Please give us your website addy, a list of your books and a short bio.
My website is: http://cynthiaarsuaga.weebly.com/
Born to Be Wild
My Life as a Dog (co-authored with Mike Arsuaga, husband)
The Cougar and Her Vampire
Born to Play
A Vampire in Paris (Release February 2012)
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?
Ideas come out of nowhere. LOL. I recently came up with a new story line by watching a commercial on the Science Channel. Other times I could be working on writing on one story and an idea for an entirely different character and scene pops into my head. I’ve been known to stop one and start another many times. My daughter keeps telling me to finish one story before starting another, but I can’t. I have to go with the flow when it hits.
Who or what inspires you when your creative mojo is lagging?
Walk away to clear my head.
Who is your Yoda—your seasoned mentor?
Don’t really have one, but I guess I could call my husband, Mike, my mentor. He offers suggestions and ways to polish my stories which has helped tremendously.
What importance do you place on writing workshops? What workshops would you recommend to us?
I’ve never attended or participated in one, so I can’t comment yea or nay on this question.
What person would you like to thank for inspiring you in your writing aspirations? How did this person help you?
I don’t know if I have one person who inspires me to write. I find great pride and joy in being able to put my ideas to paper. If I did have to say, I’d say my family—hubby, daughter, and granddaughter. They love me unconditionally and their support, ideas, and encouragement keep me going.
Have you ever used songs for inspiration?
All the time.
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?
Smooth jazz all the way.
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?
I like to read everything, non-fiction, fiction, all genres, I’m not discriminate. If the subject catches my eye, I’m in it. If I read something in the same genre as me, I don’t think it influences my writing. However, sometimes it triggers a new idea for a story-line which is always fun, but I try and make the story, characters, setting totally different. I think of as improving on an idea. LOL.
What is your process from idea to first draft?
I have an idea inspired by anything around me, hear about, etc. and kick the thought around in my head for a while and see if it is viable. If so, I write a chapter and see how it flows. I’ll put it down, work on something else, and go back to it later. I add bits and pieces until I’m ready to sit down and write to the end. I have a number of “WIPs” like this. About five right now.
Have you ever given assistance to a struggling new writer? Has another writer ever come to your aide? How?
No and no. I’m still new at this myself, if anything, I need the help.
What do you consider your greatest accomplishments in your career so far?
That the first book sold! Now the second, third, fourth and hopefully the fifth book will do well and follow suit. Texas Heat comes out in a couple of weeks. The seventh doesn’t release until February 2012. A ways to go.
If you won the big lottery, what would you do with the money? Would give any of it to charity? If so, which one?
First, I’d pay off the house mortgage, which is the only major debt we have, then set up trusts for the grandchildren, take a trip around the world, and finally give to the Cancer Society. What’s left, I’d invest.
What is the best advice you want to give to a new writer?
Keep writing! The more you write, the better you get and the more you get your name out to the public.
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 café 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!