Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Husband and Wife Writing Team

Mike and Cynthia Arsuaga are the first husband-wife writing team featured on Book Blather. Each has written solo books but, in the process, they’ve discovered they enjoy collaborating. Welcome, Mike and Cynthia.

How we select topics and began working together:

We discovered we were each other’s best editors. Each of us had expressed a desire to write a story about shifters. While kicking around ideas for animals a shape shifter could turn into, besides the usual wolves, bears, and big cats, our Yorkshire terrier pranced into the room. A light went off simultaneously. It was an "Eureka" moment. Together, we banged out a rough plot for Top Dog. Cynthia wrote the prologue. I completed the draft. She edited and inserted her own touches, to the book's benefit. The rest is history. We’re currently working on the sequel. Cynthia will write the love scenes when she edits.

How Mike Selects Topics:

I sort of fell into the Subspecies series. I wrote a short story titled "The Girl in the Library" for an informal contest on a writer's review site. A male vampire stalks a winsome red-haired young woman, conflicted as to how much he did it for sex and for prey. The hook is that she's a lycan, stalking him as he did her. The story went over very well. Encouraged by the comments I received, I turned it into the novel Subspecies. In the process of creating the world of subspecies, the other four books wrote themselves. I discarded many of the standard vampire/lycan legends in an attempt to create a world where subspecies could plausibly exist, as a mutation within humanity. Until the present century, never more than 600 of each type have ever lived at one time. They’re physically strong but not superhuman and live 250 years. With these limitations, and a few more to round out the scenario, they live unobtrusively among mankind for two thousand years until The Girl in the Library changes everything.

How Cynthia Selects Topics: 

I began my writing after helping Mike with Subspecies. I’m a retired business owner and quite frankly had nothing to do. Mike’s story expanded and I helped him format and edit in order to submit to publishers. I had my own ideas and began to write. My first manuscript was accepted on the first try, which shocked me. The rest is history. I have five full-length books and one novella and one short story under contract. Many more are under Works in Progress. My ideas come to me out of nowhere. I never thought I’d write about vampires, but my daughter introduced me to her library of paranormal books and I was hooked. I couldn’t get thrilled by the ages of the heroines–young, virginal, and experienced in sex. Didn’t make sense to me, so with Mike’s encouragement I began to write and six months later I had The Cougar and Her Vampire complete and ready to submit. Before I completed it, I had another idea for another world of vampires and Born to Be Wild materialized as I drove home after dropping my daughter off to get her car out of the auto shop. A bright, sunny day in Central Florida and the music playing on the radio had my mind buzzing. I wrote the entire book in about three months!
I have since created two totally different vampire worlds and each is a series, Born Vampire and Forces of Beauty. The Born Vampire series is edgier, dark, and as some reviewers have suggested not for the faint of heart. The other series is edgy, but I think more palatable.

 Mike and Cynthia welcome visitors to their websites. and


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