at Oswald’s ranch, hits her head in a fall, and loses her memory of her time with the vampires. She has another chance with Oswald, but will she make the same mistakes again? And will she discover who is out to get her?
When you first started writing the Casa Dracula series what was your inspiration?
I was writing a single book, not a series, and I just wanted to do a comedy involving a funny, lively, rather aimless young woman who gets involved with a pack of snooty vampires. I wanted to make people laugh and to have them identify with my character. There are themes about family, individuality, and finding one’s place in the world.
What things in life have influenced your writing? Has anything along the way caused you to change any of your writing style?
I think studying creative writing taught me how to write in a concise, direct style, but that’s not really who I am. I prefer a more extravagant, yet casual way, which works for my sense of humor. I want my narrators to sound like a cheerful, somewhat crazy friend having a conversation with you. You’re both amused and appalled and you wonder what will come next.
What are you reading right now? Are there any authors (living or dead) that you would name as influences?
Right now I’m reading Mike Carey’s Felix Castor books about a freelance exorcist. They’re set in a slightly altered version of present-day London, when all sorts of ghosts and ghoulies have appeared.
I’m very much influenced by Jane Austen’s romantic comedies, by Mark Twain and Kurt Vonnegut’s absurd humor, and by P.G. Wodehouse’s good-natured silliness. I love wordplay, banter, and ambiguity. And I like a heroine who tries to do the right thing, even though she doesn’t always succeed.
What was the book that most influenced your life — and why?
I’ve been a compulsive reader ever since I learned how to read. I’d probably need years of analysis to decide what book has been the most influential in my life. I think the thousands of books I’ve read have a cumulative effect on my writing and view of the world.
What are your five favorite books —and why?
That’s like asking me which one of my kids is my favorite. I do have a favorite dog, though. Her name is Betty von Snoggles and she’s my favorite because she’s always so cheerful and affectionate. My other dog is quite elegant and grand, but my heart goes to Betty.
What are your favorite movies?
I like everything from stupid teen flicks to nihilistic indie films. I like sitting in a dark movie house on a rainy afternoon and getting caught up in a story. I like watching old classics in black-and-white. I like comedies about road trips gone wrong, and I like noir films about people who lie, scheme, and do awful things. I like romantic comedies where couples keep missing out on love until the end. I like movies that you think about for days after seeing them.
What are your favorite books to give — and get — as gifts?
I always give the same books. I give my husband heavy non-fiction books by writers who lecture on CSPAN Books. I like giving A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole and Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter because I think they’re brilliant comedies. I love buying young adult gothics with beautiful covers for a young friend.
Give us three “Good to Know” facts about you. Be creative. Tell us about your first job, the inspiration for your writing, any fun details that would enliven our interview.
Be creative about my first job? Hmm, I think it was feeding a cat when a neighbor went on vacation. It was easy money. Here are some fun details about me: I have a tendency to pronounce words weird because I think it’s funny and afterward I can’t say them like a normal human being. I listen to conversations and jot down interesting phrases to use in my writing. I’m more excited when I’m quoted in the local newspaper than when I publish a book.
We have vampires coming out of the woodworks right now. If you could be like one of the vampires from a book which vampire would you be? Why?
I wouldn’t be a vampire. I like the sun and get depressed during the winter months. I wouldn’t want to be a dead, cold, blood-drinker even if I could have all eternity. I wouldn’t mind having vampire-style money though. They always seem to have oodles.
Vampire on TV?
Same answer, although my favorite TV vampire is Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I like that he’s bitter, snarky, whiney, likes loud music, drives a Caddy with blacked out windows, and still manages to get his soul back and be a hero. I also really like Being Human, a BBC series about a vampire, a werewolf, and a ghost who are roommates. It sounds very silly and there is humor, but there’s far more drama and action. It’s a terrific series.
Vampire from film?
My favorite film vampire is Dracula from Dracula 2000. It’s an excruciatingly bad movie. I’ve tried to watch it many times, but I can’t stand it for more than ten minutes at a time. However, if you only watch it in ten-minute segments, Gerard Butler is fabulous as a seductive, blood-thirsty Dracula. Movies that I actually like the whole way through include The Lost Boys, Near Dark, and Let the Right One In. I also like The Addiction, an odd flick with Christopher Walken and Lili Taylor.
Marta, I look forward to reading Haunted Honeymoon as well as your other books. I really enjoy a good vampire read with humor.
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