30 Days of Vampires Schedule
Author of: Happy Hour at Casa Dracula, Midnight Brunch, The Bride of Casa Dracula
Favorite Candy: Idaho Spud, because what is better than a candy that looks like a potato?
Favorite Cartoon Character: Stewie of “Family Guy.”
Super Power Most Covets: Power to fly since traveling on planes is expensive and annoying.
Favorite Vampire: Spike of “Buffy” because he’s snarky and snarling.
Q.) First can you tell us about your Casa Dracula series?
M.A.) My novels follow the adventures of Milagro de Los Santos, a funny, sexy, smart, yet impetuous young woman who gets caught up with a pack of rich, snobby vampires. She prefers to think the best of people (and other creatures) which is why she’s sometimes duped, but she has the courage and cleverness to overcome obstacles. She always manages to find good parties and attractive men while doing so.
Q.) What about your take on vampires, do you stick with tradition or tweak it a bit?
M.A.) I’ve never understood the appeal of ancient corpses, so my vamps are humans who have a genetic anomaly that makes them crave red things (like blood), heal faster, and also makes them sensitive to sunlight. They dislike the superstitions about them (why wouldn’t they be visible in a mirror?), and they’re a secretive bunch so Milagro is never sure if they’re being completely honest.
Q.) If you were given the option, would you be turned?
M.A.) To quote Milagro, ha, ha, and ha.
Q.) What would you do if you met a “real” vampire? Would you be a vamp groupie or would you dash for the nearest stake?
M.A.) What does he look like? If we’re talking Gary Oldman with that crazy-ass wig in “Bram Stoker’s Dracula” I’d have to stake him for his high-crimes-against-fashion. If he looks like Gerard Butler with that rock star wig in the deliciously bad “Dracula 2000” I’d offer him a Bloody Mary and we’d discuss the options.
Q.) Who makes the best hero–slayer or vamp? Why?
M.A.) A normal human makes the best hero because vamps and slayers have unfair advantages of strength and fearlessness. I prefer regular Joes (or Josephines) who fight the good fight. I adored Buffy, but I admired Xander.
Q.) Matchmaker dilemma, you have a choice of a vampire, a werewolf or a witch/wizard as a date to your sister’s wedding, who do you pick and why?
M.A.) Vampires are high maintenance. It’s all about them. “The coat check girl lost my cape. The salmon was overcooked. I drained the blood out of the ring bearer.” Witch/wizards are notoriously bad dancers. You know, the kind that wave their arms around and do lame Isadora Duncan moves as they get in touch with their inner wood nymph.
Werewolves are the original party animals. As pack critters, they have mad social skills. They may not be the best dancers, but they get down and get funky with during party perennials like “Y.M.C.A.” and “Full Moon Rising.” They wouldn’t whine about the food, they’d be fun to pet, and think of how great the wedding photos would be!
Q.) Are you a plotter or a panster? Character-driven or plot driven? Ever try to be the opposite? Do you have a set method you use when starting a book?
M.A.) I used to be a pantser. However, my editor objected to the meandering nature of my work. Now I’m a dedicated plotter. I think most writers begin as pantsers, because, well, it’s easier. But it’s like building a bedroom and then trying to construct a house around it. Much better to frame out the house and complete the construction of the individual rooms. You can still change things if you need to.
Q.) What is the smartest thing you’ve done so far as advancing either your writing or your writing career? What is something you wish you had done differently?
M.A.) Contributing columns and articles to newspapers helped me learn to meet deadlines and work with editors. It also gave me professional writing cred when I pitched myself to agents. I wish I had done it years before.
Q.) Can you describe three things in your writing area that tell us something about you?
M.A.) My writing area is a disaster, because I hate filing. I have a bulletin board with lots of photos of my son and family, a pencil holder made from a pretty tin that belonged to my grandmother, and a Slinky that I constantly fidget with.
Q.) Any new projects on the horizon? What would you like to try next?
M.A.) I just handed in the first draft of my next novel, a romantic comedy tentatively titled Nancy’s Theory of Style, which will be published by Simon & Schuster/Pocket Books in 2009. After that I’m writing another Casa Dracula novel. My agent is sending out a young adult gothic that I’ve written and I hope that will be snatched up by a publisher soon.
Thanks, Lori, for having me here! I’m always happy to hear from readers and they can visit my website. Fans of vamp and paranormal entertainment can keep up with all the latest news at my Vampire Wire blog.