Mario Acevedo is one of those rare authors who is so understated, so easygoing, that it’s almost tough to believe that he’s a bestselling author. Tough, that is, until you pick up one of his vampire books and quickly realize that you can’t put it down. I met Mario at a book signing recently and somehow talked him into revealing the truth behind his books, rooted in a strange combination of nuclear waste, Charlaine Harris . . . and nymphomaniacs.
SciFiBookshelf.com: For someone who hasn’t been lucky enough to pick up a Felix Gomez book, how would you describe the series?
Mario Acevedo: It’s about the adventures of Felix Gomez — Iraq War veteran, detective-vampire, an undead hero with plenty of defects. His nemeses include rogue vampires, government assassins, alien gangsters, and werewolves. Along the way he’s helped by tough women, forest sprites, and a ghost.
SFB: How do you come up with such zany titles?
MA: The titles fell into my lap. Fortunately I had my pants on.
MA: My big secret. I didn’t like vampire or supernatural stories growing up. I read mostly straight mysteries or thrillers. Then I read Charlaine Harris’ Dead Until Dark and I loved how she made the supernatural world her own. At that time I was working at Rocky Flats and a coworker suggested I write about the place. Seems that a story about a detective vampire, nymphomaniacs, assassins, and UFOs captured my impression of the nuclear weapons industry.
SFB: How did you get your “big break” and publish your first book?
MA: My big break? Yes, I got published but it still feels like I’m in the middle of the swamp. But I’m grateful that I’ve gotten this far. Five novels and a comic book series.
How did I get published? Mostly luck and timing. (Backed by seventeen years of writing six manuscripts.) Basically I approached an agent and gave him my elevator pitch…in an elevator. My Rocky Flats story was wacky enough to interest him and an editor.
SFB: Do you have any advice for new writers today?
MA: Nothing different than what others have said better and more eloquently. Be stubborn about writing. Keep learning and honing your craft. Hang on to your faith and dreams. And don’t buy cheap vodka.
SFB: Can you tell us a little about the upcoming comic book? And will there be more?
MA: The comic book series Killing the Cobra: Chinatown Trollop and is from IDW Pubishing. The story is a spin off of an incident hinted at in The Nymphos of Rocky Flats. Between his time in Iraq and Rocky Flats, Felix took down the Chinese Han Cobras heroin merchants. The comic book tells that adventure. Lots of treachery, violence, and blood. And one over-the-top villain.
SFB: What’s coming up in the future for Felix?
MA: Hopefully, a lot more adventures. There are some plot lines I’d like to resolve.
Felix’s new adventure is Werewolf Smackdown, where he goes fang-to-fang against werewolves in Charleston, SC. Think The Sopranos, only more violent and with lots more hair.
SFB: Mario, thank you so much for your time!
MA: Happy fanging!