Showing posts with label characters. Show all posts
Showing posts with label characters. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Getting your Characters OUT of Character

If you watch Ray Donovan (and if you don't, you really should...) you know that the Liev Schreiber plays the role of a rather stoic, stone face man who probably has the least amount of dialogue of any lead actor that wasn't in a coma; his presence is intimidating, his patience limited and when push comes to shove, he's not opposed to violence.

So you can imagine my surprise while watching an episode in season two called, Walk this Way and this happens....



Why? It's because we love seeing characters getting out of the character; We love surprises, the unexpected and are intrigued when the quiet, shy girl suddenly lashes out, when you least expect it. It keeps us on our toes and prepares us to expect, well, the unexpected.

The thing that makes a fascinating character is no different from what makes for a fascinating person; the more layers, the better. We love it when the person we've known our entire life suddenly expresses an interest or reaction that we never expected from them. If grandma never drank a drop of alcohol in her life and then gets sloshed on her 75 birthday and danced on a table, you better believe she's going to be the most fascinating person in the room.

There have been many times that the characters in my books have surprised me. When Natasha Parson did something unexpected at her uncle's fundraiser in Different Shades of the Same Color, I was shocked. When Mariah (Her Name is Mariah) revealed that as a child, she listened to Metallica when she was trying to sleep, I was intrigued. When bad boy Jimmy Groome in A Spark before the Fire broke down after his rock star idol died, I had a new appreciation for him.

Surprises are what inspires us. Small gestures, comments or acts by a character can show us a different side of their personality; rather than falling flat on the page, they slowly become alive before our eyes.



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                                               

Monday, February 15, 2016

What my Characters Teach ME

My readers might be surprised to discover that each of my protagonists develops from a place deep inside of me and transform before my eyes as I tell their story. They may be even more surprised to discover that with each lead character, also comes a great lesson.

So what kind of lessons have I learned along the way? Check this out.

Tarah from Fire: 

Back when I was writing my first book, it never occurred to me that my characters would actually teach me something; this was a discovery I wouldn’t make until later on. However, looking back, I can honestly say that Tarah Kiersey, the main character in Fire, taught me to open my heart and be more understanding toward others. Tarah made great efforts to connect with family, band members and boyfriends, even when they've hurt her along the way. It was very important to her that issues with others were resolved and she never left anything unsaid.



Jimmy from A Spark before the Fire

Jimmy Groome from A Spark before the Fire was the rebellious misfit that didn’t feel as though he had a place in society. He escaped by drinking, doing drugs and falling into bed with every woman he could get his hands on. However, he would learn to accept himself and, rather than feeling like the outsider looking in, he realized that the qualities that made him different and unique, should be accepted and celebrated rather writing him off as a loser. He realized it was as much an attitude and his own limitations that kept him on the outside and this perception was solely his own; he wasn't the outsider looking in, he was in and had every right to be.



Ava from The Rock Star of Vampires

In The Rock Star of Vampires, Ava didn't know at first that she was a vampire and once she did, it didn't really occur to her that she had special powers. Seeing herself as an everyday mortal, she assumed she was limited. However, after a few mishaps (including a powerful hex that put her boss in the hospital) Ava began to see that she possessed a great power inside of herself and was capable of doing things that she had never imagined possible. Most of us don't realize we are much more powerful than we ever thought possible. We just have to believe.



Mariah from Her Name is Mariah:

In Her Name is Mariah, the protagonist grows up in a difficult family situation and learns resiliency at a very young age. She's forced into a young independence that serves her well as an adult, better preparing her for the tough world she was about to enter. By far the strongest character I've ever written about, at one point Mariah Nichols declares herself the wolf in a world full of sheep. She intimidates, manipulates and never allows anyone into her heart. Although situations change throughout the book, for the most part, Mariah Nichols teaches us that our strength is often much more powerful than we ever thought possible and it's something we should embrace with no apology.



Natasha from Different Shades of the Same Color:

Natasha in Different Shades of the Same Color wanted to make the world a better place and to inspire. She saw the importance of reaching out, connecting with people and doing what she could in order to help those who were vulnerable in society. I think we sometimes get caught up in our own lives and forget the importance of connecting with our community. Natasha wanted to be their voice when they couldn’t speak, something we all should do from time to time. She also was goofy, not afraid to wave her freak flag and love life; but isn't that what it's all about?


Chase  from book six

Although I know the working title, I’m just going to surprise you with it later. In this book, Chase is physically strong and trains hard to surpass his personal best. Although this is a step away from other characters, Chase is already teaching me (only 7 chapters in) to take better care of my body, work harder to get in the best shape of my life. I foresee some other, tough lessons that might come out of this book, but those will remain a secret for now.

The characters are, in essence, a part of the author and writing a book is often a very cathartic experience. I know it is for me.

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!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Girls are kicking ass!!

I recently stumbled upon an article featuring a young actress who decided to make a detour from the front of the camera to take on the new challenge as a producer. She spoke of her frustration with the lack of strong, female lead roles in Hollywood and how women are often more or less, the sidekick to the male lead.

My nose wrinkled in disgust, but it was nothing compared to how I felt after giving the comment a little more thought. How many movies had I watched lately that featured a woman in the lead role? In fact, the most recent one I saw (that was starring a woman) centered on the actress getting even with a man after a relationship had gone wrong.

Hmm…. not so sure that is all that would be classified as a  ‘strong’ female starring role. In fact, it seemed kind of silly and juvenile to me.

A few days later, the Oscar nominees were revealed and although I don't usually follow the Academy awards, I did hear some buzz about how there wasn’t much diversity in the mix. I guess only white men work in the film industry now? Wow, who knew?!?


Now I don’t necessarily label myself as a feminist (or not a feminist) but at the same time, as a writer, I appreciate strong women as lead characters. Nothing makes me cringe more than a book, film or television series centered on how a woman's main priority is ‘getting’ a man, as if it was the only reason to exist after… well, you know,  baking cookies and getting manicures. Why can’t we have some crazy, insane, anti-hero, and fun women in lead roles – whether it be in Hollywood, television or books? Wouldn’t that be cool?

As a writer, I try to be mindful of this fact and my next book (to be released in the upcoming weeks) is centered around a female lead that is fiery, strong and in some situations, kind of a bitch. There were times while writing, that I feared that perhaps she was a little too much and then it occurred to me – so what? Male characters are often a little ‘too much’ or the glamourized anti-hero. Why can’t women do the same?  Is it possible that having a woman kick ass in a role (whether literally or figuratively speaking) is actually kind of hot? Sexy? Perhaps they are a little more relatable and enjoyable than the usual silicone sidekick to the handsome hunk?

What do you think? Wouldn't that be insanely cool?

My next book,  Her Name is Mariah, will be released in the upcoming weeks and will feature a woman who is definitely strong. In fact, some of the people who first got a glimpse of this feisty character in my last book - The Rock Star of Vampires - have expressed a lot of interest in learning more about what makes this chick tick! If you like women who are strong, confident, with a little bit of a sharp tongue, then you're going to love Mariah Nichols in Her Name is Mariah. Happy reading!

FREE EBOOKS!!!!
I have a few Ebooks to give away!! I only have a limited quantity of The Rock Star of Vampires  promos left, so grab yours NOW!! Check out the photo to the left for instructions and here are the codes I have left:

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Love it?? Write a review, give me a shout out on social media and thanks for reading:-) *While supplies last.



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!