Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Aaron Paul Lazar "Don't Let the Wind Catch You" author Visits with a Guest Post called Bringing Back the Dead

Welcome to a Guest Post by "Don't let the Wind Catch You" by Aaron Paul Lazar!  Also enter on the Rafflecopter to win prizes.

When young Gus LeGarde befriends a cranky old hermit in the woods who speaks to an Indian spirit, he wonders if the man is nuts. But when the ghostly Penni rattles tin cups, draws on dusty mirrors, and flips book pages, pestering him to find evidence to avenge her past, things change.


What Gus doesn’t understand is why his mother hates Tully, until his relentless investigation uncovers a hint of scandal about Tully and Gus’s grandfather, Marlowe Wright.



On horseback, Gus and his friends ride through woods overlooking Conesus Lake to Tully’s abandoned house, reportedly still infected with the Genesee Valley Fever from the 1700s. Unafraid, they enter and find shocking evidence that could rewrite history.


Can Gus convince his mother to forgive Tully? And will the proof he found free Penni’s spirit?


Gus summons courage beyond his years in this poignant and powerful telling of the summer of 1965.


Buy it here                           Amazon            B&N
Guest Post: Bringing Back the Dead
We writers don't often get to resurrect our dead.

For years I’ve regretted murdering one particularly sweet character early in my LeGarde Mystery series, specifically in the second book, Upstaged, where a psychopath lurks backstage in the high school musical. The victim: Ethel Fox, who loves dogs, is a high school janitor, and volunteers to help with the drama club’s productions. Ethel also happens to have Down Syndrome. Looking back now, I realize I probably cast her as a victim to rile up my readers with righteous anger, and to make the villain scream “evil”.

Now, five years later, I want a do-over.

My cardinal rules include no killing of main characters—after all, these folks carry the series through its ten books. I’ll never kill Gus or Camille, or Siegfried, even if you might worry that they’re dead in some books[1] (wink). But the featured characters, who change from book to book, are always fair game.

When my publisher, Lida Quillen at Twilight Times Books, expressed interest in re-releasing my first two books[2] along with the rest of the series as the “author’s preferred editions,” I was overjoyed. Now I could repair some of those newbie-writer awkward phrases, get rid of the excess adverbs and adjectives, and tidy up the prose. Besides, after writing fifteen books (I have three mystery series now), my skills have improved. It’s only natural to look back at one’s first books and grimace. So, after securing rights from the first publisher, I signed the new contracts and started the rewrites.

I didn’t change much in Double Forté, except to tidy up the prose, add a bit more spice to a few scenes, and delete a bunch of excess words.

But when I started to polish Upstaged, I remembered an embarrassing and awkward experience I had last year, and was consumed with the idea of tweaking the plot.

While working at a facility for physically and intellectually challenged adults who love music, art, writing, and theater, my daughter Melanie invited me in to help during their summer festival. I arrived feeling quite virtuous, since I took a vacation day to volunteer, but instead of “helping” the folks there, I spent the day being humbled, time after time. The individuals radiated joy, and were delirious with excitement because they were about to put on a musical show for their visitors. Family and friends crowded the facility, and although I saw evidence of serious physical and intellectual “disabilities,” I was convinced these lovely people did not in any sense of the word feel disabled on that day.

They danced and sang in the hallways, held hands and giggled, painted gorgeous pictures from wheelchairs (some were displayed in local art shows), and delighted in the costumes in which they’d been dressed for the celebration.

While I snapped pictures for their scrapbooks, I fell in love with the people and teachers, was suitably humbled, and realized that after eight hours of fun, I had received much more than I’d given. A few days later, I donated Upstaged to one of the higher functioning members of the writing class, knowing that she loved musicals.

So, a year passed, and the writing teacher asked me if I’d come in and give a talk to her students who loved books and writing. Thrilled, I arranged the date. We had a blast, and talked for almost two hours. They asked great questions, and I delighted in their company. It was after the class while I was donating more books that I suddenly remembered I’d killed off a character with Down Syndrome in Upstaged.

What had I been thinking? Why did I donate the very book where I let the villain kill a character who represents so many people at this arts center? Was I insane? To be honest, it had been so long since I’d written the book, I really hadn’t remembered about Ethel, but when I did, I kicked myself. Repeatedly.

It was this experience that made me bring Ethel back to life. Not only did I prevent her murder in a way that didn’t goof up the original plot, but I gave her a cuter name. What kind of a name is Ethel for a sweet, helpful, loving lady? Her new name is Cindi. I think it fits her. Don’t you?

The Lord keeps me humble. It’s a good thing. There’s nothing worse than a big-headed fool. But frankly, he doesn’t have to work very hard at it. I give him lots of help.

The newest book in the LeGarde Mystery series, Don’t Let the Wind Catch You, #6, has just been released. It’s stands alone like all of the other books in the series and can be read in any order. I try to write all my series like this so folks can pick up any book at any time and enjoy it. Don’t Let the Wind Catch You is a sequel to the prequel of Double Forté (Tremolo: cry of the loon was the prequel.)

I seriously hope there are no urges ten years from now to get another “do-over” with this book, because that cycle of self-doubt and the obsessive need to perfect can be exhausting. I hereby declare that I am happy with this story and will not come back in years to come to nitpick it to death. There. I said it. Now I just have to stick to my promise (grin).

Aaron Paul Lazar writes to soothe his soul. The author of three award-winning mystery series and more, Lazar 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 lazarbooks.com and watch for his upcoming release from Twilight Times Books, SANCTUARY (2013).
ONLINE LINKS:
Website     http://www.lazarbooks.com
Blog            http://www.aaronlazar.blogspot.com
Facebook Name:  AaronPaulLazar
•      Twitter Name   :  @aplazar

Thursday, August 15, 2013

My release day Review of "Don't let the Wind Catch You" by Aaron Paul Lazar.



Welcome to my review of "Don't let the Wind Catch You" by Aaron Paul Lazar!  Also enter on the Rafflecopter to win prizes and join the facebook Event today.

When young Gus LeGarde befriends a cranky old hermit in the woods who speaks to an Indian spirit, he wonders if the man is nuts. But when the ghostly Penni rattles tin cups, draws on dusty mirrors, and flips book pages, pestering him to find evidence to avenge her past, things change.


What Gus doesn’t understand is why his mother hates Tully, until his relentless investigation uncovers a hint of scandal about Tully and Gus’s grandfather, Marlowe Wright.


On horseback, Gus and his friends ride through woods overlooking Conesus Lake to Tully’s abandoned house, reportedly still infected with the Genesee Valley Fever from the 1700s. Unafraid, they enter and find shocking evidence that could rewrite history.

Can Gus convince his mother to forgive Tully? And will the proof he found free Penni’s spirit?

Gus summons courage beyond his years in this poignant and powerful telling of the summer of 1965.


Buy it here                           Amazon            B&N
My Review:

Mr. Lazar’s writing style is so smooth and easy to read and lose yourself in!  The pace was perfect for this sweet coming of age story about Gus and his friends Elsbeth and Siegfried. I loved the friendship that developed between Gus and Tully. Tully’s story just broke my heart, but young Gus was a healing balm for the lonely hermit.  
 
When you read the novel you will learn why Tully lives all alone out in the woods.  It is such a sad but too often true situation.

With  “Don’t let the Wind Catch You” you get a sweet first love story, a tragic concentration camp survivor story, a mystery, a hostage survivor story, and a ghost!   You will love it.

Aaron Paul Lazar writes to soothe his soul. The author of three award-winning mystery series and more, Lazar 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 lazarbooks.com and watch for his upcoming release from Twilight Times Books, SANCTUARY (2013).
ONLINE LINKS:
Website     http://www.lazarbooks.com
Blog            http://www.aaronlazar.blogspot.com
Facebook Name:  AaronPaulLazar
•      Twitter Name   :  @aplazar