Sunday, March 17, 2019

The Devil May Lie - book 6 in the Hernandez crime family series 😈

The Devil May Lie is Mima's 11th book and the 6th book in the Hernandez crime family series. In this book, Jorge Hernandez, former cartel kingpin is groomed for Canadian politics. Will the Canadian political landscape ever be the same again?

The sixth book in the Hernandez crime family series is a continuation of the murder and mayhem. Here is the summary:

With blood on his hands, Jorge Hernandez has enforced a brutal takeover of the Canadian legalized marijuana industry. Now facing opponents who want to challenge the existing laws, the former Mexican crime lord has no intentions of backing down. His brash style and sharp tongue captivate the media while behind the scenes, those who oppose him are often met by his crime family’s ruthless style of justice.

When a heartbreaking tragedy tears through the country and whispers of racism and government neglect dominates the news, Canada’s latest media darling finds himself courted by the nationally disgraced party. He has murdered, terrorized and tortured to get to the top and now he’s being groomed to lead one of the country’s political parties.

In the latest book in this brutal series, Jorge Hernandez insists that nothing is more important than the truth…and yet, the devil may lie….




Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Does a weak moment make a weak character?

Just like real people, even the strongest of characters have their weak moments. Why is it important for the reader to see this contrast and as a writer, how do you demonstrate it?

First of all, the best characters are often complicated and full of contradictions. This gives them many layers and makes them seem much more 3-dimensional and realistic. After all, most of us are also complicated and full of contradictions too which leads to my second point, which is that this helps to make characters relatable to the reader. We like seeing that we aren't the only ones who are kind of messed up. Also, seeing a normally strong, larger than life character occasionally fall apart makes them much more humble. We like that. 

A perfect example would be Jolene Silva, who is my current series. In the majority of books, she's featured in, Jolene is strong, confident, powerful and someone I would describe as a femme fatale. However, at one point in this series, the Colombian bombshell reveals a very weak side to her personality that no one saw coming. She makes a series of bad decisions that places her in a very dangerous position with Jorge Hernandez and his crew. After a long, difficult road, she finally is trusted by la familia again and comes back stronger than ever. 

I love this because it shows how a character, even one who always shown a great deal of strength, can fall apart but is able to bounce back under some of the worst circumstances that life puts them in. There's something very reassuring and comforting about that fact. 

Never assume a weak moment makes a weak character. In fact, it actually makes them more human. 


Friday, February 8, 2019

Animals and Devils 🐺😈


If you're familiar with my series, you probably already noticed that the books have an animal and devil theme in the titles. But why is that?

As I talked about in previous videos, this became the series that was never meant to be a series. It started out with a book called We're All Animals in 2016 and took off with the follow-up, Always be a Wolf a few months later. This portion of the series follows protagonist Chase Jacobs who's a naive, small-town boy who has a tendency of trying to do the right thing.

And that's when things take a bit of a turn.

In the fall of 2017, the devil-themed titles start appropriately with the blood-thirsty thug Jorge Hernandez as the protagonist. The Devil is Smooth Like Honey followed the life of the Mexican narco who's about to take over the legalized pot industry in Canada. While Chase was very much the boy-next-door, Jorge is the complete opposite, demonstrating the vast differences in characters. Having Chase as an employee, both men tend to have an influence on one another as the series continues with A Devil Named Hernandez and And the Devil Will Laugh.

I've always said that I love character contrasts in books and feel that extremes have a way of balancing each other out. I'm really curious where this is going to go in the future because I see an interesting shift in both of these characters in my next book. Will Jorge bring out the bad in Chase and Chase bring out the good in Jorge or are certain aspects in their DNA to stay? What do you think?



Friday, February 1, 2019

Should characters ever be based on people you know? πŸ€”

I recently stumbled across a video where someone was recommending that writers base characters on people they know. I cringed.

I never pretend to be the expert on writing but I do feel that after a few books, I've learned a couple things along the way. Although to be honest, basing characters on people I actually know never seemed like a good idea and therefore, I never did it. To begin with, I'm assuming there would always be a paranoia of someone 'discovering' that a character was strangely like them not to mention hurt feelings, potential arguments and maybe even a few Facebook rants...as much as we all love those.

Most importantly, I feel that characters create themselves. You might have a few ideas of who they are or what they're about but in the end, characters have a tendency to form naturally as you write the story. It's kind of like having a child and deciding on the kind of personality you think they'll have; chances are, they'll soon show you that you never had a say in the first place.

Characters are complex. As a writer, you'll probably have a deeper understanding of your characters than most people in your life. You have the special ability to see inside their heart and understand what makes them tick and it makes sense because after all, you're on a long journey together.

The most interesting thing about characters is that they often are a piece of you. Just like every songwriter inserts a piece of who they are in their songs, every author tends to do the same with their characters. It's not something you think about but rather it just happens. Maybe one of your characters shares one of your biggest fears in life or your fixation for a 90s HBO series. The characters are unique but they're also you.

And really, isn't that what makes the writing process so amazing?



Friday, January 25, 2019

Let's talk about Paige NoΓ«l-Hernandez 🧘🏼‍♀️

Paige NoΓ«l-Hernandez is the assassin wife of Jorge Hernandez and makes her first appearance in The Devil is Smooth Like Honey and is also a prominent figure in A Devil Named Hernandez and And the Devil Will Laugh.

What I love about Paige is that she's incredibly calm and balanced regardless of the situation. She manages to keep a little sanity to the otherwise erratic group of characters and yet, you're left wondering if maybe she's a little too calm in various situations. I guess it's the meditation. 

Paige enters the series (and meets her husband Jorge) in a very unique and dramatic way. Although it's probably a situation that seems absolutely insane, for some reason the two find themselves drawn to one another and start a very fiery, intense relationship which dominates this series almost as much as....well, the violence. There's a strength to their relationship that can't be denied and in many ways is admirable. 

Of course, if you're looking for a fairytale princess meets prince storyline, the relationship between Jorge and Paige Hernandez might horrify you.



Friday, January 18, 2019

The loyalty factor πŸ‘ŠπŸΌ

One of the aspects that I think people find most appealing about my current series is the loyalty factor. Actually, as the writer, this is one of the aspects that I like the best too. There's something to be said about a group of people who can trust each other, literally, with their life. We find comfort when watching or reading about these relationships because loyalty is a trait we respect.

I feel that in today's society people don't necessarily feel that they have loyalty in their lives. If we're lucky, we might have a very small group of people that we would even put in that category and even then, many of us have also fallen into the 'blind faith' scenario, only to find ourselves shocked when someone lets us down. We've seen the disappointment in relationships, friendships, employers and family, just to name a few. To a point, loyalty might not only be a hot commodity but it might also feel like a rare one, making it even more precious.

When I think about shows that have been popular over the years, I notice that character's loyalty to one another has been prevalent. It doesn't matter if it's friends living together or a group of gangster/mobster characters, the basis of their relationship is often loyalty whether the protagonist is dealing with a broken heart or a broken body. It doesn't matter if these relationships are dysfunctional most of the time; what matters is that when needed, these people show up for one another.

I'm not sure if this is a trait that can often be explored in books since loyalty is something that is best demonstrated over time. The beauty of writing a series is that I've had the opportunity to create and show the strength of these relationships through situations that put the characters to the test. And when you think about it, real life isn't all that different.




Friday, January 11, 2019

Let's talk about Jolene Silva πŸ‘„

Jolene Silva first popped up in this series in the latter part of We're All Animals and has continued to be part of the cast of characters in Always be a Wolf, The Devil is Smooth Like Honey, A Devil Named Hernandez and the latest, And the Devil Will Laugh.

The interesting aspect of this character was how difficult it was to learn anything about her. She was always a mystery and even as the writer, I was having difficulty pulling anything out of her secret world. As it turns out, she had a lot of surprises that would come out as the series grew. We would eventually learn about some of her vices as well as see her more vulnerable side.

What I love about Jolene is that she is strong and even though she hits some low points, this is a character that always rises above everything and comes back stronger. Jolene is very passionate about what she believes in and she always does what she perceives as the right thing even though many times, she chooses to do so in secret rather than to share with her tribe. I think that many of us can hide within ourselves and try to avoid sharing our fears and struggles but in the end, just like Jolene, discover that there's more support for us than we originally believed.

I think this is an amazing character that creates a nice balance within the group. Although she certainly makes a lot of mistakes along the way and risks her own life, there's just something about Jolene Silva, a strength, that always makes her rise back to the top.


Friday, January 4, 2019

Do fairy tale endings really exist?

What's a 'fairytale ending' exactly and do people want them? More importantly, why you'll probably never find one the majority of my books.

This story all started a couple of weeks ago when I received an email from a stranger, let's call her a 'fanemy'. Essentially, in it, she said that she had 'tried' to read my latest book, And the Devil Will Laugh but couldn't through it because she found it troubling that the protagonist, was in essence, not the good guy. Not only was he not the good guy, but he was also winning at being bad.



Of course, this is an unusual concept in books because we are used to seeing a very specific concept in most fiction. There's a protagonist and he/she is the 'good' guy/girl. Then there's another character, usually the 'bad' guy/girl and of course, regardless of the struggles along the way, the 'good guy/girl' always wins. This is what I refer to as the 'fairytale ending'.

Obviously, it's not a 'fairytale' ending in the way you are probably thinking of right off the bat. It's no Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Disney cute ending but rather, nicely folded together that is the fictional version of a hot, cozy bath. It makes people feel good about the fact that the 'good guy/girl' won and the 'bad guy got what he/she deserved'...and they all lived happily ever after.

Or did they?

This is the part where I come in and shake things up. See, I'm not into that kind of ending. I find them a tad predictable and boring. I also find them somewhat unrealistic. Personally, I would prefer to give people something to think about after they finish a book. Kind of in the same way as the final episode of The Sopranos left me with something to think about when the screen went black with no further explanation. This pissed off a lot of people but you know what? Till this day, I still think about that episode and debate with myself about what that meant exactly. I've discussed it with friends and listened to their thoughts on the subject. Had this been the usual, happily ever after ending, I probably would've forgotten it by now or even worse, stopped caring.

The thing is that we, as people, are complex and so is life. Things usually don't end up all good or all bad and people are definitely not saints or sinners. Many people would prefer things were that simplified but they are not. It might work for some people but it doesn't work for me.