Day Seven of Top Ten Marta’s Old Talk










  Sunday, November 25, 2007

Mario Acevedo Interview by Marta Acosta 

I’m very happy to have my pal, Mario Acevedo, here to talk about his very funny vampire series featuring Felix Gomez. The first in the series was The Nymphos of Rocky Flats (2006), and the second was X-Rated Blood Suckers. Felix is a vet who was made a vamp on a tour of Iraq, and now he uses his intelligence, courage, and smartass humor in his job as a private investigator.
Bookcrossings described Mario’s first novel as “Action packed and full of fun, brimming with pop culture and chock full of interesting characters, this one has something for everyone.” How would I describe his writing? A toast to hard-boiled crime writers, a wink at Cheech Marin, a grin to the great old horror shows, and a salute to the guys who aren’t afraid to battle monsters of whatever form.
Mario is not your typical writer wuss. While serving in the Army, he flew attack helicopters; he’s been an info systems geek; he’s a painter; and he also teaches writing. He’s actively involved with the Rocky Mountains Fiction Writers, and he regularly participates in conferences and workshops.
If you’d like to win a copy of Jailbait Zombie, just leave a comment. A winner will be chosen by Mario at the end of Top Ten Days.
MARTA: Why don’t you tell us a little about the Felix Gomez P.I. series?

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.

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