First Book Stories continues today with author Aaron Paul Lazar. I learned of Aaron at Murder by 4, a multi-author blog. He is the author of LeGarde Mysteries, Moore Mysteries, and Tall Pines Mysteries.
The Writing of Double Forté: A Gus LeGarde Mystery, by Aaron Paul Lazar
I’d always planned to write a mystery series, but I thought it would happen when the kids were grown and I was retired. I envisioned myself with my laptop, sitting on the porch of a lakeside cabin, inventing a delightful protagonist and putting him through the wringer to solve bizarre mysteries that only he could figure out.
I was right about the series, but wrong about the timing.
The year 1997 marked the end of a very difficult period in my life, filled with a slew of losses. Eight of my friends and family members died in five years.
His death crushed me. I tried to bury myself in work, and the numbing effect was somewhat comforting. I took many long walks in the autumn woods, and afterwards, I’d go back and write gaudy poetry about the experience. As bad as the poems were, it felt so good to get the words on paper that I craved more of it. I walked more, wrote more. And then it occurred to me. Why not start the mystery series I’d always envisioned, and do it as a tribute to my father?
I modeled my main character, Gus LeGarde, after him. Both men were pianists, music professors, gardeners, cooks, had strong moral compasses, adored French Impressionist Art, and loved kids and dogs. I started writing Double Forté with my father in my mind. The process was so soothing, so cathartic, that I craved it every day. Each time I wrote a scene with Gus, I felt like I was sharing a little time with my father.
When I finished the first draft of Double Forté, I didn’t seek representation right away. I was so bitten by the writing bug that I wrote four more books, all in several months each. The stories poured out of me, and Gus and his family developed rich histories as their back stories grew more complex and detailed.
After I finished my fifth manuscript, a prequel to Double Forté, I realized I’d been totally self-absorbed with the writing process, feeding my need to escape and create, thriving on the sensation of controlling my parallel universe. I hadn’t once glanced outside my blinders at the big, bad, outside world of publishing.
With an inward groan, I began to research what was needed. After a few painful experiences, and a few agents who didn’t quite work out, I landed a contract with my publisher.
Writing has become a wonderful source of solace and entertainment, a vehicle to connect with people all over the world, and the best cheap therapy I’ve ever experienced.
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 www.legardemysteries.com and watch for his upcoming Twilight Times Books releases, TERROR COMES KNOCKING (2011), FOR THE BIRDS(2011), ESSENTIALLY YOURS (2012) and DON’T LET THE WIND CATCH YOU (2012).
Some of Aaron's books are on sale at Amazon for under $4!