19 July 2020

Author Spotlight || Wilmar Luna


I'm super excited to be starting a new feature on Cats Luv Coffee: the Author Spotlight! Hopefully, it gives us the chance to find out a little more about our favorite authors.

Today, Wilmar Luna, author of The Silver Ninja tells us more about his newest release and has some great advice for authors about the dreaded 1-star review!


What's your latest release?


The Silver Ninja: Narco Hotel


Can you start out by telling us a little about your latest work?


For the first time in my indie writing career, I accidentally stumbled onto a story that parallels real-life events a little too accurately. On the surface, Narco Hotel will sound like a typical superhero story. An international gang by the name of the DeMarco's Cartel is invading New York City. The police are powerless to stop them, but one woman is not.


Typical right?


But this story is much deeper than a female superhero beating up bad guys. This is a story about deep rooted racism that is both blatant and subtle depending on the situation. It's a story of desperate people seeking refuge in a country not their own, only to be turned around at the gate.


It's a story about a woman who is so sick of killing that she is willing to give up the very powers that make her special.


Narco Hotel is a tiny peek into hypocrisy and corruption. A story that hits painfully close to home.


Where did you get the inspiration to write this story?


The inspiration was rather gruesome and sad, so I'd rather not give full details. Let's just say that I read a news article of a man and his daughter who failed to cross the border. The prologue of Narco Hotel tells his story.


When you developed the characters, did you already know who they were before you began writing or did they develop organically?



Since this is a series, yes I was quite familiar with the characters. However, they changed in ways that I hadn't anticipated and in ways that changed the plot. I did not know my main character didn't want to kill until I hit a creative roadblock where her actions didn't match with her motivations.


There were many drafts of people she killed, only to be undone by the will of the character. People still get hurt, and people still die, but I wasn't expecting a reduced body count.


Which of your characters was your favorite to write and why?


Even though he doesn't get too much "screen time" Police Commissioner Gates was a very fun character to write. It was interesting to try to get into the mind of a man who never said anything to incriminate himself and could be a jerk without having to bully the weak.


What was more important to you when you were writing: character development or plot?


These two kind of go hand in hand for me. I really can't say I would enjoy writing a book that was plot-only focused or character-only focused. Strong characters can make for a strong plot as long as you put obstacles that match the theme of your setting.


I do think, however, that I sacrificed a little bit of plot to explore more character depth this time around. I'm interested to see how people analyze the actions the characters take to resolve a problem.


What was one of the most surprising things you learned (about your story, about yourself, etc.) while writing?



The most surprising thing I learned was how important writing this story would become to me. Originally, this story started off as an excuse to have filler for my back list. I was just looking to fill gaps with interesting stories that would lead to the next big novel.


I had no idea that the news article or the content of this particular story would become so painfully relevant today. I no longer consider this story backlist filler, but rather an observant perspective on American society.


A lot of authors have a soundtrack while writing. Are there are songs you had on repeat?



Oh God. Anything from Two Steps from Hell and Thomas Bergersen gets a play from me. You want to listen to music that will be perfect ques for noble sacrifices, glorious heroism, and incredible slow motion fight scenes? Check out Battlecry, Illusions, Archangel, Invincible, Skyworld, Sun, Classics Vol. 2. You are guaranteed to find an epic track perfect for your story somewhere in there.


I will say that I have a MUCH different sound track for my planned horror novels.


If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?


Read more. My younger self was under the impression that if he read other author's works his own work would no longer be original. Turns out, there's not that many original ideas left out there anyway. Even the most off the wall, zany concepts, can find origins in Greek mythology, fairy. tales, and the Bible.


So yeah, I definitely would have told him to read more books and focus more on writing.


Which animal would you say is your spirit animal while writing?


Probably an Owl since I seem to get a huge amount of writing done at night.


What is something about the genre that annoys you?


I dislike when a female protagonist can't defend herself physically. I can understand her being overpowered by a larger opponent, that makes sense. But I still expect her to throw things, grab objects, and fight like hell before finally being subdued. She doesn't have to win, but she also shouldn't give up THAT easily.


What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?


I'm told I write great action scenes, but I sometimes hate writing them. Mainly because, I never know how I'm going to top anything that I've previously written.


Are you on social media and can your readers interact with you? What are your links?


I am a big fan of twitter. So you can find me @WilmarLuna and I also have a Silver Ninja fanpage, which is facebook.com/thesilverninja


Do you have a favorite line that you've written? What is it and why do you like it?


“If extraterrestrial life does exist out in that wide expansive universe. I hope that one day, if aliens ever do come to visit, they don’t treat us the way we treat our minorities and immigrants. Otherwise, humanity may find itself crushed underneath someone’s foot.” Considering the events of 2020, I think this is pretty self explanatory. If it's not, you'll have to read the book to find out why.


What advice would you like to pass on to aspiring writers that is unconventional but true?


A 1 star review will serve you better in the long run than a 5 star review. If all of your stories are 5 stars, people will be skeptical that the reviews are fake and will ignore your book. If you get 1-3 stars, people will know it's legit and they will read the negative feedback to see if it's something they agree with.


If someone was turned off by foul language and gave you a 1 star. Another reader might love foul language and buy your book because of it.


Do not fear the 1 star. Fear the lack of reviews.


Do you have a WIP? If so, can you tell us anything about it?


Technically, Narco Hotel is the WIP. But it's in the editing phase so I consider that done.


The WIP I am working on involves what appears to be a haunted house. A guy receives a call from his girlfriend, but whenever she tries to speak into the cell phone he can't hear her.


He thinks that the air conditioner in his room is too loud so he goes to turn it off. But when he turns the dial, the air condition only switches from fan or cool mode, it never actually turns off. When he unplugs the air conditioner, the air conditioner still doesn't shut off. Shortly after, a lot of spooky crap happens.


This will be my next story once Narco Hotel is edited, polished, and ready for your consumption.

 


Wilmar, thank you for so much for being my guinea pig for the new feature! 
 It's always a pleasure! 


If you are interested in learning more about Wilmar Luna's writing, read my review of his novel, The Silver Ninja: A Bitter Winter, by clicking the graphic below!