Showing posts with label writing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label writing. Show all posts

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Why words matter

If you've ever been in an argument or had a misunderstanding with another person, chances are you're already aware of why words matter. We often find ourselves in situations where words should be picked carefully especially when there's a risk of being misinterpreted.

Not to suggest that we're already great when picking our words. If you're like me, during particularly rushed or stressful times, an entire sentence can fly out of my mouth and not make any sense at all. It happens. We're human.

So how important are words in writing?

When we create a scene, a conversation or show what characters are doing, it's important that the best words are selected for creating the mood. For example, in And the Devil Will Laugh, I had help preparing the back cover because I wanted to be certain that I chose the best words that summed up my book. I wanted to show the intensity, the fierceness of the characters, to create a sense of what to expect....

...he and his loyal foot soldiers will muscle in and tear off a big chunk of it for themselves. 

This, of course, creates a pretty strong impression of what kind of characters can be found within the pages of the book. If I had chosen instead to simply say that Jorge planned to 'move in and with the help of his associates, would take over' it simply wouldn't have the same impact.

Also, keep in mind that each character has their own kind of dialogue. For example, Jorge Hernandez, the protagonist in my last few books, is known for often saying "I don't got time." When he says this, it's usually a sign he's aggravated and is about 5 seconds from rushing out the door and he wants a situation resolved now. Each of my characters has their own, unique dialogue patterns and expressions.

With dialogue, its also important to remember that it can vary according to a character's education, age, ethnicity, experiences, and even attitudes.

Words do matter. Pick yours carefully.






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

How Do I Start my Book? πŸ“š

I will admit that there is a lot of time and effort involved in writing a book. However, once broken down into small, manageable tasks, it actually isn't bad. Of course, it also has to be something you enjoy, otherwise, you will be struck with writer's block, find excuses not to work on it or probably toss it aside altogether.

So let's begin!

Your tenth-grade creative writing teacher probably told you to outline everything before you start writing. I disagree. For me, this would never work. There has to be a certain amount of spontaneity involved to keep it fresh and interesting. If you can easily plot out the chapters and figure out the ending before getting past chapter one, chances are your reader will too. Remember, readers are very savvy and automatically try to figure things out as soon as they pick up a book. If you have no idea what is going to happen until you're typing it, chances are they will be just as surprised.

Not to say you shouldn't jot down ideas but I wouldn't bother organizing right away. You can picture specific scenes, conversations, events and know they're going to fit in somewhere, you just don't have to know where yet. Also, you must follow the natural flow of the story and take the characters into consideration; how will each action affect them? What is their own unique path or struggle? How does it fit in with the rest of the story?

Of course, I'm talking about fiction but what about non-fiction? Are the rules the same?

I probably would have an outline for something that falls under non-fiction, but with room to breathe so that you can see how the story flows and which angle it takes. Make sure it is factual and be ready to list any sources you might be using. Remember, you don't want to get sued.

Regardless of what you write, the first draft should be fun. Editing is another story. Let's not go there today. ☺️





Thursday, September 20, 2018

Switch away from the protagonist?? Don't mind if I do! πŸ˜ƒ

Something I started doing a few books ago is to switching away from the protagonist for one chapter. So essentially, I have another secondary character take over the story for one chapter, usually around the middle of the book, in order to give the reader another perspective. It also gives me an opportunity to shake things up a bit. It adds another layer to the book.

The beauty of it is that you can have a better overall view of the protagonist. For example, if your protagonist has a specific point of view about themselves, you might swing around to another character who draws a completely different picture. It gives the reader food for thought. Maybe the impression that the protagonist is giving isn't completely accurate. Then again, it might also change your opinion of the secondary character as well, since you will be seeing them up close and personal.

I do this with almost every one of my books and find that it really gives me a different perspective too. Sometimes the only way to really understand where a secondary character is coming from is to climb inside of their mind. It's really fascinating.


Tuesday, September 18, 2018

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.



Passion and Writing 😍

Why is passion so important in writing? Why are we drawn to explosive arguments, passionate scenes and violence on television and in books? Why do we enjoy a fight in the middle of a hockey game?

We love it because it's in our nature. There's something exciting about people who are passionate in love or anger. We love a character that isn't afraid to show their emotions. This is because we're often encouraged to hide our own feelings, especially those that make other people uncomfortable. So maybe watching others express themselves gives us a bit of satisfaction.

Human nature is interesting. As much as we hate it when a fight breaks out in the middle of a wedding or during a family event, don't we also kind of move a little closer to the action? It's because we get a little jolt of energy watching people when they show such intense emotions. Why do you think dramas and thrillers are such popular genres?

A great example would be if you're watching a hockey game and your team is losing. You're kind of discouraged and suddenly, a fight breaks out! Someone on your team is really giving it to an opponent and this causes your interest to soar. This is because even though your team is still losing the game, at least you see that they are passionate about it. And there's something about that makes you feel a little bit better.



Sunday, September 16, 2018

BOO!! Let's talk about Ghostwriters! πŸ‘»

Until recently, I always thought a ghostwriter was someone who assisted a less experienced person in authoring a book. For example, maybe a celebrity or some other public figure wants to write an autobiography and needs some help putting it together. Of course, I also didn't give the topic a lot of thought one way or another. It was no big deal.

And then - get this - I spoke to someone who told me that it was actually quite common for famous writers to have someone else do the work. He specified romance novelists however, I got the impression that it didn't start and stop there. In fact, I believe some pretty famous authors also use ghostwriters.

Why do I care?

Well, like most of us, I never really respect anyone who allows another person to do the work and then take the credit themselves. That's not cool. Furthermore, if I buy your book, I want YOUR book. I don't want a book with your smiling face on the back cover and someone else's words in the pages. Isn't that kind of like buying a knockoff purse? Sure, it might say Louis Vuitton on the bag but if you paid $20 to a guy selling purses in the back of his van, you're actually purchased a counterfeit purse. Except, of course, ghostwriting is legal. Also, you're going to pay the same price for the book authored by the ghostwriter as you would if you bought the same book authored by...well, the person it's supposed to be authored by in the first place.

Some argue that writers run out of ideas, don't have the time to write etc and I have to tell you, I have no compassion. I work and squeeze in writing, social media and all marketing for my book in my spare time, so you really aren't going to get any sympathy here. Furthermore, when did an author's name merely become a trademark rather than something that represents integrity?

And what about the ghostwriters? I realize that they're getting paid but if they write a best-selling book with someone else's name on it, why aren't they also getting the credit? I sincerely doubt the super famous author is going to publicly acknowledge that someone else did the work for them, nor give them credit for their 'brand' becoming more successful as a result. However, I could be wrong.

What do you think? How do you feel about ghostwriters? Does it matter? Would you feel differently about your favorite writer if you learned that they had someone else write their books?




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.


Friday, September 14, 2018

The Curse of Chapter Two! ✌🏼

For some reason, I often have issues writing chapter two. I guess it's because there is so much drama in chapter one that it seems to kind of fall flat in comparison. Also, I'm responsible for setting up the story and introducing the characters in the first couple of chapters and after all the crazy events (hopefully!) in chapter one, suddenly I'm left to pull it all together.

At least, that's what I try to tell myself.

In honesty, since recording this specific YouTube video talking about the issue, I've been going out of my way to make chapter two as dynamic as chapter one. I learned that it was important to keep up the same energy For example, in my book The Devil is Smooth Like Honey, I have a very interesting scene between Jorge Hernandez and Paige NoΓ«l after they meet under unusual circumstances. In fact, this is probably one of my better chapter twos.

Is there a curse of chapter two? Perhaps it was a challenge I merely had to take on.


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?





Characters, Characters, Characters! Why we love Awesome Characters! πŸ˜‡πŸ˜ˆ

Is there a character that you love? It doesn't matter if it's on television or in your favorite book; is there someone that stands out and is exciting to watch or read about? Why is character development so important??

If there's one thing that stands out to me in a great book or television show it is awesome characters. In my mind, these personalities (or lack there of...) can make or break a show. You can have awesome plot twists, terrific writing but if you don't have characters that people connect with, it falls flat.

We like variety, diverse and dynamic characters. As I've said before, personalities that jump off the page because they seem so real, so interesting; they're the people you want to learn more about with every chapter or in the case of a television show, each episode.

Characters should grow especially if you have them in a series. Just like everyday people, it seems a bit unusual to not see growth or at the very least, a change in opinion over time. As you learn about the characters, they're often learning about themselves. Even more interestingly, the characters you're drawn to might also be telling you something about yourself.



Tuesday, September 11, 2018

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)

Sunday, September 9, 2018

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.


Thursday, September 6, 2018

How music has become my co-writer 🎼

I often talk about how each of my books has a 'soundtrack' that inspired me during the writing process. These aren't songs that I select but more like the other way around. In fact, I often wonder why specific music grabs me during the writing process and won't let go until the book has been completed. Often, after I write that final chapter, the songs seem to fade away. It's not that I don't like or listen to them anymore but that they are no longer in the forefront of my mind.

It started with my first book, Fire.  Of course, it made sense since the book was about the music industry. However, this pattern continued. Some were like We're All Animals where I couldn't get one group (in this case, Pink Floyd) out of my head for the entire writing process or my last few books that were inspired by a diverse collection of songs. We're talking everything from AC/DC to Toto. 

Yes, Toto, the same band that sings to song Africa. 

It's actually to the point where hearing certain songs will automatically make me think of the chapter in my book that it inspired. I guess it's no different than how most people connect a song to periods of their lives, memorable moments or an emotion. Except, of course, those are real things and not a bunch of made up people in a story. 😊

The interesting thing about the process is that often the specific song topics are vastly different from the scene I see in my imagination. For example, a song could sound very seductive and actually inspire a murder scene in my book or....well, vice versa. πŸ™„It happens. There is just something about certain songs that pull a story from a dark place in my mind and sets it on fire. I'm not sure what causes it but it works for me. 


Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Why is my writing becoming more political? 😀

My first book Fire was about a rock band struggling with the pressures of sudden fame. Although I touched on a few dicey topics back then, it was nothing compared subjects I've dealt with in my last few books. As time went on, it seems that I'm drawn to more controversial subjects.

My motivation for becoming more political in my writing isn't because it is trendy or because I feel it might capture some attention. Like most topics that are brought into my books (which include racism, white supremacy, incel, school shootings, and criminals) I feel passionate about the topic and for that reason, choose to explore it. It's the subjects that I have strong views on so that creep into my writing.

As a writer, I've always felt that what I do is observe the world and then express what I see. I think now, more than ever, it's important to create art that makes people think. It's not that I want to change anyone's opinions but rather, that I hope that through my writing, I can provoke new ideas and perhaps some people will look at things from another perspective.

My latest book And The Devil Will Laugh is quite political and the protagonist, Jorge Hernandez, has fascinating opinions on the political world. The interesting thing is that he's a criminal and therefore, his views are vastly different from the status quo but I have to admit, they certainly give you food for thought. And with everything going on in the world today, maybe that's not such a bad thing.




Monday, September 3, 2018

Why you should take criticism with a grain of salt πŸ™‰

Criticism. We hate that word especially when it's used against us. It feels like an attack. It feels like a kick in the gut. It feels like a put-down. But is it?

To a degree, it is our egos that get involved. After all, is it really any of your business what other people think of you and regardless, why do their opinions matter in the first place? Why do we care?

For writers (or really, any artists) criticism can be taken very personally. I know because I've been one of those overly sensitive artists who has dealt with insults about my writing. The truth is that it certainly gets easier as time goes on and you learn to not take it as personally because, at the end of the day, it's just someone's opinion. Not everyone is going to like you. Not everyone is going to appreciate or understand the message you are attempting to send through your work. It doesn't matter who you are or what you do, criticism is just a part of life.

I always feel bad when people tell me they want to start a book but they seem apprehensive because they're already doubting themselves and their abilities. Sometimes it is that self-criticism that is even more dangerous than the kind other people dish out to us. After all, in order for their words to affect us, first we must believe them; so wouldn't that mean that a part of us must carry some self-doubt?

Think about it.



Why Contradictions are Cool! 😎

Contradictions are fun! There's nothing more interesting than a character with vast contradictions in their personality because it's completely unexpected and catches the reader (or viewer, if it's something on television) off guard.  And isn't that what we want? To be surprised?

I tend to use contradictions and quirks a lot in my writing because I feel it adds a little something extra to the characters. Although to tell you the truth,  I don't overthink it either because it comes along quite naturally. Each character tends to have their own unique personalities that encompass some interesting contradictions.

As an example, Diego Silva is a very dapper and sophisticated character so it would surprise people to know that when attacking someone, his weapon of chose is a baseball bat. In fact, if you follow along in this particular series, you will see Diego bring out the baseball bat on at least one occasion per book. πŸ™„Definitely not something you would expect.

Another example would be Paige NoΓ«l-Hernandez who is considered one of the best assassins in the world - but she also likes to meditate and talk about self-help. Probably not what you would expect but it's sort of a neat contradiction.

To me, this helps make characters seem more alive, fun and interesting. And let's face it, we all have our own contradictions that make us unique. What are yours?