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May 7, 2018

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What Makes A Good Story with Arnulfo Cantarero

January 14, 2018



What Makes A Good Story with Arnulfo Cantarero


There’s nothing like a book to truly take you to another world.


From a child to an avid-reading adult, a creative mind is one that can devour the world of others and tell a compelling story from one mind to another. This person is Arnie Cantarero.


Arnulfo (Arnie) Cantarero, a 34-year-old author from Riverside, California, wrote “Emotions” in 2013, a riveting story about Jason Ariaz who has been genetically and cybernetically enhanced in a world where he is an emotionless extraterrestrial living among humans.


Cantarero found his passion for creative writing while in high school but it wasn’t until college where he found his love for storytelling.  He was a Star Trek fan and wanted to write something similar but couldn’t bring himself to have characters too much like the characters he grew up with. When he was in college, the ideas that he had in his head started to click together and took his passion to the keyboard. It was from this moment on, he knew he would never be happy being anything else.


Arnulfo lived most of his life in Colorado Springs, Colorado and now resides in California where he enjoys the weather and writing in the sun.


“I would’ve started much sooner, but I didn’t realize just how much I would enjoy creating my own world,” said Cantarero. “The ideas can come out of anywhere, normally something that just happened to me and then start to wonder ‘what if.”


Cantarero describes his writing schedule as he paraphrases Stephen King, “Whether it takes an hour or five, don’t get up until you finish your word limit for the day.” He normally writes  around 2500 words a day, although there have been days when he can’t stop himself and goes over 5000. His influences growing up varied from Arthur C. Clarke to Isaac Asimov but Anne Rice, Interview with a Vampire is what started his passion for writing. He read the book within one sitting while he was suppose to be on vacation but doesn’t regret it for one second.


Arnie’s favourite genre is sci-fi but loves the feel for YA fiction. It wasn’t until reading Love Child by Andrew Neiderman that Arnie realized someone his age could be the main character and has never looked back since.

He graduated with a degree in Computer Engineering and Logistics Systems Management from Colorado Technical University and this kindled his love for writing.


When he first started writing, Arnie had to have the television on as a background noise. It would be an old or a new show but when writing a story, television takes him to new places.


“I make new connections, and the characters in my head start making decisions,” said Cantarero. “When editing though, I like it quiet since I like to read the stuff I’ve written out loud and then start chipping away”

Wendy Esquivel Rubi, a good friend of Arnie’s for the past two years, says their love for literature and the written word brought them together.


“We met in a read-along group on Instagram and conversations turned into more than just talking about books but about our lives as well,” said Esquivel Rubi. “His writing is amazing and to meet the guy behind ‘Emotions’ was just an add on to his great personality.”


Wendy describes Arnie as a smart and funny person, very creative, dedicated and disciplined writer. Arnie’s personality shines through his writing, how he is always trying to better himself to give the readers his best work.  

“Arnie is a person you can count on, he always makes us laugh and personally I will always be thankful for the occasions where he has helped me with computer related issues.”


As Wendy and Arnie had met after ‘Emotions” was published, she had the opportunity to read his book and give an unbiased opinion to her friend as not a friend but a reviewer. Wendy describes the book to be a five star read in her eyes as the story in original and leaves a lasting impression on the readers mind.  It’s one of those books and characters you can’t forget.


“It is great to have a friend who gets you in so many ways, who shares your love for books, writing, movies and who is kind enough to share his own writing.”

When he isn’t writing, Arnie is either watching TV, working out, shopping, trying out new restaurants or just browsing the web. He normally invests in two or three books a time that range from audio, digital and paperbacks. Creating a universe is not as simple as it might seem, Arnie had to have a storyline set and watch out for any plot holes and the consistency of characters. He found trouble at first finding voices for his characters that weren’t his own and sharing the ideal mindset of a main character.


Whether it’s a good or bad review, Arnie enjoys reading through the reviews on Amazon, Goodreads and personal blogs. He has received mostly positive reviews and loves hearing from the minds of his readers as they sometimes include dark scenarios that he didn’t even dream of. He thinks of his readers as family as a reader can tell when an author is not sincere with his/her writing.


“I wouldn’t be able to write characters like them and sound convincing because I lack that first-hand experience to replicate their way of thinking,” said Cantarero. “Readers want to escape to worlds where they can battle hydras or rescue kingdoms with black-winged Fae, or fall in love in new ways and just how far would you go for that love.”


Arnie believes in the method of having a relatable main character is what makes a story worth telling. Whether is be a social discrepancy of being bullied, seeing yourself making the same decisions or having a similar cultural background, this makes not only the character relatable but also the story. There is so much in the world to inspire great adventures and a good writer will take you there.


With more books in mind, Arnie is currently editing the pseudo-sequel to ‘Emotions’ called ‘Sins of the fathers’ as it is meant to be the introductory novel while his first book becomes a prequel. He is also writing a third novel that is another coming of age story but from another perspective. While avoiding any spoilers, Arnie describes his new book as the spin off of a quasi-dystopian with alien technology, evolved humans and Greek gods.


Arnie’s ambitions lie within his writing. He wishes to see his books made into but wouldn’t sell the rights away to someone who would change the whole story. It’s all about adaptation, not the name. He lives by putting himself out there and not being afraid to ask for help. Marketing is almost as important as having a great story in his eyes but says he is still learning and with every day comes new knowledge.


Arnie’s main character Jason Araiz, is not your typical character, he is a genetically and cybernetically altered alien. On top of this, his species is what Arnie calles “binaries” as there are two beings in one body, Jason and a computer, but that’s what makes him special in his complete lack of emotions.


“It’s this more than anything else that makes him different. He doesn’t understand why people do the things they do, every aspect of our society is hard to understand and he tries to fit in the best he can, sometimes with disastrous results.”


Arnie’s advice to young writers is to never give up on your dreams. It may be tough getting your manuscript into the right hands but even there, there is more mountain to climb.  Believing in yourself and continuing to do what you love, you’ll be amazing by how much the books you’re reading can influence a young writers work.


While writing a book can be difficult, Arnie finds it troubling to be a full-time writer while stilling having a normal everyday job as ideally being a writer would be his dream career. He spends his extra time writing which means he cancels plans and stays up late to reach his word count.


Arnie Cantarero, author of Emotions and more books to come has made his mark in the writing world and with his book having over 72 reviews on Amazon with an average rating of four stars, his book is working its way up.


“After the first 50 pages or so things started to clear and I found myself unable to put it down,” said Vampress Bathory, reviewer on Goodreads.


“Enjoyed reading this book. Full of action, suspense and loved the surprise towards the end,” said Monica Fawcett, reviewer on Amazon. “I fully related to the emotional hurdles the main character encountered throughout his journey towards understanding and ultimately possessing human emotions.”


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