What They Say
“You do not have to explain every single drop of water contained in a rain barrel. You have to explain one drop—H2O. The reader will get it.”
Aaron Paul Lazar writes to soothe his soul. A bestselling Kindle author of 22 books, including three addictive mystery series, writing books, and a new love story, Aaron enjoys the Genesee Valley countryside in upstate New York, where his characters embrace life, play with their dogs and grandkids, grow sumptuous gardens, and chase bad guys. Visit his website at http://www.lazarbooks.com and watch for his upcoming release, UNDER THE ICE. Aaron has won over 18 book awards for his novels and finds writing to be his form of "cheap therapy." Feel free to connect with him on Facebook or his website; he loves to connect with readers.
HONORABLE MENTION Eric Hoffer 2013 GRAND PRIZE * FINALIST 2013 EPIC Book Awards * FINALIST 2012 FOREWORD BOOK OF THE YEAR AWARDS * Finalist DaVinci Eye Cover Award 2013 * WINNER 2011 EPIC Book Awards, BEST Paranormal * FINALIST 2011 FOREWORD BOOK AWARDS * WINNER 2011 Eric Hoffer BEST Book, COMMERCIAL FICTION *Carolyn Howard-Johnson's Top 10 Reads for 2012 * 2X FINALIST Global eBook Awards 2011 * Preditors & Editors Readers Choice Award – 2nd place 2011* Carolyn Howard-Johnson’s Top 10 Books of 2012 * Winner of Carolyn Howard-Johnson’s 9th Annual Noble (Not Nobel!) Prize for Literature 2011 * Finalist Allbooks Editor’s Choice Awards 2011 * Preditors&Editors Top 10 Finalist * Yolanda Renée's Top Ten Books 2008* MYSHELF Top Ten Reads 2008 * Writer’s Digest Top 101 Website Award 2009-2012
Contact Aaron at aaron(dot)lazar(at)yahoo.com.
Voodoo Summer (LeGarde Mysteries Book 11)
Available now at Amazon.com
Every family has its secrets…
Summer, 1966: For thirteen-year-old Gus LeGarde, summertime always means Loon Harbor, his grandparents’ idyllic fishing resort on Great Pond. The season is a grand tradition of swimming, boating, and new adventures with his best friends, twins Siegfried and Elsbeth. But this summer, everything changes when a new lodge down the shore threatens the resort—and triggers a chain of events that will transform Gus and his friends forever.
Pre-order The Seacroft.
The Seacroft: a love story (Paines Creek Beach Book 2)
1, Aaron Paul Lazar - Amazon.com
Falling for the wrong guy can be hazardous to your heart. Vivian Wood is desperate. After her beloved brother dies of a sudden aneurism 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 ...
Books by multi-award winning, Kindle bestselling author, Aaron Lazar:
DOUBLE FORTÉ (print, eBook, audio book)
UPSTAGED (print, eBook, audio book)
TREMOLO: CRY OF THE LOON (print, eBook, audio book)
MAZURKA (print, eBook, audio book)
FIRESONG (print, eBook, audio book)
DON’T LET THE WIND CATCH YOU (print, eBook, audio book)
THE LIARS’ GALLERY (print, eBook, audio book)
SPIRIT ME AWAY (print, eBook, audio book)
UNDER THE ICE: COUNTERPOINT (coming soon 2015)
LADY BLUES (print, eBook, audio book)
HEALEY'S CAVE (print, eBook, audio book)
TERROR COMES KNOCKING (print, eBook, audio book)
FOR KEEPS (print, eBook, audio book)
TALL PINES MYSTERIES
FOR THE BIRDS (print, eBook, audio book)
ESSENTIALLY YOURS (print, eBook, audio book)
SANCTUARY (print, eBook, audio book)
BETRAYAL (print, eBook, audio book)
THE SEACREST (print, eBook, and audio book)
DEVIL’S LAKE (print, eBook, and audio book)
DEVIL’S CREEK (coming soon)
by Aaron Paul Lazar, author of the LeGarde Mystery Series.
Illustration © 2006 GinELF
"The Dreaded Synopsis" Copyright © 2016 Aaron Paul Lazar. All rights reserved.
Excerpt from Write Like the Wind volume 2 by Aaron Paul Lazar. Re-printed by permission of the author.
The Dreaded Synopsis
What's the hardest thing you've ever had to write?
All right, come on, now. You know it's not that novel. Or the apology letter to the nerdy kid you bullied in high school. Or maybe the I-forgive-you letter from the nerdy kid to the bully.
It wasn't the last chapter of your masterpiece, or even the first chapter. Those things, though they can be brutal, are also fun to write.
Aren't they? In a semi-masochistic way?
What about your query letters?
Sure. They can be murder. You have to squish everything into a one-page brilliant piece that not only summarizes you, your writing credentials and your current book. And on top of that, you need to capture that famous agent's attention in a millisecond so that he or she picks up the phone to nab you right on the spot.
That's a challenge, to be sure.
But in my humble opinion, the hardest writing assignment of all is the book synopsis.
Whether it's a 150-word back-of-the-book blurb, a 75-word teaser for an advertisement, or a full three-page summary intended to snag a potential publisher, it can take more massaging and editing than any well-crafted paragraph you've ever had to pen.
Now that I’ve written a fair amount of books, I’ve become a bit more accustomed to writing synopses. I usually start with a complete version (about a page or two), which frequently include “plot spoilers.” Here are some examples from Book #1 in my newest mystery series, Tall Pines Mysteries. Don’t worry! No plot spoilers are included. I’ve shown you how I cut from one longer synopsis to a short logline, just to give you ideas on how to approach your own task.
For the Birds, 250 word synopsis
No one could accuse Marcella Hollister's family of being normal. Her gorgeous Native American husband, Quinn, has a compulsive cleaning problem—which works for her, since she gets a pass on housework. Her mother, who insists on being called Thelma, loves picking on Quinn. And then there's Ruby. Sometimes Marcella isn't sure who Quinn loves more, his wife or his prized parakeet. Fortunately she loves the bird as much as her dust-busting husband.
While mourning the death of her stepfather, Raoul, Marcella and family head for the prestigious Adirondack National Bird Show for a much-needed vacation and with hopes that Ruby will win the coveted “best new color” class. But when Thelma trips and falls into a hotel pool with Ruby, dragging a line of twinkling lights with her, plans change. Electricity zaps through the water. Thelma and Ruby barely survive the ordeal, and a bizarre psychic link forms between them.
Eccentric bird mystic, Earl Tiramisu, starts to pester Marcella, and things get weird when he asks too many questions about her stepfather and his past. When Thelma is kidnapped from her hospital bed, the FBI shows up faster than expected, asking questions about Thelma’s recent inheritance from Raoul, implying that it may be linked to the Green Valley Bank heist – the largest unsolved robbery in U.S. history.
Through mountains, rivers, and across the rugged Adirondack park landscape, a brutal scenario evolves, where the good guys aren’t what they seem, and only Ruby’s newly acquired “Thelma-vision” provides hope for survival.
For the Birds, 200 word back cover text
No one could accuse Marcella Hollister’s family of being normal. Her gorgeous Native American husband, Quinn, has a compulsive cleaning problem—which works for her, since she gets a pass on housework. Her mother, who insists on being called Thelma, lives to irritate her husband. And then, there’s Ruby. Sometimes Marcella’s not sure who Quinn loves more…his wife, or his prize parakeet.
After Marcella’s beloved stepfather passes away, leaving a sizable inheritance, the family heads to the scenic Adirondacks for a much-needed vacation at the prestigious Adirondack National Bird Show. But things soon take a strange turn—a bizarre accident involving Thelma, Ruby, and an electrified hotel pool has Thelma asking for crackers and Ruby suddenly spouting Thelma’s favorite phrases.
Then Thelma is kidnapped—and Marcella learns that the inheritance her stepfather left may be connected to the largest unsolved bank heist in U.S. history.
Now Marcella and Quinn must contend with an eccentric bird psychic, mysterious white vans, aggressive FBI agents, and a dangerous chase through the mountains as they rush to find her mother, with only Ruby’s newly acquired “Thelma-vision” to guide them. Can they uncover the secrets buried with her stepfather before it’s too late?
For the Birds, 50 word synopsis
What happens when a parakeet named Ruby gets an unexpected mind-meld with Marcella Hollister’s quarrelsome mother, Thelma? When Thelma’s kidnapped, Marcella must find her—somewhere in the six-million-acre Adirondack Park. Marcella’s perseverance coupled with Ruby’s new talent offer the only hope for rescue, until the shocking truth is revealed.
For the Birds, 25 Word Advertising Blurb:
Treasure. Secrets. A 50-year-old unsolved bank heist. See Marcella run for her life in For the Birds, a wild rollercoaster ride through the Adirondacks.
I hope those examples help you craft your own synopses. Can you see how I cut out whole themes to make the synopsis shorter in some cases? It’s very difficult to capture all of the plot elements in a summary, especially if you have a complex book with multiple strings. So you just have to pick the most appealing ideas, and go with them.
If you have a finished manuscript and you haven’t written a synopsis yet, why not give it a try? It's a good exercise. Shoot for something from 50 to 175 words and keep it handy for when you begin to market your book.
Aaron Paul Lazar
WRITE LIKE THE WIND, volumes 1, 2, 3 (audio books)
Aaron Paul Lazar writes to soothe his soul. An award-winning, bestselling Kindle author of three addictive mystery series, thrillers, love stories, and writing guides, Aaron enjoys the Genesee Valley countryside in upstate New York, where his characters embrace life, play with their dogs and grandkids, grow sumptuous gardens, and chase bad guys. Visit his website at http://www.lazarbooks.com and watch for his upcoming releases, UNDER THE ICE (2015) and DEVIL’S CREEK (2015). Aaron has won over 18 book awards for his novels and finds writing to be his form of "cheap therapy." Feel free to connect with him on Facebook or his website; he loves to connect with readers!