Saturday, June 4, 2011

Road to RMFW's June Education Event: Interview with Mario Acevedo

Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers' June Education Event is one week from today. Whew. What fun we've had planning and attending the two workshops.

This week we will continue to interview the presenter and authors who are gracing us with their presence at the workshop in Grand Junction on June 11th.

Please welcome Mario Acevedo and be sure to ask Mario any additional questions you have or leave a comment or two.

Welcome Mario!!

First off, tell us a little about yourself and when/how/why you started writing.
I started writing seriously about 23 years ago and from the time I decided that I wanted to get published until I got the "call," it took 17 years (and six manuscripts). I started writing to quiet the voices in my head and I've found that I prefer my delusions to reality.

And your books, what do you have published and what are you working on right now?
I thought I was writing contemporary satire and instead it was urban fantasy--a five book series (and a graphic novel) about a detective-vampire/Iraq war veteran.  I've got a couple of short stories in print, the most recent of which is in the anthology You Don't Have A Clue from Arte Publico Press. I'm working on a variety of projects to enrich my coffers for my scheme of world domination. So far I'm up to $11.57.

Rejection letters: How many did you receive before you were published?
I measure my rejection letters by the pound and use them as ballast in my fleet of yachts.

You are participating in Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers May Education Event, meeting with attendees and maybe critiquing the first 2 pages of their wip. In your experience and opinion, what is the biggest mistake or misconception new writers have? Did you as well, when you were new to the industry?
New writers need to read more and better understand their genre. Also realize that the process can take a long, long time. Be accepting of criticism as long as it is positive.

How often do you write? Do you stick to a schedule or work it in around life?
I write almost every day. I'm at the literary sausage machine by 7am and stick to it until noon or 1pm.

When not writing, what do you do?


  1. Mario, thank you so much for visiting our Cafe.
    First, I'd like to say Mario has a stalker. She isn't harmful (in fact, I think she's pretty cute). One of my daughters first got turned onto Mario in a college class (why yes, I paid for my kid to deconstruct "Nymphos of Rocky Flats." Wish my professors would've thought of that, instead of "The Death of a Salesman."). Mario is the only author she reads (why no, she won't even pretend to read my novel).
    So Mario, your stalker says, "hi."
    K, on to the serious questions...
    Mario, how do you usually edit? Do you edit as you write the story or power through the story and then go back to the beginning and edit the book?
    And do you have a critique group you turn to when the book is done? I mean, you have five novels in this series out. Do you still need that extra set of eyes to tell you if something works or not?
    (I've wanted to ask you this next question for a long time...)
    Do you feel like Felix (for those of you not in the know, that is Mario's hero and you should so buy the first book.)is a bit of you? Or just a character you drew from the ether with no similarities?
    And finally, what would you buy know, if our cafe actually sold coffee and tea specialty drinks? (I'm going with you're a coffee, naked kind of guy...)
    I cannot wait to see you in Grand Junction next week. Those of you who haven't met him, Mario is the sweetest and you're gonna love him...
    Thanks again for coming.

  2. Marne: Thanks for the kind words. Great questions.
    How do I edit? I usually power through a chapter and then go back and edit before moving on. At various times in finishing the manuscript, I'll go back and revise. Then at the end, I edit the entire manuscript again and keep revising/tweaking to the deadline.
    I do have a critique group and I find them invaluable in polishing my story. As a writer, you can get too close to your work and so not see the problems.
    Am I like Felix? He would say, no way! He's taller, better looking, and has more hair. Plus he can belt out a tune (you don't want to hear me sing).
    Coffee, of course. And naked coffee? You tease!
    See you soon.

  3. So what do you worry about when you're not writing? That the world domination is taking too long or that you don't have enough yachts in your fleet?

    What a fun interview. Thanks for sharing, Mario!

  4. Great interview. Mario--why do you think there are so few men writing urban fantasy?

  5. Love your sense of humor. Literary Sausage Machine Watch out, LSM will be our new code word. Okay, so at $11.57 you're knocking at the glass ceiling. Beware, Fortune 500 will be calling soon to get your secrets of success. I want a copy of that list, k? I'm right behind you...well, in number of years at the LSM, anyway. Nice interview!

  6. Love the interview Mario. I'll admit, I haven't read your work--but I'll go for the contemporary satire masquerading as urban fantasy. Poor Felix must be a conflicted hero.:)

    You all have a good time at the conference, Marne. Sounds like a great one.

  7. Don't laugh at $11.57 towards World Domination. Do you have any idea how expensive it is to keep minions fed???

    Great blog; great interview! I was very entertained, and interested in the writer's book.

  8. Great blog! Don't know where I've been, but this is my introduction to Mario. I'll have to stop off at Amazon -- anybody this entertaining I need to read.

    Thanks for it!

  9. Great interview!Great creative use of rejection letters. I've heard of using them to paper walls or hold down file cabinets, but ballist - that's new!

  10. Mario,

    Great interview. I think that has to be the best use of rejection letters I've ever heard.

    Good luck with the world domination!

  11. Mario,
    17 years and 6 manuscripts. Very inspiring!

  12. I've read the book in your series where Felix is up against the werewolves and thought you did a nice job of backing Felix and those on his side into a corner by the book's end. What are your thoughts on escalating stakes and the setbacks/successes on the way to the final conflict? And how do you go about layering emotion into your books?

  13. I love your sense of humor! I'm a big fan of urban fantasy, and I agree, we need more male writers. Jim Hines and Jim Butcher come to mind. I write paranormal romance, and have one urban fantasy in the works. That's a great idea on rejection letters. I definitely will check out your books. I'm always on the look out for authors whose sense of humor matches mine. And after who knows how many rejection letters (I let my son scribble on them) my first book is coming finally out.

  14. Hi all: thanks for the great comments and the mojo.
    Abigail: I worry that my subconscious comes up with better ideas than my conscious. Which means I'm smarter when I'm asleep than awake.
    Suzanne: I think more women write urban fantasy because UF is considered an offshoot to paranormal romance.
    Rebekkah: So true. Minion kibble is expensive.
    Anonymous: Escalating stakes? Very important. I make my vampire earn his hero pay. Layering emotion? Sometimes you gotta use a trowel and sometimes, your fingers. (hint: fingers are better)