Today we will be interviewing the author of the fun and original series, Shinobi 7, written for young readers and filled with action-pack martial arts and all things ninja! Set within a world of five countries known as Shaaku Den, where elusive shinobi clans reside, the story begins…
Hello, author L. Benitez, and welcome!
Thank you for having me! I’m happy to be featured on your amazing blog.
Thanks for the compliment, I try my best 🙂 So, I hear you have a book coming out soon. December 6, I believe? Tell us a little about this action-packed back soon to come our way.
Yes indeed! On Saturday, December 6th my book Poisoned Battleground will be available on Amazon.com. It’s the official sequel to the Shinobi 7 Series, after the first book Trials of a Warrior. The sequel picks up where the first book left off. I’ve had a couple advanced readers who’ve read it and they love how the characters grow even more in the story. There’s definitely more growth, adventures, and fun to be had in the 2nd installment of the Shinobi 7 Saga.
I hear you are an excellent Martial Artist. Tell us a little about that, and how it plays out in your books.
Aww, thank you so much for that. Yes, my other passion aside from writing is the Martial Arts. I’m a practitioner of Shotokan Karate, I’ve been taking for almost six years now. Karate teaches self defense and how to fight, all of this is true, but it’s also a character builder. I wouldn’t be the same person now if I hadn’t joined. Karate teaches discipline, respect, and hard work. The beautiful part about it: the only way I’ll get anything out of it is if I put the work into it. No one else can make me practice except for me, etc. It’s a very self-discovering art, which is why some say that the Martial Arts is a way of life, not merely a hobby.
With that being said, I’ve learned how to write fight scenes because of my background in karate. I get inspiration from my class all the time. Not just fight scenes, kinetics between students (characters), and the pressures of competition. It’s all great!
What inspired you to become an author, and to create and write the Shinobi 7 series?
I’ve always been a writer. I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t drawing a picture or writing a story. Then I really became a fan of the Japanese culture, ever since I started watching anime cartoons when I was a young kid. The Shinobi 7 Series is my love for adventure on the pages.
What is the overall message you want readers to gain and learn from reading Shinobi 7?
Wow, great question! The main theme of Shinobi 7 is gaining confidence in yourself and getting back your power. The setting of war in the story has put an atmosphere of anxiety and fear over the characters, and rightfully so. The whole world is in the tyranny of the Blackthorn Clan and it’s been that way for a long time. But the characters in the book realize that their fear can’t hold them back and they can stand tall as soldiers who oppose the evil and oppression.
Luna seems like a fun and up-beat type of girl. Tell us a little about her and what inspired you to create her character:
Haha! Luna is actually my alter ego in the book. Our personalities are basically the same, except Luna is a little eight year old girl and I’m an old fart about to turn twenty. Haha! Luna is my most popular character, actually, everyone who has read the books has told me so. I’m very honored and blessed to hear so. The character Luna is very upbeat and quirky. Her comments are off the wall and she says the most random things, sometimes at the most random of times. But the little girl means well and you can’t help but adore her and her ridiculousness. And yes, I suppose I’m a little biased!
The books will be available in print copy, what about Kindle?
As a matter of fact, both the first book and Poisoned Battleground will be available for Kindle on December 6th! When I published Trials of a Warrior I didn’t have it for Kindle. Now, when I publish my sequel I’ll have print and Kindle copies for both books. That’s quite a relief!
Not only are you the author, but you are also the illustrator for your books! That is an amazing feat, and time-consuming I’m sure. Tell us, between writing and drawing, what keeps you motivated? Even during the most weary, dreary day?
Thank you very much. I knew that I wanted to include illustrations in my book because it wouldn’t feel complete without them. I wanted my readers to see my characters and have an image of them as they read through the story. What keeps me motivated? I just remind myself that no one is forcing me or pressuring me to do this except for myself. This is what I love and if I’m not enjoying it, I should step back and work on it when I do enjoy it. I don’t want to write my books in drudgery. I want everything to be as positive as possible. I thank God for allowing me to have the opportunity and blessing to keep writing.
What were the challenges in bringing your story and characters to life?
There were certain emotional challenges that my characters went through that I hadn’t gone through myself. I wrote my first book when I was fourteen and I didn’t understand the impact as much as I do now. I’ve gone through things personally, and that has helped me write with conviction. It’s why I appreciate life so much from a writer’s standpoint!
Thank you for stopping by, L. Benitez, and for telling us about yourself and the books you write. We wish you all the best with Shinobi 7 series, and will be looking forward to your future works!
Thank you as well! 🙂
To order your copy of Shinobi 7, visit L. Benitez on her Amazon author page
Enter to win a free eBook copy of Clash of the Clans: The short story included in the Shinobi 7 Series! Get to know the characters and get a glimpse into the S7 universe. This short story is for all ages and filled with adventure, action, and humor!
Everyone, be sure and stop by her Website and Blog, too! Where she reads and reviews other authors’ books, and introduces you to her characters in the Shinobi 7 series.