I was sitting on the floor in my own house babysitting a warm bottle of Corona and staring at the images on my television screen. My daughter had just graduated from high school and my house was full of friends and family (hence my sitting on the floor).
My brother had spent a lot of time on his Imovie app cutting home video clips together and synching them with one saccharine song after another to create a thirty minute tear jerker on par with any crappy Nicholas Sparks film adaptation.
Now I’d be lying if I said the sap reel didn’t get to me (my youngest daughter had just graduated from high school afterall). But it wasn’t so much the heart pulling images of my daughter through the years as it was the heart breaking video clips of my mother, Diana Hernandez (née Rivera). Some of you may recognize the name Diana Rivera from my book, The Broken.
She’s been gone thirteen years now, but seeing her face and hearing her voice reminded me of what a strong and unique woman she was; and how she did whatever she wanted, whenever she wanted. My mom didn’t sit around waiting for things to happen, she made things happen. Sitting there with my butt going numb on the hardwood floors, I realized the only thing stopping me from making the transition from dreamer to author was my own bullshit.
Those memories kicked me in the butt, and I was out of excuses. I sat down and I pulled from every part of my life to build the world within my book; and to make it somewhat unique from the thousands of books released in the crime fiction genre every year. I decided all the main characters in anything I wrote would be of Latin descent or heritage. I’ve always heard you should write what you know; and if I know anything, I know what it’s like growing up in a Puerto Rican household. I used little quirks from people I have loved and who loved me to create realistic characters. I combined anecdotes from my childhood and experiences from my career in law enforcement to come up with the plot and stage the scenes.
I don’t know if this book’s any good, that’s for other people to judge. My book is a pretty straight forward thriller, with the only difference being my protagonists speak Spanglish and eat a lot of arroz con pollo.
by J.J. Hernandez
Genre: Crime Fiction
Just released from prison, Julian Serrano is determined to get his life back by reconnecting with his son, maintaining a legit job, and steering clear of the life of crime that led him to prison in the first place. All while under the watchful eye of his parole officer, Diana Rivera. But while Julian fights to stay out of the life that cost him everything he loved, Diana struggles with her own heartache and loss.
Thrust back in the life when things don’t go as planned, Julian must decide who to trust and what plays to make. All while trying to keep Diana believing he’s staying on the straight and narrow. In an untangling web of betrayal, lies, and old debts come due, Julian and Diana must come together to save each other from the ghosts of their pasts.
J.J. Hernandez was born in Brooklyn, New York and raised in Brooklyn and Miami, Florida. He is a graduate of Sam Houston State University and has been a law enforcement officer in Central Texas for twenty years. He lives in Austin, Texas with his wife and two daughters.
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