Monday, December 21, 2015

Songs that inspired Different Shades of the Same Color

I don’t choose the songs that correspond with each of my books, but rather, they choose me. My
upcoming book -Different Shades of the Same Color - is no exception. The songs that spoke to me this time were a mixture of fun and sadness, which is probably one of the best ways I can describe my fifth book. To learn more about Different Shades of the Same Color (which is coming out in January 2016!) please click here


Once again, here we go…


  

        Blame by Calvin Harris
           
            This is one of the first songs that sprang to mind as I sat down to start chapter one.  The protagonist in this book has a slight knock to the head that changes her whole world and of course, it happens in a very undignified manner. Needless to say, this song title seemed highly appropriateJ

 Breathe (the Zed is Dead Remix) by Prodigy

            How can you not love Prodigy? This song crept up on me, an old reminder of my past life, when I frequently wandered into dance clubs in a Boozin’ night of fun. Speaking of booze, that might be a clue as to how the protagonist hits her head in the first place. The song has such a light, carefree manner that you sense the inner hippie in this character, that is dying to come out.

 Waves by Mr Probz (Robin Schulz Radio Remix)

            I LOVE this song. It’s not a crush, it’s the real thing, baby! So beautiful and chillin’, it just makes you want to grab a beer, grab a joint - whatever you’re into – and sit on a beach, with not a worry in the world. I listened to this song over and over while writing the book.

Stolen Dance – Milky Chance

            Another new discovery for me, this song is what created a vision of a young woman dancing around her apartment, carefree and happy. Perfect for this book:-) 


Super Bass – Nicki Minaj

            One day, as I was writing this book, this song popped up on my iPod and I automatically envisioned a scene in my book. Okay, so that’s kind of the same story I could tell for all these songs, but I pictured a particularly funny scene between the protagonist and her sister. It was one of my favorite parts to write.



 The Shade by Metric

            I’ve been saying for weeks now that this is my personal theme song and I mean it. Live for the moment and want it all! For some reason, this song was often playing in the background as I wrote this book! 


       Money for Nothing by Dire Straits

            This song is mentioned and is symbolic with regards to her family, specifically her father. 


 Beautiful Goodbye by Amanda Marshall

            There’s a lot more going on in this story than what it seems. People will be surprised.




       Running up that Hill by Kate Bush

                This may seem like an unusual song to add to the mix, but it struck a cord with me during the writing process. It definitely has a connection to my plot.








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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Sunday, September 13, 2015

Are we the Characters?

It would be fair to say that each of my books follows me on my own, personal journey through life. Not to suggest that I am my characters, but I certainly have learned some of the same lessons along the way.



My first book Fire was as much about the power of mass media as that of my characters, a rock band in the 90s. It was about how the value of life often comes second to the value of a great story and ratings/sales. This was a realization that I came to during my twenties when mass media often had the most influence. 

 My second book was the sequel called A Spark before the Fire, following a rebellious, social misfit that felt like he was on the outside, looking in, which also was a strong reflection of how I viewed the world at that time. I always felt a sense of being left behind, not included or as if my value was below that of others and like Jimmy Groome, chose self-destructive ways to block what I could not handle. 

My third book, The Rock Star of Vampires, displayed how many of the social ‘vultures’ of the world are often carefully hiding behind a beautiful mask and it reflected a time when I realized that we all have our many sides and vulnerabilities, regardless of what we try to display to others. 

My fourth book, Her Name is Mariah, was probably my most personal book, that hit closest to home. Let me explain why.

Mariah Nichols was a character resurrected from my third book, The Rock Star of Vampires. It told the story of a strong, often cold woman who was tough – or so she wanted the world to believe. Mariah was one of the people hiding behind the beautiful mask I described earlier, except that she even believed the performance she gave to the world. She was untouchable. She was the wolf among sheep. No one could get to her. No one could hurt her.

The reality was that a young doctor comes into her life and shakes up everything she has ever believed about both the world and herself. He slowly breaks down every wall that surrounded her, causing Mariah to be faced with her true self for the first time ever: it's overwhelming. His role in her life was to destroy all the walls that prevented her from growing, from living and most of all, from loving. In this case, she has to hit rock bottom, to evolve and feel truly alive.

This was very much my own story. 

No, I didn’t have a charming, handsome doctor come into my life and force me to see a side of myself I had long decided to ignore, however, I did have someone who forced me to take a good look at myself and it was by far, the most torturous and excruciating experience, but it was one that I had to explore in order to get to a better place. In fact, when I look at whom I used to be - how I once viewed the world or my negative thought process - I almost don’t recognize that person at all. It was my much-needed spiritual awakening. 


I’ve almost completed the rough draft of my latest book and I'm definitely putting a lot of myself and my experiences in this book. Although slightly altered (and hopefully much more interesting than my own story) I do see the world through my character’s eyes and hope I continue to do so.

I've always said that my books are for the 'misfits, the nonconformists and those who never quite fit in' because that is what I believe. I like to write unconventional stories about unconventional characters, who like to color outside the lines. Not only do they like it, they don't know any other way to live.






Canadian author Mima is known for complicated and diverse characters, her 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!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Why read a book when you have Netflix?

I sat in a dentist chair when I decided to sign up for Netflix. My hygienist swept me in after talking to me about her love affair with the (then) relatively new website. Having already noticed advertisements for it, my curiosity was peaked and it only took some mild convincing from her to encourage me to go home and sign up.

And it was fantastic! I had the opportunity to watch various series from episode one, explore new movies and it was all at a price I could afford.
I was in love.

So with this in mind, why are people still reading books? Even more so, what do they have to offer in the world of Netflix, the Internet and five billion television channels? 

I've been asked these questions more than once, almost as people were challenging why I even bothered with this writing thing at all. What could I possibly offer them that other forms of entertainment - entertainment that takes far less effort than reading a book - couldn't surpass? 

Fair enough.

Movies are easy. Television is easy. You just flick them on and off you go. But they do have limits.

I recently read a book that blew my mind. The ending wasn't anything I could've anticipated. I was stunned; yet very impressed by the fact that the author had managed to surprise me. Knowing that
this particular book was also made into a movie, I didn't hesitate to check it out.

I hated it. I was actually pissed off by the movie version of the book. It was terrible. It managed to cut
some major parts of the book out, then completely change and 'Hollywoodize' the ending. It was typical. It was predictable. It was boring and terrible. Had I bought, not borrowed the DVD, I would've returned it. I was actually horrified that the writer allowed her book to be butchered. 

Anyway, you get the point and we've all seen great books completely annihilated by soulless Hollywood producers but that isn't always the case. I can also think of a great television show based on a series of books that I found very lackluster.

The point is that movies and television are a different monster. It's hard to beat the visual aspect of an action filled car chase or the beauty of a sunrise in a far-off land. 

On the other side, movies and television have limits. The average length of a movie is a 130 minutes, therefore audiences have to be pulled in fast and told a story that makes sense, with all the key points at a pretty accelerated pace. Studio exes, directors, producers and actions may have an issue with certain scenes, causing them to never see the light of day because they may be too graphic, violent or for fears of offending a certain community of people or a more sensitive audience.

Books are really the wild west of the entertainment world. There are no limits. You can write a 200 or 1000 page book, it's really up to you. Details and descriptions can be never ending or limited. Not to suggest that editors don't try to jump in and suggest you cut down the length or make some scenes less graphic (I know because this has happened to me) but I feel that a writer has a little more room to breathe and can choose to work with publishers that share their vision.

Plus there is the connection with the characters. It is a little difficult to connect with the people on screen in just under two hours. Not to suggest it can't be done, but most movies concentrate more on the story itself, rather than the roles being played. It is difficult to show all three dimensions in a role when the storyline is moving at a fast pace. Television series are another story because you learn about the characters each week and they have the room to grow over a period of time. 

It might be just a personal thing, but I find that there's something peaceful about grabbing a book and spending time alone, getting absorbed in the pages and doing so at your own pace. You can read quickly, finishing a book in a night or you can slowly absorb each line, each paragraph at a relaxed pace that allows you to not miss a single detail. You can see yourself in each character or envision a famous celebrity in the role. To a certain degree, the story is as much yours as the authors because you can envision the scenes, the characters and every detail in just the way you wish.




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!