A warm welcome to author Aaron Lazar, who visits with us about his views on the current publishing trends and his book, For Keeps, book three of the Sam Moore Mysteries.
Hi, Amy. Thanks for having me here today, it’s a great pleasure.
Thanks for stopping by Aaron, it's a pleasure to have you! And now on to the hard stuff....
AM: What inspired you to become a writer?
AL: I wasn’t always a mystery writer. It wasn’t until eight members of my family and friends died within five years that the urge to write became overwhelming. When my father died, I lost it. I needed an outlet, and writing provided the kind of solace I couldn’t find elsewhere.
I created the LeGarde Mystery series (the first of my three mystery series) with the founding novel, DOUBLE FORTÉ (2004), a chilling winter mystery set in the Genesee Valley of upstate New York. Like my father, protagonist Gus LeGarde is a classical music professor. Gus, a grandfather, gardener, chef, and nature lover, plays Chopin etudes to feed his soul and thinks of himself as a “Renaissance man caught in the 21st century.”
The creation of the series lent me the comfort I sought, yet in the process, a new passion was unleashed. Now I’m obsessed with this parallel universe. I live, breathe, and dream about my characters, and have written ten LeGarde mysteries in eight years. (UPSTAGED – 2005; TREMOLO: CRY OF THE LOON – 2007 Twilight Times Books; MAZURKA – 2009 Twilight Times Books, FIRESONG – 2011, DON’T LET THE WIND CATCH YOU – 2012; with more to come.)
That was just the beginning. I now have two additional mystery series: Moore Mysteries and Tall Pines Mysteries. So far, sixteen books in all!
Other than writing, is there anything else you'd rather be doing?
I love this question, Amy. There are SO many other things I’d love to pursue, if I had five lifetimes to fit them all in. First of all, it goes without saying that if I could simply stay home, be with my family, work in the garden, cook for them, nurture the grandkids, hike with the dogs, (and of course, write in my spare time!), I’d be thrilled.
But there are other careers that have called to me in my past. As a teen, I wanted to be an artist. I loved drawing and doing oil pastels of faces. I also love photography, and could so happily be a nature photographer, turning out coffee table books of old barns in New York, or foggy pictures of the Finger Lakes. I’m nuts about classical music, and I’d love to be a concert pianist or violinist, or an opera singer at the Met in NYC. I also imagine coming back in another life and being a psychiatrist or therapist. I love listening to people, helping them with their problems, and just giving support to those who need it. I guess that’s why I feel I was put on this earth to tend to my beloved wife, Dale, who has multiple sclerosis. I love taking care of her and being there for her.
When did you get serious about writing?
Ha, it’s funny, but when I first wrote DOUBLE FORTÉ (my debut mystery), I stopped after I’d written half of it and just twiddled my thumbs. It wasn’t until my mother called me and said she was dying to know what happened to Gus that I got back on the horse. After that, you couldn't keep me away from my writing. And it’s stayed the same for the past 11 years.
What is your viewpoint of the current trends going on in the publishing world?
Three or four years ago, I would have said I was shocked and upset about the eBook revolution. I loved print books and couldn’t imagine not holding one in my hands. I actually looked down on eBooks, thinking they weren’t “real” books. Egads. I can’t believe I was such an idiot!
Today, however, I am a passionate eBook and audio book lover. I carry hundreds of eBooks and dozens of audio books in my iPhone, where – believe it or not – I read or listen most of the time! My wife has two Kindles, which she doesn’t like me to touch, except when I go on trips. I’m now in LOVE with eBooks and I can’t believe how cheap and accessible they are now. For example, last night I ordered about 8 books from the free Kindle list that looked fantastic. I’m fired up to read them after I finish up on my current promised reviews. Regarding audio books – it is now so easy to download and then listen via earbuds or via Bluetooth in my car. It’s like we’re living in a land of immense luxury. I still feel so lucky to be in this century!
How has that affected how you went about publishing?
My wonderful publisher, Lida Quillen of Twilight Times Books, was actually one of the pioneers of eBook publishing. Now our company is a well-regarded full service publishing house, with print and eBooks. Lida has published eleven of my mysteries and is about to release my writing book series soon. We have had a wonderful history together and I hope to release my remaining five books through TTB as well.
You’ve recently published your book, For Keeps. Have you been pleased with your results?
Thanks, Amy. I’ve been thrilled with the reviews I’ve received so far for FOR KEEPS. It’s only been out for a short time (a little over a week), but here are some of the wonderful things said about it:
"Aaron Paul Lazar's deft paranormal mystery starts off quietly and builds to a powerful finish. More than a thriller, FOR KEEPS is a heartfelt story of love and devotion, family ties and emotional crisis, loss and redemption. A winner!"
- Michael Prescott, USA Today bestselling author of Final Sins (also bestselling Kindle Author!)
"Lazar does it again with Sam Moore's explosive return in FOR KEEPS, a story of sordid pasts, buried secrets, and ultimately, true love. This tale will break your heart—and then tenderly stitch it back together—all while you're biting your nails to the quick. Every book in the Moore Mysteries series just keeps getting better!
- Sonya Bateman, author of Master of None & Master and Apprentice
“The author’s gentle prose brings the scents of a summer garden to life, together with rippling shade of forest and cool clear waters of lake. Characters are vividly real and welcoming too, with pitch-perfect dialog around the dinner table, a wonderful grandfather dealing with a two-year-old’s tantrum, and the awkward embarrassment of past secrets becoming public knowledge.”
- Sheila Deeth, author of FLOWER CHILD
"I was truly mesmerized by this book, and I can honestly say that I have never been so blown away by the ending of a novel. I actually felt a painful wrench when I turned the last page of the book as if I was being physically torn away from the Moore family."
-Cindy Taylor, Allbooks Reviews
Please, tell us about For Keeps.
“FOR KEEPS, book three in the award-winning* Moore Mystery series, is another of Lazar's beautifully written mysteries with a paranormal twist. The series is also known as the "green marble" series, courtesy of the unique talisman that links retired family doctor Sam Moore with his long dead little brother, Billy. The books can be read in any order.”
When retired family doctor Sam Moore’s old girlfriend is murdered in a local hotel, the police suspect his involvement. The coroner, a former med school colleague whose husband is about to desert her, reveals that she had a crush on Sam in med school. When she is strangled the next day in her own morgue, Sam is once again in the hot seat.
Sam’s world falls apart when he returns home to find a family member killed in the laundry room, stabbed with his own garden shears. Rocketed into a world of denial and temporary insanity, Sam faces his worst fear, and is locked up in the very same psych ward he was in when his brother Bill died fifty years ago. Sam is determined to ask his long dead brother to help him. Billy, who communicates through a little green marble, has the ability to propel Sam through time and has helped Sam unwrap baffling mysteries in the past.
Sam’s plan: to change time, and bring his loved one back to life.
Is there anything else you'd like to add before we wrap things up?
Thanks so much for having me here today. Amy. It’s been great! I hope your readers will come back during our “free” Kindle days for FOR KEEPS, Sept. 14-16th and also on October 12th and 13th, 2012.
Where can people find you on the web?
Here are my blogs and websites:
www.lazarbooks.com website for all Lazar books
www.mooremysteries.com for all Moore Mysteries
www.murderby4.blogspot.com blog for mystery lovers/writers
www.aaronlazar.blogspot.com personal blog
www.aplazar.gather.com site where I post all my articles
http://aaronlazar.younglivingworld.com essential oil distribution site
www.pureoils.blogspot.com essential oils blog