Monday, September 13, 2010

Welcome, Mike Arsuaga


I grew up in New Orleans. In 1962 I set a state record in the Long Jump. In high school and college I won some writing awards. After college I joined the Navy where I completed a twenty-three year career in Submarines. I survived being left on the bridge of a submerging sub, a flooding torpedo room at 500 feet, and several typhoons. Contrary to popular belief diesel powered subs do not submerge in rough weather. Anyway, after the Navy, I helped my Greek Goddess of a wife, Cynthia, who is immortalized in my "Subspecies" series of novels, with her career in real estate. When 9/11 happened I joined the TSA, yes those pains in the butt that screen you at the airports.
In high school I edited the newspaper. I contributed sports articles to my college paper. I wrote in spurts. In the sixties I wrote a novella "Love under the Threat of Nuclear Destruction" about teenage love during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Playboy took a look at it. I may revisit it. In the eighties I wrote "Credible Deterrent" about two very different and opposing weapons of mass destruction with artificial intelligence. An agent picked this one up but couldn't sell it. When I retired in September 2007 and saw the fall TV season was terrible I returned to writing. I wrote a 100K word novel for practice while getting up to speed with grammar and such. In the summer of 2008 I went to work on the Subspecies series. Three novels are completed. "Subspecies", "Subspecies, Inc", and a spin off "The Tenth Legion" The spin off has different characters with only cameos by the mains from the SS books.
Children of Subspecies is 80% completed. A fourth "The Subspecies Colonies" is contemplated.
Mike Arsuaga
Author of "Subspecies", a paranormal and sexy romance about a deep love between two special beings. Scheduled release is May 2011 from MuseItHotPublishing. Check out the full synopsis and an excerpt at http://mikearsuaga.weebly.com

Excerpt *unedited*
We didn’t have to leave the Laundromat to find Sam’s next kill. When we arrived the clothes were not completely dry. We paid for another fifteen minute dry cycle and sat on the hard yellow benches across from the folding tables to wait. While we waited Sam cooed and played with a baby one of her neighbors brought in. The squally little pink bundle was fussing when we arrived. Sam swept it up and cradled it. The child, wrapped in a blanket, looked almost too large and heavy for her slight arms, but I knew those wiry appendages could clean jerk a full grown man from the floor to over her head. She put her face close to the baby’s and teased it with the kind of silly noises you make to please infants. After singing it a lullaby in French she handed it back sound asleep. “Sam, you are so good with little Sophie,” the mother said, slipping the infant into a stroller. “You would make a perfect mom.”


“Thank you,” Sam said with a tone of subdued quiet. I sensed the woman had stumbled across a major regret. Seeing the mother and child were about to leave Sam added. “There is no telling what kind of creeps are around, Jamie, let my friend Jim walk you home.”

My head snapped around in surprise. I wasn’t used to being volunteered. The task wasn’t objectionable; it was her presumptiveness that got to me. I opened my mouth and probably would have said something stupid, but she was facing me with an imploring expression that both requested and gave promise of pleasurable compensation.

I was no fool. “I’d be happy to,” I answered smiling.

When I returned, a skinny young man had joined Sam in the Laundromat. He wore old clothes that were several sizes too large and tennis shoes on their last legs with partially detached soles that slapped the floor when he walked. A week’s growth of beard darkened the lower half of his face. An aura of bad breath, dirty underwear and unwashed armpit surrounded him. He might have been young, but drugs, alcohol, and God knows what other risky lifestyle choices turned him into a dissipated wreck. He surveyed the room with small hazel eyes set in swollen red sockets. Seeing that we were the only ones there besides him he approached.

“Any spare change for a war vet?” he asked just above a whisper.

War vet, my ass!

Sam and I looked at each other. We both recognized that he might be a good candidate for her freezer. He was homeless and they were constantly on the move so even if someone missed him the presumption by the family and police will be that he moved or didn’t want to be found. He had no diseases that were dangerous to either of us.

“You poor dear; you look like you haven’t eaten in a week,” Sam said touching the sleeve of his canvas trench coat. She then walked across the room to a vending machine. Our homeless friend might have been physically rundown and hungry but he still appreciated the sight of Sam dressed in a pair of jeans that fit like skin on a grape as she made the round trip, returning with a couple of bags of chips and a soda. “This will hold you for now.” She said, “We don’t live far. Why don’t you come to our place? You can clean up too if you want.”

He smiled, vaguely confused. I could practically read his mind. On one hand he couldn’t believe his luck that these two Generation X rubes were going to bring him home. He silently would count off the opportunities the situation presented. There was robbery. Case the place and come back later. Maybe even catch that fine looking little piece at home and have some fun with her. On the other hand this would all seem too good to be true. He might have wondered if we had something up our sleeves. I could hear a voice from the deepest and most primal part of his mind, based on experiences learned from before Mankind left Africa, screaming a warning not to go, but the higher more rational parts would convince him that there was no danger.

Finally he said in a visit-with-the-parole-officer polite voice. “I’d be much obliged to come with you ma’am.”

As we started for the door a couple of women entered. They nodded, recognizing Sam. We realized that we had to abandon the target. If he went missing the women might remember us in any investigation that followed. Sam acted first and said, “I’m sorry. I just thought of something we have to do. We can’t take you with us. Here is ten dollars. Get something to eat.”

The young man’s eyes narrowed. “You’re not taking me home now?” he demanded loudly and he moved toward Sam.

“That’s right,” I said stepping up and partly blocking his way to her. “Take the money and go.”

Reaching around me, she held the bill out to him. He snatched it from her hand and left. We waited a few minutes chatting with the two women and headed home. The air was warm and the smell of gardenias filled the night with a cloying sweetness. I expected to spend another night of passion with Sam. Only this will be better because there was nothing to hide and none of that damned church candle wax smell to interfere with her scents.

On the sidewalk in front of Sam’s apartment she suddenly stopped. In the next block a set of car headlights swerved into view and momentarily lit up her face. “Oh dear,” she said as the light passed and she faded back into the dark. “If we are to hunt tonight, we will need a few things. Be a darling and pick up some Earl Grey tea and clothesline from the convenience store at the corner. Here, give me the laundry.”

I backtracked for a block. Halfway to my destination I turned to see Sam under the streetlight hauling the basket of laundry up the stairs toward the dark vestibule. It took longer than I expected at the store. Some fool couldn’t make up his mind about what lottery game to play.












3 comments:

Arlene said...

Hi Mike,
Wow. From New Orleans (friends live there, havent visited since Katrina but hope to before another one hits) to contracts signed at Muse, you definitely have me anxious to hold Subspecies in my hands. Gulp. That freezer of Sam's must be quite gross.
Thanks for sharing.

Lea said...

I love reading about author's backstory. And you set a record in long jump, interesting. I remember my high school days where I needed a five mile run to jump maybe three feet. :)

S.Durham said...

Mike, wonderful to learn more about you! Subspecies sounds intriguing, can't wait til its release.

Sara