Friday, July 3, 2020

The first paragraph of She Was His Angel ☠️

Long before I started the 8th book in the Hernandez series, I knew my focus would be on strong women and specifically, female empowerment. I felt it was necessary that I show how Paige Hernandez, the wife to protagonist Jorge, wasn't exactly playing second fiddle to anyone. I wanted to show that she could go toe to toe with any other character, both male and female.

Throughout the book, She Was His Angel, my goal was to not only celebrate powerful women, but I also tried to demonstrate some of the bias and hurdles that we often face. While Paige is very much a superhero in the eyes of her husband Jorge, she often struggles as a mother, worries about the future, and attempts to keep everything in balance. Although this has been a focus throughout the series, I believe that this specific book takes a closer look into the world of Paige NoΓ«l-Hernandez.

Another angle that I hoped to focus on in this book was Paige's past. Up until this point, we really didn't know a lot of details about her assassin lifestyle or how it even came about. I attempted to investigate in She Was His Angel although I must admit, there's still a great deal to learn about this mysterious character's past. I've always said that some characters are more forthcoming than others. Jorge Hernandez, for example, is an open book while Paige is quite the opposite. Despite the fact that she's been in most of the series, she's revealed very little about herself. Then again, maybe that's what keeps us all intrigued.

Monday, June 22, 2020

Why I won't be putting THIS in my next book πŸ™€πŸ¦ 

With the recent pandemic fresh on people's minds, many have suggested that I might want to incorporate this scenario in a future book. Not a chance.

Having said that, I completely understand why people would feel this way. It's not as if I have ever shrunk back from exploring controversial subjects and I'm all for potential conspiracy theories, however, we are already living Covid-19 hell 24/7 so I suspect that people want to read about it as much as I want to write about it. Even publishers have expressed little interest in taking on any kind of dystopian nightmare story at the present time. It's just a little too real, folks.

This isn't to suggest that it's impossible. I'm sure there's a crafty author out there who can do it in such a way that people find appealing, maybe even exciting. And who knows what we will want to read in the future, once this is all over. It's hard to say.
Everything goes in cycles and truth be told, what's going on in the world definitely has an effect on creativity, and what we find enjoyable. However, sometimes it has the opposite effect, kind of like reading a Christmas book in July.

Personally, I will continue to write my twisted series because regardless of the season and state of the world, raw human emotions are always in style.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

She Was His Angel ☠️

From my press releases: 

The Canadian author known as Mima recently published her 13th book (9th in the Hernandez series) titled, She Was His Angel. 

A former Mexican narco transitions into Canadian life with family, politics, and business while holding tight to his ruthless, criminal ways. Meet Jorge Hernandez.

Power-hungry CEO of Our House of Pot, Jorge Hernandez holds tight to his ruthless ways in the 8th book in the Hernandez series when he decides to take down the pharmaceutical industry in one powerful swoop. The man once known as the Mexican cartel leader El Diablo isn’t satisfied controlling the monopoly in the Canadian marijuana industry but wants to make Big Pharma squirm under his thumb. Using his political influence to cripple his nemesis while simultaneously backing the incriminating docuseries Eat the Rich Before the Rich Eat You, Jorge might win the battle but can he win the war? 

Recognizing that he’s started a bloodthirsty game of cat and mouse with a sinister opponent, Jorge enlists the help of the only person that he considers his equal. Former assassin Paige Hernandez, one of the most dangerous women in the world, takes on her husband’s advice to do her worst. But when an unexpected adversary forces her hand in a no-win situation, Paige is left with a heart-wrenching decision of who will live…and who will die.

When the couple unites forces, they discover a bloodbath overflowing in deception and disloyalty that shakes them to the core. Together with Paige, Jorge fights their enemy to the end because he is the devil and she was his angel.

This book centers on celebrating strong, powerful women who can take on the world. I also use this platform to resurface many stereotypes that women encounter throughout their lives, as well as the struggle of balancing family and work....and of course, in Paige's case, murder.

Monday, June 1, 2020

How do you keep track of everything?? πŸ€”

After watching one of my recent blogs about how I have 10 different lives, (characters,  I mean, just so you don't think I have a split least, nothing diagnosed 😜) a friend asked me how I kept track of everything. Not only do I have a lot of characters, but I also have a lot of books in my current series. I thought I had addressed this in a previous blog but then, I wasn't sure if I really covered the bases so I thought I would dive into this question.

To begin with, I have a lot of stray notes that get stuck on a clipboard. These are comments in a specific character's voice, ideas, scenes, various things that I want to bring to light at some point in my book. Eventually, I take all these little notes and add them to a long list of things that are simply there as reminders of events and plot points that are coming up in the future. I don't necessarily use everything and sometimes, these thoughts carry on to another book in the series. Sometimes they aren't used at all.

My most important writing possession, however (outside of the laptop I use) is a black book where I keep all my writing notes. In the first section, I have a list of characters, notes about each one (age, family, etc) and which books they can be found in.

The second half of this notebook is the notes for each chapter of every book in the series. I'm afraid the notes aren't necessarily as detailed as they should be however, they give me enough information that I can use it as a reference point and easily look up whichever book and chapter I need in order to review some material. Sometimes, for example, I have an old character returning to the series and have to remind myself what role they played, how they spoke, and their connection to the protagonist.

My little black book is by no means perfect but at the end of the day, it gets the job done. It's the personal journal of my characters and their story.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Do we really need genres anymore?

It's not the first time I've talked about not wanting to be stuck in a genre and it probably won't be the last. Are genres too confining?

The problem is that as soon as we put books in a category it limits your audience. It often suggests that this is the central theme, when in fact, most books, movies and television shows can easily dip into a whole range of genres. You can watch a detective show and catch a little romance. You can read a detective book and stumble across some unexpected humor. Sometimes stating that a book is a specific genre is only showing your potential audience a portion of what they can expect. It's like introducing your new friend and describing her as 'a journalist' when she's in fact also a mother, a wife, an activist, and maybe even volunteers in her community. The one-word description limits our view of who she really is when she has so many interesting aspects to her personality. Books are the same.

Another issue with having a specific genre is that it limits your audience. For example, if I learn a book is a 'romance', you've already lost me. It doesn't matter that perhaps it's only one element and maybe the novel is full of humor, drama, and other things I might enjoy because I've already written it off as 'not my kind of book'. This is another reason why I hate genres. I write books that more or less fall under the thriller-suspense categories but I have a lot of other stuff going on including romance, dark humor, maybe even a little horror from time to time.

I guess the point is that good books, movies and television shows have a lot of different things going on. We have short attention spans and need a lot of colors lighting up at once or we simply get bored. I'm not sure if genres are as important as they were in simpler times. What do you think?

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Why I have 10 different lives πŸ€ͺ

As if keeping track of my own life wasn't enough, I have about ten more to deal with every day. Of course, this is a statement most fictional authors can safely make. We got a lot of stuff going on in our head and somedays, it's easier to sort out than others.

Think about it. Fictional authors have to keep track of all our characters, what they are doing, thinking, feeling, their quirks, what they love, who they are, and probably most important of all, how they feel about the other characters in the book. In fact, that in itself can get complicated. In other words, picture your own life, times ten.

What makes things even more tricky is when you throw complex characters into the mix. Unfortunately, not all authors do and that's why some books fall flat. We, as humans are complex so we most relate to characters who are the same. We don't always understand ourselves and sometimes, we also don't understand our characters.

Keeping track of everything can be tricky. I have notes about each character but sometimes I miss important details and other times, I forget those details when I'm actually writing. For example, I have a character that has celiac disease. Every time he sits down to eat with the group, I have to make sure he has his gluten-free food available. Although I recently remembered that he often has a drink or two in my books and it occurred to me that, quite possibly, I've had him drinks something that he probably wasn't supposed to have....oops.

I think it's safe to say that you must really love what you do in order to write fiction. Your mind has to be traveling in several directions at once and to be honest, that can be exhausting. In fact, someone recently pointed out to me that this might explain why I'm so tired after writing a chapter or two. There are days when I literally could take a midmorning nap after an early morning writing session. It might also explain why I can't keep track of my own life. Who has the time?

Monday, May 11, 2020

Why I don't give away free books anymore 🧐

Never say never, however, when it comes to giving out free books, I tend to support those who support me.

When I published my first book in 2010, I was open to giving away some free copies, mostly through contests which included an online women's magazine (which may or may not have sent the copies to winners) as a way of finding new readers. In the end, this experiment was a fail and although I've given away free books (both paperback and ebooks) since that time, in most cases, I'm sad to say that the books are often not even read let alone reviewed. So, any hope of bringing in future sales or even feedback gave disappointing results to this experiment. This has led me to believe that the old idealogy that people don't really appreciate anything free often rings true.

Of course, it's not always true. In fact, I find that usually it's my most loyal readers that appreciate a free book every now and then and in fact, it's for those same people that I write in the first place.

Ok, well, and me... I also write for me, but you know what I mean.

These people actually give me feedback, reviews, and tell others about my books, and in fact, the people that writers should value the most. Sure, it's nice to find new readers but it's kind of like the old expression 'why buy the milk when the cow was free' if, of course, you can apply that analogy to books. Although it might sound rather harsh, I do kind of feel that it applies.

Having said that, it's not my place to tell other authors what to do. In fact, what didn't work for me, might work for someone else. It's hard to say. I just feel like when you give something away for free, sometimes it can lose its value. I also know that writers spend a lot of time and energy writing books, that these characters are very close to their hearts and like anything close to the heart, you have to be somewhat protective. You have to see that it has value and make sure others see this too.