Monday, March 5, 2012

The Tenth Legion has Arrived! - Visiting with Mike Arsuaga

Welcome back author Mike Arsuaga! His newest release, Tenth Legion, came out February 29th from  MuseitUp Publishing. It's a great tale, and I should know - I was privileged to be Mike's editor. This was my introduction to the world of Subspecies, and I have to tell you, it made me want to know more. Today Mike is going to tell you a little bit about how he came to write it, and then give you a glimpse inside. First, I think a drink is in order, so while I catch the bartender's eye, Mike, why don't you start?

The Process of Writing "The Tenth Legion"
Originally, I intended the book to to be the pilot of a spin off from the Subspecies series, something like what the SyFy channel did with "Caprica" in relation to "Battlestar Galactica". Jennifer, my daughter, convinced me to abandon first person and to write from the POV of a female character. I chose my feisty granddaughter Larrna, the Official Apple of my Eye, as the inspiration for Lorna Winters, the heroine. Soon, the story took on a life of its own as the strength of Lorna's character emerged vividly, complimented by that of Ed White, the vampire grandson of Samantha "Sam" and Jim, the main characters of the first three books. In "10th", the elder Whites make cameo appearances as mature, but still hot-looking, great-grandparents. I had a lot of fun portraying them through from the viewpoint of Lorna and the other characters.

During the creation of the book's cover, the link between Larrna and Lorna became permanent. I sent the cover artist a school picture of my beloved little apple. The whole family agrees the woman on the cover bears an eerie resemblance, down to the beauty mark.

"10th" is the only one of my books with scenes that brought my wife Cynthia to tears. To this day she won't tell me which parts did the trick, but firmly maintains the tale of Lorna and Ed is the best of the series. More from loyalty to my beloved characters Sam and Jim I disagreed, but during editing, which required me to complete a detailed reading after a long absence, the clarity of Lorna, Ed, and all the supporting characters leaped from the pages. The story complimented rather than competed with its predecessors, in particular paying Sam and Jim the homage they deserved.


Two spaces, each as large as a respectable-sized bedroom,opened into a mirrored hallway between. The mirrors were on the back sides of sliding doors that accessed the closets. At the end of the hall, under lights blazing in violation of a dozen utility conservation laws, sat a make-up vanity with a comprehensive selection of new-in-box cosmetics for her use. Lorna examined a few of them. The colors were right, but the brands were well above her price range. Heck, she still fished around in the depths of her present lipstick with a Bobbie pin to get the last bit of gloss in order to postpone another purchase for as long as possible.

Opening the first panel of the closet door, she peeked in. The space had room for ten times more clothing than she found. A dozen dresses, skirts, and gowns hung together, occupying a fraction of the long mahogany pole. A built-in dresser contained underwear, hosiery, lingerie and belts. Another hanging rod held blouses. All brand new. A shoe rack covering the long side contained a half dozen pairs of shoes, placed precisely in the middle. Lorna had to admit, someone had done an excellent job of color coordination, but more to the point, they’d known what she liked. The collection boasted a lot of green, her favorite color.

Nothing like a closet full of expensive, attractive clothes to relax a contentious situation. Lorna decided to postpone pursuing further plans to escape, at least for a while.

With her inspection of the wardrobe complete, Lorna returned to the main part of the bedroom, taking off her clothes and spreading them around. She wanted to stake the space out as her territory with objects containing her scent, if only temporarily. Confidently, she assumed the newer, bolder aromas she brought would overwhelm the ones already there. Out of curiosity she concentrated, in order to sort and decipher the indigenous fragrances. Much more than odors answered. Sensations flooded her, telling of immense, sustained happiness witnessed by the room, as well as the furniture within it. The joys of love and family were burnished by the fullness of time; of loyalty, faith, and trust crossing generations. Binding all together, she perceived the enduring passion between beings who loved deeply. The outpouring overwhelmed her. She quickly retrieved her things and put them in a small pile, returning the room to the spirits who rightfully owned it.

Mike, it's been a pleasure as always! Come back any time!

Can't get enough of Subspecies? Never fear! Tenth Legion isn't the end. Watch for LaGrange Point! Another winner from Mike Arsuaga!

Until next time, take care!

♥ Julie

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