Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Guest: Marta Acosta

What can I say about Marta Acosta?  She's a dear, sweet, snarky bit of Internet joy who writes werewolf haikus in her spare time, not to mention recruiting members for the Naked David Boreanaz Club when she's not battling her arch-nemesis, the Sci/Fi Guy, to Death By Diabolical Mind Games.  Not only is she a fab writer of vamp fiction, she is also the Grand High Pooba of the excellent paranormal blog Vampire Wire.  If you aren't following her blog—what's up with that?  :-)  To promote her latest in the Casa Dracula series, HAUNTED HONEYMOON, she's got a plan, and she's kicking ass!

Make Your Character Kick-Ass without Kicking Ass

It’s said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so it’s a compliment to Joss Whedon’s imagination that hundreds of Buffy Summer’s type heroines inhabit urban fantasy and paranormal romance. Buffy was a wonderful, groundbreaking character: a suburban cheerleader who discovers that she’s the one person of her generation fated to fight demons and vampires.

There was a thrill every time a demon or vampire looked at Buffy and saw her as just another girl…and then Buffy smote that baddie with extreme prejudice while tossing off some snarky teenage quip. I think women and girls responded to her because we know what it’s like to be dismissed and underestimated; we know what it’s like to be “just a girl.”

Buffy always treated her usual normal girl concerns –dating, friends, family, paying bills – with the same importance as she did saving the world.  And we loved her for that. But not every heroine needs to kick ass to be a kickass chick.

Marta, disguised as a sweet ballerina (we know better)
My favorite characters have always been those who use their cleverness to succeed: it’s brain over brawn. I like the underdogs, the ones who aren’t as gorgeous, rich, or powerful as their enemies, but still figure out a way to win battles. I like the mumblers and the bumblers, the oddballs and the losers, the freaks and the frauds. They don’t fit in anywhere, and their desire to be accepted is always in conflict with their greater calling.

The heroine of my Casa Dracula novels, Milagro de Los Santos, is a bright, funny, sexy young woman who tries to make a living by cobbling together freelance writing gigs and gardening jobs. She’s easily distracted by cute guys, parties, and lunatics. She wants to be just a normal human chica, but she can’t help being herself.

After she survives infection by a vampire, she gains physical strength, but that’s never her first option when faced with a problem. Nope, she’s rather come up with some nutty plan to conquer enemies and many of them seem to involve costumes and out-of-control parties. She’s a kick-ass chick who doesn’t have to kick ass.

Buffy was one of a kind, but she couldn’t have done it (and it wouldn’t have been nearly as much fun) without her team of eccentric friends.  They overcame fear, physical weakness, and personal issues to fight for a greater cause. Nope, they weren’t beautiful cheerleaders with unique deadly skills, but they were each wonderful, brave, and worthy of love.

Visit Marta at her Website


Michele Hauf said...

I did have a caption on that ballet photo, but must have got lost. That's Marta looking ever so precious and graceful. Now, a vampire ballerina would be interesting!

Marta said...

Oh, Michele, I had such dreams, but I was always in the back row about two steps behind the other girls.

Anna (Bite Club) said...

I absolutely love that you posted about this! Milagro is one of the best heroines around and sometimes its just more fun to read about a kick ass chick that doesn't tote around a trench coat full of knives:)

Thanks for stopping by Bite Club, Marta!

Marta said...

Hi, Anna, thanks for your kind words about Milagro! Milagro doesn't have any tattoos either. I imagine she'd prefer temp ones so she could change them up to match her outfits, but she's naturally over-accessorized!