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    Volume 6, Issue 1 February 28, 2011
    Message from the Editors
 The Untold Story of an Executioner by Dawn Lloyd
 End User by A.L. Sirois
 Birth of a New Day by Fredrick Obermeyer
 What Eats You by Sara Kate Ellis
 Touch of Poison by Jaelithe Ingold
 Special Feature: Author Interview with Mario Acevedo
 Editors Corner Getting Lucky by Lesley L. Smith


Special Feature: Author Interview
with Mario Acevedo

By Lesley L. Smith

Mario Acevedo is the bestselling author of the Felix Gomez series. His novels include The Nymphos of Rocky Flats, X-Rated Bloodsuckers, The Undead Kama Sutra, Jailbait Zombie, and the new Werewolf Smackdown. He also has a new graphic novel Killing the Cobra: Chinatown Trollop. Mario is very active in the writing community, belonging to several writers groups including Lighthouse Writers and Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers (RMFW). He's the current president of the Rocky Mountain chapter of Mystery Writers of America. In 2009 he was named RMFW's Writer of the Year. Among other awards, The Nymphos of Rocky Flats was named by Barnes & Noble as one of the Best Paranormal Fantasy Novels of 2000-2009.

Wow! Mario, you've achieved significant success in a fairly short time period. How did you do it?

Being stubborn. And the short time took seventeen years.

Was The Nymphos of Rocky Flats the first novel you wrote?

It was my seventh manuscript. The other six were training wheels.

What motivated you to keep trying for so long?

Relentless optimism and delusions.

Is Nymphos based on a true story?

Absolutely. That's why Nymphos was the first and so far, the only vampire book that had to be declassified by the Federal government.

I have to say the beginning of Nymphos is one of the best openings I've ever read: "I don't like what Operation Iraqi Freedom has done to me. I went to the war a soldier; I came back a vampire." How did you come up with this?

Like most writers, I played around trying to nail the opening paragraph. After a night of especially potent Manhattans, this line popped into my head.

Urban fantasy is a relatively new genre. Some scholars say literary fantasy was created as a reaction against the rationalism of the scientific method/industrial revolution. Do you think this is consistent with urban fantasy?

I wouldn't know from anything scholarly. As a subgenre, urban fantasy has been around in some form for a long time though it was given that name fairly recently. Urban fantasy as a subgenre sprang from paranormal romance, defined as supernatural characters in a contemporary setting, meaning lots of relationship problems, magic, and occasionally, sex.

Would you say Felix' demographic is primarily male or female readers? Do men and women look for different things ...in literature?

It's difficult for me to tell as my fan mail is evenly split between male and female readers. I have a hard enough time keeping track of what's rattling in my head, much less try to imagine what's going on in the mind of another reader. Toss the gender mix in there, and I have no clue.

Why do you think vampires are so popular these days? What's the appeal?

Fangs. Immortality. Superpowers. A nice wardrobe. The vampire always gets the hottest babes (usually). What's not to like?

What adventures does Felix get into in the latest novel, Werewolf Smackdown?

Felix gets caught between rival werewolf clans in Charleston, South Carolina. It's like the Sopranos only with fangs and fur.

The cover art (and titles) for the Felix books are very intriguing and provocative. As an author and an artist, how involved were you in the covers?

I'm involved a hundred percent in the cover art. My editor sends the cover and I say I like it a hundred percent.

Speaking of art, Felix has an exciting new medium, a series of comics, which have been collected into a graphic novel. Congratulations. What kind of adventures does Felix get into in Killing the Cobra?

Felix goes up against the Chinese Han Cobras. They may be mortal but their boss, Jiang Chow, is a vicious badass.

What was the comic/graphic novel process like and do you have any tips for authors who'd like to get into this medium?

Go to comic book conventions and make yourself known. It wouldn't hurt to be outrageously famous before you do this.

Do creating art and creating fiction have anything in common? What do you think drives people to create?

My visual art and fiction writing run on parallel tracks. People create because it gives them a voice in the world. It might also be a God complex. We're always trying to create a world in our image and to project our desires. Imagine someone made in my image? Poor sucker.

Since you continue to be active in writers groups, they must be important to you. What do you think writers get from interacting with their peers?

Interacting with your fellow writers reminds you that you're not alone in this solitary process. Plus, since most writers like to drink, party, and geek out, you've found your tribe!

What's your opinion of critique groups? How can authors get the most out of these?

I endorse the idea of a critique group. The right group can give valuable feedback and help you better understand your story. And it builds character to have a fellow writer say to your face: your work sucks.

Early in the game, before many other authors, you produced some acclaimed book trailers. What was the origin of these and do you recommend book trailers for authors?

My youngest son makes great Lego videos. He and I brainstormed ideas and our videos have been relatively successful on YouTube. Like any other promotional idea, a book trailer has to catch and hold people's attention. Unfortunately, most don't. Gratuitous nudity might help.

Your blog, Biting Edge, seems quite successful. Do authors need to market themselves on the web these days? Do you have any marketing tips?

Absolutely, you need a presence on the web. Once you've got a contract, get a professionally-made website and keep it updated. Blogs and Facebook help spread the word and make contacts, but you have to keep your postings updated. Twitter I'm not so sure. It seems more of a distracting time suck.

I know you have a story in the Broken Links, Mended Lives anthology. How often do you write short stories? Do you think writing short fiction help novelists?

Writing something different stretches the brain muscles. But if you're a novelist, don't lose focus on writing your next book.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

Don't give up. And if you see me at a con, buying me drinks is good karma.

Is there anything else you'd like to tell us?

Writer's block is an excuse used by wimps.

Thanks a lot, Mario. This has been fun.

Thank you. Happy fanging!

Readers can find Werewolf Smackdown, the fifth Felix Gomez novel, and Killing the Cobra, Felix Gomez' graphic novel adventure, at all major Booksellers.

Mario's webpage is: marioacevedo.com.

Mario's blog is: biting-edge.blogspot.com.

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