Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Songs that inspired We're All Animals by Mima

We’re all animals; led by our desires, ready to fight in the light of fear yet with a soul that leads us on a path to wherever we must go.

It started with a broken heart and it took no time for Chase Jacob’s world to spin out of control. An unwanted pregnancy allows his mother and obsessive future bride to manipulate and control his life, turning him bitter and resentful. His destiny becomes a dark road to misery and whenever he tries to take the wheel, temptation only leads him further astray.
When a provocative and sinister side of life introduces itself, Chase discovers there’s an animal lurking inside each of us; a powerful creature that wants to take over. But will he let it win?

With every book I write, there's a soundtrack that has inspired me through the writing process. It's never the fact that I look for the music that will work for me, but more the other way around. A perfect example would be with my next book - We're All Animals - where the music seemed to follow me through each day, even when I wasn't writing and the biggest example of this is the first song on my list...

1. High Hopes - Pink Floyd

This is probably the one song that inspired me the most throughout the writing process. In fact, I found myself listening to this song all the time, almost obsessively for the months I was working on We're All Animals.

2. Wish You Were Here - Pink Floyd

3. The Animal I Have Become - Three Days Grace

4. The Trouble - U2

5. Last Resort - Papa Roach

6. Pour Some Sugar On Me - Def Leppard 

Check out the songs that inspired all my books here! 

Here is the corresponding YouTube video to this blog:

Monday, September 5, 2016

Why I Hate Genres

I hate the word ‘genre’. It sounds so pretentious as if you define your book in one, single category rather than having it overlap in many areas. Then again, is that really surprising since we also live in a world that wants us to define ourselves into small categories that are easily digestible, uncomplicated and make other people comfortable?

I stopped trying to define my books. With the exception of The Rock Star of Vampires and it’s follow up, Her Name is Mariah, I have always stuck with the genre of ‘fiction’ when checking in with my publisher and later when asked the question in which category my books fit. I guess in my mind, a great book should overlap into many categories; there should be some romance – but not too much. There should be some drama – but not to the point that it becomes unrealistic. There should be some suspense but not necessarily non-stop from chapter one. There should be some erotica but not in the Fifty Shades extreme. I think it’s important that readers get a glimpse of themselves in the story as well as someone they want to be or a fantasy that they may have, but would never act on. 

When I write a book, I visualize it as if it were one of my favorite dramas on television. I like surprise twists and turns, I love strong emotions, I dive into dark topics that we don’t like to talk about as well as the light side of our personalities that makes us human.

Genres tend to be suffocating. When asked for themes in my first book, I stupidly suggested ‘romance’ even though it was only a fraction of the book. My publisher immediately suggested that I change the ending and do things differently to connect with the ‘romance’ fan. I wasn’t about to make my book into a tacky, $2 trash romance book and immediately said no. Same thing with the vampire books; I was told they weren’t ‘vampiry’ enough, not what fans wanted in this kind of genre – but to me, that was the point. Who says that all vampire books have to be the same? Isn’t the point of creativity is to be unique? Sometimes I think this is no longer the case.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

What is Your Song?

I've often mentioned that each of my books brings with it a personal soundtrack; a collection of songs that inspired me through the writing process, songs that suddenly got stuck inside my head and refused to leave until the specific book was completed. Interestingly enough, once the process is over, the song seems less prevalent in my subconscious.

Not only does each book develop a collect of songs that take me through the writing process, but I've noticed that there's always one song in particular that stands out as being the song that best represents the protagonist. I'm pretty sure the same can be said for each of us; in fact, we probably can think of some songs that makes us immediately think of friends or family members because it describes them perfectly.

In my first book, Fire, Tarah Kiersey's song would probably be Possession Sarah McLachlan 
This was a song that went through my mind for months, possibly even years before I started to write this particular manuscript. At the time, I would envision a scene that would later fit into my first book, even though I wasn't yet sure of its significance. All I knew was that it was very powerful and that the character behind it was pushing her way through to tell her story.

A Spark before the Fire was, to a degree, the prequel to Fire and discussed the life of a strong character from my first book, Jimmy Groome. There are so many songs that could fit this character, but if I had to choose one, I would say Something in the Way by Nirvana. Depending on how you interpret this song, you could view this in a couple different ways and to be honest, either would apply in this situation.

I switched things up when I decided to write about vampires in The Rock Star of Vampires  and a young woman named Ava Lilith. She lived a secret life, one that she felt had to be hidden from everyone around her, always hiding the truth about her identity. Her song was Iris by the Goo Goo Dolls. 

Her Name is Mariah was connected to The Rock Star of Vampires in that she was a secondary character that quickly rose to the top, demanding her own book. Hardly a soft character, Mariah Nichols wasn't someone who would have a gentle, delicate song to represent her. Try Metallica. Try Masters of Puppets. 

With Different Shades of the Same Color,  Natasha Parsons was a bit of a free spirit, a bit of a hippie and the one song that struck me as I was writing this book and carried through to be the song the defined her was Blame by Calvin Harris. Trust me, it relates to this character. 

I just finished writing my sixth book and I'm already thinking of my seventh. The next one will feature a male character from Different Shades of the Same Color and his name is Chase Jacobs. Without a doubt, his theme song would be Animal I Have Become by Three Days Grace.  It suits him to perfection and in fact, describes the raw power behind the story.

So what's your theme song? Share it in the comment section. If you wish to learn more about any of these books (or read their complete soundtrack list) check out this link! 

Friday, March 4, 2016

Did you know all my books are couples?

People who are familiar with my books kind of figure out that they tend to come in sets. Although you aren’t required to read one in order to understand the other - nor will you miss out on any major storyline if you don’t read both - the books essentially are connected. Let me explain how. 

It all started with my first book, Fire, a story that takes place in the early 90s and centers on the rock music culture. I was probably halfway through this story when I became enamored with a secondary character and knew I had to tell his story. He was so strong that he almost took over the entire book and I had a hard time not allowing him to overshadow the main character, Tarah. His name was Jimmy Groome and when I started to write my second book, A Spark before the Fire, I was stunned by some of the places his story took me. Someone recently referred to his story as ‘sharp’ in places and that’s probably putting it mildly. He embraced a lifestyle that pushed him to the edge and I’ve had one reader get half-way through the book and ask me, ‘Is Jimmy going to die?’

Although I did everything I could to fight the vampire fascination, I ended up joining many other authors and creating a group of vampires in my third book, The Rock Star of Vampires. It was a pretty intense book to put together and probably took me a little longer than the others because it required some research and a great deal of thought on my behalf. I wasn’t used to writing a fantasy novel, so it did so carefully and was pretty happy with the results. However, once again, one particular character stood out and her name was Mariah.

Mariah is, to date, probably one of the strongest, most fierce characters I have ever written about in my books. She was complicated, tragic and poignant, leaving both my readers and myself curious about what made her tick. I followed up The Rock Star of Vampires with my fourth book, Her Name is Mariah in 2015. No one could’ve been more surprised by the ending of this book than me. To this day, I can’t read it without tearing up.  

I got out of my fantasy world with my fifth book, Different Shades of the Same Color. Here, my protagonist is a young doctor who hit her head in a very controversial manner at her uncle’s political fundraiser. This story sprung from a similar (although, much less controversial) incident where I hit my head in 2013. I explored how the incident changed how Natasha saw the world around her and some very surprising things she learns about her own family. It’s kind of a quirky, funny book that involves a hilarious road trip, but the biggest comment so far is how shocked people are by the ending.

Will my fifth book be part of a ‘couple’ too? Yup. I’m currently writing my sixth book, which follows a character from Different Shades of the Same Color. I wasn’t even sure if this pattern would continue until after finishing my last book. I didn’t feel very inspired to tell anyone’s story from Shades until I started the editing phase and something told me that I should explore the story of Chase Jacobs, a young man who only has a minor role in my last book. There was something about him that really sprung my curiosity and it's turning into a very dark story that's taking me to some unsavory places.

Of course, the beauty of the characters, just like people, is that they all have a story and realistically, I could further explore any character in any book and had fascinating results. Are you one of my readers? Is there a character you would like me to write a book about?

Canadian author Mima is known for her complicated and diverse characters, a dark style and for never shying away from controversial topics. To request an interview or if you are interested in doing a book review, please send requests here  

Mima is the author of Fire and the prequel, A Spark before the Fire, as well as The Rock Star of Vampires  Her Name is Mariah and Different Shades of the Same Color. Join Mima on Facebook, TwitterG+ and Goodreads also, check out her Amazon Author Page

For some reading, check out her blogs – personal or writing

Monday, February 15, 2016

What my Characters Teach ME

My readers might be surprised to discover that each of my protagonists develops from a place deep inside of me and transform before my eyes as I tell their story. They may be even more surprised to discover that with each lead character, also comes a great lesson.

So what kind of lessons have I learned along the way? Check this out.

Tarah from Fire: 

Back when I was writing my first book, it never occurred to me that my characters would actually teach me something; this was a discovery I wouldn’t make until later on. However, looking back, I can honestly say that Tarah Kiersey, the main character in Fire, taught me to open my heart and be more understanding toward others. Tarah made great efforts to connect with family, band members and boyfriends, even when they've hurt her along the way. It was very important to her that issues with others were resolved and she never left anything unsaid.

Jimmy from A Spark before the Fire

Jimmy Groome from A Spark before the Fire was the rebellious misfit that didn’t feel as though he had a place in society. He escaped by drinking, doing drugs and falling into bed with every woman he could get his hands on. However, he would learn to accept himself and, rather than feeling like the outsider looking in, he realized that the qualities that made him different and unique, should be accepted and celebrated rather writing him off as a loser. He realized it was as much an attitude and his own limitations that kept him on the outside and this perception was solely his own; he wasn't the outsider looking in, he was in and had every right to be.

Ava from The Rock Star of Vampires

In The Rock Star of Vampires, Ava didn't know at first that she was a vampire and once she did, it didn't really occur to her that she had special powers. Seeing herself as an everyday mortal, she assumed she was limited. However, after a few mishaps (including a powerful hex that put her boss in the hospital) Ava began to see that she possessed a great power inside of herself and was capable of doing things that she had never imagined possible. Most of us don't realize we are much more powerful than we ever thought possible. We just have to believe.

Mariah from Her Name is Mariah:

In Her Name is Mariah, the protagonist grows up in a difficult family situation and learns resiliency at a very young age. She's forced into a young independence that serves her well as an adult, better preparing her for the tough world she was about to enter. By far the strongest character I've ever written about, at one point Mariah Nichols declares herself the wolf in a world full of sheep. She intimidates, manipulates and never allows anyone into her heart. Although situations change throughout the book, for the most part, Mariah Nichols teaches us that our strength is often much more powerful than we ever thought possible and it's something we should embrace with no apology.

Natasha from Different Shades of the Same Color:

Natasha in Different Shades of the Same Color wanted to make the world a better place and to inspire. She saw the importance of reaching out, connecting with people and doing what she could in order to help those who were vulnerable in society. I think we sometimes get caught up in our own lives and forget the importance of connecting with our community. Natasha wanted to be their voice when they couldn’t speak, something we all should do from time to time. She also was goofy, not afraid to wave her freak flag and love life; but isn't that what it's all about?

Chase  from book six

Although I know the working title, I’m just going to surprise you with it later. In this book, Chase is physically strong and trains hard to surpass his personal best. Although this is a step away from other characters, Chase is already teaching me (only 7 chapters in) to take better care of my body, work harder to get in the best shape of my life. I foresee some other, tough lessons that might come out of this book, but those will remain a secret for now.

The characters are, in essence, a part of the author and writing a book is often a very cathartic experience. I know it is for me.

Canadian author Mima is known for her complicated and diverse characters, a dark style and for never shying away from controversial topics. To request an interview or if you are interested in doing a book review, please send requests here  

Mima is the author of Fire and the prequel, A Spark before the Fire, as well as The Rock Star of Vampires  Her Name is Mariah and Different Shades of the Same Color. Join Mima on Facebook, TwitterG+ and Goodreads also, check out her Amazon Author Page

For some reading, check out her blogs – personal or writing

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