Brenda Woody & Steve Tindle are both an inspiration of a happy couple that writes erotic romance together, but I also learned they are not the only ones, respectfully. Mike Arsuaga and Cynthia Arsuaga are another happy couple that write erotica together and apart, but for this interview, Mike Arsuaga is joining The AfterDark World for “A Man’s World Interview Month”. So I’m please to have him on board.
1. Mr. Arsuaga, it’s an honor to have you here on The AfterDark World. Please why don’t tell us a little bit about yourself?
Raised in New Orleans, Louisiana, I completed careers in the United States Navy Submarine Force and the Transportation Security Administration. I live in Orlando Florida with wife and Editor in Chief Cynthia, daughter Jennifer, seven year old granddaughter Larrna and partner in crime Thumper, a Yorkshire terrier.
My extensive travels in the Navy took me throughout the US, Canada, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Middle East, providing accurate and vivid settings for all stories. Although Mars figures prominently in at least one installment of The Subspecies series, I haven’t been there yet. The trip is prominent on my “bucket” list.
Subspecies, Subspecies, Inc., and Children of Subspecies are released. Tenth Legion and Lagrange Point are scheduled for release in February and May 2012, all from Muse It Hot Publishing. Sam and Jim along with their growing family refuse to go away. Presently I’m working on an anthology of short stories, designed to fill in the back stories of the important characters.
2. How long have you been writing and when did you decide writing this genre was for you?
I’ve been writing on and off since the fifth grade. Until recently, all my writings were space opera/steampunk in the tradition of Verne, Wells, and Heinlein. When I returned to the craft in the fall of 2007, several events conspired to place me in this genre. With a head full of ideas based on reading “Twilight” and watching “Moonlight” and “Trueblood” I sat down and designed a world where the Subspecies (Vampires and lycans) could plausibly exist. Ideally, I wanted the reader to believe the creatures of the night are real.
My first chance came when I entered a short story contest to write an erotic romance involving vampires and werewolves. “The Girl in the Library” features a male vampire stalking a petite redhead named Sam Johnson. As the attraction grows he has second thoughts about dispatching her. The hook of the story is that she’s a werewolf and hunted him as he did her. In the end they discover each other’s secret, and “work something out”. Encouraged by favorable reception TGITL grew into the novel “Subspecies”. The series is now five books long.
No, as Pop-eye the Sailor used to say. “I am what I am.” I try to write logical well thought out entertaining stories. Hopefully, the male perspective in love, romance, and sex comes through loud and clear and provides a unique perspective.
4. How do you family and friends feel about your work?
My family is totally supportive. My wife Cynthia, published in her own right, is my foremost editor, as I am hers. The family dog posed for one of the book covers. As for friends, I learned early to be circumspect in who I tell about being an author of erotic paranormal romances. Sometimes I catch a snicker or less kind expression from the corner of my eye.
5. Is there a particular genre you haven’t touched, but would be interested in doing?
I have a couple of ideas for a book on steampunk and alternate history. What if Rome adopted Hero’s steam engine in 70AD and an Industrial Revolution began then?
6. Tell us about your current book, The Tenth Legion.
The fourth book in the Subspecies series shifts the point of view. The first three were Jim White in first person. This book is set at the beginning of the twenty-second century, told in third person with another main character. Most of the folks from the first three return making at least cameo appearances.
Here’s the Back Cover Blurb.
New Year’s Day is not going well for Lorna Winters, the only werewolf on the OPD—Orlando Police Department. She’s kicked her friend with benefits out of bed, had to subdue a berserk junkie in the middle of the squad room, and given all the guys a free peep show when she changed back to her human shape from her wolf form. And when she gets a great new lead on a big cold case, she discovers that in order to pursue it, she has to gain the cooperation of the vampire CEO of Subspecies, Inc., one of the two largest corporations in the world.
And the twenty-second century is only one day old.
When Lorna’s police work accidentally uncovers lost documents precious to the Whites, the First Family of the Subspecies, she finds herself in close contact with their handsome CEO, Ed White, as he expresses his gratitude to her. Brought face to face, the sparks fly between them, as they discover they have more in common than either ever imagined. Can they build a meaningful relationship when faced with traitorous relatives, organ thieves, plague, prophecies of Earth’s destruction, and a sinister organization known as the Tenth Legion?
The saga of the Subspecies continues…
7. What inspired you to write your book The Tenth Legion?
Cynthia challenged me to write a book featuring a feisty female main character. Surrounded as I am in my house by three, the task was a snap. To test myself I chose my granddaughter Larrna for inspiration. The Official Apple of my Eye, she lacks nothing in the feistiness department. Lorna Winters became Larrna grown up. When we did the book cover, the artist used a school picture to find the female model that most resembled TOAOME.
8. Do you have any upcoming projects that you wish to share?
I’d like to mention three.
I co-wrote “Love and Death in the Big Easy” with Cynthia, the sequel to “My Life as a Dog”, featuring the continuing story shape shifter Drake Martin whose animal persona is an eight pound Yorkshire terrier named Precious and his beloved Kady. In the sequel, set in New Orleans, she has a few surprises of her own. “Love and Death” releases in May from Secret Cravings Publishing
“Lagrange Point” is book five in the Subspecies series. I had so much fun with “The Tenth Legion” writing in third person from female POV, I decided to try again. Here’s the tagline: “To save the future, Cynthia May explores the past—can she unwittingly change what is yet to come?”
I’m close to finishing “Life in the Time of Decline”, a spin-off from the Subspecies series. Keeping in the same timeline the story traces the decline of America from the human’s POV. In this one, sex ends at the bedroom door.
9. What was one of the toughest projects you have ever faced, but was proud of the accomplishment?
Creating the world in which my Subspecies and humans live. As I said earlier the goal was to develop a world where a reader could come away believing lycans and vampires were real. To do this, I had to re-evaluate some of the basic tenets of the subject, rejecting many. Subspecies couldn’t propagate by biting or scratching a human, otherwise we’d be up to our necks in them, or worse humans would become extinct. Related to that is frequency of feeding. Assuming humanity survived to the twentieth century, technology would soon uncover subspecies if they fed according to most accounts. Either the bodies/missing persons would proliferate to unacceptable levels or pesky inventions like CCTV would catch them as they went about their nefarious tasks.
Subspecies are therefore not undead or created by any method except as a mutation within the human genome. One in every hundred million births results in an apparently mentally challenged child. The difference is in the late teens these children ‘emerge’ into vampire or lycan. In human form the emerged subspecies are physical ideals with world class strength, speed, and hyper developed senses. As lycan or vampire the attributes dramatically increase. They’re powerful but not superhuman. They can’t punch through concrete walls or move faster than the eye can follow or fly, and they can be killed like any human. They live 250 to 300 years. Only 600 of each type have ever been alive at one time. At the beginning of the 21st century, in all of North America, a high density area, there are a hundred and fifty subspecies.
Being so rare, they easily blend in. The occasional incident of potential exposure gains no traction beyond the fringe website or tabloid media. Even incidents caught on camera are so rare as to be explained by equipment malfunction or personnel error.
Early in the twentieth century lycans and vampires, existing unknown to each other until the main characters meet, develop methods of preserving prey, extending shelf life and further minimizing exposure. Before that, most subspecies died spectacular violent deaths soon after emergence, giving rise to their mythology.
Through Samantha “Sam” Johnson and Jim White, the Subspecies discovers a promise of life being more than hunting, living in shadows, and fruitless mating. Before the saga ends lycans and vampires build a corporation, face plague and prejudice, colonize Mars, travel in time, and learn their place in Creation’s plan.
10. What advice would you give to other writers, especially to those starting out?
Don’t get discouraged by rejection. “Subspecies” had over a dozen and when submitting, follow the publisher/agent instructions to the letter.
11. Lastly, where can people follow you (i.e. social networks, blogs, websites, etc.)
Time for some trivial questions...
12. Cocktail Moment: If there was a drink of your kind, what would it be (alcoholic or non-alcoholic)?
Alcoholic. (I’m career military remember.)
13. Your Day Off: If you could take a day off from your normal activity, how would you spend it?
A three mile run followed by a hot shower, some yard work and a dip in the spa with The Official Apple of my Eye.
14. Favorite Man Food: It’s your day off and you wake up at 10AM, describe your kind of brunch?
Scrambled eggs covered in salsa and a dash of hot sauce.
15. Something Extra: Is there anything trivial you wish to share to your readers about yourself?
Fifty years ago this May I set a Louisiana state record in the long jump. I’ve been left on the bridge of a submerging submarine and lived to tell about it.
God bless you, wow!
Mr. Arsuaga, I had an awesome time interviewing you and I hope to see you on here again. Thank you so much!
Mr. Arsuaga was kind enough to leave a video promo of his book The Tenth Legion. Please check out this promo of his strong suspenseful paranormal story.
You can also purc hase his book at: