Friday, April 15, 2011

Twenty Questions with Author Cynthia Arsuaga!!!

Please give us your website addy, a list of your books and a short bio.


Born to Be Wild

My Life as a Dog

The Cougar and Her Vampire

Cynthia resides in Orlando, Florida, the land of magic, surrounded by the treasured gems in her life, a caring, loving husband, dutiful and loyal daughter, and precious, delightful granddaughter. Oh and not to forget her mischievous Yorkshire Terrier, Thumper.

Cynthia was a “Navy Brat” calling a different port home every couple of years—from Southern California, to Boston, to Virginia, to Florida. She developed wandering feet and diverse interests and passionately incorporates those experiences into her stories, bringing characters to life, and eloquently sharing the vivid images of her mind with her audience.

Cynthia worked as a real estate broker for over twenty years before retiring to Florida. Until recently, then she turned to writing to stretch her creative muscle. Those ideas of faraway places and quirky characters lay dormant for years and finally demanded their story be told.

Cynthia plans on putting some mileage on those wandering feet and travel to exotic locations in the coming years.

How do you usually come up with a story idea? Dreams? Writer’s journal? Eavesdropping on conversations? Newpaper?

All of my stories and even the ones as works in progress all come to me from the depths of my brain. Is it my imagination or in a dream, I don’t know. The ideas come to me for no reason. I could be driving down the road, washing dishes or even writing on one story and another idea comes to mind.

What is your process from idea to first draft?

Sit down, turn on music (smooth jazz), boot up the laptop and begin to write. The story evolves from there.

Who or what inspires you when your creative mojo is lagging?

To be honest, I haven’t had that happen yet. (Knock on wood.)

Who is your Yoda—your seasoned mentor?

Uh, don’t have a mentor, unless I call my sweetie-pie my mentor.

What importance do you place on writing workshops? What workshops would you recommend to us?

I’ve never participated in a writing workshop so I can’t render an opinion one way or the other.

What person would you like to thank for inspiring you in your writing aspirations? How did this person help you?

Again, I’d have to say my one and only, Mike. He supports and encourages me.

Have you ever used songs for inspiration?

For my first release, Born to Be Wild, the Steppenwolf song had some influence. When I write I listen to smooth jazz and there are some songs touch me dramatically. I think I’ve written some hot love scenes to Kenny G or Jonathan Fritzen.

Do you play music when you write? If so, what kind? Or, do you have to have silence or background noise to set your writing muse free?

Yes, smooth jazz and sometimes if I’m in the middle of edits, I’ll keep the television on for background noise instead of music.

Do you read in a different genre than you write? If yes, why? If you read in the same genre that you write, do you feel that it influences your writing in any way?

When I have time, I do read paranormal romance and a little contemporary. Also, I love to read for research purposes. Sometimes that gets me inspired to come up with a new story. If there is any influence, I’d say only to improve my writing. There are a lot of great writers out in the world and one day I hope to one.

Have you ever given assistance to a struggling new writer? Has another writer ever come to your aide? How?

I haven’t been writing very long, only about eighteen months, and because of that factor alone, I doubt I have enough experience to offer assistance.

Another writer help me, I’d say my husband Mike has been the one who has helped me the most. I value his opinion and keen mind for guiding me. He teaches and pushes my boundaries to become better.

What do you consider your greatest accomplishments in your career so far?

I’d say getting published—period.

If you won the big lottery, what would you do with the money? Would give any of it to charity? If so, which one?

I would pay off all debts, set up trusts for all the grandchildren, invest, and donate at least ten percent to charity.

What is the best advice you want to give to a new writer?

Follow the submission guidelines exactly and if turned down, keep at it. Don’t give up.

If you could choose an animal for a mascot, what animal would it be? What do you admire about this animal? Do you feel you have qualities similar to this animal? If so, what are they?

I love horses. Even owned two a few years back before the family retired and moved to Florida, but would I have one as a mascot? I would go smaller, probably a dog, a little one. Dogs give love and devotion unconditionally. We humans could learn a lot from them.

If money, education and fear factors were set aside, what three careers would you like to attempt other than writing?

I’ve worked for the government, been a color consultant, sewn custom clothes and design, real estate broker, part-owner of a manufacturing company in the hospitality industry—all rather diverse in nature. I can’t imagine doing anything else other than writing at this time. If I absolutely had to choose three careers to attempt: Own a small cafĂ© and be the chef, professional photographer, and a fashion designer.

If money, talent and fear were no object, what big adventure would you like to have?

A trip around the world and then write about the adventure.

What characteristics do you like to instill in your heroes? What characteristics do you feel are necessary for a good heroine?

For my heroes I like them to be dark, dangerous, and wounded by love from their past. They don’t necessarily have to be drop-dead gorgeous, a few flaws make them more likeable.

For my heroines, they are feisty, independent, but also have imperfections.

If you had the power to change two things in the world, what would those two things be?

Hunger and Cancer.

If could have a super power for a day, what would it be? Why?

A super power for a day, hmm, I’d like to have superspeed. My house is a mess and needs a good cleaning. If I started today, it would take me a couple of weeks. I’m talking windows, floors, ironing, sewing room, closets, the entire works!

A few more silent moments passed.

“I’m sorry. I’m such an emotional wreck lately. I came to this resort to clear my head about my recent divorce and other things going on in my life. Then, I met you and got sidetracked. Everything has happened so fast, I’m having a little trouble processing what’s happening between us right now. I told you I have baggage, and you didn’t need to get involved with me.”

“You don’t have more than I do. Trust me, I think we all have problems, but in different degrees. So what if you were married to three idiots masquerading as decent men. I’d be willing to bet that each one of your ex-husbands were narcissistic pretty boys—they were into themselves and what they wanted and didn’t give a rat’s arse what you wanted in life. They didn’t care what made you happy. I bet they didn’t want children either, did they?”

Payton’s head snapped back slightly from his question. “How’d you know? No, they didn’t. They all said we had to enjoy each other before we could bring another life into the world. But I did want a child. By the time I married Demetrius, he decided he was too old to have children and had a vasectomy before we got married. I should have known something wasn’t right when he had the procedure done without discussing anything with me. By doing that, I see now I couldn’t trust him, but I was in denial, I suppose.”

“Payton, I would ne’er treat you like that. I find you to be a smart, beautiful, intriguing woman, and no younger woman could come close to comparing to you. Your life experience alone is sexy as hell to me. You’ve seen all the young women here at the resort. I’m attracted to you, no one else, now or ever.”

“How can you make a statement like that? You are so young, and you have your whole life ahead of you. When I’m old and gray, you’ll still be an attractive, handsome, virile man wanting to have sex, and not with a wrinkly, dried-up cranky old woman. How are you going to feel then?”

“Payton, if I love you, nothing else matters. We will find a way to make this work. I can guarantee you this, I won’t be boring, and I promise I’ll be gentle.” He gave her a smile and moved closer.


Tina Donahue said...

You've done a lot in 18 months - major congrats, Cynthia!

Delaney Diamond said...

Cynthia, I'm right there with you on curing hunger and cancer. With all the billions spent on cancer research, why haven't we found a cure yet? It claims so many lives every year.

Thanks for stopping by and telling us more about yourself.

Sarah J. McNeal said...

I'd say 3 books in 18 months is major writing. I love what you said about your biggest accomplisment so far--getting published. Some may think it's easy but it's not.
I wish you every success, Cynthia, and you're certainly off to a good start.

Cynthia Arsuaga said...

Thanks everyone!I hope the next 18 months brings more books and sales for us all!

Michael said...

I still think its wonderful that you and Mike both write. Big hugs and congrats to you both.

Lovely interview.


S.lira aka Michael M/Rawiya

Rie McGaha said...

With Jimmy Thomas on the cover, that's all I need! :) Great interview!

Rie McGaha

Ari Thatcher said...

When you get that superspeed thing going you can come clean my house, too! Born to Be Wild sounds...well, wild! Congrats!

Adele Dubois said...

Thanks for visiting with the S&S Divas, Cynthia!
I wish you all the best with your release.


Fiona McGier said...

Congrats on getting published, and hope your sales make you happy and gain you lots of readers.