Meet Writers

Create Your Own Adventure: Interview with Luis Manuel Torres

Create Your Own Adventure: Interview with Luis Manuel Torres

Luis Manuel Torres has a love for stories in all forms, from books to television to video games, and works on multiple writing projects at once. Born in Puerto Rico, Luis lived in Boston for thirteen years and now lives in Springfield, Massachusetts. We met because both our stories appear in 1969, an anthology about witches in the age of Aquarius.

What do you like about anthology novels?

I’ve always found it fun reading anthologies. You get a bunch of different stories from different authors on one common subject. It’s fun to see what stories people tell, and it’s a great way to discover new authors. I’ve discovered multiple authors from anthologies, like N.K. Jemisin, Aliette de Bodard, and you in 1969.

I like to read an anthology and pick out my favorite stories. From my favorite stories, I’ll look up the authors and see what other works they have. If they have a novel, I’ll choose that to read next. I’ve done this multiple times and discovered some great stories. 

Some of my favorite anthologies are The Mammoth Book of Steampunk, Children of Lovecraft, Witches vs Wizards, and Tales From The Grave.

Who are your writing heroes?

Lin-Manuel Miranda, the playwright who created Hamilton, is a multi talented Puerto Rican who’s made quite a name for himself in the last couple of years and has made me very proud. We are a very proud people, and every time we have a successful Rican in whatever field it is, it’s like the whole island achieves the success. When a Puerto Rican accomplishes something, it’s an achievement for the entire island. I hope to one day be able to do the same for Puerto Rico and become one of its successful writers and create a story for the world to love. 

Another hero is N. K. Jemisin. She’s a science fiction and fantasy writer I discovered in The Mammoth Book of Steampunk anthology novel. I read her story “The Effluent Engine” and decided to check her other books out. That’s when I read her series, The Inheritance Trilogy and became a big fan. In The Inheritance Trilogy, N.K. Jemisin created the kind of original mythology most writers strive for. 

What do you love about writing?

What I love about writing is the same thing I love about most entertainment. I read books and watch TV for an escape, and writing is another form of escapism for me. Fiction takes people on an adventure, and writing is my personal adventure. Writing is fun. It’s a nice distraction from the real world.

I like to create a couple of characters and put them in some sort of situation to see what happens. When I write a story, I don’t always know what’s going to happen. I’m going on this adventure with these characters, and it’s fun to see where it leads us. It’s like playing my own personal little game in my head. The problem with writing this way is sometimes things start to slow down and you run into a sort of dead end. That’s when I’ll throw in a sudden conflict and the story starts running again. I basically play this “create your own adventure” in my head then put it to paper.

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