Sunday, February 5, 2012

Interview with LM Vila

Tell us about you.
I was born in the great sportsman city of Chicago, Illinois and currently reside on the equator (I'm told it's actually pronounced Arizona but it's hard to hear when your core temperature is raised 20 degrees past normal).

I am a student of life, love and most importantly, justice. Writing is just one of my many passions right behind cooking, acting, and playing video games. I'm an avid collector of all things comic book and Transformers related material. My personal heroes are Stan Lee and Hideo Kojima because they can weave such intricate and complicated worlds from the simplest of concepts.

Tell us about your book.
My book is called Agent M: Project Mabus and to put it lightly, it's about the beginning of the end of the world.


Project Mabus is the beginning of the Agent M series. About three decades ago, the world's greatest biochemist Dr. Donald Viseman created the ultimate human soldier through non-organic methods. Given the gravity of his work, he decided to name it Project Mabus as a warning to those who knew of Nostradamus' predictions for the final antichrist that will destroy the world.

This book takes place in the present and follows former LAPD officers turned FBI Agents Meryl Lewis and Michael Madison as they investigate a pharmaceutical company with ties to Project Mabus and the ultimate human soldier that was long since forgotten. Michael is currently a target for assassination since gaining a legendary notoriety as being responsible for capturing and eliminating the FBI's Most Wanted Fugitives. He is joined by Meryl on her first day at the FBI as they try to work through reconciling their old friendship while conducting a life-threatening investigation.

What inspired you to write this particular story?
Funny you should ask. For the most part, I get inspired to write based on music. I come up with a few interesting scenes that are choreographed to whatever hard rock or metal song I'm listening to. I actually plotted the concept for the Agent M series in a movie theater while watching a not-too-popular superhero flick.

I've always been a fan of apocalypse theories and the works of Nostradamus. Having a character that is already established as the potential antichrist that will destroy the world was too good of an opportunity to pass up and since it's currently not featured in any sort of popular media, I thought to take the idea for myself and run with it.

What can readers expect when they open your book? Give us something that isn t on the book blurb.
This book reads like a smash-mouth action movie with extremely subtly and hints about the prophesied end of days. I'm hoping readers will not only read between the lines but also go beyond them and do some of the research for themselves. There is a lot of substance to this book that goes beyond the plot of itself.

Readers will be in for a wild ride. I just hope they like my driving.

How old were you when you started writing?
I'd like to say I started creatively writing when I was 6 years old but that's only because I can't remember much else past that age.

Do you stick with one genre, or have you branched out to others? Which ones?
I'm a big fan of science-fiction and superhero stories. Creating worlds from nothing or modifying ours with a couple of gamma bombs or radioactive spiders comes naturally to me.

Do you think you would ever branch out into another genre? If so which one(s).
I don't think I'd have the same passion writing anything else. I've been told I should write a comedy book of some kind but most of my humor is a spur of the moment thing and would be hard to translate into flattened words on a page.

Where do you get your ideas?
I'm inspired from simple ideas and less than mainstream ideas. I don't want to jump on the bandwagon of anything that is currently "hip" or "in" but rather take something that's not as well known, build it from the ground up, and call it my own.

Who is your greatest inspiration?
Stan "The Man" Lee. He took some of the simplest concepts without thinking much further beyond and turned them into some of the greatest stories of all time. I'd like to think I model myself after his teachings for some of the same reasons.

If it sounds good, it'll work!

Who are your favorite authors?
My favorite authors are not so much "authors" in the traditional sense but great storytellers. The two men who's stories captivated me throughout my childhood and adolescence are Stan Lee and Hideo Kojima.

What is your current project?
I'm about 20% into the 2nd book of the Agent M series and I'm hoping to have it completed sometime before March of 2012.

What do you feel is your greatest accomplishment as a writer?
Seeing my book, name, and picture grace the pages of Amazon.com. That tells me I made it. Something I created is now gracing the shelves of one of the biggest stores on earth. What could be better then that?

Have you experienced any setbacks for your writing along the way? If so, will you share with us.
Well...  It did take me approximately 8 years from when I created the concept of the Agent M series to actually finishing the first novel.

Maybe it sounds silly but for the longest time, I was actually afraid of writing. Not for fear of rejection or anything of the sort, but the fear that I couldn't do this great idea justice. For that reason, I delayed completing the first draft of Project Mabus for almost a decade.

How did you overcome these setbacks?
I wrote the initial draft to Project Mabus back in 2003 and only got up to the 2nd chapter before I lost interest. I got back on the horse a second time in 2007 and really fleshed out some of the kinks while created a much better story overall. I took some advice from a few fellow writers and started writing stuff outside of the story to develop the characters better in my thoughts so that they would be much better perceived on paper (so to speak).

Finally, in January 2011 I said "put up or shut up". No one was going to write this for me and no one would ever read it if I didn't put my head down and write my brains out. I skipped out on movies, video games, and any other general distraction until I typed the final word and there was no greater feeling of accomplishment then right there at that moment.

Do you believe in writer s block?
Absolutely. I would be hard-pressed to classify my eight year hiatus as anything but.

What is the best writing advice you ve ever received?
Keep It Simple Stupid.

What is the best advice you have for other writers?
Never be afraid of your writing.

What is more important to you, plot or character?
Characters. The plot could be fantastic, original, and engaging but no one wants to read about a cardboard cut out running through that world. It would be too boring. In my eyes, a great character in a generic plot trumps a great plot with a generic character.

Are you a panster or a plotter?
Panster. Definitely panster. I started coming out with a few of the subplots for Project Mabus in the middle of writing it. It'd be hard to be a plotter because I like to dive right into my work.

Preferred POV to write.
Third person

Preferred POV to read.
First person

Tell us 5 random things about you the person, not the author
1. : I drink milk at any time of day with any meal.
2. : My favorite fictional character of all time is Solid Snake from the Metal Gear Series 
3. : I loved the live-action Transformers films but hated the robot designs 
4. : I hate losing (although I'd never admit it) 
5. : I played a semi-popular YouTube personality back in the early days of the website Twitter :

Where to connect online

What format does your book(s) come in?
Currently only in Kindle format but it will be available in print and on Smashwords.com in January 2012 

Where to buy your book