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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Aaron Lazar: Healey's Cave

TITLE: Healey’s Cave: a Sam Moore Mystery
AUTHOR: Aaron Paul Lazar
PUBLISHER: Twilight Times Books
DATE OF PUBLICATION: August 15th, 2010
ISBN: 978-1-60619-162-0
PAGES: 267
GENRE: Paranormal Mystery

Sam Moore's little brother vanished fifty years ago. No body. No answers. What Sam has is a boatload of guilt, since he failed to accompany Billy on his final, fateful bike ride.
While digging in his garden, Sam discovers a green marble with a startling secret—it whisks him back to his childhood, connecting him to Billy. Thrust back and forth through time, Sam struggles to unlock the secret of his brother’s fate.

When the FBI investigates remains found nearby, Sam learns of a serial killer with a grisly fifty-year record. Sam’s certain it’s Billy’s killer. But what’s worse, his grandson fits the profile of the murdered boys. Will the killer return to Sam’s town to claim his final kill? Can Sam untangle the truth in time to save him?

Aaron Paul Lazar writes to soothe his soul. The author of LeGarde Mysteries and Moore Mysteries 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 websites at www.legardemysteries.com and http://www.mooremysteries.com/.

Aaron, welcome to the blog and congratulations on the release of Healey's Cove. Tell us a little about yourself.

Hello, Susan. It’s great to be here. Here are a few facts about me:
· I’m first and foremost a husband, father, and grandfather. I love nature, kids, animals, classical, blues, folks, and sixties rock music, French Impressionist art, gardening, cooking, and photography. Oh, and I guess we ought to throw in reading and writing into the mix!

· I’m from New England, but have lived in the beautiful Genesee Valley region in western NY, near the Finger Lakes since 1981. Many of my books are set in the lush fields, woods, gorges, and gardens of this region.

Oh, I'd love to visit the Finger Lakes. I've driven near them but didn't get a chance to stop.

· I’m a lot like my two main characters, Sam Moore (MooreMysteries.com) and Gus LeGarde (LeGardeMysteries.com). My characters are similar to my father, who was a classical music professor, pianist, massive gardener, and a great chef. Therefore, we’re all kind of a bizarre and interesting amalgam. ;o)

· I believe that readers can enjoy a thrilling ride with a tale told in a relatively wholesome way, versus gratuitous gore and meaningless sex. Although some people like that. LOL. Not that I don’t have a few juicy scenes between Gus and his new wife – after all Gus goes through, I figure he deserves some loving!

· I’ve written ten LeGarde Mysteries, three Moore Mysteries, and am also currently writing book two from my Tall Pines Mysteries series (not yet submitted to publishers)

· I love to connect with my readers and can be reached at: aaron.lazar@yahoo.com.
Here are the books that are under contract for publishing, for the first two series. The rest are in the queue or waiting to be submitted until the time is right.
LEGARDE MYSTERIES

DOUBLE FORTE' (2004)

UPSTAGED (2005)

TREMOLO: CRY OF THE LOON (2007)

MAZURKA (2009)

FIRESONG (2010)
MOORE MYSTERIES

HEALEY'S CAVE (just released)

ONE POTATO, BLUE POTATO (2011)

FOR KEEPS (2012)
And here are a few awards plus my website addresses.
Preditors&Editors Top 10 Finalist * Yolanda Renee's Top Ten Books 2008 * MYSHELF Top Ten Reads 2008 * Writers' Digest Top 101 Website Award 2009 & 2010
www.legardemysteries.com

www.mooremysteries.com

www.murderby4.blogspot.com

www.aaronlazar.blogspot.com

http://www.aplazar.gather.com/
And here are a few credentials:
My columns and articles have appeared in numerous publications, including Futures Mystery Anthology Magazine, Absolute Write, Mystery Fiction, and Great Mystery and Suspense magazine. I’m also co-owner on a Writer’s Digest Best 101 Websites blog, www.murderby4.blogspot.com. I’m well versed in self-promotion, and have an extensive marketing plan that includes frequent appearances at book clubs and library events, and promotion on my award-winning websites and blogs. In addition, I exclusively sign and sell books at Heron Hill Winery overlooking Keuka Lake, in Hammondsport, NY.
Oops, you said tell us a “little” about yourself. LOL. Sorry about that!

 That's fine.
What books came along at just the right time to influence your reading/writing?

Although I’d written lots of stories in high school and college, and had been known as “an engineer who can write,” by my peers during my career at Kodak, I was actually a very green writer. I had a great deal to learn as far as fictional technique and skills were concerned. My pages were populated with ungodly adverbs and I allowed myself to go on for too long in poetic narrations. I used the past perfect (“had” structures) ruthlessly, until a mentor pointed out that there was no need to stutter my prose with so many “hads.” (see more about this in how-to writing advice articles posted at http://www.aplazar.gather.com) Stephen King’s On Writing, was one of the most helpful writing books I read, although I also loved For the Trees by Betsey Learner. Both came along just at the right time!

What are your writing goals?

I originally hoped to write a hundred books before I die. And by that, I meant one hundred GOOD books. So far, I’m on my fifteenth novel, and at the rate of a couple of books per year, that means I need to live to be ninety-nine and a half. It’s a great goal – I hope the Good Lord lets me get there with my brain still working properly. That’s the key!
Seriously, though, my goals have changed a bit since I started meeting my readers. I’ve discovered readers who told me my books “got them through chemo,” or “taught them to be better fathers,” or other such heart-stopping comments. I think if even one of my books has affected one person on this earth that way, I’m happy to say “I’ve made it.” I don’t need to be a household name to have achieved that worthy goal.

Tell us about Healey's Cave. Is it available in print and e-book formats?

Healey’s Cave is available in all formats. The ebook/Kindle version is orderable now, and the print book is pre-orderable through Barnes and Noble now at a great discount and at Amazon, etc and brick and mortar bookstores. Also, I have print books on hand for those who want personally autographed copies.

And here’s where Healey’s Cave came from:  I blame the book on my wife. I was minding my own business, wrapping up the fifth novel in the LeGarde Mystery series, when she turned to me and said, “You need to write a book from the killer’s point of view.” I laughed out loud. I’d always written in first person, from a man whose character was diametrically opposed to villains. He was a good man, a man I admired and wanted to share with the world. Sure, he had his faults, but how could I switch from that kind of mindset to the inner thoughts of a killer?
Dale reads Stephen King and James Patterson. She loves psychological thrillers and even a little horror. Not like me with my relatively wholesome mysteries that skirt around the gruesome details of murder.
I put aside the thought until shortly thereafter, while rototilling my garden, I unearthed a green marble, a cat’s eye. I held it in my hand and wondered about the little boy or girl who lost it. I imagined how neat it would be to be able to hold the marble tight in my hand and have it whisk me back in time to the boy’s life. I’d be able to see what he saw, walk beside him, and maybe witness some horrible crime. And what if the villain was still alive today? What if he was my next-door neighbor?
That was all it took to dislodge me from the LeGarde Mysteries for a few months. With my wife’s urging, I gave into the desire to create a new world. I didn’t expect it to turn into another series. But it did.
This is book one in the green marble series, otherwise known as Moore Mysteries. And yes, I blame my wife for the whole thing.

How does your environment/upbringing color your writing?

Much of my books’ environments match my own. In Double Forté, I used the stark beauty of winter in the Genesee Valley as a backdrop. In Tremolo: cry of the loon, I summoned my memories of lakeside summers in Maine. In Mazurka, I used all the tastes, sounds, scents and experiences from a stint in Europe. I find whenever I go to a new locale (Adirondacks, Thailand, etc.) that the area inevitably ends up in my books. A sense of place is very important to me, and I integrate it into my stories at all times.

After hours of intense writing, how do you unwind?

I love to wander in my gardens, cook feasts for my extended family, take photos of the beautiful Genesee Valley and Finger Lakes here in Western NY, and take long hikes at Letchworth State Park.

Where can folks learn more about your books and events?

I maintain two author websites: http://www.mooremysteries.com and http://www.legardemysteries.com. The latter has more info on it including events, etc, as I’m just now building up the Moore Mysteries site. Readers are also welcome to contact me at aaron dot lazar at yahoo dot com with questions or to order personally autographed copies. You can read scads of articles about writing, life, and more at
http://www.aplazar.gather.com/, and I’m part owner in a writers’ website: http://www.murderby4.blogspot.com/.

Thanks for dropping by, Aaron. Don't forget to give your wife the money when it rolls in.

LOL. Susan, thanks for having me here today!

10 comments:

Aaron Paul Lazar said...

Susan, thanks for being part of my Virtual Book Tour for Healey's Cave today. And you MUST visit the Finger Lakes region. Email me if and when you do, so I can recommend some great places to visit. ;o)

A. F. Stewart said...

A wonderful interview. I must watch using those "hads" in my writing, too.

Aaron Paul Lazar said...

Anita, in case you haven't seen them, I've collected a ton of articles in Gather - starting in 2006, I think, with all the little tips I learned as I was "growing up" as a writer!

Natalie Neal Whitefield said...

We love your writing "tips", Aaron. You've helped so many members of Home Comfort Group become better writers, and better readers, too. (http://homecomfort.gather.com)

Susan Whitfield said...

Aaron, I've loved having you as a guest. I certainly do plan to let you know if we get up your way. Maybe we could sign together somewhere. Our plans changed to our own North Carolina mountains for our 43rd anniversary, but we still want to go up there.
A.F., I have to double check those "hads" as well as "was/were" while I'm editing.
Thanks to everyone who dropped by. Don't you just love the cover of Healey's Cave"? I'm sure it will end up in my Whitfield Cover Award finals in December. Stay tuned so you can vote for your fav.

s.w. vaughn said...

Fantastic interview! :-) Aaron, I think it's so funny that your wife "made" you write this book - it's one of your best!

Of course, I love all your work. But this one and Tremolo I have especial love for. And possibly one that isn't finished yet... ;-)

Write faster! Then you can make 100 novels. LOL

Marta Stephens said...

Aaron, after countless e-mail exchanges with you over the years,I can't help but read your books and picture you and your family in them.

Wonderful interview!

Aaron Paul Lazar said...

Thanks, Natalie! It's only right that what was taught to me is passed onto the next "generation" of writers. ;o)

Sonya, you are such an inspiration to me. Thanks for all your help!

Marta, I kinda picture myself in these books, as well. Not as the evil villains, of course as the hero! LOL. Thanks for stopping by.

And Susan, thanks for the compliment on the cover. I must give credit to my cover artist, Ardy Scott, who's a wonderful creative genius in her own right. I asked for the black borders and font colors, etc, but she actually drew the picture of the cave and woods by hand. Amazing, huh?

Thanks again for featuring me here, it was fun!

Sheila Deeth said...

Nice interview. Thanks. And I really must go catch up on those gather articles.

Beryl Singleton Bissell said...

How lovely to find this virtual blog tour event and interview. Aaron's writing fills me with such a sense of warmth and hope, despite the darkness in which his characters get involved. Sam Moore, I found an especially compelling lead character. The love, understanding, and compassion he shows his incapacitated wife, his energetic involvement with children and grandchildren, the warmth of his kitchen and his love of the garden enchanted me. I stayed up late to finish reading Healey's Cave, so intent was I on finding resolution to the danger confronting Sam and his grandson Evan, delighted each time he surprised me with another twist to the intrigue.