Monday 20 February 2012


1.      What is your name, where were you born and where do you live now?
-          My name is Luis M. Vila and I was born in Chicago, IL but I currently reside in gorgeously hot Arizona.

2.      Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?
-          Not necessarily. I always wanted to tell stories but not as a writer per se (I’m not sure if that makes sense). My ambition as a child was to be an actor and I did get to live my dream when YouTube debuted. It was the one place where I could put storytelling and acting together in a single place.

3.      When did you first consider yourself as a "writer"?
-          Actually, I don’t really consider myself a writer now [laughs]. I guess it’s because the title of writer has so much prestige to it that I wouldn’t want to call myself one unless I was dedicating myself 100% to it. As of right now, writing is not my full time job but I would be thrilled if I ever get the opportunity to do so.

4.      Did it take a long time to get your first book published?
-          A little longer than most. I plotted out the idea for my first book about 8 years ago and I’ve been fleshing it out ever since. I didn’t actually sit down and write a full fleshed draft until January of 2011. Then it spent the better part of 9 months being revised so while technically it was a very long time, it never seemed that way because I always held the story close in my mind.

5.      Do you work another job as well as your writing work?
-          Yes I do and a great one at that. I’m truly blessed to find such a wonderful opportunity straight out of college while many of my colleagues are still searching.

6.      What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarise it in less than 20 words what would you say?
-          My latest book is also my first one. It’s called Agent M: Project Mabus to summarize it briefly, it is the tale of two F.B.I. Agents as they are burdened to battle against the prophesized threat to destroy the world.

7.      Who is your publisher? or do you self publish?
-          I am a self published author and proud of it!

8.      How long does it usually take you to write a book, from the original idea to finishing writing it?
-          Well, given my previous ratio, approximately 8 years [laughs]. In all seriousness, when I decided to sit down and write Agent M: Project Mabus from concept to completion took about 3 months.

9.      Which of your books were easier/harder to write than the others?
-          Agent M: Project Mabus was probably the most challenging writing project I’ve taken on. Before this, most of my work was published fan-fiction and original fiction on a couple of websites and those were easy because at the end of the day, those stories had little to no effect on me from a business standpoint. On the other hand, I am so invested in the characters, story, and overall success of Agent M: Project Mabus that I find it difficult to produce results. This is my original work that readers will pay to read. I can’t give them a subpar product. Everything I write has to be me at my absolute best. That thought alone made the entire process challenging.

10.  What can we expect from you in the future?  ie More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre?
-          Project Mabus is just the beginning of (what I have dubbed) the Agent M series. The “prelude title” of the book is “The End Has Begun” and I’m hoping readers will catch on to the gravity of those words. There was a lot of thought put into this series within the last 8 years so as soon as this one hits consumer shelves, I’ll be cranking out the next book in the series.

11.  Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series?
-          I have already begun plotting the sequel to Project Mabus and I’m hoping to see it published right around the same time next year. The story is much easier to write from a character standpoint since most of the returning characters have already been introduced developed. From here, it’s all about watching them evolve as we lead into the end of the world.

12.  What genre would you place your books into?
-          It’s kind of hard to pinpoint it to just one. There are many genres in which I would categorize this series. At its heart, the Agent M series is a science fiction rooted in action/adventure, crime, and with a tinge of urban fantasy.

13.  Do you have a favourite out of the books you have written? If so why is it your favourite?
-          As of right now Agent M: Project Mabus is my favorite since it’s the only one I’ve written. I really put my heart and soul into every page of this book and as far as I’m concerned, I couldn’t be more pleased with the results. However, for what I have planned, it won’t be my favorite once the entire series is finished. One of the books down the road will be an absolute blast to write because I’ve had the idea formulated in my head for a little over 5 years and I’ve just been molding it and shaping it into something truly magnificent.

14.  Do you have a favourite character from your books? and why are they your favourite?
-          Without question, Meryl Lewis is my favorite character in the series because she takes the typical female F.B.I. Agent archetype and evolves past it. She’s free spirited, impulsive, and won’t back down from confrontation, be it verbal or physical. In all my years of watching films and reading books, I’ve never seen a female character equally as intelligent, heartwarming, and a downright bad-ass.

15.  How long have you been writing?, and who or what inspired you to write?
-          I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. Whether it be little short stories here or there to movie scripts for some amateur films. My inspiration for writing came from my desire to tell stories. In my perspective, the medium is an afterthought. If a story is good enough, the audience will sit through a 3-hour film or a thousand page book if the need arises. Writing is far cheaper that filmmaking that’s for sure but definitely much more challenging. It’s easy to convey what’s going on in a scene when there is thousands of dollars worth of sets to help guide the story along but to pull a reader through that very same scene using only their imagination, therein lies the true challenge.

16.  Where do you get your book plot ideas from?
-          I get inspiration from a lot of different sources. The Agent M series was created due to my studies of Nostradamus and his fabled prophecies. I just fell in love with his writings and ideas I thought it would be a terrible waste not to use them in some form of fiction. After all, who could be a better villain than the one person prophesized to destroy the world?

17.  Do you have anybody read your books and give you reviews before you officially release them?
-          My fiancé and brother are (what I like to call) my beta-readers. My brother is my biggest critic and he won’t shy away from telling me when something is good or outright terrible. I love the feedback from my fiancé because she’s not the most adamant reader but once she finds something she likes, she completely adores it.

18.  Do you gift books to readers to do reviews?
-          Absolutely! Anyone willing to write a review about my book on their blog or even on is more than welcome to a copy.

19.  Do you read all the reviews of your book/books?
-          Of course. There’s no better way to gain feedback than reading reviews.

20.  What was the toughest/best review you have ever had?
-          The toughest review came from my brother when I initially told him the concept like 8 years ago and he said “This isn’t going to be like that anime crap you did in high school, is it?” And my best review came from my fiancé when she said “Ok, where’s the next one?” After I broke the news to her that the series had only begun her disappointment set in. It took her a few seconds before she started to praise my book but at least I know it’ll hook people on the concept of a series.

21.  How do you come up with the Title and Cover Designs for your book/books?Who designed the Cover of your books?
-          I know this is kind of a writing “no-no” but I actually came up with the title first before outlining the story. I knew what I wanted for the series as a whole so I thought it best to title it where it all began.
The cover design is something I had in mind for a while. I wanted it to not only attract attention but convey the personalities of the main characters. Michael is more reserved but powerful, hence why he’s handling a semi-automatic shotgun like a pistol. On the other hand, Meryl is more impulsive and doesn’t shy away from a fight so I wanted it to appear like she’s rushing out of the cover and straight into the thick of battle.

22.  How do you market/promote your books?
-          Through my Facebook page,, and querying a few podcasts for shout outs/mentions.

23.  What do you think makes a book a really good/bestseller ?
-          It’s all about the readers. Time has consistently shown that people will pay for something that they believe is good/great over something that’s mediocre at best. If the book is flying off the shelves by the dozen, then it could be categorized as a bestseller. However, there are a lot of great books out there that could be bestsellers that sadly never get the kind of exposure they deserve.

24.  Have you ever suffered from a "writer's block"? What did you do to get past the "block"?
-          Well, the last 8 years or so is what I like to call a case of writer’s block of legendary proportions. The way I move past writer’s block is by changing my motivation to something quantifiable and desireable. The ultimate goal for Agent M: Project Mabus was to hold a physical copy of the book in my hand by then end of 2011. Once I had that in mind, there was no stopping me.

25.  What do you do to unwind and relax?
-          I always like to say I have every hobby known to man other than stamp collecting but there are a few that I dedicate most of my time to. I love to cook, especially baking and it’s a very rewarding feeling to take a bunch of different ingredients and turn them into something magical. Also, I tend to play more video games than the law should allow so when I’m not working, writing, eating, or sleeping, I’m probably playing videogames.

26.  Have you ever based characters on people you know or based events on things that have happened to you?
-          I’d love to say not really but that would be a lie (heh heh). In a way, the main protagonists have similarities to my own personality. The shy and reserved aspect in public settings (Michael) as well as the brash and no-limits demeanor amongst my friends and family (Meryl). But, when I created these characters, I thought of them as two completely different people that have little hints of myself sprinkled on top.

27.  Are there any hidden messages or morals contained in your books? (Morals as in like Aesops Fables type of "The moral of this story is..")
-          Oh definitely. In more ways that you can think. I don’t want to give too much away but readers that follow this series from beginning to end will find a few things sprinkled between the lines that links everything together in a nicely wrapped package.

28.  Is there a certain Author that influenced you in writing?
-          I must give all credit in this department to Stan “The Man” Lee. My love for comic books hasn’t dwindled since I was a wee lad and I’ve been following his writing and philosophies ever since. He was able to take simple concepts and turn them into something extraordinary and I’d like to think there’s a lot of that in my work as well.

29.  Which format of book do you prefer, ebook, hardback, or paperback?
-          I’m currently into the 2nd book of the Night Angel Trilogy Shadow’s Edge in its paperback form and I believe there is a new hardcover World of Warcraft novel that I’ve been meaning to pick up as well.

30.  What is your favourite book and Why?  Have you read it more than once?
-          My favorite book of all time would have to be Diablo: Legacy of Blood. I know it may seem a bit unorthodox but the Diablo series of videogames are my favorite of all time. I nearly got put on academic probation thanks to Diablo 2 so the entire world of Diablo is just so fascinating to me. I loved the Legacy of Blood story because it took elements of the Diablo world into a completely new and fresh experience. I have currently read that book twice but I’m planning on reading through it one more time just before Diablo 3 hits store shelves.

31.  Do you think books transfer to movies well? Which is you favourite/worst book to movie transfer?
-          I firmly believe books and movies as two separate mediums with different ways of telling the same story. I like to think movies tell stories a little bit better books a provide a better storytelling experience because the reader is more involved and thus more invested in the story as a whole.
My favorite book to movie transfer is The Runaway Jury. Even though it lends itself away from the source material in a few drastic ways, the all-star cast involved with the project made every second of that film wonderful.
I’m cheating a little bit here but my most hated book to movie transfer was X-Men: Origins Wolverine. The original graphic novel Origins: Wolverine was fantastic and I loved it to death. The film was a bastardized version where they tried to cameo in every single mutant they neglected in the previous films for fan-service as opposed to story service. For shame Marvel.

32.  What are you currently reading? Are you enjoying it? What format is it?(ebook, hardback or paperback)
-          I’m currently into the 2nd book of the Night Angel Trilogy Shadow’s Edge in its paperback form and I believe there is a new hardcover World of Warcraft novel that I’ve been meaning to pick up as well. I started the Night Angel Trilogy on a whim while waiting at the airport and it was probably one of the luckiest decisions I’ve ever made. The series is great and I can tell Brent Weeks puts everything he has into it.

33.  Do you think ebooks will ever totally replace printed books?
-          I’d like to say no only because I don’t think picture books and pop-up books would translate better digitally than they would on paper. Plus, mommy and daddy would be hard pressed to hand over their iPad to a toddler for reading purposes.

34.  Do you think children at schools these days are encouraged enough to read? and/or do Imaginative writing?
-          Absolutely not. A lot of focus in schools today is computer related training and while I do believe it is a necessary skill that needs to be developed, reading kind of takes a back seat to it. Online videos and social media are sucking attention second by seconds. It’s as if reading no longer serves a good purpose other than researching materials for school work and that’s a damn shame. Think of where we would be of some of the greatest inventors of our time never developed their imagination through reading books.

35.  Is there a book you know you will never read? Or one you tried to read but just couldn't finish?
-          Even though I love to quote it from time to time, Sun Tzu’s The Art of War is just something that I’ll never be able to sit down and read cover to cover. It’s definitely full of great insight but I like it more as a reference above all else.

36.  Are there any New Authors you are interested in for us to watch out for? and Why should we watch out for them?
-          There’s one author I met and became friends with 8 years ago who I have nothing but the utmost respect for. I don’t believe she’s published yet but she’s too good not to see her work in print. Her name is Kelly Jones and she started writing fan-fiction just like I did. In fact, that’s exactly where we met. I’ve loved everything she’s ever written and I’m sure everyone else will too.

37.  Is there anything in your book/books you would change now if you could and what would it be?
-          Not a single thing. Every word on every page is exactly how I want it and where I want it. That’s the beauty of being a self published author.

38.  What do you think about book trailers?
-          I think they’re phenomenal! It’s a great way to go beyond the blurb to catch reader’s attention. One particular trailer caught my eye, Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld. Everyone who is anyone should go check it out. In my opinion, that is the perfect book trailer. From start to finish, it’s engaging, informative, and makes you want to dive right into the book.

39.  What piece of advice would you give to a new writer?
-          Never fall in love with you first draft. The concept may be fantastic but if you put it down for a few months and go back over it, you’ll realize that it’s not as perfect as your mind tricked you into believing. Better to be patient and let the love continue to swell than to publish an unfinished novel only to be heartbroken in the end.

40.  Do you or would you ever use a pen name?
- Technically no, but I do abbreviate my first 2 initials for a bit of added mystery.

41.  What is the best/favourite gift you’ve ever received?
-          Funny thing is, I’m known as “the Man Who Has Everything” to my friends and family because whenever I see something I want, I usually buy it before any birthday/holiday. This makes it a nightmare for my loved ones who want to try and surprise me only to be foiled once they find out I already own mostly everything they could think to give me. However, there was this one instance where I was pleasantly surprised. I had told my fiancé about a year ago that I have never received an Easter basket as a child. You know the ones with chocolate, candy, and everything a growing boy needs. Easter is more of a religious holiday to my parents and while they did paint eggs, participating in any kind of “rabbit” event was out of the question. My fiancé thought that was horrible but I didn’t think anything of it now. I didn’t really dwell on it then and I certainly don’t now but she took it into her own hands to do something about it. On Good Friday, a large package arrived at my door. I had no idea what it was but when I saw my fiancé’s contact info, my inquisitiveness sparked. I tore through the package and low and behold, my very own custom Easter basket awaited me filled with all of my favorite candies, deserts, and even a few pieces of technology that I didn’t even expect. I’m a guy that loves surprising and that was one I’ll never forget.

Where can readers follow you?

Your blog details?
Your web site?
Your facebook page?
Your Goodreads author page?

And any other information you wish to supply?

Yes, please check out and like my novel 

Thankyou for taking the time to do this Interview!

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