Marta Acosta is from the San Francisco Bay Area. She has degrees in degrees in English & American Lit and Creative Writing. She also writes romantic comedy under the name Grace Coopersmith.
Who would you want to be tied to for 24hours?
Well, my husband runs hot and restless, so he’s out. I’d have to say my best friend because we always have a great time whether we’re flying to London on vacation or staying in and watching movies.
What is your favorite way to relax after a hard day working and writing?
When I finish my work day, it’s time to make dinner. I create different meals every night based on what’s in season and my mood. A glass of wine, sitting with people I love, and chatting about our days is relaxing.
What is the one era you would love to go visit and why?
Maybe the 1970s. There was good plumbing and electricity, but there was also craziness and some great music. I’d spend all my time and money seeing amazing bands for dirt cheap and going to clubs. You could wear too much eye makeup and trashy clothes and everyone drank martinis at lunch.
Have you ever faked sick?
My best friend (see top question) and I used to fake sick together. We’d each go into our respective offices without wearing any makeup and our coworkers would say we looked pale. We’d say, “Oh, no, I’ll be fine!” but they’d send us home. Then we’d meet up and go to the beach or take a day trip somewhere.
Do you believe in love at first sight?
I believe in lust at first sight. It can turn into love. I fell for my husband the moment I saw him and here we are many years later.
What is your perfect pizza?
When I was young and really broke, my roommates and I would go to a place in Noe Valley (San Francisco) and split a thin-crust pepperoni pizza and pitcher of beer on Fridays when we got paid.
Do you have a celebrity crush?
I’m mad about Richard Armitage, who played Guy of Gisborne on BBC’s Robin Hood. Armitage was also fabulous in the period drama North and South. He looks amazing in either black leather or a snowy cravat and suit. He’s brilliant at smoldering.
If you could change your name, what would you change it to?
I would change it to something easy to remember and spell. I’m not particular about my name. Ann Jones would be fine. Mary Brown would work.
Out of all your books, do you have a favorite one? If not, then which one is closest to?
Haunted Honeymoon, my recent release, is my favorite because I was able to work in themes from the previous books in the Casa Dracula series and give my heroine, Milagro, the deliriously happy ending she’d earned. It has moments of hilarity, but also scenes that are heartbreaking. It’s quite sexy and also has more action. My editor was laid off while I was writing this book, so I was not supervised very much and did whatever the heck I wanted.
What character out of all your books is the closest to your personality?
It’s true that some writers create a fantasy version of themselves, which means that they’ll tell the same story over and over again. I made up my characters, and I’m not really like any of them although I share traits with all of them. It’s easy to imagine what I would do or say in a situation; it’s a challenge imagining what my characters would do.
Have you ever been nervous over reader reaction when a new book comes out?
No, I’m always absolutely sure that readers will love my books and then I’m shocked if someone doesn’t. I do get really frustrated when my books are criticized because they don’t fit paranormal romance conventions, because my books aren’t paranormal romances and I never said they were, even though there is romance and vampires.
How much does reader response mean to you over your books?
It means everything. My readers are a small, but devoted group, and I love it that they appreciate my stories and love my characters. They always tell me that they want to be friends with Milagro and that means that I’ve succeeded in creating someone who seems real and lovable.
What do you hope readers get from your books after they read them?
There’s a scene in Tootsie where Bill Murray says, “I don’t want people to come up to me after a play and tell me they loved it. I want them to see me two weeks later and say, ‘What did that mean?’” We all see movies or read books that are enjoyable, but we instantly forget them. I want my stories and ideas to linger in peoples’ minds. I want them to remember things that seemed casually mentioned and to perhaps rethink some of their assumptions.
I think of my books as fantastic desserts. I want them to appear effortless and delightful even though considerable effort and craft has gone into the writing.
If you could make a movie of any one of your books which one would you choose and who would you cast at the h/h?
I would make Haunted Honeymoon into a movie because Milagro gets amnesia and everyone knows that amnesia movies are brilliant. I would cast Richard Armitage in every role, because I’m sure he could rise to the challenge.
Who is your favorite author?
Jane Austen has written three of my favorite books: Persuasion, Pride and Prejudice, and Mansfield Park. Most people hate Mansfield Park because Fanny Price is sickly, but she’s got a strong core. I also like the fact that the other characters are always saying, “My sweet Fanny!” and “My darling little Fanny!”
What is the weirdest thing a reviewer has ever said about one of your books?
When my first book came out, one reviewer trashed it because it didn’t have an HEA or alpha hero. I had no idea what an HEA was. I Googled it and found out that it meant a “happily ever after” ending. I assume she would have dissed Nabokov’s Lolita, too. I also had to look up the definition of alpha hero. Geez, the things they don’t teach you in a creative writing program at college.
What is the nicest thing a reviewer has ever said about one of your books?
Gosh, I love it when reviewers see the themes, the allusions, and skill. I love having my books compared to Jane Austen’s comedies-of-manners. Some reviewers compare my novels to Bridget Jones’s Diary, which makes me very happy, because we all fell for Bridget, her screwed-up ways, her vulnerability, and her need for love.
Do you have a bucket list? If so, what are 2 things on it?
Writing a bucket list would be another thing to write and I have other projects I’m working on. However, I would like a new bucket though for household chores, because mine is old and dingy yellow. Yellow is the color of apathy.
What is your favorite color besides YELLOW? I know everyone loves yellow.
Ha, you make the funny! Orange is the color of insanity, so that’s out. It would be a toss up between hot pink and violet. I painted a wall in my bedroom hot pink and my writing alcove apple green and my husband sneers that it looks like a Mexican restaurant and makes him want to order a margarita.
Boxers or briefs?
It’s not the wrapping, it’s what’s inside! However, my character Nancy Carrington-Chambers (featured in Nancy’s Theory of Style, published under Grace Coopersmith, my pen name) is obsessed with men’s undergarments. She is disturbed when they look “too European” and she deplores anything with sports insignias or cartoon characters.
Red Pill or Blue Pill?
I’ll have whatever Keanu is having. If loving Keanu is wrong, I don’t want to be right.
Marta’s Books and her newest release:
Happy Hour at Casa Dracula (Book 1)
Vampires don’t exist in this day and age…or do they?
Milagro De Los Santos needs to get her career on track — and a sexy man to come home to. At a party for her ex-boyfriend, she meets the unusually attractive Oswald Grant, who sweeps her off her feet. But when he bites her in the heat of passion and she instantly falls ill, Milagro realizes Oswald is not just any fabulous man — he’s a vampire. Whisked away to his family’s estate to recover, Milagro learns the ins and outs of vampirism while falling for a wickedly inappropriate man. But when the vampires’ lives are threatened, Milagro uses her wits, her wiles, and an incredibly whacky scheme to bring down a power-mad secret society that refuses to let the undead live and love in peace.
What’s a girl to do when she discovers she’s the main course on the menu?
Hip, funny Milagro de los Santos thinks she’s finally found love and a home at the California ranch of fabulous Oswald Grant and his urbane relatives, who have a rare genetic disorder that some call vampirism. But Milagro is bewildered when she’s excluded from an ancient and mysterious midnight ceremony whose participants include Oswald’s unfriendly parents, a creepy family elder, and Milagro’s ex-lover, the powerful and decadent Ian Ducharme. What skeletons are the vampires keeping in their designer closets?
When Milagro’s life is threatened by a rogue family member, she flees to the desert to hide. Instead of solitude, she encounters an egomaniacal actor, a partying heiress, a sly tabloid reporter, and a lavish spa full of dark secrets — all of which might help her find a way home.
Milagro De Los Santos is having serious problems planning her wedding to fabulous Oswald Grant, M.D. Her future in-laws loathe her, her dog just died, and Oswald’s family has a genetic anomaly that makes them crave blood. Then her extravagant best friend hijacks the role of wedding coordinator, and the secretive Vampire Council assigns conniving Cornelia Ducharme to guide the couple through the ancient vampire marriage rituals.
To top it all off, Milagro’s career is on the skids. She’s reduced to ghost-writing the memoirs of a loony little man who claims to be a shapeshifter. And why does Cornelia’s decadent, way too attractive brother, Ian, always show up whenever Milagro is away from Oswald? When a series of accidents interferes with wedding plans, Oswald worries that Milagro is cracking under the pressure. Is she just paranoid, or is a hidden enemy trying to make sure Milagro doesn’t wed the undead?
THERE’S MORE THAN HER HEART AT STAKE. . . .As the only human to survive vampire infection, Milagro de Los Santos has become quite a celebrity among the blood-drinking elite. Too bad the perks of her condition—increased strength, super-fast healing—don’t pay her condo fees. There are other complications too. She’s feeling guilty about her fling with enigmatic Vampire Council member Ian Ducharme, and pining for her ex-fiancé, Dr. Oswald Grant . . . the fabulous man whose kiss changed her life. It’s when Milagro—irked by Ian’s attentions to his neighbor—travels to London and enjoys a sexy flirtation of her own, that the blood really hits the fan. Suddenly, those around her are dying gruesome deaths and Milagro’s being interrogated. Who would kill to set her up as a murder suspect? Milagro just wants to turn back the clock and have another chance to make things right, but no sooner has she escaped to Oswald’s ranch than an accident obliterates her memory. Will the murderer come after her now? And will amnesia spark a romantic do-over with Oswald—or will she make all the same mistakes before she ever gets to say “I do”?