Saturday, December 21, 2013

Writing Regrets

*Edited in 2016

Now that 2013 is coming to an end, a lot of people are focusing on their regrets from the past twelve months. From the things that didn't work out so well (Diets? Relationships? New career?) to the things that they regret not even trying, (Diets? Relationships? New career?) it seems like most people have some kind of year-end remorse. And while some dwell on it and create their own personal hell pit of shame, others simply shrug their shoulders, wrinkle their nose and say, 'Well, there's always next year."

True that.

As a writer, I have some regrets.

  
1. Lack of character diversity in my first two books
One of the biggest reasons why I moved to Vancouver in 2010 was because I wanted to be exposed to and learn about many different cultures. Having grown up and later living in communities that didn't represent much in the way of diversity, I felt as though I was not getting a realistic representation of the world. Looking back, one of my biggest regrets is that my first two books didn't show much in the way of that diversity.  For that reason, I've made extra efforts in my more recent books to incorporate more character variety. I'm a little ashamed of myself for not having done so sooner, especially when an all-white, all-straight character lineup, doesn't at all reflect the people in my own life let alone, the world around us.





2. The happily ever after endings
Feel free to roll your eyes at any time, cause I sure am! I hate those 'Hollywood' endings that you see on made for TV movies and yet, I felt pressured to do exactly that with my first two books. Not to suggest that I would've preferred the endings to be a brutal, bloody mess, but I'm not so sure I should've made the endings so sugary sweet either. Just sayin'.

3. Edits
Although it is true that I could probably rewrite every one of my books ten zillion times and never be completely happy, I'm also not happy with the edits for my first book. It was actually quite disappointing since I hired someone (and paid a shit load of money) to take care of that side of things, in the end, it wasn't up to the standard I had hoped. I realize I was new to the publishing world and was fumbling around cluelessly, but in the end, I must take responsibility for this lack of professionalism.


Again, I think it is important to be honest when you made bad choices and hold yourself accountable. Having said that, I also think there are times to simply accept your old decisions as they are and write them off as life lessons. Hey, no one is perfect and my journey as a writer has been a collection of lessons and learning experiences. I didn't start with a degree in English. I had little knowledge of the publishing business. I didn't have an agent or traditional publishing house to help guide me on the most appropriate way to get my career off the ground. I learned about marketing, (social media and otherwise) creating a website, dealt with publishing issues, got my books into libraries and many other aspects of this industry, on my own. And I'm still learning.

And I think that just may be the perfect way of looking at life as well: we aren't perfect but we are always learning. And as long as you are learning, then there is nothing to regret.


Canadian author Mima is known for her complicated and diverse characters, a dark style and for never shying away from controversial topics. To request an interview or if you are interested in doing a book review, please send requests here  


Mima is the author of Fire and the prequel, A Spark before the Fire, as well as The Rock Star of Vampires  Her Name is Mariah and Different Shades of the Same Color. Join Mima on Facebook, TwitterG+ and Goodreads also, check out her Amazon Author Page

For some reading, check out her blogs – personal or writing


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Saturday, November 16, 2013

Songs that inspired The Rock Star of Vampires

It's been a long time coming, but I've finally put the finishing touches on my third book, The Rock Star of Vampires. Believe it or not, I started it in late 2010 but a series of setbacks (taking courses, looking for a new job and other fun, life events) caused the finish line to continually be moved - then earlier this week, I crossed it!

Generally speaking, I prefer to write a book as quickly as possible. I feel that if I start a project and put it aside for any amount of time, it's difficult to get back into the original frame of mind. Plus, dragging it out too long tends to make the project just a bit stale and I start to lose my original passion on the topic.

The interesting thing is that I probably wouldn't have such a pleasing conclusion, had I finished this specific manuscript months ago. In many ways, I had to evolve in my own life before my main character could do the same. Sometimes it is interesting how real life and fiction tend to overlap.


I'm pretty excited about digging in and starting the fourth book in the very near future. In the meanwhile, I'm looking at various options, which include finding an agent. I'm definitely anxious to see what the future brings me!

I will be releasing further details on my book in the future, but for now, I would like to share some songs that were inspiring to me while writing it.


The first is Bullet with Butterfly Wings from the Smashing Pumpkins. Anyone familiar with 90s music will quickly recognize this song. The first line is, "The world is a vampire, sent to drain" which represents a central theme in my latest book in both a literal and symbolic way.
The second song that inspired my latest book is Not in Love by Crystal Castles featuring Robert Smith of the Cure. Some of you may recognize this as a Platinum Blonde song from the 80s. There is something about the vibe of the song that ignited images in my mind, while creating a specific scene in my book. The lyrics also have a literal reflection regarding one particular relationship.


Laugh if you may, but this specific version of this song (and when it comes to music that inspires my writing, it's almost always a very particular version that does so - while another one may not) that created the opening scene in this book. I could visualize the main character and to be honest, was trying to figure out what drove her - and also, what the hell she was roaming around the grocery store! Yup, the song is Like a Virgin by Madonna and if you weren't curious about my third book before, you might be now:-)

f I ever don't list Marilyn Manson as an inspiration for one of my books, then the world could quite possibly be coming to an end while monkeys fly outside your window. There is a dark, vulnerable sexuality about his music that I've always connected with as a writer. I know a lot of people may roll their eyes at Manson because of his style or past antics, but unlike many artists in the music industry right now, he has a very distinctive style and can take any song and make it his own. This song digs deep into some very raw emotions within my latest book. Check out Speed of Pain.



I love this song. It's so beautiful and I think I listened to it on a regular basis throughout the time I was working on this book. The funny part is that I hadn't realized how much it was connecting with my characters until I was finished. In case you aren't familiar, it is Iris by the Goo Goo Dolls.



Well, I am off to start another book! Keep in touch and keep reading!






Canadian author Mima is known for her complicated and diverse characters, a dark style and for never shying away from controversial topics. To request an interview or if you are interested in doing a book review, please send requests here  


Mima is the author of Fire and the prequel, A Spark before the Fire, as well as The Rock Star of Vampires  Her Name is Mariah and Different Shades of the Same Color. Join Mima on Facebook, TwitterG+ and Goodreads also, check out her Amazon Author Page

For some reading, check out her blogs – personal or writing


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Monday, July 1, 2013

Pretentious authors need to get a grip on reality

I don't claim to be the best writer in the world. I think I have original ideas and am pretty good at expressing them on paper, but I'm hardly an expert in my chosen field. In fact, I think that like most things in life, there is always something new to learn and it's about jumping in and improving rather than sitting back and waiting of perfectionism to develop.

Having said that, there are many writers out there who do enjoy bragging about their talents. In fact, I was flipping the channels recently and came across an author boasting to an interviewer that his book has actually caused domestic issues between husbands and wives. Apparently, his book is so fucking awesome that women are making their children take extra nap times during the day so they can read, thus causing the kids to sleep less at night time.

Now don't go quoting me on that just yet cause I have to admit, this statement caused me to roll my eyes and quickly change the channel. So it's possible that through my irritation, I may have misunderstood exactly what he was saying, but I think you get the idea.


There seems to be this strange belief that in order to make people confident in your abilities, you first have to be a total horse's ass and brag yourself up. Cause no one would ever see through that smooth move and wonder if perhaps you were overcompensating for a reason. It kind of reminds me of those guys who brag about how much they work out every week, how expensive their car is and how many women they've fucked - only to later find out that they are unemployed and living with their Mommy, who by the way, still does their laundry and cooks their macaroni and cheese just the way they like it.

So am I suggesting that this author shouldn't be proud of his work? Of course not, this guy's book is probably great, but shouldn't that be something his fans tell us rather than something he tells us. But it's not uncommon for artists to be pretentious. I mean....well.... let's just say, it's been known to happen.

But is it an attractive quality in an artist? Does it make people more intrigued with their work? Perhaps it's more of a tactic to challenge people to investigate them further?

I think there is something to be said about being down-to-earth and approachable. One of the most famous authors in the world is JK Rowlings. She was discovered during a very low period in her life and at the time, was living in poverty. Now a successful author, she has established the Volant Charitable Trust, that works to combat both poverty and social inequality. She remembers where she came from and in fact, she is known to be quite the philanthropist. Now that is something to brag about...




Canadian author Mima is known for her complicated and diverse characters, a dark style and for never shying away from controversial topics. To request an interview or if you are interested in doing a book review, please send requests here  
 

Mima is the author of Fire and the prequel, A Spark before the Fire, as well as The Rock Star of Vampires  Her Name is Mariah and Different Shades of the Same Color. Join Mima on Facebook, TwitterG+ and Goodreads also, check out her Amazon Author Page

For some reading, check out her blogs – personal or writing


Don’t let the fun stop here - sign up for the newsletter!