I love the above graphics...not sure whose work it was, but it...and the review by our friend Natalie, captures Aaron and his writings perfectly.
When did you actually start thinking of yourself as a writer?
When I received my first unsolicited review from Thomas Fortenberry for Double Forté, my first book. It truly validated me and this man totally “got” me. Here’s what Mr. Fortenberry said about DF:
Double Forté, the first of the Gus LeGarde series of mysteries written by Aaron Paul Lazar, is a chilling thriller. But this book is such a far cry from the cliché thrillers of today that it is almost the start of a new genre. This book is thriller, mystery, romance, and literature all at once. I could be done by saying it is just plain good writing, but that doesn’t seem fair for a review. I cannot possibly do it justice, but I will attempt to convey some of the unique majesty of this book. However, I will not be able to mention many specifics of the plot for fear of giving it all away.
This book is set neatly in its own world, a beautiful valley in upstate New York. The world is that of Professor LeGarde, a classical musical instructor. Music informs every part of this novel, from his worldview to the other characters, the scenes and escalation of action, right down to the prose itself. This is a very musical piece of literature with a varied tempo depending upon the scene, its intensity, such as its romance or fear. A very lyrical read.
But, please do not misunderstand me. This is not a fantasy or whimsical bit of fluff. This is a very serious, very intense novel about real characters. Lazar does a fantastic job getting inside the minds and exploring the emotions that drive all the characters. The world is very solid and presented in such a complete way that you become a part of it. We understand these people and why everything in this book occurs. That is a very nice and rare trick for an author to pull.
Double Forté is a refreshing work of handcrafted beauty, even given its nail biting nature. Lazar has crafted an original character in LeGarde, one which I am very glad to learn has an entire series dedicated to him. I strongly recommend this book to all fans of James Patterson, Iris Johanson, and Mary Higgins Clark. You will not be disappointed.
That’s when it clicked and I felt like a “real” writer!
You’re known for weaving multi-plots into your stories that all get tied neatly in the end; how do you come up with these ideas?
Sonia, I often am asked this question by new writers as well as curious readers. Here is what I advise my young writers in the writing guides, Write Like the Wind (volumes 1-3):
Look around you. The world is crammed with topics. Watch your favorite movies. Dissect them, list the ideas that stir your imagination, and make an inventory of your favorite themes. Is it unrequited love? Time travel? Gentle giants falsely accused? Delicious twists that shock and surprise? Spunky lady cops who save the day? Heroic animals? Fantastical fairies? Gritty city secrets?
Keep your ears open. Listen to news stories. The often unfathomable, sometimes horrific accounts will stir your creative juices. Imagine a twist on them. Then twist it again and change its literary color or scent. Don’t worry if it’s been done before. Just put your mark on it and write it with passion.
Tune in to real life dramas at work, church, or school. Think about your friend whose wife died from a rare complication of a cardiac virus, your cousin who suffers from depression, your daughter whose college boyfriend from Albania is suddenly deported. Real life is fertile and rich. It’s full of angst, splendor, terror, and adventure. It offers a mosaic of ideas, and waits for you to pluck your new favorites to mix and match into a dynamic storyline.
Last of all: read, particularly from your genre. Read incessantly. Read in the grocery store line. Read at the doctors. Read at the Laundromat. Read while you wait for the kids after soccer practice. Read before you go to sleep at night. It’s not only the best way to charge up your imagination. Sitting at the virtual feet of the masters of the craft is the best way to learn to write.
Do you work on an outline or plot or do you prefer to see where the idea takes you?
I have a rough idea of where I’d like to see the book go in the beginning, but it’s all in my head. I’ll picture an opening chapter, perhaps the highpoint of the action, and will decide in advance where the book will take place. Then I just start writing. The only time I make an outline is after I write the book to double check on my timelines, etc. ;o)
Are any of the characters in your books based on anyone you know?
Absolutely, Sonia. I base many of my characters on lost loved ones, like my grandparents and my father. Gus LeGarde is based on my father and me. Oscar and Millie Stone are inspired by my maternal grandparents. And Maddy (Camille’s mother and Gus’s secretary) is the spitting image of my paternal grandmother. Even Sid, who appears only in a few cameos, is based on my paternal grandfather. And my leading ladies are all loosely based on my dear wife, Dale. There’s some of Dale in Elsbeth, Camille, and Rachel Moore.
Are any of the experiences/events in your books based on personal ones?
Except for the villains, almost every experience is based on something I lived or an event that touched me deeply in real life. Even the travel to Europe in Mazurka was based on real life experiences. Minus the neo-Nazis, of course!
To read the start of this interview, click on the following:
Stay tuned....more to follow!