Showing posts with label antihero. Show all posts
Showing posts with label antihero. Show all posts

Saturday, September 14, 2019

OMG! I finally fit in a genre! 😝

For all the times I complained about not wanting to be stuck in a genre, I've finally found the perfect one!

Ever since my first book, I've never been comfortable classifying any of my books into a specific category. Nothing ever quite fit. There was romance, action, suspense, murder, dark humor and even some vampires thrown in a couple, but none of these specific genres felt right. It was as though all my books included so many things that it was kind of difficult to really categorize them properly so I chose instead to toss everything into the 'dark fiction' category. It seemed like the most accurate, if not the best category.

Recently, I stumbled across the concept of 'counterculture' and I was immediately intrigued. What was that exactly and why did it sound so appealing? As turns out, counterculture tends to be a way of life that goes against social 'norms'. This demographic rejects 'conventional' society choosing instead to live by their own standards.

This grabbed my attention.

In my first two books (Fire and A Spark before the Fire) my characters reject the values of society by striving to become rock stars, which in itself, tends to be a very counterculture lifestyle.

In my third and fourth book, The Rock Star of Vampires and Her Name is Mariah, I tackle the underground world of vampires. You can't get much more counterculture than that, can you?

Maybe so.

In my current series, my cast of characters tends to go against pretty much all social norms. They make their own laws, follow their own rules and do so without a second thought. Murder, corruption, collusion, and torture are engrained into their lives as if they were the most natural thing. That's pretty counterculture.

My books finally have a home and it's pretty awesome.

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Why is the first paragraph so important? πŸ€“

You know what they say about first impressions? Especially in today's world where everything is fast-paced and people are much too rushed to give much of anything a second try, it's more important than ever to capture a reader quickly...but what does that mean exactly?

The obvious answer is to have an engaging first chapter. This doesn't mean it has to be perfect. It also doesn't mean it has to be over the top or gimmicky. What it means is that you want the reader to get a sense of what they're getting themselves into. What is the theme of this book? What kind of genre does it fall under?

As a writer, the first paragraph is like meeting someone new for the first time. If you want to make a good impression, you'll probably throw on some makeup, hopefully, some clean clothes and put a little extra attention on your hair. With books, it's really about pulling someone in and showing them a glimpse into your character's world.

As an example, in my 11th book, The Devil May Lie, I talk about power in the first paragraph or more specifically, the importance of power in our world. What does it mean? Why do people want it? I talk about how 'it starts when we're children on the playground and ends in our death'. I also say 'we lust after it as if it were the flesh of a lover'. I use specific words that are powerful as well - bold, passion, addictive, crave, roaring fire - these are words that give readers a sense of what is to come. If I were writing something about something with more of a romantic theme, I would probably choose some powerful words like 'passionate' but also gentle words that give the impression of a soft place to fall, such as comfort and warmth, things we associate with love.

Also, another thing I want to note is that I often connect the first paragraph in chapter one with the first paragraph in the final chapter (in my case, chapter 50). So once again, in The Devil May Lie, I talk about power in the last chapter. This is important because we're kind of revisiting the place we started with to see where we are on the same topic. In this last paragraph, I ask the question when do we have enough power? 'When do we cross the line? Who wins when there's nothing left to take?' My hope is that after having read the entire book, this gives you something to ponder.

The first paragraph should give readers an impression of what they can expect. Of course, you have to remember that like any relationship, you must work hard to keep the reader interested throughout the book and to live up to that first impression.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Why my characters aren't shooting as many people 😱

Here's a spoiler alert 🚨- if you haven't already read my books, you should know that there's usually a body count. 😲I'm attempting to get away from having my characters using guns but does that mean my books are becoming less violent and why am I making these changes?

First of all, I'm tired of guns. Between mass shootings, the vast amount of television shows using them (more shows than not, I'm guessing...) and of course video games, I thought maybe we could use a bit of a break from guns.

Does that mean my books are less violent? No. In fact, I'm actually trying to find more creative ways for my characters to either get revenge, attack or hurt their adversaries without using a revolver. This isn't to say the gang in my series has tossed their guns aside, quite the contrary. I feel that they're used so often in movies, television, and books that perhaps it's time to find more interesting methods rather than relying on the easiest, most thoughtless and overused options in fiction.

In many ways, we're desensitized by guns. When a character pulls out a gun in your favorite piece of fiction or Netflix show, we hardly blink an eye because it's the norm. Sadly, it doesn't pack the same punch as it should and in turn, this doesn't keep readers or viewers on high alert. You know what keeps viewers on high alert? A machete. An ax. A chainsaw. One must be creative.

I also believe there is a certain amount of passion when a character attacks his or her victims with a more barbaric weapon. In reality, guns are somewhat lazy, when you think about it.

If you're one of my readers, don't expect things to calm down and you won't suddenly find my books in a Christian book store but you might find a few other surprises. 😏

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….

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.

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

How a simple story turned into a brutal series πŸ™€

It started with a very simple concept. The first book in the series is about the boy next door who finds his life taking a very dismal turn. This combined with an unstable family relationship put him on a dark, lonely path that led him to a group of criminals and a lifestyle he never would've imagined. Driven by naivety and desperation, he finds himself joining their world.

If you pick up the third or fourth book in the series, it might be difficult to imagine that it all started off in such a simple fashion especially when reading about the brutal crimes, collusion, and gang-like mentality. However, that's why I love it. I love the fact that it starts off so smoothly and slowly walks the reader into an unexpectedly dark world that grows in its ferocity with each book. It's like a slow burn which I believe demonstrates how all of our lives are the result of many decisions, the people we meet, the places we work, the world which we choose to explore. Nothing is by accident but certainly, many things are unexpected.

I've often said that this is the series that wasn't meant to be a series, however, the characters were so compelling that I had to keep writing. Who knew where it would lead me. 😈

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Why do we love the anti-hero? πŸ”ͺ

Oh, those bad boys and girls! Don't we love them?

There's just something about the rebellion and going against the grain character that we love. Perhaps it is the fact that these characters sometimes do what we wish we could in real life? Is it because we get a small thrill about 'sticking it to the man'? Is there something attractive or sexy about the character that thumbs their nose at the world? What is the draw to this character?

When most of us were children, we were often given the impression that there were 'good' and 'bad' guys in life. The good guys could be trusted. The bad guys should be avoided. It was pretty simple and to the point. Bad guys always had mustaches and looked shady, while good guys wore a suit of some kind of 'respectable' uniform (so, like, not the one from when you flipped burgers in college).

However, if life teaches us anything (especially now that the Internet sheds light on a lot of dark corners) it is that the lines in the sand aren't always so clear. Maybe the religious figure from your youth turned out to be a pedophile or you witnessed a cop beat the crap out of an innocent citizen. Whatever it was, you may now have a slight aversion to what you once viewed as the 'good guy' and find yourself slightly intrigued by the 'bad guy', therefore making you drawn to characters who don't exactly play by the rules.

Of course, I could be overanalyzing. Maybe we just like watching bombs blowing up everywhere and some devilish character pushing the button. What do you think? Why do you love the antihero (assuming you do)? Maybe the answer might surprise you.

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Why Jorge Hernandez is a fan favorite? 🀴🏽

Jorge Hernandez has quickly become a fan favorite for a number of reasons. When asked, most readers comment on several things that stand out about this character despite his devious side (although, some people seem to like that too 🀭) he has some characteristics that make him quite appealing.

To begin with, Hernandez is bold, powerful and a strong element in the criminal world. You have to remember that he's survived 20 years in the cartel business which is, in itself, a major accomplishment. If Mexican news and documentaries have taught us anything, it's that the drug world is hardly a safe profession to get involved in. However, all that aside, let's look at when this character joined the gang so you can have a brief introduction.

Fans of this series will recall that Jorge Hernandez came along in the latter part of Always be a Wolf. At that time, he popped into and out of the book but essentially took over the series as the protagonists in The Devil is Smooth Like Honey and he's continued to do so in A Devil Named Hernandez and the most recent book, And the Devil Will Laugh. (Note that 'devil' is in all the book titles he's the protagonist in)

Fans enjoy this antihero, alpha dog character simply because he is strong, confident and unapologetic. His loyalty lies with his close friends and family which is something that I think many people can appreciate. He would do anything for the people he loves; literally, anything. He's very passionate about life and goes after what he wants with complete confidence that he will get it. It is probably because of this arrogant insistence that in fact, he is so successful.

Of course, he also has a surprisingly sensitive side when it comes to his family. His daughter will often tug at his heartstrings as does his wife, which is something we don't often expect from a gangster type character. You know where you stand with Jorge Hernandez whether it be a pleasant place or not. He is the king.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

The Jorge Hernandez BLOG πŸ™€

Jorge Hernandez checked into my seventh book, Always be a Wolf in 2017 and essentially took over. In fact, there was no way he couldn't have become the protagonist because his
presence was much too strong to simply be a secondary character. The Mexican-Canadian was charming, powerful and dangerous but unlike many of the antiheroes in books and television, we weren't just viewing his forceful side but getting a peek into his everyday life. As it turns out, even this was anything but boring.  

I decided to write a blog from this character's perspective because I wanted people to learn a little bit about what makes him tick. Granted, I've only written a few posts so far, but I plan to continue to add to it in the future. My hope is that it gives people an inside view of his life and unlike my books, it's written in a first-person perspective, hopefully creating a more personal connection between the reader and the character. 

We follow Jorge's journey through my last three books; The Devil is Smooth Like Honey, A Devil Named Hernandez and my latest, And the Devil Will Laugh. And what's next? Let's just say that the journey is far from over. πŸ˜‰