Showing posts with label Canadian fiction. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Canadian fiction. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

How do you write books so fast? πŸ™€

One of the most common questions I get asked is how I write my books so fast. This is probably because I'm averaging a couple books a year for the last 2-3 years. Of course, there are a few contributing factors such as more time and the fact that I'm writing a series where I already know the characters which make it easy to pick up where I left off.

To begin with, I have made writing a priority. Currently, my living situation allows me to work part-time so I can focus on my books. This isn't by accident but a decision I have made for this point in my life. This allows me to provide an appropriate amount of time not just on the writing itself but on social media and other forms of marketing for my books. This won't be forever but it's for now so it's up to me to make the best of it.

That aside, I schedule very carefully. Depending on my work schedule or what I have to do, I tend to organize my time so that I accomplish something every day. I get up early to write (6 a.m) on my days off or when I have later shifts. Scheduling the time is very important because if I waited until I 'felt like it' or when I'm 'inspired', there's a chance I would take a long time to write my books. Inspiration is when I jot down notes but writing time has to be planned around my schedule.

I write one chapter per day. I try to avoid stopping halfway through the chapter because it's very difficult to get back into the same headspace if I walk away and return later. Editing takes longer and is much harder to schedule because some chapters are easier to get through than others and of course, there are many rounds of editing before the book is sent off to the publisher. Meanwhile, when I'm finishing a book, I also have to start thinking about what I want on the back cover for a synopsis (I usually have a couple people assist me on this one) and of course, the front cover; what kind of image do I want? What colors work best? What will grab attention?

On days that I'm working or busy, I plan other things that are also relevant to my writing. For example, I might record or upload a video on a morning before going to work (depending on the time) or, at the very least, prepare and check social media.

Social media in itself is time-consuming. I'm on a few platforms so I must keep it up to date, check notifications and always be thinking of new things to add to keep things fresh. I'm on social media every day. There are some places that I focus more on but unless I have no internet access or am physically unable to do it, I'm on there every day working up a storm.

It's essentially up to me how much time I want to dedicate to my writing and therefore, it's also up to me to make the best of the time I have each day.






Friday, September 28, 2018

Start your book with a bang! The importance of chapter one 🀩

Chapter one is your chance to grab readers by the throat and make them want more!

We see it all the time in television show pilots. It's up to that original episode to captivate its audience and make them coming back for another week. Something has to shake things up in order to create an interest with the viewer and books are no different. 

So what do people want to see? It really depends. Some people are drawn in by action, adventure, drama, violence, and sex, while others might be intrigued by a unique character, an unexpected action or perhaps the protagonist is going through something that connects with the audience. The main point is that the start of anything, whether it be a movie, book or television show must make the reader or viewer want more. 

I always say that you should start chapter one in the middle of something relevant to the rest of the book. For example, in my last book And the Devil Will Laugh, the protagonist and his associate are visiting the (soon to be) editor of a large newspaper in hopes of swaying him to write articles in favor of both himself and a political candidate he is backing. Meanwhile, across town, the protagonist's wife is murdering the current editor, who didn't go along with his previous wishes. This ties in with the rest of the book because violence and media manipulation are a huge part of the entire book. Also, this is in the middle of the action. I didn't start chapter one with the characters discussing their plan to bully the media or the protagonist having breakfast before he left the house, I jump right into the action. 

Catching a reader's attention is very important. With so many other books, the Internet and of course, Netflix as ways to be entertained, readers can easily pass up on your novel and move on to something else; so give them a good reason to not want to put it down.




Monday, September 24, 2018

Fire πŸ”₯

Fire was my first book, published in 2010. The story follows protagonist Tarah Kiersey as she set her sights on the music world, joining a band that quickly gets signed. She learns the many ups and downs of working in the industry, how her life vastly changes (not always for the better) and how conflicts within the band can make everything just a little more difficult. Did I mention she has an affair with two of her bandmates?

First, there was a match.
In 1992, Tarah Kiersey wasn't feeling very optimistic about her life. From dead-end jobs to dead-end relationships, she failed to see how anything could ever improve. But at least, she had her music.
Then, there was a spark.
There was something about holding a microphone that made Tarah feel alive. And there was something about how she sang that made people listen. One of those people included William Stacy, a young musician who invited Tarah to join his band, Fire. She said yes and her entire life changed overnight.
And now there s FIRE!


The book was quite popular and later followed up by A Spark before the Fire featuring a secondary character, Jimmy Groome. The books overlap slightly, however, each has their own unique perspective. 



Thursday, September 13, 2018

Why Women Rule the World (or at least, why they should) πŸ‘ΈπŸΌ

Do women rule the world? Maybe not quite yet but there's something to be said about a strong female character, whether it be in books, television or movies.

Now, I'm not saying that females have to be tough as nails all the time. I'm not even sure if that is realistic when talking about any characters; male or female. However, I think there is a happy medium somewhere between Cruella de Vil and Snow White. I don't think women find soft, weak characters a fair representation of who we are as a gender.

I think it's important that female are neck and neck with male characters. They should be confident, have self-esteem and be intelligent. They should be independent and empowered. Most of all, they shouldn't feel any guilt or shame for showing strength. 

I recently watched a television show that portrays women as weak. I know that for this particular program, it makes sense and serves as more of a warning than an accurate portrayal however, it was hard to watch. Actually, it was somewhat infuriating. It's not something I could ever do as a writer. Then again, maybe this would be a good challenge for me. 



Monday, September 10, 2018

Who are your favorite characters? 🀩

A few months ago, I took a survey with my readers. I asked them to pick their favorite character from my books. As it turns out, there are a few fan favorites. And now, the countdown.....



5. Paige NoΓ«l-Hernandez - The only female to make the top five, Paige has been a regular character in my last three books as the wife of Jorge Hernandez. People like Paige because she is very strong and assertive yet has a gentle, almost zen-like side. She likes to meditate, practice yoga and is an online self-help guru....did I mention that she's also an assassin? πŸ”ͺ
    4. Jimmy Groome - A blast from the past! Jimmy Groome was a self-destructive, rebellious rock star character from my second book. Readers often comment how they related to him since he was somewhat of a misfit, whether it be within his own family or society in general. He was the love interest of the main character, Tarah Kiersey.

    3. Chase Jacobs - Not surprisingly, the top three characters (and 4/5 on this list) are from my last few books. Unlike the rest, Chase has been a part of this series from day one. In fact, he was the original protagonists for both We're All Animals and Always be a Wolf. People love his boy-next-door image, his need to do the right thing but most of all, his honest and genuine personality. 

    2. Diego Silva - This feisty character came along at the end of We're All Animals and has been along for the ride ever since. Diego is abrupt, fidgety and carries a baseball bat in the trunk of his Lexus...you don't want to know why. 😏This Colombian is the loyal sidekick of Jorge Hernandez and helps him with all his dirty work. 

    1. Jorge Hernandez - Possibly the most notorious character I've ever written about, Jorge Hernandez came along at the end of Always be a Wolf and has been the protagonist for every book that has followed. Arrogant, abrupt, obnoxious and calculating at times, others would describe him as a leader that doesn't let anyone or anything stand in his way. A former king in the Mexican drug world, he now strives to take over the (legal) pot industry in Canada.