Hernan J Monzon was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina and currently resides in Ontario, Canada. He has an academic background in Computer Programming and enjoys painting and photography but writing is and always will be his primary passion, his first love. And because of this he writes tirelessly, searching to capture the plethora of emotions that life gives to him –the essence of what it is to be human.
“Writing allows me to express the passion that I feel for living, for life. When you love something so much you are willing to put your whole self into it without wanting anything in return and that is how you truly become better as an artist because your focus is solely on the art itself. My only advice: write what you love to write because it shows and keep writing no matter what anyone tells you.”
Hernan has written several novels, short stories and novellas and is now in the process of self-publishing them online. This is a stage that he cannot wait to have completed so that he can continue produce more work and evolve his craft while doing so.
What fact about yourself would really surprise people?
Because I am well-spoken and direct people tend to view me as confident and outgoing when this couldn’t be further from the truth. I am a very shy person and I struggle with myself everyday in that regard. I am socially assertive because I have held positions where I had to drive meetings and give presentations so it was a skill that I have developed and I am thankful for it. I would rather be regarded as someone who can be leaned upon rather than one who is socially inept.
The truth remains that I am a day-dreaming introvert that lives inside of my head for most of the time. Some days I am afraid to even talk to people. It has never gone away. I just deal with it and try to make the best of it as we all do. I can say that in doing so it has given me strength that bleeds into a lot of other aspects in how I direct my life.
What’s your greatest character strength?
Life is hard. Not just mine but everybody’s. People tend to forget that we are emotional beings and therefore deal with themselves in various ways that may not be constructive when faced with adversity. I’ve been guilty of that and so I do not judge people because I do not want people to judge me.
In this life people will wrong you and may try to take advantage of you but even with them I choose not to harbour any negative energy or emotions because I know how bad for your system that can be so instead I choose to forgive as a parent would their own child as they stumble through life. We all make mistakes. It’s okay to. We all hurt and that’s okay as well. Sometimes people have a hard time accepting that and knot themselves up over what should be digested and forgotten.
The bottom line is who you are depends a lot on how you treat others. If you care about other people than people will return that notion and your life will become much better because of it. But before that you must become comfortable with yourself. You must understand how you address the challenges in your own life before you can assist others in dealing with theirs. I am here to be leaned on so lean on me. It’s okay. My greatest character strength is my openness and ability to understand people and desire to make them comfortable regardless of what they can give to me in return.
How do you feel about social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter? Are they a good thing?
Well, yes and no. The positive aspect of social media is that it allows you to connect with people that you otherwise would not be able to so easily. For example, I can communicate with my family in South America. I receive friendship requests from cousins that I didn’t even know existed and despite the language barrier I can get to know them and keep in touch with how they are doing. I can also share ideas and things that I find interesting with those on my list and also become aware of things that I wouldn’t be able to otherwise through what others post as well. And I receive regular updates from various sites that allow me to see what new artists are coming out with from around the world. I find those elements of social media very valuable. I am not interested in people’s cats or what they had for lunch but I can filter out what information I receive quite easily.
The negative side to it is what I see increasingly every day and that is people with their eyes stuck on their phones, even in traffic and especially at social gatherings. It’s unhealthy. They need to look up and interact with the world around them because there is so much more to see, feel and touch than just what’s on your screen.
Tell us about your family.
My father was a Vietnam veteran and my mother was an expatriate of communist Russia. They met on a train traveling through Argentina. My father was in her seat. When I was four months old we fled to Canada to escape the Dirty War as when my father refused to participate our family was threatened and this was how we responded. I have great respect for the things that they have seen and survived and also for what they went through in order for me and my brother to have a better life. I fully intend to write their story one day as it truly deserves to be written and if nothing else I can pass the story of my family on to my children should I ever have any.
What makes you angry?
People that treat others badly. People that step on others in order to get what they want. Ignorance. Greed. Indifference and apathy. There is far too much of it in the world and I am angry most of the time. The only thing that saves me from being a complete recluse are the friendships that I have gained with caring, intelligent people and they mean the world to me. I love them and would do anything for them because I know that they would never ask that of me and would do the same without hesitation. They have saved me from a life of isolation and misery.
Who is your favourite author?
This is a hard one. I will give you one: Frank Herbert. The entire Dune series is so vastly intricate in its political and ecological spectrums, so brilliantly conceived in its totality, so wonderfully woven together as an epic storyline with characters both admirable and outright frightening that it is what really made me want to write based on what I experienced just by reading it. And to think that the original book was turned down by more than twenty publishers. Now it is one of the greatest classic science fiction series of all time. So think twice before you put down your pen and call it quits.
Tell us about your new book. What’s it about and why did you write it?
Tale of the Nightmare Princess began as a spoof of any generic medieval fantasy tale until early on in the process when it became much more than that to me. I started writing it as a joke or rather as the opposite of what I was writing at the time. I was working on my third novel which was intended to be the darkest horror ever conceived and I had written the first chapter twelve times when I realized that it wasn’t going anywhere. I was tired of it and had wasted over a year of stubbornly trying to make something out of it. I wanted to give up. In fact, I did give up. I initially wrote just to write. I had no dreams of ever becoming an author. It was just what I did and no one read my work. So I put down my pen for several years and went on with my life.
At one point I picked it up from out of my closet and read what I had which at the time was three chapters. Something happened to me when I did. It was like a lightning bolt came crashing down from out of the sky directly into my heart and I knew that I needed to finish it. A year later it was done. I know that this book is very graphic and twisted in nature but I had set out to create a riveting epic full of characters with heart and scenarios that were true to life and as an author I believe that I had accomplished that. If you have a sarcastic sense of humour I think that you would really appreciate what it has to offer.
What’s your next project?
I am going to rewrite the two books I have written previous to this one and put them online. Once that has been completed I will write another sarcastic comedy driven by wild characters dealing with the most ridiculous of situations because for me those are the most fun to write.
What’s your biggest fear?
That I am putting so much time and work into something that will never gain ground or come into fruition but I have to believe in myself and that I can eventually gain some readers if I keep trying hard. The secret to rejection is always having something else to submit and I’ll be back, always.
I am at the point in my literary career where if a friend told me that they downloaded my book I can say “oh, that was you?” But you know what, that’s okay. I am not so much concerned about the books that I have written as I am about the books that I can potentially write. I know what I have inside of me and not for one second will I ever again doubt that I can do this. I will keep learning and improving my skill and throw everything I’ve got into it.
Never stop dreaming. Never let doubt drain you of life. We are all unique and talented. It just takes time to find, harness and transform that talent into something beautiful. I am on my way and where it takes me, I’m not sure but the one thing I can tell you is that it will be a very colourful place indeed.
Tale of the Nightmare Princess: An Adult Fantasy Comedy Adventure
This was a mistake
In an age of utter calamity, two unsavoury monks about to be hanged for crimes against humanity and other, more interesting species are instead reluctantly brought before a drunkard king and given a task only slightly better than death: to guide his daughter, the Nightmare Princess, to an unholy matrimony with the Prince of Darkness.
Nobody is safe
The hastily formed dysfunctional group of outcasts quickly embark on a drug-laced, alcohol-fuelled journey fraught with disaster as they carve a path of chaos across the land, leaving a trial of fiery devastation behind them that consumes evil foe and innocent bystander alike.
Only death awaits.
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