Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.
Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?
I am Mario Acevedo, age 62, and I’ve earned every wrinkle on my face.
Fiona: Where are you from?
I am originally from New Mexico–the land of UFOs–and now live in Denver, Colorado, my home for the last 24 years.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
My latest book, a middle-grade thriller, University of Doom, is currently available from Hex Publishers.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I’ve always considered myself a storyteller in that I wouldn’t hesitate to embellish the truth if I thought that would make reality more interesting. Sometimes this got me into trouble. Now I qualify what I tell people by saying, “You’ll never get far in life believing a liar like me.” The obsession with a long story started in sixth-grade English when we were tasked to write a book. The original Star Trek had just aired and my writing partner, Stuart Williams, and I were inspired to pena science-fiction epic. However, thelesson was to produce a simple illustrated booklet. Stories the other students wrote included: how a dog lost its owner and was trying to find him; or that Santa Claus got his sleigh stolen and was forced to deliver presents on skis. When the time came to turn in our assignment, Stuart and I had been so overwhelmed by the scope of our story that we had no book to turn in. Our teacher, Mrs. Anderson, knew we weren’t slackers and wanted to see what we had done. So we showed her a three-inch binder packed with notes, drawings, celestial maps, and story ideas. Though we had no book, he and I had actually done more work that the other students. Mrs. Anderson acknowledged our efforts by giving us an A. In the years after that,the originalnarrative kept evolving my head as one long daydream, and I would work anything that happened around me as an episode for the story.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
If you mean, write professionally, that would be 2004, when I got my first book contract.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
What inspired me to write my first book was that I picked up a book from the library and thought, I can do better than this. But that manuscript went nowhere since I had a lot to learn. Mostly that writing something worth reading is a lot of work. The first book of mine that got published I wrote out of frustration and desperation.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
It kind of wrote itself–The Nymphos of Rocky Flats. The not-quite-fictionalstory about a detective-vampire who investigates an outbreak of nymphomania at the Rocky Flats nuclear weapons plant.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Let me put it this way. I had to submit the The Nymphos of Rocky Flats for a declassification review by the federal government. All true. What did the feds not want you to know about nuclear weapons, vampires, and aliens?
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
I don’t think about writing in a particular style, I just try to present my story as clearly and compelling as possible. That in itself is the challenge.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
I like to travel to weave in as much of the setting details as possible. I’ve visited all the locations mentioned in my books except for the planet D’Galtha.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
For my first five Felix Gomez novels, those covers were designed by artists contracted by HarperCollins. For my sixth book, Rescue From Planet Pleasure, that cover was designed by a local artist friend, Eric Matelski.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
That you can never get too weird.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? Who is your favorite writer, and what is it about their work that really strikes you?
A new writer for me is Gabino Iglesias, author of Zero Saints. I like the works by Manuel Ramos and how he weaves social commentary into his tightly crafted, entertaining stories without hitting you over the head with it. I also like Jon Bassoff, Benjamin Whitmer, and Martha Wells for the same reasons.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
That’s an easy answer: Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers. They are a Colorado nonprofit supporting writers of commercial, book-length fiction. With them I got to learn from published authors and understand what it takes to craft a professional manuscript.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Writing is my career. And I also paint professionally.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
I keep relearning how hard it is to write a book.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Considering that writers get hammered from all directions about what they need to do, or what they shouldn’t do, I don’t know what to add. Maybe this: Believe in yourself. And also, read The War of Art, by Steven Pressfield.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Find trusted beta readers or a critique group who won’t hesitate to pummel you with constructive criticism.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
News of the World, by Paulette Jiles
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Irony and stupidity.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
F. Scott Fitzgerald. He died thinking he was a loser. I would’ve told him to quit drinking and hang in there.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
I like collecting and shooting historic guns.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
My favorite right now is Forensic Files. While I like the details about how the crime was solved, what most intrigues me is why people chose murder as a way to solve their problems, and often the one they kill is a person they are very close to.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?