Books, Guest Posts, Things I Love

Who Doesn’t Love a Ninja?

September 18, 2013

I, for one, am obsessed with ninjas.

I am also obsessed with my friend Leza Lowitz. Leza is one of the great modern poets of our time, in my opinion. I take her books with me to my classes and workshops and constantly read aloud from them. Check out an earlier post I did on her here. I also highly recommend her books of poetry. But enough poetry…

It’s time for Jet Black and The Ninja Wind…

In Leza’s own words:

I’m really excited that one of my favourite people in the entire world, fellow yogini and writer Jen Pastiloff, is letting me visit her blog to to tell you about Jet Black and the Ninja Wind, my debut Young Adult novel.

It’s been over a decade in the making, so that makes the launch all the more sweet.
As a yogini, mother, and business owner, it hasn’t been easy to find the time to write. But we felt that this is a story that needed to be told. So in between life and the laundry, we channeled a female ninja and wrote down her tale.

Why did we write a book for teenagers about a ninja?  I love Japan. But I got tired of reading about girls in kimonos trailing behind boys. Where were the female warriors? They were hidden. They were ninja.

You might imagine ninja as the B-Grade, black-clad assassins of Hollywood, but they were not. Ninja were tribal people who developed secret arts to protect themselves against invading forces. Women were skilled fighters, too.

I was interested in that history; my life and writing partner Shogo loved Native American culture. We connected Japanese tribal lore with the story of some special modern warriors–the Navajo Code Talkers.

We wanted to tell a story about a strong Asian heroine, so it’s an action-adventure tale about the last living female ninja. But it’s really about Japan’s indigenous Emishi tribes and their fight to save their land.

The two tribes(Navajo and Emishi) come together to save an ancient treasure and keep the past alive,  with lots of spin-kicking ninja adventure along the way.

It’s “Crouching Dragon, Hidden Tiger” crossed with “Indiana Jones” and a bit of “The Da Vinci Code.” Of course there’s a steamy love story and a dog-lovers’ bonus: a ninja Akita helps save the day.

A very cool Jet Black and the Ninja Wind Book Trailer just went live on Youtube. Directed by Chris Mauch (storyboard artist for DIVERGENT), CJ Gardella (Director of Shunka), and their crackerjack ninja team.

The novel will be out in late October but is up on Simon & Schuster’s Carousel already.

Through Jet’s multicultural adventure, we hope you’ll learn more about these American heroes while discovering the real face of the ninja.

With a throw of a shuriken star–

Leza Lowitz and Shogo Oketani

P.S. Our first review of Jet  is out, here. Don’t you love the name of this Blog- Girls in Capes?

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  • Reply Leza September 19, 2013 at 5:36 pm

    Thanks so much Jen. It’s been a fun stretch from yogini to ninja–but hey, all in the service of transformation….Love you!

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