About Me and The Silver Ninja books

How did the story of The Silver Ninja begin?

The Silver Ninja 2012 front cover. Artwork by: Lorenz Hideyoshi Ruwwe

It started the same way this about page did . . . with a question.

What if the character Gray Fox from the Playstation Metal Gear Solid video game . . .
was a woman?

This is the story of how I spent a decade of my life creating a female superhero.

This is the origin of The Silver Ninja.

Although I was born in the ’80s, my nostalgia lives in the ’90s. Back then we had the best cartoons: Thundercats, He-Man, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Rugrats, Spider-man TAS, Batman TAS, and She-Ra.

I mention She-Ra because I was a huge fan of hers. I had even asked my mom to buy me the doll and the horse she rode on. I didn’t care that she was catered for girls, all I cared was that she was a female hero. So even as a child, I wanted stories of heroic women. But the media never gave them to me.

Wonder woman was the stereotypical heroine. Gorgeous, invincible, compassionate, and utterly boring. Rogue and Storm were powerful heroes, but they were a part of an ensemble cast. They were the sidekicks to Wolverine and Cyclops. This is why stories of female heroes in the 90’s bugged me.

A woman in the 90’s never had their own agency. They were damsels in distress, sex objects, or babysitters. Women could not be rulers of their own destiny.

I wanted a female lead with the gravitas of Batman and the tortured soul of Punisher. I didn’t want her body to be sexually objectified and I didn’t want her to be a support role to a male lead *looking at you Sue Storm*. The character I wanted didn’t exist.

In 1998 a game called Metal Gear Solid released on the original Playstation console . . . and its release changed my life forever.

A lone commando by the name of Solid Snake must infiltrate a military base and prevent a nuclear weapon from destroying the United States. In order to succeed, Snake needs to defeat members of an elite Special Forces unit known as Foxhound. Throughout this game, you fight floating psychic’s, an evil clone, a hulking shaman with a giant gatling gun, and a gun-slinging cowboy. Little did I know that the battle with the Revolver Ocelot would plant the seed for The Silver Ninja.

After defeating Revolver Ocelot, his hand is mysteriously sliced off. He grips the stump of his forearm as blood spews onto the screen. Revolver Ocelot cries, “My hand,” and escapes through a hole in the wall. And right before Snake could chase after him, a mysterious ninja appears out of thin air.

Grey fox from Metal Gear.
Grey Fox from the video game Metal Gear Solid: Tactical Espionage Action. Copyright Konami and Kojima Production.

I remember my mouth falling agape when I saw him. He was tall and muscular, skin marked with sharp lines that signified flesh fused with metal. His face was hidden behind a helmet with one eye. In his hand, he held a sword that could cut through anything.

Gray Fox was the coolest character I had ever seen in my life. And I desperately wanted to play as him.

He could turn invisible, hold men above his head with one arm, and cut anything with his sword. Gray Fox wasn’t a two-dimensional character either. Demons of the past tortured his mind and gave him a strange desire to be killed by his old friend, Snake. Near the end of the game, when Snake goes to battle Metal Gear, Gray Fox sacrifices himself to save his friend.

And every time Gray Fox showed up on the screen, I kept wondering that same question.

“What if Gray Fox had been a woman?”

When Gray Fox shot an energy cannon to destroy the weapons on Metal Gear Rex. What if he had been a woman?

What if a woman had made that noble sacrifice to save her friend Snake?

On a Friday night in the year 2002, nagged by fantasies of this cyborg heroine, I sat at my computer and wrote from night to morning.

First, I redesigned Gray Fox’s suit. I liked the sleek, form-fitting aesthetic of his armor but not the visible cyborg components. I also wanted the woman to have an imposing, muscular physique. This design would make her body type more unique in a crowd of big breasted, tiny-waisted superheroines.

Finally, I based the Heads Up Display and functionality of the suit off an obscure game called Terminator 2029.

Inspiration for H.U.D. (Terminator 2029 Bethesda Softworks)

I bet you never would have guessed that the company who published this game was the same one responsible for the Elder Scrolls games.

Forearm weapons inspiration (Terminator 2029 Bethesda Softworks)

The 1st draft ended up a whopping 84 pages—and I say whopping sarcastically. This was not the version of the book published in 2012, it is the predecessor, an experiment never intended to meet the public. I had never envisioned myself in the role of published author, so I wrote my manuscript and locked it away on my hard drive.

The book sat for years while fans on the Internet demanded stories with female heroes.

I won’t bore you with the details of how the short story became a novel and how A Bitter Winter became a rewrite of that novel. This is something I have discussed ad nauseum and doesn’t need to be repeated again.

Cindy didn’t become the female version of Gray Fox like I had intended. Instead, she exceeded my expectations and became something more, a unique character with her own identity.

I hope she will one day become as popular as some of the Marvel and DC heroes. One day people will know her name too . . .

Want to read The Silver Ninja book one? Click the image below.


Author Wilmar Luna 2018

From the time he put on Superman pajamas and leapt off a flight of stairs, Wilmar Luna has been captivated by stories of heroes saving the day. As he grew older, his fascination with 90’s pop culture, video games, and movies filled his overactive imagination with fantastical worlds and legendary heroes.

He found an outlet for his creativity by studying video editing and motion graphics design at Mercer County Community College. After graduating in 2008, he freelanced throughout New York City and has edited numerous indie films, freelanced for the NFL, and also worked with the cinematics team at Rockstar Games. He assisted with the launch of Grand Theft Auto V and was also involved in the creation of cutscenes for Red Dead Redemption 2.

After years of watching his name scroll in other people’s credits (please don’t remove me), Wilmar wanted to develop his own projects and ideas. He decided that if he wanted to tell stories of empowered female characters, paranormal detectives, and ghost stories, he would have to venture off on his own.
Wilmar published his first novel in 2012 and his second in 2014. He also published several horror short stories on Wattpad, as well as concept ideas for a gothic fantasy novel. In 2018, Wilmar completed his novel The Silver Ninja: A Bitter Winter, fulfilling his childhood dream to create an empowered, independent, brand new superheroine for a generation of readers hungry for new stories.

For updates on his latest projects, please visit https://www.thesilverninja.com or follow him on Twitter @WilmarLuna.

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