What They Say
“Plot is people. Human emotions and desires founded on the realities of life, working at cross purposes, getting hotter and fiercer as they strike against each other until finally there’s an explosion—that’s Plot.”
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
Excerpt from Write Like the Wind Volume 1 by Aaron Paul Lazar.
"How to Help Budding Authors (without killing their spirits)" Copyright © 2016 Aaron Paul Lazar. All rights reserved.
Excerpt from Write Like the Wind volume 1 by Aaron Paul Lazar. Re-printed by permission of the author.
How to Help Budding Authors (without killing their spirits)
If you’re a published author, chances are you’ve been asked a hundred times to critique or review a newbie’s book. They might ask to send you a first draft, or sometimes they’ll ask you to endorse them by writing a blurb for their book cover. Frequently, they may be angling for an introduction to your publisher or agent.
How do you respond? You were in that position once upon a time. You remember how hard and confusing the whole industry was to understand. How scared you were of rejection and failure. Right?
So, if you have a little extra time, you might be willing to take a look. But be careful what you promise, because no matter how great or awful you expect this book to be, you could inadvertently fall into a time-consuming nightmare.
I love to help new writers. I really do. And I try like heck to make time to read and comment on a few pages of their manuscripts. I usually ask to see a page or two before I make any promises to review or endorse. But sometimes I’m just in a nice mood and agree without thinking. This can be a mistake if the writing ends up being abysmal.
When I’ve read the first few sentences, I’ll know if I’m dealing with a well-trained writer or a rank beginner. When it’s the former, I read on with glee, making small suggestions where necessary. When it’s the latter, I usually put in an hour or so with deep edits, adding careful comments about grammar, sentence structure, skills needed, etc. It’s a lot of work, but I do believe in giving back after so many writers helped me in the beginning of my career, so it’s all good.
I have done this more times than I can remember, and I believe (hope) these efforts have helped.
It’s really hard when both the story and the writing skills are lacking. But I always try to find something nice to say, followed by a gentle but honest list of suggestions.
Here is an example of a recent letter I wrote, trying to accomplish what I refer to above. (All names are fictitious).
Thank you for letting me take a look at the first chapter of your book, The Biggest Boy on the Block. I know it takes a great deal of courage to "open up" to the world after working so hard on your book, and I am honored that you trusted me to do so.
I've gone through a few pages and marked them up with writing advice. I've suggested grammar, sentence structure, and alternate word choices, etc. Please don't be discouraged by all the markups, because in the beginning all writers need to learn these skills, and it just takes time. It took Dean Koontz time, it took me time, and it'll take you time, too.
You have a wonderful imagination, and I can see your mind is very fertile. You've created fun characters and an interesting setting. Although I don't normally enjoy urban street crime novels, it was interesting to see how you set it up. I liked the way you moved your readers into the story through the old man’s memories.
Now for the hard part. Please take this in the generous spirit in which it's intended, okay?
Your book (including formatting) needs quite a bit of work before you submit it to agents or publishers.
You might consider a few things to help you move to the next level where you'll be able to compete with the thousands of authors also trying to "break through." Following are some possibilities.
1) Join some writing forums and ask for critiques from fellow writers. But be careful of this, however, because sometimes there are very nasty people who like to tear down other writers. Check it out and see what kind of comments they make. Be sure they are decent people who use constructive criticism.
2) Befriend a few writers in your genre and swap chapters or books with them on a regular basis. You can learn from each other and this is a win-win situation if you choose the right partner.
3) Hire a writing coach (if you can afford it), or better yet, take some community courses on creative writing.
4) Read constantly. Find and read at least 50-100 books in your genre. With Kindle deals these days, you can probably find most of them for free or 99 cents. I have newsletters I subscribe to where you can sign up to get daily notifications of free or discounted eBooks, targeted to your genre. Let me know if you want the list. I get these “deal alerts” in my email inbox and search for the most interesting books I can get for free or cheap. Even though as a writer it sometimes bothers me that it's come to this, as a reader, I love it. I would recommend you spend the next year or two devouring books as fast as you can. Listen to the voices of these authors and learn from them. (Another way to accomplish this is #5.)
5) Audiobooks. You can download the files to your Kindle (Fire), iPad, iPod, PC, laptop, smart phone, etc. just like music files. No more messing with CDs or going to the library to pick up and drop off. You just join Audible.com and you're in. That way you can listen while you drive, work, do dishes, exercise, etc. I even listen while I do laundry. I now get many more books in my head every week, thanks to audiobooks.
6) Last of all, I would buy some basic grammar and writing books. Better yet, visit The Grammar Girl's website to use her free articles on grammar whenever you have a question. She is great. My favorite writing book of all time is Stephen King's On Writing. It's fantastic. You could also consider listening to my writing guide, Write Like the Wind (3 short volumes). You might pick up some new tips there as well. No pressure, naturally.
7) When you are ready and feel your book is as good as it possibly can be, I highly recommend hiring an editor for your final manuscript before you submit.
I'm happy to keep offering advice - I love helping new writers. So please, let me know what you think and if you have any questions. Hard work will get you there and your wonderful imagination should fuel that process.
How’s that? How would you feel if you received a letter like this when you were starting out?
In the beginning, I think I would have crumpled, in spite of the “nice” comments that precede the truth. It would have killed me. Matter of fact, I did get a few aggressive critiques in my early days, and it really took me ages to grow a skin thick enough to handle such criticism. But I needed to hear the advice back then, and I’ve become a better writer because of it.
I encourage you all to help out newbie writers whenever possible. Be kind, be helpful, and give them sound advice. And if you’re just starting out, treasure the words given to you by those who have “gone before you” and made it through the process.
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!