Haunted Honeymoon Tours

Haunted Honeymoon Interview & Giveaway with Marta

My editor asked me to tweak the end to show a possibility that she’d get married to either Oswald, the good-looking, family-oriented doctor who accidentally infected her with vampirism, or Ian, a secretive, dangerous vamp who doesn’t seem to have a job.

I was really happy to have the opportunity to write the next book, Haunted Honeymoon, where I could tie everything up with a nice bow. Now when Milagro decides to get married, it’s because she’s truly in love and ready to be married, not just acting on impulse. This book makes the series feel wonderfully complete to me.

SFG: Speaking of Casa Dracula, I have read all four books without a sign of Dracula. What’s up with that?

Were you ploughing through a case of Molson when you read my books? Because it’s all there! I carefully encrypted haikus to Count Dracula in a diagonal pattern throughout the series. Here’s an example.
Mina Harker’s blood
is as tasty as her bod
I heart her so much!Also
My coffin is cramped
With mildewed satin lining
Must buy a Serta
SFG: Now that I’ve read Haunted Honeymoon I realize that in our last interview you let the cat out of the bag so to speak. A pivotal character is Senor Pickles. Tell us more.
My technique is to think of a funny name and then build a whole story around it to justify saying the name repeatedly. That way I don’t get bored when I’m writing. I can’t remember how I thought of the name Senor Pickles, but I immediately recognized that it was a brilliant moniker for a cat. Really, it inspired the entire book. I’m also very fond of the “Does It Itch?” Free Clinic. As Milagro says so insightfully, “Everyone knows it isn’t supposed to itch.”

SFG: Two characters initiate the mystery that forms the center of the novel, Cricket and Ford Poindexter. There has to be a joke there somewhere, what is it?

Ford Prefect

Oh, I’m a long-time admirer of silly names and when I heard the nickname Cricket, I immediately wanted to use it. Poindexter is a legitimate last name, but it sounds funny. I think I thought of the name Ford because I’m a fan of writer Ford Maddox Ford’s and then I remembered Ford Prefect from Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. I realized I could incorporate the book’s “don’t panic” advice into Milagro’s story. See, that’s how my brain works. I have a mess o’ miscellaneous crap in my skull and I just toss things together.

SFG: You have also brought back the outrageous character Don Pedro. Surely he is based on someone you know. Spill.

Don Pedro isn’t based on anyone I know, but I adore literary hoaxers, those authors who fake a memoir and get a huge cult following and go on Oprah. They’re easy to spot, but no one seems to care that their entire stories are obviously bogus. I imagined that Milagro would be outraged to see someone with such a flagrantly ridiculous story get critical praise while she can’t even sell her fiction. Although, her fiction is pretty crazy stuff. I like to think that Milagro’s stories will be discovered in the future and that she’ll be seen as a visionary.

SFG: Given the title of the novel and without giving any spoilers it is fairly obvious that Milagro makes a choice between bad boy Ian and perfect Oswald. Did you consider other choices?

Yes, I considered having her find someone who was more moderate, yet smitten with her. In My Fair Lady, Eliza Doolittle stays with Professor Henry Higgins. The musical was based on George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion, but in Shaw’s original story, Eliza marries Freddie, the amiable young guy who’s infatuated with her. Shaw said that Eliza would be a fool if she went with Professor Higgins. She could have a very nice life with Freddie, however.

SFG: Of the four Casa Dracula novels do you have a personal favourite or is it just the one that makes the most money *grin*?

My favorite is Haunted Honeymoon and that’s partially because I was without an editor for much of it (my editor left Simon & Schuster/Pocket) so I wrote whatever I wanted. If left to my own devices, the novels would have been quite different…which is not to say better, but different. I love the way the story ended and people have been telling me that it makes them cry, but in the good, happy way.

SFG: Have we seen the last of Milagro or will she start a new series of adventures as a married woman?

If any publisher was interested in more stories, i.e., willing to buy them, I’d enjoy writing stories about Milagro and her sexy husband solving mysterious and going to parties. They’d be like Nick and Nora of The Thin Man movies with lots of bantering, flirting, a dog, parties, and corpses.

I actually have other projects to work on. The first is a young adult gothic, The Shadow Girl of Birch Grove, which will be published by Tor Books in 2012. I’m also working on a gritty and sordid adult gothic and another romantic comedy set in San Francisco.

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