Wednesday, 17 April 2013

The Silver Ninja by Wilmar Luna

Title: The Silver Ninja

Author: Wilmar Luna

Genre:  Sci-Fi

Page Count: 362

Book Description: Life was good for New Yorker Cindy Ames. Sure, her husband’s top secret weapons projects were a little… weird, but at least her career as a gymnastics instructor didn’t involve any covert government contracts. Cindy’s life was peaceful. That is until she snuck into her husband Jonas’ lab after hours. What began as an innocent curiosity catapults her life into an exciting thrill ride, as Cindy accidentally merges with Jonas’ prototype nanosuit. Like a teenager stealing her parents’ car for the night, Cindy becomes an armored super heroine known as The Silver Ninja or so she thought...

She soon discovers that the suit is not at all what it appears to be. As it secretly blurs the line between good and evil, Cindy unknowingly becomes more aggressive, violent and apathetic to the world around her. Cindy becomes her own worst enemy as she plummets into a downward spiral of psychological oblivion. To make matters worse, she must prevent a violent coup d'état from erupting in New York City. Cindy will have to suit up and fight through an avalanche of futuristic weaponry to stop more innocent lives from being lost.

But can she overcome her personal demons before becoming the villain? Will Cindy be able to save herself in time to save her family?

About the Author

I first started writing short stories in 1996 while I was attending middle school. I often wrote about my friends and sent them on ludicrous and often comical adventures. However, being an angst-ridden pre-teen, it was not uncommon for me to write very dark stories with horrific endings.

I'm pretty glad I didn't publish those stories if I must be honest!

Sometime in the late 90's I was exposed to a video game titled, Metal Gear Solid: Tactical Espionage Action. A character appeared by the name of Grey Fox, a cybernetic ninja with a sword that could cut through anything.

Immediately I thought to myself, "Whoa, this character would be awesome as a female." (They did make a female cyber ninja in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, but it wasn't quite what I had in mind.)

In 2002, I hastily wrote my first draft of, "The Silver Ninja" and presented it to my friends. Needless to say, my original rough draft was panned by my friends. I was told that it was extremely corny and not very interesting to read.

I didn't care, I wasn't planning on publishing the book! If it sucked, that was OK, no one else was going to see it.

Yet, despite knowing this, I couldn't stop thinking about Cindy (The Silver Ninja.) I would watch with disgust the portrayal of female characters in comics and movies and said to myself, "These characters are lame and are being objectified."

I wanted my heroine to be put out there for the world to see. I wanted to show the audience that there is such a thing as strong female super heroes and they didn't need to be portrayed with gratuitous ass, crotch, and boob shots.

And so, after 10 re-writes and critical pummeling from trusted friends, The Silver Ninja was born. Will this lead to future writing? Only you, the reader can determine that.

(The only exception is that I am still planning on writing a sequel for this book. After all, I wrote her for my own personal enjoyment first and foremost.)



Q & A with Wilmar Luna

Q: Tell us a little bit about your main characters.
A: Cindy is the anti Wonder Woman/Super Girl/Emma Frost female super hero. Unlike the current crop of female superheroines, Cindy is a modern everyday woman. She has problems like anyone else, body image issues, struggles with an eating disorder, has problems with time management, and can be
frightened just like anyone else. Cindy is not a super human, she’s a super heroine. She has flaws like anyone else, but will swallow her fears to face danger head on, even without the protection of the Silver Ninja suit.

Michael is the socially awkward computer programmer who has never kissed a girl. He discovers Cindy wrapped inside the Silver Ninja suit and essentially saves her life. He becomes Cindy’s unofficial troubleshooter, and over time, seems to develop a bit of a crush on her. But what good is a book without drama? Cindy is married to the inventor of the suit and Michael’s best friend, Jonas.

Samuel Adams is the antagonist trying to ‘save the world’ by eliminating political targets. His motives are fueled by a desire to remove power from big corporations and give it back to the citizens. He believes in the ideals of the founding fathers and wants to save America from a puppet government. He uses Cindy as a high-tech assassin to carry out his unethical plan.

Q: What was your favorite scene to write?
A: I can only pick one? There’s like 5 of them! Okay, well... one of my favorite scenes to write on an emotional and realistic level, was the argument between Cindy and her husband Jonas. Jonas had discovered that Cindy lied to him about where she had run off to the night before; he checked her text messages while she was still sleeping in bed. A heated argument erupted between them, but it was treated in a very realistic fashion. Jonas would try to lower his voice so as not to appear angry, but the tone in which he spoke, revealed the emotional state broiling within. Eventually, after constant nagging from Jonas, Cindy blows up in a fit of rage and slaps him across the cheek. He’s so offended by what she had done, that he packs his things and leaves her weeping at the door. I felt that this confrontation between husband and wife was extremely believable and I was quite proud of how the dialogue and character emotions were portrayed. (But if I must be 100% truthful, the scene where a helicopter chases and shoots at Cindy while she’s on top of a collapsing roof top, with her husband falling towards the ground at the same time... let’s just say my heart was racing while writing that scene.)

Q: Why did you want to create a new superheroine?
A: I could probably write another book about this, but who has ten years? All kidding aside, I strongly feel that the current selection of super heroines is weak at best. Wonder Woman is the iconic symbol of a female hero and empowerment yet... she wears a bustier and star spangled panties? Not exactly a good way to be taken seriously. Hell, She-Ra would have been a better role model and she was only created to sell a toy line! All it takes is a quick skim through DC and Marvel comic books to see how they view their women. Large breasts, skimpy outfits, paper thin waist, dependent on men. Marvel seems to treat them a little better, but that is the exception and not the rule. So I said, “You know what? Cindy has super strength, so she should have some damn muscle!” I wanted Silver to be taken seriously, and running around half naked was not going to accomplish that.

Q: What do you see as influences on your writing?
A: I’m ashamed to admit this, but video games played a huge role in inspiring me to write the book in the first place. My real life experiences helped me to keep the characters grounded in reality while Joseph Campbell’s books helped me avoid classic hero tropes. I.E. Cindy’s parents are not dead, and they did not abuse her as a child.

Q: There seems to be a lot of female empowerment views in your book, do they reflect your own?
A: There’s no point in hiding this, I’m definitely pro-feminist and encourage women to stand up for themselves and not take any abuse from anyone. I don’t think it’s right that when a woman speaks her mind, she’s immediately shot down by her peers or other men. Everyone’s a human being and gender should not determine whether people listen to you or not.

Q: Why would readers who don't have a particular taste for science fiction, be interested in you and your book?
A: Well this one’s easy to answer! I wrote the book so that it has a little bit of something for everyone. It doesn’t bog you down with constant science fiction jargon, in fact, it’s kept to a minimum so as not to distract from the story and its surprising plot twists. Also, because it involves a super-powered female, there are some thrilling action sequences and complex characters floating in a sea of grey. My writing style is very fast paced and will keep you hooked once Cindy gets the suit..

Q: What do you do to unwind and relax?
A: When it’s Spring time and there’s a gentle breeze. I like to go outside and watch the trees by my neighbor’s house sway in the wind. For some reason, I don’t know why, but it’s just so relaxing to watch the leaves rustle in front of a clear blue sky, despite being surrounded by suburban houses. But since Spring isn’t all-year round, I love to play video games, draw in Photoshop, and write without deadlines!

Q: What book are you reading now?
A: Ironically, for a guy who just wrote a science fiction book about superheroes. I don’t think I’ve ever read a sci-fi book. I read Diamond Age and Snow Crash as my starter sci-fi books but... well let’s just say I was not impressed. I’m hoping to pick up Ready Player One and Neuromancer, in attempt to find a science fiction book I’m really going to enjoy. Also, I’m in the search of the SCARIEST book on the market, so if you have any horror recommendations, I want to hear them! I read Adam and Hell House, and was not frightened in the slightest, despite enjoying the reads. So if you have anything scary with ghosts, exorcisms, demons, etc. I want to know!

1 comment: