Showing posts with label author Mima. Show all posts
Showing posts with label author Mima. Show all posts

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Should we allow readers to be our censorship police? πŸš“

I always tell the story about a woman who criticized my first book, Fire. She said 'If I took out all the F-words, your book would be half the size'. Of course, she was kind of a bitch on a good day, so I wasn't surprised when she made this snarly remark to me back in 2010. If you've read any of my books since that time, you already know that her thoughts did little to sway me and I continue to use a lot of profanity and graphic content in my books.

I don't do this for shock value (which has also been suggested by one particularly gnarly reviewer back in the day) but because it is my style. This is how I choose to write. I don't exactly sit down in front of my laptop and think 'what can I write that will shock people the most' but I do follow my writing instinct and admittedly, it sometimes takes me down a dark, twisted and even questionable road but one thing can be assured, I'm never bored. To me, this is a good sign. If the writer isn't bored, chances are good the reader won't be either.

The truth is that only in very extreme situations is a writer going 'too far'. There are 'how to' books out there that would make the most insensitive person a little ill 🀒and although there are some that definitely cross the line, for the most part, we have to consider freedom of expression. And the really beautiful thing about freedom is that it kind of goes both ways. I'm free to write what I want and you're free to not read it if you believe it's too offensive. πŸ˜‰


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.




Saturday, September 22, 2018

Different Shades of the Same Color πŸ’™πŸ’šπŸ’œ❤️

Different Shades of the Same Color was my 5th book.


It all started when Natasha Parsons hit her head - in a very undignified manner- at her uncle's political fundraiser. Suddenly, she finds herself exiled to the country and discovers some surprising truths about both her family and her own life. In a world of prejudice and judgment, Natasha quickly learns that we are all different shades of the same color, but is she ready to accept the darkness that lurks around the corner?  

The story was a slight diversion from my other books. A young woman who came across as whimsical and possibly flighty fluttered through the book in a series of crazy adventures until the shocking end. 


Although the character of Chase Jacobs made a brief appearance in this book, he would turn up again in We're All Animals, with an explanation for his unusual predicament. 

This was a bit of an unusual book that captured a lot of attention when it came out in both the media and with fans. 










Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Let's Help One Another! 🀝

Independent artists and small business owners have a lot in common. They're both working hard to get noticed (often as a side project along with a job) and don't really have much money to invest in advertising. It's a struggle - but it's a struggle that's filled with passion. Anyone who has a side project probably isn't doing it for money alone because as any new business owner or indie artist will tell you, it takes time to show a profit. They'll probably also tell you that they wouldn't be doing it if they didn't love it.

Somewhere between the time I published my first and second book, I had a friend insist I was crazy. Not to suggest she wasn't totally wrong but her specific reason was that I invested in a book and advertising and wasn't making stacks of cash back. To her, I was wasting my time. Here's a spoiler alert; we weren't friends much longer. πŸ˜„

We have to follow our passion. It's not just for potential financial gains but the personal growth stemming from the challenges and the many learning opportunities along the way. Had I never written a book, would I even be the same person? Where would I be now? Would I still be friends with that imbecile I mentioned in the last paragraph? I can't even imagine.

Artists and small business owners need to work together and try to help one another out. Be open-minded and know that by helping someone else, you're indirectly helping yourself too. To a degree, it is an unselfish act but it also makes you feel pretty good to give a hand to someone you know has been working hard to get ahead. Always be open to new ideas. Maybe you never considered (or wanted to consider) having a YouTube channel but another artist suggests you start a project together. Maybe another business owner wants to collaborate together on a promotion. Hear people out and consider their ideas. You never know where it might lead.

Another great tip is to look into Buy Me a Coffee. This is a great way for people to 'buy you a coffee' through a donation in order to help you have a slightly smoother ride on the road to success.

Follow your dreams because without them, what do we really have?


Tuesday, September 18, 2018

What are my books about? πŸ€”

One of the most commons questions I'm asked is what my books are about. You would think this would be one of the easiest questions to answers however, it is somewhat complex to tackle.

As it turns out, there are a lot of subjects that I cover in each book. For example, my first two books are about rock stars...but they are about so much more. For example, Fire is about the commercialization of the music industry, the unexpected stress and pressures of fame and the reality of our obsession with celebrity.

I later wrote two books about vampires. Just as with the last example, the books weren't just about vampires.  In The Rock Star of Vampires, for example, I talk about how this group of people is essentially like the rest of us except that they need to drink blood in order to live. It is like a vitamin to them. You discover their challenges and attributes that aren't always so glamorous. I also discuss their struggle with these sudden changes in their body and how they view the world. There's so much more going on than just being vampires; issues with family, friends and life. As it turns out, being a vampire doesn't automatically solve all your problems.

My last series is about organized crime/narcos. As with the other examples, these books are also about many other things; loyalty, family, health, social issues like racism and so much more.

No book is ever just about one thing and in fact, most books are vastly complex when you really try to break them down.




It's all about energy! ⚡️

How important is the balance of energy between characters in a book?

Some characters have a high energy level whereas, other characters are a more low energy. The key is to have the right mix in order to balance everything out.

I learned this lesson after writing my first book, Fire in 2009. The book was about a band and right off the bat, there was an obvious imbalance of power between the characters. The protagonist, Tarah appeared to be on her own against two other band members whereas, a fourth band member wouldn't get involved in the dispute. In comes a fifth character that automatically jumps on Tarah's side and causes a more balanced playing field within the book. This doesn't mean there has to be one side against another but a general balance of energy.

Another example would be the couple in my latest book, And the Devil Will Laugh. Jorge and Paige Hernandez are very similar in some ways, yet vastly different in others. Personality wise, they are worlds apart. Jorge is loud, blunt, abrupt and aggressive whereas his wife Paige is quiet, soft, calm and fair. The two balance each other out in many ways which works in their various scenes together.

When you think about it, real life isn't so different. There is always an energy dynamic.



Thursday, September 13, 2018

What do I learn from characters? 🀨

What do we learn from characters and how does this connect with our own lives? Do I always agree with my character's decisions? Why is it important to follow them along on their journey with no judgment?

To begin with, characters can teach us a lot about life. Just as with life, sometimes you have to let go of the wheel and let the characters take over and see where it takes you. In everyday life, it's usually a lot easier if we do the same. Not to say that you should be lying around on your couch waiting for an opportunity to come to the door but rather, that sometimes it is better to not be overly controlling about your day. We often have a 'to do' list that is unreasonably long and then get discouraged when we can't check everything off. To a degree, the same thing can be said of characters and plots. You can't force them ahead but rather, let them move at their own speed.

Having said that, my books tend to move very fast. Of course, they don't always go in the direction that I had expected but if a character surprises me along the way, that also means that my reader will most likely be surprised too and isn't that we all kind of want?





Why it's important to see through the character's eyes πŸ‘

One of the really cool aspects of writing for me has been able to get inside a character's head. I love being able to see things through their point of view, to understand where they are coming from due to their experiences and being able to demonstrate this to the reader. There's something really awesome about seeing through someone else's eyes and I wish everyone could do it more in everyday life. It's really easy to judge or put people in categories but it's much more difficult to step back and get a sense of understanding; then again, that's possibly why most people don't make the effort.

With characters, you simply have no choice but to understand and appreciate their journey. This is probably one of the biggest lessons I've learned from writing and probably one that I apply to my everyday life. Actually, when I first started to write as a teenager, I remember that as one of the key reasons why the whole process appealed to me. I felt there wasn't enough understanding of other people and that through characters, we could all open our eyes a little wider and perhaps show some compassion as opposed to ignorance.

Fast forward to years later and I think this lesson is even more relevant than ever. When we look at our world today, we definitely see a strong disconnect, a lot of judgment and even more so, a vast divide. One of the beautiful things about the characters I write about is that they come from many different backgrounds and experiences and I make great efforts to show how this relates to their current situations.

Interesting enough, real life isn't that much different if we take the time to investigate.





Wednesday, September 12, 2018

How do you get your ideas for books? πŸ’­

Probably one of the most common questions that I'm asked is how I get my ideas for books. It's not an easy one to address but here goes!

Generally, I write about topics that interest me. I don't think about what is popular or what I think other people might like to read; I write about things that I'm passionate about, that intrigues me. For example, my first couple of books were about rock stars because I love music. My second two were about vampires because I found the topic intriguing (and specifically, wondered what if vampires were different than how they're portrayed on television and movies?) and finally, I started to write about gangster and criminals. This subject intrigued me because I was drawn to the antihero concept, however, the longer I write, the more I question how it relates to our current world. With all the corruption, collusion and everything else we are seeing in the news, it's becoming more and more evident that it's not always clear who the 'good' and 'bad' guys are anymore.

Having said that, more specifically, regarding chapter to chapter details, I mainly follow my instincts. I have a lot of snippets of conversations and scenes that show up in my mind and I immediately jot them down and eventually they find a place in one of my books. Often I have no idea how or why until it actually happens.

Most of the time, I simply follow the storyline and the characters to see where they take me. Characters have their own unique personalities and like people in everyday life, you can often predict how they will react in any given situation. That in itself usually moves a story in the direction that it's meant to go.

My ideas come to me all the time. The key is to be open to everything without questioning it. In the end, it usually finds a place in a book.




Tuesday, September 11, 2018

What are my books about? πŸ€”

One of the most common questions I get asked is what my books are about. I always struggle to answer this question because it's really difficult to accurately sum up all my books in a few short sentences. So, here goes.

My books tend to be dark fiction. I cover a lot of topics in my stories, especially areas that are controversial like Big Pharma, corruption, collusion, racist and white supremacy, just to name a few. I want to give readers something to think about, to consider as well as also entertain.

I make it a point to have my books move along quickly. A lot of novels are kind of slow and steady but I feel like people want to be grabbed by the throat and pulled right into the story. People are used to watching fast-paced television shows with a lot of drama, a lot of characters and non-stop action, so in my mind, books must compete. When I'm writing my books, I see them like a television show running in my head, so I write them accordingly. I believe that is where books are going in the future.


So what do I write about? I like to think I write about cool topics; vampires, rock stars, gangsters, all the sexy areas the top television shows centre on. We love the antihero these days much more than we love the boy next door. We love characters that jump off the page, that are full of passion and excitement. And why should we settle for anything less? 

My books are for people who like to be challenged and love action. I can tell you one thing for sure; I don't write books that your grandmother's going to be reading. 🀭

How shocking!??!! 😱

We all love a good shock - well, in our books and movies, not so much in real life. There's nothing like a great twist in a story to keep the reader staying up late at night. The goal is to keep you interested, keep you turning the pages and excited about the story ahead.

Having said that, it's not for shock value. That's a whole other thing. I've been accused of writing something purely for shock value as if it were merely a way to capture attention. In fact, my goal is to simply follow the story and see where it takes me. As it turns out, my imagination takes me to some pretty wild places. I guess that means it works out well for both the writer and the reader! 😜

If you ever check out my Twitter account, you'll see a line in my bio that says it all Buckle up! You're in for one hell of a ride. I'm proud of that fact. I think that's what makes a story great. Books, just like life, shouldn't be boring. It should make your heart race just a little bit faster...


It's All About Perception πŸ€”

We all have our own unique perception. Two people can look at the same picture, watch a movie or read a book and interpret it differently and that's ok. We all judge or see things according to our own, individual experiences and opinions. For example, someone who's had a violent past may cringe at the idea of watching a movie filled with bloodshed while someone else might thrive on the same film.

For that reason, I don't think authors should be offended when people don't like their writing. In fact, it doesn't matter if you're a bestseller or a new author, fresh off the presses, there's going to people who connect with your work and others who simply aren't interested. It depends on your choice of topics, your style of writing and as I said in the last paragraph,  even their own experiences in life that color how they view the world. And that's ok. You don't have to be for everyone.

It's just a matter of perception.

I've also had people read my books and interpret them very differently than how I had intended. I've had readers miss crucial points and others still who didn't like certain characters. Of course, on the flip side, I've had readers that totally understood and connected with the plot, noticed things that even I had overlooked and had a fascination with specific characters.

Unfortunately, many writers (and artists in general) spend more time focusing on the negative and unpleasant rather than the positive. I guess that's human nature. We zero in on the criticisms and to a point, that's a good thing because it's sometimes a learning curve or a lesson for us. Other times it's irrelevant and not something we should spend any time overthinking.


Why Editing Almost Made me Quit Writing 😩

I think every writer goes through a phase where they want to quit writing. There are numerous reasons for this but for me, it was editing.

With my first book, I hired a professional editor. I paid a lot of money to have my work fine-tuned and, I thought, perfected. How did that work out?

Actually, I had readers complain about the errors and grammar. I was not pleased.

With my second book, rather than hire a professional editor, I had a few people with a good eye to edit my book for me. One of these people actually complained about how my first book had many 'distracting' errors, so I thought this would be the perfect person to help. How did that go?

People complained about the errors and grammar.

By this point, I wanted to quit writing. I tried the two logical ways to resolve this issue only to get shit on regardless, so clearly I was hesitant to try again.

Did I mention that most of my biggest critics were other writers?

At any rate, I feel I've since worked out the kinks. Now that I decided to not allow these criticisms from holding me back from doing what I love, this seems to be less and less of a problem. Having said that, I will make a few suggestions for other writers about to start the editing process.


  1. Check grammar, punctuation, spelling...you know the routine. I would suggest you also use something like Grammarly and I've also used Polishmywriting.com. Sometimes these sites catch things you might miss. 
  2. Check for any unnecessary words. For example, I have a tendency to overuse the word 'just'; so I will go through my manuscript to see when it can get deleted. There are many other words like 'really' and I think 'always' is another one. I would do a Google search to see what other overused or unnecessary words you can cut out. 
  3. Does everything make sense? Does your character's reaction fit his/her personality? Is that a normal reaction? I once read a well-known book where a character couldn't perform a very important task due to illness and had her (clearly) less mature and inexperienced friend take it on. Who does that? Most people would either keep looking or drag themselves from their death bed. 
  4. Do things line up? Did your character schedule a party for next week and suddenly it's taking place a month later? Did she leave the house wearing a red dress and come home to remove a black one? Is she blonde in chapter one and suddenly a brunette in chapter two? These are errors that easily be made especially when you have a lot going on in your manuscript and many characters to keep track of.
  5. Not only do you need to worry about typos for regular words, what about very common names, places etc? Your character may live in 'Lonemon apartment buildings' in chapter three and  'Lomemon apartment buildings' in chapter twenty. It's easy to make this kind of mistake. I have a 'Maria' in my books but have checked through the final manuscript for 'Marie' just in case. It's so easy for your eye to miss this kind of error and even easier to do so when typing fast.
  6. It doesn't hurt to fact check if you aren't 100% sure of something. I have a lot of Spanish in my books so I often research to make sure I have the correct spelling and meaning. Sometimes I will check other things I'm iffy on; for example, is it 'toe the line' or 'tow the line'. 
  7. Always have help. If you can't afford a super expensive editor, find some reliable friends and family members with a good eye. They may catch things you've missed along the way. 
  8. You're not perfect and chances are some errors will still slip through. Don't hate yourself for it and certainly don't quit writing if it's your passion. No one is perfect. Not even other writers (or your critics)

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. 


    Songs that inspired A Devil Named Hernandez 😈

    With each book, I have a 'soundtrack' of songs that inspire me through the writing process. As I've talked out in the past, this has been consistent since I started writing. To learn more, check this out:




    With my book, A Devil Named Hernandez, I had a lot of Motley Crue inspire me. Check out some of the songs:

    1. Ten Seconds to Love. Chapter one. This song inspired it.



    2. Dr. Feelgood. It makes sense if you know what these books are about πŸ˜‰



    3. Welcome to the Jungle. This song inspired what would be, probably one of the most violent scenes I've written, so far... 




    4. Something Just Like This. This song brought out some lighter moments in the book. It's just a beautiful song.



    Beautiful! 

    To learn more, check this out: 





    Sunday, September 9, 2018

    Do we judge women writers differently? πŸ‘©πŸΌ

    Female writers. Lots of us out there. I'm just wondering if many women writers are conscious of whether or not their book comes across as being too feminine? Do women worry about covers that look too girly or do they avoid topics that suggest wedding bells, hearts and flowers? Is there a concern about making the male characters 'too soft' or not making their female characters strong enough? Do women writers feel they are taken as seriously as men in the business?

    I'm just curious. I've noticed some comments in the media that have suggested that women writers sometimes feel that they aren't taken as seriously as their male counterparts, especially if they write romance or anything to 'fluffy and frilly'. Having said that, the romance industry is actually vastly popular, so this shouldn't be the case and yet, I've heard it is. 

    Personally, I tend to write about darker topics such as rock stars, gangsters and vampires; all of which probably have a more masculine vibe but regardless, I am very conscious of my potential audience when I'm doing things like picking out a cover. I know women will grab a book with a masculine cover but men, on the other hand, are less likely to go for anything that looks too 'girly'. It's kind of sad that we even need to have this discussion in 20-fucking-18 but chances are things aren't going to change anytime soon. 🀭

    And so, when I pick out my covers, I think about this kind of thing. When I'm writing my synopsis, I think about this kind of thing. When I create my characters, I think about this kind of thing. I like to believe that all my books are potentially appealing to both men and women. 

    In fairness, I make sure all my characters are strong (or become stronger within the book) because I really don't like 'soft' characters, regardless of their sex. There's nothing appealing about a male or female protagonist that whines, cries and complains all the time (God knows we have enough of those people in the real world, why read about them too? 🀭) or is simply too soft. Honestly, I don't think this appeals to anyone. 

    The truth is that I often feel, that as a women writer, I am kind of judged and therefore maybe work a bit harder to show that I can play with the boys. No one could ever accuse me of having 'girly' books but even if I did, should I be ashamed of it? Should any female writer? 




    Do we judge people by what they read? πŸ‘©πŸΌ‍⚖️

    Let's be fair. We all judge. Whether it be other people's life choices, taste in music or clothing, we all kind of judge from time to time. It's actually none of our business but it doesn't stop us from occasionally turning up our noses when noting other people's decisions. 

    Books, as it turns out, are no different. This was something I discovered while in my 20s. A date dropped by my apartment to pick me up and immediately mocked me for reading fiction πŸ€­(I wonder what he would think he if he knew I now wrote it πŸ˜†) He immediately turned up his elitist nose at me and attempted to shame my decision to enjoy a VC Andrews book because it was merely 'fluff', especially compared to his non-fiction library. Needless to say, he's not on my Christmas card list.

    The point is that there are some people who judge others by what they read and I'm sure, also by what they write. I've had people giggle at the fact that I wrote a couple vampire books but sit up a bit straighter when I describe my recent series of blood-thirsty gangsters. It's interesting to see just what is taken a bit more seriously. 

    When I put the question out (with this original YouTube video πŸ‘‡πŸΌ) whether people judged what others read, I got a very candid yes in reply. What do you think? 



    Why did I start writing? 🀨

    Probably one of the most common questions that I'm asked is why I started writing. After all, I was in college studying business in 2008 when I suddenly dropped out to pursue my dream. It was definitely the road less traveled and to some, it probably seemed stupid to return to a dead-end job while I wrote my first book but to me, it was what I had to do.

    There are a few reasons why writing quickly became my passion.

    1.  I wasn't finding the kind of books that I wanted to read so I wrote them. Not to suggest there's nothing out there that I enjoy reading but it was more to the point that there was just something missing. 
    2. I wanted to make people see another point of view. Let's explore the other side of things. For example, in my first book Fire, I talk about a rock band's rise to fame and the unexpected negative side that came with instant fame. In my vampire books, I question whether these mystical creatures of fantasy are actually everyday people who happen have some fascinating strengths. And in my recent series about gangsters, I ask whether or not we are clear who the 'good' and 'bad' guys are anymore. There are sometimes some very grey areas.
    3. I wanted to make people think. Corruption, collusion, racism, white supremacy, Big Pharma, celebrity, untrustworthy corporations....you will see many topics and issues brought up in my books, even if it's merely a passing comment by a character. My goal is to make people think and look at things from a character's perspective rather than the often, black and white version we see on the news. 
    4. To discover a magical world. Sometimes I'm shocked by what my character's do. In fact, I'm always fascinated where the story will take me and just like many of my readers, I can't wait to see what they will do next!




    Saturday, September 8, 2018

    How do I get ideas for my books? πŸ’­

    I cover a lot of topics in my books. It's never just one specific area that I focus on but you can find a whole assortment of thoughts, ideas, struggles and conversations that contribute to each novel; sometimes within a chapter. πŸ˜„

    People often ask me where I get these ideas. It's kind of a complicated question to answer. In fact, I find inspiration from a lot of different areas including everyday life, what I see on the news, documentaries, books and even comments people have made at some point in my life. There is a whole swirl of crazy activity in my brain and I'm never quite sure how it will land on the page but somehow it always comes together.

    I guess to a point it is what stands out to me. If there is a topic or comment that grabs my attention, I will work with it. If it's on my mind, it should be expressed. It's not necessarily based on my life but more likely something that I'm simply aware of or have noticed.

    Plots come to me all the time. Usually when I'm working out (especially when listening to music) is when I get my strongest ideas. I will often visualize a scene and rush to jot down notes. It may not make sense at the time but it will when I sit down to write it.

    Speaking of characters, they really take the wheel when it comes to storylines. Each has their own district personalities, experiences and issues that float to the surface, which is something else you must always keep in mind. After all, where would we be without characters?

    It's really quite magical.


    Does violence in books and television dehumanize us? πŸ”ͺ

    We often see people dehumanizing each other on television (sadly, we don't have to look past the news for this one...) and it's unfortunate that it has become the 'norm' in our society. I'm pretty conscious of this kind of behavior and for that reason, it has become a huge part of my books...but should it be?

    As a writer, I've always felt that what I put on paper (or on a laptop screen, I should say) tends to reflect what I'm viewing in the real world. The situations might be different, however, the general feeling or sense that I'm getting from life always creeps into my writing. Therefore, it makes sense that violence has become the new 'norm' for my books.  Sadly, the reality of violence in our society has become more prevalent....or has it?

    Well, yes and no. The thing is that the world has always been a violent place and depending on where you grew up in, it might've been just outside your door or worse still, inside your home. In fact, if you grew up in a place that wasn't violent, you should consider yourself pretty lucky because there are many people in the world who can't say the same.

    I've had it pointed out to me that displaying such brutal violence in my books could potentially dehumanize people to the reader. When we are no longer seen as real, living, breathing people but disposable to some of the more sensitive viewers, it could cause them to devalue human life. This tends to be one of the explanations for things such as school and mass shootings. When you're used to viewing someone being shot on television, reading about it in a book or even 'being' the shooter in a video game, some will walk away with a complete disconnect from reality.

    To be honest, I do understand the concern but I also believe there are other factors that play into these situations. Few things in life are black and white and as with many other topics, I think there are a lot of grey areas to consider. Anyone who takes something that is meant to be for entertainment purposes and turns it into a reason or an excuse to brutalize others probably already have some issues.