Seedlings by Aaron Paul Lazar

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.”
—George Singleton


Aaron Paul Lazar

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.


SEMI-FINALIST Kindle Book Review Awards 2015
FINALIST Readers Favorites Awards 2013
SEMI-FINALIST Kindle Book Review Awards 2013, Mystery Category
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 2008MYSHELF Top Ten Reads 2008  * Writer’s Digest Top 101 Website Award 2009-2012

Contact Aaron at aaron(dot)lazar(at)yahoo.com.

 

Books by multi-award winning, Kindle bestselling author, Aaron Lazar:

LEGARDE MYSTERIES

LeGarde Mysteries

DOUBLE FORTÉ (print, eBook, audio book)
UPSTAGED (print, eBook, audio book)  
MAZURKA (print, eBook, audio book)
FIRESONG (print, eBook, audio book)
TREMOLO: CRY OF THE LOON (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: forget-me-not (print, eBook, audio book)
VOODOO SUMMER ( print, eBook, audio book)

GREEN MARBLE MYSTERIES

Green Marble Mysteries

The Disappearance of Billy Moore (formerly Healey's Cave) (print, eBook, audio book)
TERROR COMES KNOCKING (print, eBook, audio book)
FOR KEEPS (print, eBook, audio book)

TALL PINES MYSTERIES

Tall Pines Mysteries Series

FOR THE BIRDS (print, eBook, audio book)
ESSENTIALLY YOURS (print, eBook, audio book)
SANCTUARY (print, eBook, audio book)
BETRAYAL (print, eBook, audio book)

PAINES CREEK BEACH SERIES

Paines Creek Beach Series

THE SEACREST (print, eBook, and audio book)
THE SEACROFT (print, eBook, audio book)
THE SEADOG (print, eBook, audio book)

 

 

Seedlings
by Aaron Paul Lazar, author of the LeGarde Mystery Series.

picture

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Illustration © 2006 GinELF

February 2019

"Plotting – where do you get your ideas?" Copyright © 2017 Aaron Paul Lazar. All rights reserved.
Excerpt from Write Like the Wind volume 3 by Aaron Paul Lazar. Re-printed by permission of the author.

Write Like the Wind volume 2 by Aaron Paul Lazar

Reading Aloud to Audiences

Note: I have done a gazillion live readings since I was a newbie author. And I do love it. I thought you might get a kick out of this article I wrote back in 2005 about how it felt to read aloud from my own books to an audience for the first time. Perhaps if you’re in the same position, you might get some encouragement from this.


When I was asked to be the featured speaker at the Wadsworth Library’s annual meeting in Geneseo, New York, I froze.

This is it.

My gut clenched. My complexion paled. My palms sweated in anticipation.

I’d been dreading a request to do a reading since my first book came out that. Now, with the second already on the electronic stands, time was running out.

Although I’m a seasoned speaker in the world of R&D engineering – this was different. I wouldn’t be spouting facts and figures or pointing to Power Point charts as I expounded about the virtues of one toner versus another. I’d be speaking the words that had rushed from my soul. Out loud. In front of strangers, no less.

I had one month to select a passage and to practice it. The questions reeled through my brain.

How does a writer prepare for a reading from his own work? We aren’t actors, we’re authors. Right?

And which judiciously chosen chapters would lend themselves to reading aloud in addition to faithfully representing the work? Oh, and by the way, after all’s said and done, it’d be nice to sell a few books, wouldn’t it? So, the selection also needed to entice prospective readers.

I began by choosing between my two published books. Double Forté had been out for a while. It’s the founding book of the LeGarde Mystery Series and it has merit. But Upstaged was fresh and new. Besides, it is a theatrical mystery – and here I was, about to go up “on stage.” The parallels shouted at me, begging to be used. Cute phrases leapt to my fingertips. I could “set the stage” for the book, while I “sat on the stage.”

The book was chosen. Now, which chapters would work? I wanted to find a scene that would leave listeners breathless, but would also showcase my imagery and dialogue, without giving too much away.

How does one tantalize, without revealing too much? The search became a dance, a quest for balance.

I chose chapters from all sections of Upstaged. I practiced on my writer friends at work. (We meet for lunch frequently and often share our writings.) I pinned them down to their chairs and they listened. And listened.

Some of the pieces seemed too tough to read out of context. Too much explanation was needed to prepare the audience. And others, while revealing my lovely characters, seemed too slow and schmaltzy. Sure, I have romance and deep conversations in the series. But it’s also peppered with spine tingling chase scenes. How could I combine both in a fifteen-minute session?

I considered reading a few chapters that weren’t contiguous. I quickly discarded the idea. There was too much explaining required.

After futzing around with this for several lunchtime sessions, one of my friends suggested the “Halloween Party” scene. There’s some humor, romance, playful dialogue, and vivid imagery. Best of all, it ends in a fierce fight scene in the high school gym.

I tried it, and it worked. I read this fifteen-minute segment over and over and over again. Out loud, naturally, and in front of my very patient friends.

Reading aloud is entirely different than reading to oneself. When I read my work silently, the words flow. It’s effortless. My mind integrates the sentences into whole thoughts. But reading aloud is a whole different world. The lips and tongue need to learn how to wrap around the phrases with meaning and clarity. Try it, if you haven’t. It also helps to tighten the work. Believe it or not, I’ve now taken to reading aloud as the final step in my edits. The writing becomes even more natural. It’s become an essential tool in my arsenal to purge the prose of those nasty adverbs that slow down the action or those prepositional phrases that are just excess baggage.

I kept reading aloud as the big day approached. I read over the weekend, to my wife. As I did so, I heard my daughter’s drama coach in the back of my mind. She’d tell me to emphasize this word or that, to let my voice crescendo in the action scenes, to lean forward when I was excited, to fall back when at the denouement. I started to apply all of the techniques I’d subconsciously absorbed while watching my daughter and her friends in the theater, while reading my theatrical mystery. While on stage in front of an audience. It was luscious, deliciously apropos.

Finally, the big night arrived. I showed up an hour early to discover a beautifully designed “set.” Of course, I’d met in advance with the organizer of the event. We discussed the program and I provided examples of my bookmarks, flyers, and handouts. She asked what type of environment would make me most comfortable. I responded with “casual and homey” as my preference. I didn’t want to stand at a podium with rows and rows of “students” in the wings.

A comfortable wicker armchair sat center stage. Draped with a plush throw, it was flanked by a basket of books and a tall floor lamp. An occasional table, with a vase of flowers, graced a small Oriental rug. It was perfect.

The signing table was decorated for fall with pumpkins and amber candles. I set up my table, including the freebies and photographs of the Genesee Valley. Then, I waited. I drank water, paced, and chatted with the early arrivals. Finally, it was time to go on.

Twenty-five people showed up to listen to me read. The room lights were extinguished. The floor lamp was turned up. The cozy living room environment came to life.

I stared out at the sea of friendly faces. I acknowledged the introduction, thanked my host (of course, I’d supplied my bio weeks ahead of time), and began.

I gave a short, folksy hello, read the summaries from the back covers of the first two books in the series, and then paused. I waited, preparing as an actor does before his monologue. I sat still, breathed, and waited a little bit more. Finally, I started – trying to smooth the words into a flowing, melodic stream. I changed voices for the characters. I let jealousy infuse my voice when Gus was smitten by the green monster. I let my voice crack when Molly apologized to her beau who was nearly killed by a psycho rival. When the action scene came, I sat forward in the chair and spoke louder, faster. I let the excitement show. I shouted when my character shouted. Not a fake shout – a real one. And I sat back down when the action slowed during the denouement. My voice softened, the pace slowed.

I peered over the top of my reading glasses to check the audience, especially when there was a humorous or especially meaningful passage. The watched and listened with shining faces. Eyes were riveted on me, smiles danced in their eyes. They laughed in the right places. They seemed to be engrossed. To hang on my every word. My deepest fears were unfounded. Okay, there was one mom who fell asleep in the front row, but she ended up buying both books, so I wasn’t mortally wounded.

When the reading was over, I glowed. Me, a guy who always said he was more comfortable backstage than in the spotlight. I’d held my audience in the palm of my hand, and I’d loved it.

When it was all over, I released a satisfied sigh and answered questions for twenty minutes. Great questions—which allowed me to do my favorite thing—talk about my characters and books. I let myself be myself: humble, passionate, and sad. I even talked about the death of my father, who inspired the LeGarde series, in spite of the lump in my throat.

But, stop we did. I migrated to the table and signed a good number of books. Proceeds were donated to the library fund.

The night I’d feared ended in success. I surprised myself. Big time. And it was a blast.

So, if you’ve got your first reading set up and are feeling nervous, don’t be. Practice until you’re comfortable, communicate with the host of the event so there are no surprises, and go get ‘em.

Aaron Paul Lazar
www.lazarbooks.com


Write Like the Wind cover artwork

WRITING ADVICE: 

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!

 

 

Bittersweet Hollow series by Aaron Paul Lazar

BITTERSWEET HOLLOW Romantic Suspense Series

DEVIL’S LAKE (print, eBook, and audio book)
DEVIL’S CREEK (print, eBook, and audio book)
DEVILS SPRING (print, eBook, and audio book)

"Loved this book! DEVIL'S LAKE is a riveting read, and It could have been ripped from today's headlines." Joan Hall Hovey, Canada's best selling, award-winning Mistress of Suspense.
- 2015 Finalist Readers Favorites Awards
- 2015 Semi-finalist Kindle Book Review Awards