Ever read the young adult series Sweet Valley High? Picture these books, improve upon them – a lot – and you’ve got Artist Arthur, author of the highly successful YA Mystyx series.
“I thought I could do better,” says Arthur in reference to the beloved Sweet Valley High books. “And so my quest to write entertaining stories began.”
Arthur started by literally changing what other authors had written. Figuring that if she wanted characters to do and say what she thought was best, it was probably a good idea to write the story herself. But she didn’t start with novel writing.
“I actually started writing plays, then that became too restrictive for me. I needed to go deeper than just dialogue.”
Given that her first love in reading revolved around romance, it seemed natural for Arthur to pursue the genre, in which she has a series of romance novels already tucked under her belt. However, young adult also tugged at her sleeve, thanks to Arthur’s teenage daughter.
“My teenage daughter was a huge inspiration in that area. She read a lot and kept making comments about me writing YA. I figured I needed to go ahead and take the plunge before she drove me insane.”
Arthur’s first young adult book took a mere six weeks to write – quite a leap from the time it took to write her first romance novel (about a year).
“I didn’t have a computer at home and could only write while I was at work,” says Arthur.
The time from story completion to querying was fast. Because publishers were already familiar with her romance work, there was interest in what Arthur was doing with young adult.
“I submitted a proposal in early June, and by August one of the publishers had made an offer. The first book of the Mystyx series was published the following year, with each sequel coming in six-month intervals.
Arthur’s story is one in which her novels were published before she found agent representation. When she did, though, it was because of her persistent nature.
“I was referred to my agent (Christine Witthohn of Book Cents Literary) two years before I actually signed with her officially. But I’m very persistent – and so is she. That’s how I knew we’d work well together. So I continued to query her with different stories. The YA series was the right one at the right time and we’ve been together ever since.”
Arthur is looking forward to the latest release in the Mystyx series, Mesmerize, which comes out in January 2012, and is currently writing the final story in the series, Majestic, which is slated for release in August 2012.
Mystyx revolves around a group of "outsiders" who are looked upon as non-conformers in their community. However, the Mystyx can be themselves among each other - young adults with special powers.
Arthur has powers of her own as she walks the daily grind of full-time work and the creative fields of fiction writing.
“I work full-time as a paralegal to a judge and write in all the hours in-between. Really, I write all the time, every day, because I would not complete otherwise.
“I live to write. I’ve been doing this so long, I cannot envision a time when I don’t create stories,” says Arthur.
Discover more about Artist Arthur on her Web site.