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Aaron Paul Lazar wasn't always a mystery writer. It wasn't until eight members of his 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."
Lazar created the Gus LeGarde mystery series, with the founding novel, DOUBLE FORTÉ (2004), a chilling winter mystery set in the Genesee Valley of upstate New York. Like Lazar's 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." This book has since be rereleased in 2012 as an "author's preferred edition," via Twilight Times Books.
The creation of the series lent Lazar the comfort he sought, yet in the process, a new passion was unleashed. Obsessed with his parallel universe, he now lives, breathes, and dreams about his characters, and has 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 - 2013, VIRTUOSO - 2014, with more to come.) The author has just completed his twenty-first novel.
One day while rototilling his gardens, Lazar unearthed a green cat's eye marble, which prompted the new paranormal mystery series featuring Sam Moore, retired country doctor and passionate gardener. The green marble, a powerful talisman, connects all three of the books in the series, whisking Sam back in time to uncover his brother's dreadful fate fifty years earlier. (HEALEY'S CAVE, 2010; TERROR COMES KNOCKING, 2011; FOR KEEPS, 2012) Lazar intends to continue both series.
Lazar's books feature breathless chase scenes, nasty villains, and taut suspense, but are also intensely human stories, replete with kids, dogs, horses, food, romance, and humor. The author calls them, "country mysteries," although reviewers have dubbed them "literary mysteries."
"It seems as though every image ever impressed upon my brain finds its way into my work. Whether it's the light dancing through stained-glass windows in a Parisian chapel, curly slate-green lichen covering a boulder at the edge of a pond in Maine, or hoarfrost dangling from a cherry tree branch in mid-winter, these images burrow into my memory cells. In time they bubble back, persistently itching, until they are poured out on the page."
In 2009, Kodak gave him up for grabs, and during the year off before he landed in his coveted new job with KB America, he had time to explore and reconnect with his environment. Little did he know that several trips to the Adirondack Mountains would reawaken his passion for that part of the country. Two new books were written in that time frame, starting yet another mystery series, Tall Pines Mysteries. The first two combooks in the series, FOR THE BIRDS - 2011 and ESSENTIALLY YOURS - 2012 have been winning literary awards. Keep an eye out for SANCTUARY (2014), and MURDER ON THE SACANDAGA (2015), coming via Twilight Times Books.
In between all the novels, Lazar found time to issue three writing guides based on his many years of writing advice blogs, entitled WRITE LIKE THE WIND, volumes 1-3. These are available in eBook and audio book.
In his twenty-first book, Lazar has jumped genre. THE SEACREST - OCT 2013 -, a love story, is poised to capture hearts across the globe.
The author lives on a ridge overlooking the Genesee Valley in upstate New York with his wife, mother-in-law, two dogs, and cat. He finds grandfathering one of the most precious and important times of life, and spends as much time as possible with Julian, Gordon, and Isabella.
Lazar maintains several websites and blogs, was the Gather Saturday Writing Essential host for three years, writes his monthly "Seedlings" columns for the Voice in the Dark literary journal and the Future Mystery Anthology Magazine. He has been published in Absolute Write as well as The Great Mystery and Suspense Magazine. See excerpts and reviews here:
What makes you proud to be a writer from Geneseo? I was drawn to the Finger Lakes/Genesee Valley region of New York way back in 1981 when I moved here with my wife as a young man. The bucolic splendor of this region is unmatched elsewhere - with its pristine lakes, rolling hills, fields and woods... it not only attracted me as a great place to raise kids, but it has become integral to most of my novels as a backdrop for families, heroes, and villains.
What or who inspired you to become a writer? I've always been a voracious mystery reader, ever since childhood. And it seemed a natural extension for me to begin writing that which I loved. Although I didn't plan to write seriously until the kids were grown and I was retired, I unexpectedly needed an outlet to my grief when my father passed suddenly. Writing was the key, the outlet, the cheap therapy that helped me move forward. Once I started writing, I couldn't stop. Twenty-five books later and I'm still obsessed with my parallel universe(s).
Did your environment or upbringing play a major role in your writing and did you use it to your advantage? Absolutely. My parents read mysteries every day and raised me in a beautiful country environment in which I learned to appreciate music, art, nature, animals, gardening, and more. I've brought all of this into my real life as a father/grandfather and also into my characters' lives.
When did you begin writing with the intention of becoming published? It's funny, but I wrote five books before I even thought I ought to try to get them published. I wrote for me, for my own release, and enjoyed the pleasure my books brought to friends and family, but it wasn't until years later that I delved into the whole publishing/promotion world.
What has been your most rewarding experience with your writing process? My life has been blessed, but also filled with lots of serious trials, including extensive family health issues. In addition to hopefully providing my readers with some armchair travel, it has also provided me with a great sense of power in a world where I have no power whatsoever. I can't control real life, but I can control the lives of my characters, and that feels very good!
What has been your most rewarding experience in your publishing journey? I have had the pleasure of my readers sharing their reactions to my characters. One said he'd learned how to "be a better father," another said my books "got him through his chemo", and yet another said her dying mother was comforted when she read my books aloud to her. Those kinds of remarks make me incredibly humbled.
How many published books do you have? Twenty-four with the twenty-fifth almost ready to go. (Three are nonfiction writing guides).
Please list the titles of all your books with one Amazon purchase link:
1. Double Forte
10. Lady Blues
1. The Disappearance Of Billy Moore (Formerly Healey’s Cave)
3. For Keeps
1. The Seacrest
2. The Seacroft
3. The Seadog (Coming in 2016)
***Warning: includes sensual love scenes, for adults only.
1. Devil’s Lake
3. DEVIL’S SPRING (Coming in 2016)
Writing Advice (Genre: Writing Guides)
Write Like The Wind (Volumes 1, 2, 3)
Please List Your Awards:
* 2012 ForeWord BOTYA, Mystery, FINALIST
Tremolo: Cry Of The Loon:
* 2013 Eric Hoffer Book Awards: Grand Prize Short List
* 2013 Eric Hoffer Book Awards: Honorable Mention, Eric Hoffer Legacy Fiction
* 2011 Global eBook Award Finalist in Historical Fiction Contemporary
* 2011 Preditors & Editors Readers Choice Award - 2nd place Mystery
* 2008 Yolanda Renée's Top Ten Books
* 2008 MYSHELF Top Ten Reads
For The Birds
* 2011 ForeWord Book Awards, FINALIST in Mystery
* 2012 Carolyn Howard-Johnson's Top 10 Reads
* 2013 EPIC Book Awards, FINALIST in Suspense
* 2013 Eric Hoffer Da Vinci Eye Award Finalist
* 2012 EPIC Book Awards WINNER Best Paranormal
* 2011 Eric Hoffer Book Award, WINNER Best Book in Commercial Fiction
* 2011 Finalist for Allbooks Review Editor's Choice
* 2011 Winner of Carolyn Howard Johnson's 9th Annual Noble (not Noble!) Prize for Literature
* 2011 Finalists for Global EBook Awards
Terror Comes Knocking
* 2013 Global Ebook Awards, Paranormal - Bronze
* 2013 Semi Finalist in Kindle Book Review Book Awards, Mystery Category
Do you come up with your title(s) before or after you write the manuscript? Usually after I write the book - I try to incorporate all the themes of the book in some sense in the titles. ;o) Once in a while the title comes up earlier.
Please introduce your genre and why you prefer to write in that genre? Most of my books are mysteries, but in the past few years I've branched out to romantic suspense and love stories. My heart has always pounded when there's a mystery involved, so even in my romances I tend to include a bit of mystery!
What was your inspiration, spark or light bulb moment that inspired you to write the book (one book) that you are seeking promotion for? My wife insisted that I write a love story, "like Nicholas Sparks." At first I laughed, because I'd never gone beyond mysteries (some with a touch of the paranormal). I didn't know much about Nicholas Sparks' work, but I gave the "love story" bit a shot and The Seacrest was the result. Paines Creek Beach series, wasn't supposed to be a series at all. As a matter of fact, I already had FOUR other series and wasn't sure I could keep up with them all! But after I wrote The Seacrest: a love story, which is based on Cape Cod, near a beautiful beach named Paines Creek, I yearned for the sun and sand and comfort of the waves lapping at my feet. Also, my readers were driving me crazy for more of these characters. I gave in, and started to write The Seacroft: a love story. I kept the same characters who'd been through hell and back to keep each other, but moved forward in time to feature a young man who was 15 at the end of the last chapter in The Seacrest. His name is Cody, he's 21 now, and he works at a twin mansion down the beach called The Seacroft. I chose to use the names of two very hardworking authors who are great friends and promoters of others who have been a wonderful support system to me. Uvi Poznansky graciously agreed to let me use her first name for the villainous, exotic mistress of the mansion. I used Vivian Drewa's first name for my heroine, Vivian Wood, as a nod to her for all her hard work. Now I am almost done with book 3, The Seadog, which will be out in a few months). I guess I just can't stop writing series no matter what my intentions!
What one positive piece of advice would you give to other authors? Listen to the voices around you, and write like you talk.
Who is your favorite author and why? John D. MacDonald is my all time favorite. I fell in love with his series about Travis McGee and the mysteries he solved and also loved his writing style. I also adore Dick Francis, Laurie R King, Dean Koontz, and many more.
Which book title would you like featured in this interview? The Seacroft.
If you are a multi-book author please tell me three of YOUR favorite (published) book titles: This is like choosing your favorite children) but I will try! Don't Let the Wind Catch You, Essentially Yours, and The Disappearance of Billy Moore.
From the award-winning series that started with The Seacrest, comes book 2, The Seacroft.
Falling for the wrong guy can be hazardous to your heart.
Vivian Wood is desperate. After her beloved brother dies of a sudden aneurysm and her mother develops Alzheimer’s, she needs a good job and a place to stay. She finds it at The Seacroft, a Cape Cod seaside mansion ruled by a mysterious and demanding woman looking for a personal assistant.
Vivian soon discovers that being broke and having to deal with her cranky new boss are not her only problems. The gardener at The Seacroft, Cody McGraw, is young, gorgeous, and the bane of her existence—until she starts falling for him.
But Vivian isn’t the only one captivated by Cody’s charms. Their sultry employer quickly takes an interest in him—and the developing relationship between Cody and Vivian is threatened by the loss of their jobs and more, should they upset The Seacroft’s exotic mistress.
Set against the breathtaking backdrop of the Cape, The Seacroft is a steamy story of difficult choices, heart-wrenching sacrifice, and the ultimate salvation of love.
Paines Creek Beach series
Book 1: The Seacrest
Book 2: The Seacroft
The Seadog (Coming in 2016)
Warning: Includes Sensual Love Scenes (for adults only).
When young Gus LeGarde befriends Tully, a cranky old hermit in the woods who speaks to an Indian spirit, he wonders if the man is nuts. But when the spirit rattles tin cups, draws on dusty mirrors, and flips book pages, pestering him to find evidence to avenge her past, things change fast. What Gus doesn’t understand is why his mother hates Tully and forbids him to see the old man. What could Tully have possibly done to earn this distrust?
Faced with long-buried family secrets and danger, Gus summons courage beyond his years in this poignant and powerful telling of the sultry summer of 1965.
Marcella’s first love has been MIA for eighteen years. Callie, her best friend and Sky’s sister, flips out when a mysterious package from Sky arrives on her doorstep. Inside his old backpack are bottles of precious essential oils, a memory stick, and a bag of emeralds. Are these his final effects? Or is Sky alive?
When Marcella’s husband Quinn hears about it, his jealousy spikes. He and Marcella have been married for seven years, and he’s not about to let some punk from the past mess that up.
Drug company goons want the data on the memory stick, because it links a newly discovered essential oil with a leukemia cure. They kidnap Callie, hoping to lure Sky into the open. Marcella and Quinn track her to the wilderness of the Adirondack Mountains, where against all odds they fight to save Callie and preserve the proof that could change the world.
"...Lazar’s mystery offers an original and offbeat aspect of the genre that will hold your interest and increase your curiosity to look forward to the next book in the series."
Warren Adler, author of The War of the Roses, Random Hearts and other novels and short story collections
"...Aaron Paul Lazar’s novel Essentially Yours will keep you feverishly turning pages not only to find out what happens next, but to bathe in the sensuality of his vivid descriptions that draw you into his story and keep you there through all the excitement and fear and romance."
Joan Hall Hovey, author of The Abduction of Mary Rose
2012 EPIC Book Awards WINNER Best Paranormal
2011 Eric Hoffer Book Award, WINNER Best Book in Commercial Fiction
Fifty years ago, Sam Moore’s little brother Billy vanished without a trace—leaving Sam with guilt that haunts him to this day.
Fifty years with no body, no leads, and no answers. Until now.
When Sam unearths a mysterious green marble buried in his garden, he’s shocked to find himself transported back in time—to Billy. Whisked between past and present with no warning, and receiving only glimpses of their childhood, he struggles to unlock the secret of his brother’s fate.
But the marble isn’t the only secret the ground holds. Further digging uncovers human remains—the legacy of a serial killer who’s been targeting one boy every five years since Billy vanished. The next five-year mark is coming up fast. And now, Sam’s grandson may be in the killer’s sights.
Can Sam tie the past with the present and unravel the mystery of his brother’s disappearance—before the killer strikes again?
(Formerly Entitled HEALEY'S CAVE: A SAM MOORE MYSTERY)