“Inspirations and Influences” is a series of articles in which we invite authors to write guest posts talking about their…well, Inspirations and Influences. The cool thing is that the writers are given free reign so they can go wild and write about anything they want. It can be about their new book, series or about their career as a whole.
Today’s guest is author Marta Acosta famous for writing the Casa Dracula series as well as blogging at Vampire Wire. Now, under the pen name of Grace Coopersmith she is releasing a vampire-free contemporary romantic comedy: Nancy’s Theory of Style. To celebrate its release, we invite the writer to talk about the inspirations and influences for writing the novel.
Please give a warm welcome to Grace Coopersmith/Marta Acosta!
When I was in first-grade, I improvised a story for my class and they burst into laughter. Really, if you haven’t made a roomful of six-year-olds laugh, you haven’t lived. The reaction surprised and delighted me. I’ve been making up funny stories ever since.
My agent says I’m not supposed to tell people that I write romantic comedies. For some reason the publishing crowd in Manhattan hates this term. I think it’s a perfectly good phrase. Romance and comedy? Seriously, what is not to like?
Most of my favorite stories are romantic comedies. I keep going back to Jane Austen’s novels and the complications and excitement of young women falling in love. I especially like Austen’s moral clarity, even while she makes her villains seductive and her heroes difficult. I love her secondary characters, each detailed and specific. You can see the author’s fondness for the chattering Miss Bates in Emma, and it’s clear that she was having great fun writing the odious Mr. Collins in Pride and Prejudice.
Her stories are timeless, because falling in love is timeless. Making mistakes is timeless. Trying to negotiate problems of social class is timeless.
Many people scoff at women’s fiction as insignificant stories about domestic life. I think dismissing these stories as unworthy is dismissing the importance of life as a wife, mother, sister, aunt, daughter…
Those young women looking for love are the basis of our society.The same warm hearts that fall in love are the warm hearts that care for sick children, aging parents, a husband going through difficulties. Their hope, faith, and love carry all of us through. In each older woman, that girl still lives and remembers what it is to be in love, to feel that current of attraction, to wonder if this one is the one, to awake excited about every day.
Those emotions are what inspire me to write romantic comedies. I want to capture that point of life when a young woman is discovering the world and herself. She makes mistakes and tries to fix them. She learns how to laugh at herself. She is challenged by problems and finds the inner fortitude to deal with them. She is gullible, not because she’s stupid, but because she believes in the goodness of others. She tries to be flexible and sometimes compromises too much.These experiences will shape her and bring out her true character.
And if I’m laughing, I’m laughing with her, not at her, because I don’t think she’s silly. I think she’s magnificent.
About the author:
So here’s the scoop. I’m from the San Francisco Bay Area and I can never seem to get away from here for long despite my continual fear of earthquakes. Yes, that’s all I got out of the geology classes I took at Stanford. That and a nifty rock pick. If you haven’t gone to the desert and smashed things with a rock pick, you don’t know what you’re missing.
I received degrees in English & American Lit and Creative Writing, which qualified me to do very little except read books. That was my goal all along, but no one pays you to do that. I studied in England and missed the sun. I worked in non-profits and the theatre and missed getting paychecks.
I live with the fabulous spouse and the force-of-nature spawn and our insane rescued dogs. A friend who recently visited said, “They are bad dogs.” I prefer to delude myself that they are morally complex.
I’ve won some awards for my writing, but I get a real thrill when a fan sends me an email, or readers say they like the nonsense on my blog. My priorities have always been skewed.
You can read more about the author at her website.
We are giving away one copy Nancy’s Theory of Style. The contest is open to residents of the US and Canada only and will run until May 29 at 11:59 PM (PST). To enter, leave a comment here answering what is your favourite romantic comedy? Only one entry per person please! Good luck!
BethMay 25, 2010 at 5:46 am
Hmm, I’d have to say When Harry Met Sally – classic!
bethsbookreviewblog2 AT gmail DOT com
Morning GlowMay 25, 2010 at 6:08 am
You’ve Got Mail. I can’t help myself… books, Tom Hanks, internet.. it has everything you could possibly need.
ohmorningglow AT aol DOT com
ChristaMay 25, 2010 at 6:48 am
I immediately thought “When Harry Met Sally” but there are so many!
Sandy GMay 25, 2010 at 6:49 am
I have to go with When Harry Met Sally also
MarieMay 25, 2010 at 7:30 am
Geez, there are so many great romantic comedies, but I would have to say that it’s really a three way tie between ‘Return to Me’ and ‘Princess Bride’and ‘Moonstruck’.
csaketMay 25, 2010 at 7:39 am
French Kiss – Meg Ryan/Kevin Kline
This is my favorite, don’t miss it!
DawnMay 25, 2010 at 7:48 am
A few come to mind. I loved and laughed out loud reading Victoria Dahl’s ‘Talk Me Down’! The rest of the series was great but that one was hilarious. My newest favorite romantic comedy author is Julie James. Every single one of her books are the perfect blend of wit, comedy & romance!!
RaychMay 25, 2010 at 8:11 am
The Princess Bride, both the book AND the movie.
Grace CoopersmithMay 25, 2010 at 11:25 am
Hi, everyone! Nice to hear your faves. I like When Harry Met Sally, but I’m with Csaket and think French Kiss is wonderful.
I confess that I will watch Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell in Overboard whenever it is on. I mention a few older films in my book, one being Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck in Roman Holiday. It always kills me when she returns to her royal life.
Other classics I love: Houseboat with sizzling Sophia Loren and Cary Grant, and Philadelphia Story with Kate Hepburn, Cary Grant, and Jimmy Stewart.
My favorite Austen is Persuasion, but there’s a little less humor and more drama and tension.
Van P.May 25, 2010 at 12:40 pm
my favorite romantic comedy is 50 first dates 😀
MeganMay 25, 2010 at 1:07 pm
I tend to hate romcoms, but man, do I love The Wedding Singer. That movie is the tops.
GladysMPMay 25, 2010 at 2:07 pm
My choice is Some Girls Do by Leanne Banks. It truly had me laughing until tears ran from my eyes. Humor is my cup of tea! I love it! Sounds like you are a gal after my own heart.
TiahMay 25, 2010 at 2:34 pm
I love 50 first dates. “There’s nothing like a first kiss.” 😉
Teresa W.May 25, 2010 at 3:05 pm
I recently watched It’s Complicated and enjoyed it! tWarner419@aol.com
RoxyMay 25, 2010 at 5:00 pm
I really enjoyed this post!
I love love love Emma, the one with Gwenyth Paltrow.
Sue BrandesMay 25, 2010 at 7:03 pm
I really enjoyed your interview. My favorite has got to be Beauty and the Beast. I love that movie.
Maya M.May 25, 2010 at 7:20 pm
I’m going to assume that ‘favorite romantic comedy in book form’ was meant, and say:
‘The Diary of Bridget Jones’ by Helen Fielding
‘Must Love Dogs’ by Claire Cook
‘What Happens in London’ by Julia Quinn
‘Lessons in French’ by Laura Kinsale
Is that enough?
Grace CoopersmithMay 25, 2010 at 7:23 pm
Van, nice to see you here! Hi, Tiah! 50 First Dates is charming, and, Megan, The Wedding Singer’s pretty funny, too. I think Adam Sandler is a little like Will Farrell — both learned to add some essential sweetness to characters who would be awful otherwise.
Gladys, thanks for the suggestion! I’ll check it out.
Roxy, one reviewer compared Nancy to Emma, and she is a little like her: spoiled, superficial, controlling. I like “Clueless,” which is the modern update of Emma.
Thanks, Sue. Now I’ll be singing songs from B&B for the rest of the evening!
BethieMay 25, 2010 at 7:40 pm
My fav is the Dairy of Bridget Jones. Thanks for the giveaway.
Donna SMay 25, 2010 at 9:25 pm
When Harry met Sally followed closely by the first Bridget Jones.
Stephanie K.May 25, 2010 at 9:43 pm
My favorite romantic comedy is Sleepless in Seattle.
NoelMay 26, 2010 at 12:24 pm
Probably Leap Day… xD
For one, the filming is beautiful, as the scenery.(I’m about 99.999 percent sure it was really filmed in Ireland)
Great and funny movie, and of course the awesome Irish accents help too. 🙂
Jennifer RaymentMay 26, 2010 at 1:08 pm
The Princess Bride – hands down, not too many who don’t like that one
I’m dying to read this one by Marta!
LexiMay 26, 2010 at 4:02 pm
My favorite is “A Knight’s Tale” (I think it counts)
BrittanyMay 26, 2010 at 6:53 pm
Hi! My favorite would have to be….hmmm…Shrek! It has everything. Action, adventure, romance and comedy. Thanks Smugglers!
Michelle MMay 27, 2010 at 12:24 pm
Oh this one is easy. I’m thinking it has to be Roman Holiday. Adurey and Gregory. Together. It don’t get much better!
After…something something | Literary EscapismMay 27, 2010 at 3:07 pm
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edmontonjbMay 27, 2010 at 3:21 pm
I really liked How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days.
EllaanabethMay 27, 2010 at 4:41 pm
DONT ENTER ME IN THE CONTEST!! I already have the book. : P
I just wanted to say that this book was freaking awesome. Loved it to death. At the moment it has the top spot on my ‘display shelf’ because it was an amazing read and I plan on making all my other peeps read it too.
The complexities of the characters was an amazing read. I plan on picking up more books from this author. ^_^
saracMay 27, 2010 at 7:02 pm
I think my favorite romantic comedy might be “The Importance of Being Earnest” in any of it’s myriad of versions.
Jackie UMay 27, 2010 at 7:02 pm
Hmm…either About a Boy or Love Actually. I’m a Hugh Grant sap. : ) Crud…or French Kiss…maybe Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind??
CherylS22May 29, 2010 at 1:38 pm
My favorite romantic comedy is ‘How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days’. Matthew McConaughey & Kate Hudson have such great on-screen chemistry. Thanks for the giveaway!
jesse DziedzicOctober 20, 2011 at 12:12 am
Above all, a well written blog post!!!
wholesale e-cigarettesNovember 27, 2011 at 3:06 am
Abnormally well executed piece!!