Sunday, November 25, 2007
Mario Acevedo Interview by Marta Acosta
MARIO: There’s nothing little about Felix Gomez except for his lack of shame.
MARTA: Your books have humor, horror, and crime elements. How did you come to this amalgam? What genre, if any, attracts you most?
MARIO: Humor? Horror? Crime? Sounds like you lifted those words from my Myers-Briggs profile. I did not come to this amalgam, it comes to me, which explains why I wake up at 2 AM in a cold sweat and alternating between maniacal laughter and screaming.
MARTA: Tell us a little about yourself and your development as a writer and a painter?
MARIO: My development in a nutshell: I tend to do everything the hard way. If I was a hawk, I’d be the only raptor chasing its prey on foot.
MARTA: Who are a few of your favorite writers and why?
MARIO: The books of my favorite writers (among them, Marta Acosta) overflow from my shelves. Since I must give up names, here goes: Manuel Ramos and Laura Lippman who do such great jobs invoking place as a character. Carl Hiaasen for having the best vocabulary of any novelist and for giving us venal characters who scheme themselves into well-deserved disasters. Tim Dorsey for his twisted and zany plots.
MARTA: Do you think you faced any challenges or expectations as a Latino writer (from publishers, booksellers, readers, yourself)?
MARIO: As a Latino male, people are disappointed that I’m not an expert salsa dancer and that I don’t care for cigars. My challenge as a writer–regardless of my heritage, education, and experience–is to not suck.
MARTA: Has your military experience shaped your themes?
MARIO: My military experience has taught me to pity chickenhawks for they lack eyes to see their own yellowbellies and the tail tucked firmly between their collective, cowardly legs.
MARTA: You also teach fiction writer. Is there something that aspiring writers never think about, but should know?
MARIO: Read. Read. Read. Study your genre. It’s a long haul to publication. The best approach is to work hard, bank karma points by helping old ladies cross the street, and buy my books.
MARTA: What’s next for your series? Do you have any other writing projects?
MARIO: Book 3, The Undead Kama Sutra, will be out March 08. I’m hard at work on book 4, Jailbait Vampire. The deadline looms like a fire on the horizon. (I’m sure southern Californians know that feeling.) I’m pitching a young adult series so I can warp the minds of the next generation.
MARTA: Requisite inane question: if Felix Gomez was in a band, what kind of music would they play? Name some of the songs he would write.
MARIO: If Felix was in a band, he’d be the manager who screens the groupies. Some songs that he’d write? How about these titles: Bleed till you love me. Even love has toe jam. You’re better than your sister (a favorite of straight men and lesbians).
MARTA: Anything else you’d like to share?
MARIO: Not with this cold sore.