Thursday, October 18, 2012

Marta Acosta Author Interview


Book Nerd Interview

Marta Acosta lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. She was a feral reader, roaming the stacks of the public library.

She received a degree in English Literature and Creative Writing from Stanford University and has written for the San Francisco Chronicle, the Contra Costa Times, and Spaces Magazine.

Marta lives with her husband, spawn, and their crazy dogs. An avid gardener, she likes independent films, funny novels, loud music and lively conversations.

She’s always happy to hear from readers, even the ones who point out typos.


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Was there a defining moment during your youth when you realized you wanted to be a writer?

Hi, Jean, and thanks for inviting me to Book Nerd! No, there wasn’t any time that I decided to be a writer as sort of a job description. I think there’s a distinction between wanting to be a writer and the act of writing. Lots of people want to be writers. I always wrote compulsively – poems, essays, letters, stories, whatever.

Why is storytelling so important for all of us?

Stories entertain us, pass along histories and legends, teach us, show by example, make us laugh and cry… They celebrate those things we believe are noble, scandalize us with bad behavior, and unite us across time, culture, and geography. We’re still enjoying books that people enjoyed one-hundred years ago. I hope that some of the new books we read now will be enjoyed a century from now.

What is the best piece of advice you ever received from another author?

The best bit of advice was not from another writer, but from a reader who told me she liked my humorous writing when I didn’t over-polish it. Sometimes you lose spontaneity when seeking an ideal.

In your new book, Dark Companion can you tell my Book Nerd community a little about it and why they should read your novel?

When foster teen Jane Williams is invited to attend elite Birch Grove Academy for Girls and escape her violent urban neighborhood, she thinks the offer is too good to be true. She's even offered her own living quarters, the groundskeeper's cottage in the center of the birch grove.

Something's not quite right about the school -- or is it Jane? She thinks she sees things in the birch grove at night. She's also beginning to suspect that the elegant headmistress and her sons are hiding secrets. Lucky is the gorgeous, golden son who is especially attentive to Jane, and Jack is the sardonic puzzling brother.

The school is a dream for a science and math geek like Jane. She also loves her new friends, including hilarious poetry-spouting rich girl, Mary Violet. But the longer Jane stays at Birch Grove, the more questions she has about the disappearance of another scholarship girl and a missing faculty member.

What part of Jack did you enjoy writing the most?

I loved writing his banter, which is on the confusing side of flirtation. Jane believes that Jack is dating her friend Hattie, so she can’t understand why he’s always coming around and taunting her.

For those who are unfamiliar with Jane, how would you introduce her?

People assume that Jane is what she seems: an accomplished, polite honor student. But she’s a severely damaged girl who survived terrible abuse. She’s never had any adults to guide her in life, and so she can be manipulated by predators who know she’s been starved for love and affection. Read the story to see how Jane adjusts to a strange new environment, makes friends, makes terrible mistakes, and then learns from her mistakes.

If you could introduce Jane to any character from another book, who would it be and why?

Oh, it would have to be Milagro de Los Santos from my Casa Dracula novels. Mil is a mirror image of Jane in that she’s also grown up in an abusive situation. Unlike Jane, Mil always finds the humor and positive side in any situation. Mil would make Jane learn to find more laughter and joy in life.

What are some of your current and future projects that you can share with us?

I’ve just finished making audiobooks of my Casa Dracula romantic comedies, and they’re available at Audible.com. I’m working on a mystery series featuring Mary Violet Holiday, who is Jane’s best friend in Dark Companion. In the first book, Mary Violet is invited to a Birch Grove alumna’s isolated, decrepit mansion to help curate her writing and poems. Mary Violet believes the home is haunted and discovers dark secrets about past crimes. Of course, there’s humor and poetry!

I also have a funny book coming out in June 2013, but I can’t talk about it until it’s officially announced.

When asked, what’s the one question you always answer with a lie?

Have you ever murdered anyone? I don’t know why super cute Office Gallagher and his partner keep coming to my house and asking the same thing over and over, when I’ve told them “Never, and especially not my horrible ex-boyfriend Kevin, who dumped me for a slut whose family has a pizza parlor.”

What’s the best advice you can give writers to help them develop their own unique voice and style?

Just write. Write anything and often. Don’t think about writing or talk about writing or plan to be a writer. Just write.

Who is the first person you call when you have a bad day?

Betty von Snoggles is not a person. She’s one of my dogs and the most understanding of them. She always cheers me up because she’s delighted with life.

What is your favorite room in your home and outside environment?

My favorite room is the living room/dining room area because I have lots of windows so it’s always bright and I can see the garden, birds, squirrels, butterflies, and any patrol cars that unexpectedly drive up. My favorite place outside is the nearby fields by the bay that are so isolated you could probably bury a body there and no one would see you. Not that I ever have.

Which is the hardest thing you ever had to do?

Trying to build a robot maid in my garage. The last one went on a crazed rampage and the local authorities were not happy, except for super cute Office Gallagher, who agreed that it was hilarious.

Who was your first boyfriend?

Lying cheating two-timing Kevin, who hasn’t been seen since he dumped me for Miss Pizza Skank.

Who was the last person you hugged?

Super cute Officer Bill Gallagher, who apologized for having to come and ask about the first boyfriend again and told me that I have the most tender Snickerdoodles he’s ever tasted. (The secret ingredient is Cream of Tartar.)

What is the one, single food that you would never give up?

Cream of Tartar. I couldn’t make fantastic Snickerdoodles without it.

Where can readers stalk you?

According to the District Attorney, maximum security at the Women’s Correctional Facility, but I’ve heard that the DA likes to take walks out by those lonely fields. For now, readers can find me:

My website: http://www.martaacosta.com/
Daily blog: http://vampirewire.blogspot.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MartaAcosta

Thanks, Jean, for having me here! I trust that you won’t reveal anything I’ve told you here today because I like you and I’d hate to see anything bad happen to you. By accident. And, like I tell super cute Officer Gallagher, accidents happen all the time.

[Jean] Lol



When foster teen Jane Williams is invited to attend elite Birch Grove Academy for Girls and escape her violent urban neighborhood, she thinks the offer is too good to be true. She's even offered her own living quarters, the groundskeeper's cottage in the center of the birch grove.

Something's not quite right about the school -- or is it Jane? She thinks she sees things in the birch grove at night. She's also beginning to suspect that the elegant headmistress and her sons are hiding secrets. Lucky is the gorgeous, golden son who is especially attentive to Jane, and Jack is the sardonic puzzling brother.

The school with its talented teachers and bright students is a dream for a science and math geek like Jane. She also loves her new friends, including hilarious poetry-spouting rich girl, Mary Violet. But the longer Jane stays at Birch Grove, the more questions she has about the disappearance of another scholarship girl and a missing faculty member.

Jane discovers one secret about Birch Grove, which only leads to more mysteries. What is she willing to sacrifice in order to stay at this school...and be bound to Birch Grove forever?


Marta Acosta’s Dark Companion is the story of Jane Williams, an orphan since six years-old, who has been through the never-ending foster cycle. Never really had a family to call her own, the death of a good friend really hits her hard and decides that focusing on her education would be a way to keep her mind occupied and a way out of her downward-spiraling life. When she gets chosen to receive full scholarship to Birch Grove Academy, she does not waste a moment and dives right in. Soon, Jane realizes that there is something peculiar about this school and the longer she sticks around, it may not be the escape that she seeks.

Readers will easily be drawn into Jane’s story and the odd world of Birch Grove. The mystery laid out by author Marta was quite intriguing. I like how the main character is not your normal protagonist. There was just something about her that was different from all the others. She is strong and everything she does is believable, even her heartbreaking life. I can see many readers will relate to her and that’s what makes this book so enjoyable. In a way, Birch Grove was like an additional character. It is filled with so much mystery that it just gives out the creeps but readers will still want to step inside of it. Marta’s writing style is elegantly beautiful and provides clear descriptions of the story’s compelling mysterious plot. Dark, scary, and creepy yet wonderfully intriguing. Dark Companion is poignant and will linger long after it is read.

You can purchase Dark Companion at the following Retailers:
          


And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you Marta for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a Copy of Dark Companion & Signed iPhone Cover by Marta Acosta.
2 Winners will receive a Signed Dark Companion iPhone Cover by Marta Acosta.


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17 comments:

  1. Thanks so much for this awesome giveaway!

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  2. Thank you Marta for stopping by and the fabulous giveaway.

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  3. Hi, everyone! I'm so happy Jean invited me to her wonderful blog -- although her probing questions about my personal life have me a little worried. Perhaps Jean can come out for a walk with me in the fields and we'll discuss these things!

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  4. nice interview marta,,nice to know you..
    and thanks for the chance to win ^^

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  5. Thank you to Marta Acosta & JeanBookNerd.com for having such a fun giveaway!

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  6. Thank you for the giveaway Marta Acosta and Jean BookNerd!!

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  7. Thank u so much for this awesome giveaway. I'd love to read this book.

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  8. Jean, you are the most nerdlicious to get so many entries to the contest! I am in awe.

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  9. Thanks Marta for donating your work!

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  10. Great interview! Thank you so much for the giveaway, Marta!

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  11. Thanks. I want to read this book :)

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  12. Hi! Thanks for this awesome giveaway!

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  13. Thanks for the awesome giveaway :)

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