Monday, January 23, 2012


It has been exactly 1 month since Agent M: Project Mabus has been released and the reception is better than what I could have hoped for. I know many authors would love to shoot for the sky and hit the best seller list within a few days but I am happy knowing that this story is being enjoyed by more people now than it was a month ago. Despite the sales figures, I’m actually more excited to report about the current reviews I’ve been receiving. By my count this morning, we’re at 12 5-star reviews at Not a bad showing for a first-timer I’d say. I’d love to believe it’s a sign of things to come but it’s also very possible that this could be a peak as well. But, I’m a glass half full kind of guy so I’m just going to bow my head and be thankful for those who put the effort out there to read, review, and enjoy my story.

And that’s actually what I’m here to talk about. I believe there were a couple of reviews that mentioned this point in one way or another so I thought this would be the best forum to address them. The growing consensus about Project Mabus is that this book “reads like a movie”. I’m kind of conflicted as how I’m supposed to take that, certainly not in a negative way though. Rather, I’m speaking of it as a concern of sorts. Though, I can’t say those thoughts aren’t warranted. Which leads me to a confession. A trusted author secret I never thought I would take to the grave but one that I didn’t believe ever needed to be revealed. I don’t believe it’s necessarily groundbreaking but it’s ripe for debate and could very well be a particular point of interest for future authors to consider.

Without further ado…  Here goes.

The Agent M series was not intended to be novels.

There, I said it. But you’ll never take me alive!

Whew. That feels good to get that one out there. The truth is, the Agent M series wasn’t exactly my main focus during the creative onslaught known as college. I was working on another set of characters for a comic book series I was hoping to get off the ground one day (if you think plotting out the Agent M series in a movie theater was odd, I can’t wait to tell you about this one). Surprisingly enough, the Agent M series was actually going to be a spinoff on those books. In fact, the main headquarters of these characters was going to be in (SPOILER ALERT) the now defunct headquarters of A.N.K.H. Pharmaceuticals. So, by the process of elimination, if the Agent M series was originally supposed to be a spin-off of a comic book series, then that would mean…

That’s right boys and girls. The Agent M series was originally written for the medium of comic books.

But now you must be thinking “Luis, that still doesn’t explain why people think your book reads like a movie.” Alas my friends, that is yet another bump on the road towards completion. I was still working on this superhero story all throughout college with not too much to show for it other than detailing plots and characters. Finding an artist to share your vision didn’t come easy (or cheap). I didn’t want to put the Agent M series on the sidelines because the more I started to explore it, the more I began to fall in love with it. Suddenly, my comic book superheroes started to see the sidelines. I didn’t want to lose focus on either so I made a unique decision (I only call it unique because any other word to describe it would be derogatory and I’m not one for self-deprecation). Instead of focusing on both as individual comic book series, I would separate the mediums and concentrate my strengths on their individuality instead of merging them together. The superheroes would remain in comic book format because that’s where they would work the best (which might change in the coming months, more on that later).

And for the Agent M series…  Well, I knew a story of this magnitude was destined for something great, I just needed to find the right canvas for it. That’s when it hit me. The silver screen. It seems rather justified seeing as I created the initial concept in a movie theater. My mind had been made up. The superheroes would reign supreme in the world of comics and the Agent M series would breathe the delectable air of Hollywood.

“But, that can’t be all to that story” you might be wondering. And of course, it’s not. But don’t fret my friends, tune in next time for part two of this confessional story and we’ll see how the Agent M series finally came to life.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Void

Have you ever gotten caught between the space of “what to do next”? Certainly it doesn’t pertain solely to authors but in this case, I am at a crossroads to which I cannot seem to select the next path to travel down. Since the release of Agent M: Project Mabus I’ve been on a promotional rampaging, pegging blogs and podcasts for any time they could offer me. However, while this is going on I feel as if my focus has dwindled from the bigger picture.

This time last year, I was approximately 30 pages into the first draft of Project Mabus. Today I stand 38 pages into the sequel yet the last time I wrote anything was 2 months ago. I know in order to get it published in due time, I need to have it completed as soon as I can yet I feel as if any time spent away from promotion could be detrimental to the success of Project Mabus. A part of me just wants to leave it alone and let the word of mouth press carry it forward. The other part fears that this route would only carry it into obscurity.

As a self-published author, it feels like gaining attention on is nothing more than a shouting match. The only thing I can do then write a good description and hope that the cover is unique enough to steal a few moments of someone’s time. Seeking other venues for advertisement is a much but those can be exhausted fairly quickly as well and if I focus all of my energy towards that route it may end up in vain.

Then again, if I focus my efforts solely towards writing the sequel I will be missing out on some golden opportunities. There exist some prime resources that will help establish the Agent M series as a household name. I’d welcome any and all opportunities that come my way (at this point I’d like to personally thank all of the wonderful people at for their continuous support). But if I don’t shift my focus somehow to working on the next step in the series then all of my effort may be wasted on a veritable one hit wonder.

Alas, I am stuck in an endless cycle of could-bes and should-haves. I know within me lies the knowledge of which path to take. Debating it further would only seem to compromise my judgment. The only other option I have is to give up. After coming this far, I’ve only got two words to say.

Screw that.

Friday, December 30, 2011

2011 – A Year in Review

As we count down to the fabled “end of days” (according to the Mayan calendar anyways. For an upgraded version, you need to look no further than right here), I think it’s important to look back on all of the accomplishments and accolades I’ve achieved this year. 2011 has been a very good year to me and in order to truly appreciate all of the amazing feats, I think it’s well deserved to take a little time out of my day and be thankful for what I have. So here they are in chronological order.

1)      Quit World of Warcraft (January 1st)
-          This was both easy and difficult to complete. On the one end, most of my time was dedicated to school and I could no longer spend fruitless hours mining ore and collecting gear. On the other hand, I hated leaving all of the friends I made during my 2-year run (not to mention I just shelled out $80 for the Cataclysm collector’s edition 2 weeks earlier). The social aspect of the game kept me going but the time aspect pushed me away. I still keep in touch with some of the good friends I made and having those little nuggets of humor from time to time quells my desire to return to the world of Azeroth.

2)      Completed Agent M: Project Mabus (February 24th)
-          I really came out swinging this year. As soon as I recovered from my New Year’s celebration the night before, I started cranking out pages as if my life depended on it. Nothing could stop me. I even would write between classes and sometimes during (with apologies going out to my Supply Chain Management professor. The B+ I received was well warranted I assure you). Still, nothing beat the feeling on that faithful night at 10:44pm when I typed the final word of the epilogue, ending an 8 year journey and starting a brand new one all with a single keystroke.

3)      Started a new job (April 12th)
-          Despite the brilliant previous achievement 8 years in the making, this is the one I am truly the most thankful for. Most people earn their living by doing something they don’t really like and taking orders from someone with equal or greater disdain. I am lucky to say I have one of the best jobs in the world, doing something I not only love but am fairly good at, and for the best boss I’ve ever had. I wouldn’t know where I would be today without this job but one thing’s for sure, I’m blessed to be here.

4)      Graduated from C.S.U.S.B. with an MBA in Marketing Management (June 8th)
-          This one was the biggest weight off my shoulders. Thanks to my previous employer, I was able to afford this opportunity but only at a snail’s pace. The normal program would take approximately 2 years but because of time conflict and pre-requisites, it took me just under 4 years. The first 3 were easy; it was the last 6 months that was a real bitch. But, I triumphantly conquered this quest and walked the same educational path of one Howard Wolowitz of The Big Bang Theory fame.

5)      Moved out of my parents house and into another state (July 31st)
-          Although it would seem like a significant achievement for some, this one transitioned so well that within a few days, I felt like I had lived in my new home all my life. Truth be told, my parents were the most affected by this. My younger brother moved out about 2 years prior and now with me gone, all they have left is our dog Cody. Don’t get me wrong, the dog kicks a shitload of ass but still, seeing the children you raised from conception walk out of your house has to be tough. For them, it was a sad day. For me, it was the beginning of a much larger journey. I couldn’t be happier or more blessed with the care they gave me and every time I go back and visit it feels like I never left.

6)      Completed the P90x program (December 22nd)
-          I have been battling weight issues ever since I got my driver’s license. In 2009 became fed up with it and soon I lost 50 pounds over the course of 4 months. Sadly, the stress of school and commuting forced me down the same junky path and I gained back every single pound I lost. This time, I forced myself to do something that I didn’t think possible. On October 1st, I popped in the very 1st P90x DVD and would not stop until I was back to my 2009 shape. It took a lot of personal sacrifice but in the end, I am currently 40 lbs lighter and still going strong. I might not be exactly where I left myself 2 years ago, but I’m certainly closer than I ever was and this time, I’m going to keep it that way.

Wow. Looking back on it, I certainly did a lot of shit. Seeing all of this good stuff done in a single year will make it hard to top. But therein lies the fun. Nothing worth having ever comes easy. My goals for 2012 are going to challenge me in ways I didn’t think possible and while I won’t reveal them all here, you can certainly tune in this time next year to see the results.