Behind the Pen: with Marta Acosta (+giveaway)

I love interviews. But I find the artists behind the stories equalling intriguing, and I think they deserve as much limelight as their characters. So here instead of a list of questions about the story, the plot, and the characters I ask authors the same 11 questions about themselves and hopefully get a glimpse behind the pen...

Author Marta Acosta is one of the most charming and funny people I've met.  So it comes as not surprise when she turns my silly questionnaire into an excuse to cut up. I absolutely love when an author makes me actually laugh out loud (no easy feat with me).  If you missed my reviews on Happy Hour at Casa Dracula or Midnight Brunch check them out. And if you haven't had the opportunity to read anything from the Casa Dracula series then you're in luck.  Marta will be giving away a copy of her latest release Haunted Honeymooon at Casa Dracula to one lucky winner. 

Giveaway Details:

  • Please comment below by telling Marta & I: If you were an international spy or criminal, what would your name be? (it'll make sense once you read the Q&A)
  • Your comment is your entry
  • If you're a follower of this blog you receive an extra entry.
  • US & CA only
  • Contest will end Sunday, November 21st
  • Winner will be announced here Monday, November 22nd so be sure to check back!

Q1: What is the last book you read? 
I don’t remember. I do have The Complete Tales of Henry James beside me on my desk, but I’m just skimming through some of the stories since I read them all before.  Some Girls Bite by Chloe Neill is on the top of my to-be-read pile.  My reading is all over the place.

Q2: If you were stuck on a desert island, what book would you like to have with you?
How long am I stuck there? If it’s five minutes, then definitely The Cat in the Hat. This book has it all: a dashing, mysterious, and charismatic stranger. Gratuitous child endangerment, unearthly creatures, fabulous fashions, terrifying situations, and an exciting conclusion. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll grip the edge of your seat.
If I’m there longer, it would probably be the collected works of some writer who I never got around to, like Proust. I hope his novels are one-tenth as deeply emotionally satisfying as The Cat in the Hat.

Q3: What is your favorite swear word?
Oh, it’s fuck. I love to swear because I love words that are emphatic and succinct. I also like words like fulminate and serendipity, which aren’t curse words, but I suppose you could use them as such if forced.  “Fulminate you to the max!” or “Get your serendipitous butt out of  my house!” “

Q4: What is your biggest pet-peeve?
My biggest pet peeve is that I would only get one biggest pet peeve. I’m very irritable, highly critical, bitter, and cranky.  Pretty much anything can get on my nerves at any moment.  Right now I’m annoyed at all the people who justify e-readers by claiming that they’re saving the environment. Yeah, swig that out of your bottled water that was shipped from Fiji. I mean, if you want an e-reader, just say so.  I don’t try to excuse my desire for an obsequious personal assistant who agrees with everything I say.

Q5: What quality do you most like in a man?
Extraordinary wealth and great senility. Really, accidents at home, like falling down the stairs or ignoring the “do not use in shower” label on a blow-dryer, happen all too often.

Q6: What quality do you most like in a woman?
I’m crazy about women who laugh a lot and pick up the tab when we go out to lunch.

Q7: What profession, other than your own, would you like to attempt?
I would like to open a matchmaking service for wealthy old men and impoverished women authors.  I’d call it Dying-to-Meet-You Love Connections.

Q8: If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
I want to go to Canada, but The Husband says I would just bitch and whine about the cold so I guess I’m stuck in California.  On the plus side, gorgeous weather. On the down side, I live in fear of earthquakes.

Q9: What inspires you?
The idea that somewhere out there is a senile Canadian billionaire who tries to style his hair plugs while bathing. Of course, I still have the current husband, who refuses to style his hair with a blow-dryer.

Q10: If you could be one person (dead or alive) for a day who would you be?
I would be an international master criminal and assassin. Code name: the Spinecracker! Beside every corpse, I’d leave my trademark, which is a copy of The Cat in the Hat with its spine cracked open.  Autopsies would reveal that my victims died from asphyxiation due to a throat full of dry saltines and shredded remaindered vampire novels.

Ok, now do you get what I mean when I say "laugh out loud"?! If you haven't had a chance to read one of Marta's books I beg you to go read one, you wont be sorry.  Thank you Marta for stopping in and making me laugh so early in the morning.

MA: Thanks for letting me fulminate, Jessica! If you’re ever in need of a matchmaking service, give me a call. I think we can work together in a way that would be very beneficial to us both.


  1. My spy name would be Razor Eddie (lifted from Simon Green)

  2. Nathan, how nice to see you here! I've been meaning to send bookmarks to your bookstore. Razor Eddie is a seriously dangerous codename. I think we can guess your M.O.

  3. The Lorax: environmental anarchist, international industrial green spy, and master of the well groomed 'stache. You'll know I've been there, when you discover the word "Unless" scrawled (in washable inks) across the offending area.

  4. Stuart, I'm cracking up. Of couse the Lorax would be a diabolical genius.

  5. My name would be The Virus, because I think it sounds scary.

    I follow on GFC.

    seriousreader at live dot com

  6. My spy name would be Tiny, because of my size 4'8 haha.

    GFC follower


  7. Hi, Linda, I always assume anyone I shake hands with is full of cooties, so I'd think The Virus would be really scary.

    Hey, Van, Tiny is good, but I think you need to glam it up a little. Terrible Tiny. Tiny Poison. Tiny, the Maniac. Hmm, that might work.

  8. I do not know why but the only thing coming to mind is The Vixen.

    +1 for GFC follower
    Thanks for the great giveaway

  9. What a hilarious interview! Just wonderful! And you got yourself another "f*ck*" lady Jess! LOL

  10. My spy name would be Bones. That was my nickname in a past life. I am not so bony anymore so no one would suspect that Bones is Moi. I am a new follower via GFC.
    Thanks for the awesome giveaway!

    lag110 at mchsi dot com

  11. -Alexa, the Vixen is coming to you because it also has an x in it. I'm thinking of a criminal that leaves hundreds of frenetic bite marks on her Vixen Victims.
    -Julie, you don't know how hard it is to speak publicly and not be all F-this and F-that. I have to substitute it with frickin, which doesn't have the same impact.
    -Cool nickname, Lag. Bones has a long legacy of being a cool nickname -- for doctors, anthropologist, vampires....

  12. Hmmm, I would like to be clever and witty with my nickname but I suspect is always boils down to the same one: Siren. Death by sea and should I choose to sing you would certainly die from my tone deaf lyrics that make no sense....