My interview over at The Art and Craft of Writing Creatively is HERE

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Thursday, January 12, 2012

Interview+Giveaway: Aaron Lazar

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Hi, Kelsey, thanks so much for having me here today. Here’s a little bit about me: First and foremost, I’m a husband, father, and grandfather. My family is everything to me and I adore them. Although my day job is engineering, I’m a writer by passion. I’ve spent the last ten years writing like mad, creating three mystery series that are based in the country. Nature is a big part of all of the series, as well as big families, animals, and lots of good food. I do have some pretty nasty villains who haunt my characters and who must be ultimately dealt with, but I believe in happy endings for the most part, and try to always end on an upbeat note. You can read about my sixteen books here: 

Can you tell us about your book For the Birds
Absolutely. ;o) I had started writing FOR THE BIRDS just before I was laid off from Kodak in April of 2009. I had been craving the Adirondacks – big time – and I wanted to set a new series up there in the glorious majesty of the six million acre state park. Because I was laid off, I suddenly had TIME (which I’d never had before, it seemed) and my wife and I found a very inexpensive rustic cabin to stay at so I could write and try to recover from the shock of losing my job of 28 years. It ended up that the layoff was one of the best things to happen to me – it enabled me to visit and write about Tall Pines (the place we stayed), plus I wrote two other books in the same time frame. A year later, I also got the best “day job” of my life, a great engineering job in a small German company. It’s Heaven!

Here’s a synopsis of the first of three books in this series, For the Birds: 

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.

While mourning the death of her stepfather, Marcella and family head for the Adirondack National Bird Show for a much-needed vacation. But when Thelma falls into a hotel pool with Ruby dragging twinkling lights behind her, plans change. Electricity zaps through the water, creating a bizarre psychic link between woman and bird.

When Thelma is kidnapped from her hospital bed, the FBI shows up asking questions about Thelma’s inheritance, which may be linked to 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” gives hope for survival. 

What was your favorite part of the writing process of For the Birds?
I adored being in the gorgeous Adirondack Mountains, sitting beside the Sacandaga River and imagining the wild escapades of my characters. I fell in love with that river – its soft murmur, its calming presence, its age-old wisdom… and the rustic cabin we stayed at (called Tall Pines) was just the PERFECT place to set a mystery. So, Marcella and Quinn Hollister stayed at Tall Pines like we did – they took the same hikes, the same swims in the river… it was so cool. 

Where did the idea of For the Birds come from? 
Although this sounds really lame, Kelsey, it honestly came to me in a dream. Ruby – Quinn and Marcella Hollister’s pet ring-necked parrot who is featured as one of the important elements of For the Birds – sat on my shoulder in my dream, nuzzling my neck. She was soft, and her feathers were a ruby-tangerine color. I dreamed we were taking her to a bird show in the Adirondacks, a place called “The Aviary”, which featured a three-story glass enclosure where birds could fly and meet ‘n greet! LOL. It was so powerful, so real, that I had to write about it. I didn’t intend to have a third mystery series (I already had LeGarde Mysteries [10 books] and Moore Mysteries [3 books], so I didn’t NEED another series to write.) But it just happened, and now I’m on the third book in the Tall Pines Mysteries, called Sanctuary. 

Who was the hardest character to write?
They all came pretty easily to me this time around. They just wrote themselves, and I sat back for the ride! 

What is the most interesting comment you have received so far concerning For the Birds?
I was happy to see that almost every reviewer so far has said, “I didn’t see THAT coming!” (re. the surprise ending). Glad I made it believable enough that they loved it, yet not obvious enough that they guessed the truth! 

What has been the best advice you have ever been given? 
It came from my father, Kelsey. He always said, “Moderation in everything, Aaron. Moderation in everything.” Heh. Too bad I could never listen to it! (with sixteen books and hopefully many more dozens to come, I don’t see to be doing any of this in moderation!) 

If you could ask yourself any interview question, what would you ask, and how would you answer it?
Question: How did you write this book from a woman’s POV? 
Answer: By living with my wife, three daughters, and mother-in-law for the past decades. ;o) and watching lots of Lifetime TV with my wife! I usually let her pick whatever she wants to watch, because I’m usually writing, anyway. Ha. I tried so hard to think like I thought a woman would think, to look at Quinn as a woman would (that was hard sometimes!), and not to flinch when I “channeled” Marcella, talking about makeup and pit stains and desire for a man. 

When you aren’t writing, what do you like to do? 
Aside from hanging out with my wife, daughters, and grandchildren, I love to garden. I do it obsessively, with fruit, veggies, and flowers. Also, I’m an avid photographer, hiker, the household chef, and I adore piano and French Impressionist art. Lately I’ve become obsessed with Indian cultures, which is why my current book features a beautiful, mute, Seneca girl. 

What is coming up next for you?
Audio books! I have five audio books coming out in the next few weeks, including one for For the Birds. You can listen to them here!

Also, I have seven books coming out in the next six months. Here are the dates and titles: 

DOUBLE FORTÉ (coming, FEB 2012, author’s preferred edition, 2012, eBook and print) 
UPSTAGED (coming, JUNE, 2012 author’s preferred edition, 2012, eBook and print)

FOR KEEPS (coming, MAY 2012)


Aaron Paul Lazar writes to soothe his soul. The author of LeGarde Mysteries, Moore Mysteries, and Tall Pines 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 website at and watch for his upcoming Twilight Times Books releases, ESSENTIALLY YOURS (2012), TERROR COMES KNOCKING (2011), FOR KEEPS (2012), DON’T LET THE WIND CATCH YOU (2012), and the author’s preferred editions of DOUBLE FORTÉ and UPSTAGED (2012).

Aaron is offering one lucky winner a pdf copy of FOR THE BIRDS! International giveaway and all you have to do is fill out the rafflecopter form below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Aaron Paul Lazar said...

Hi, Kelsey! Thanks for having me here today, it's great to meet you and your readers. We're finally getting some snow in the Finger Lakes region of NY, and it's looking pretty much like a winter wonderland around here! Best wishes, Aaron