Author Interview: Jonathan Lazar

Born to the greatest Generation, the Nintendo Generation, Jonathan is an avid tea drinker, thanks to nearly a decade of working with Teavana. He enjoys starting his day and writing sessions with a nice cup of black tea. He and his husband are also huge foodies. When he is not writing novels, Jonathan is plotting out his two-comic series, which he has been working on equally as long as most of his other writings. He also plays RPGs, or watches movies with his husband and their friends. They are owned by their two cats, Ping and Pong.

 

 

Who is your absolute favorite original character? Why them?

Oh, my goodness, my absolute favorite original character must be Zachariah Lars, of The Case Files of Zachariah Lars.

I choose him, besides he screamed to me that I had better be his favorite, but mainly because he is sarcastic, rude, doesn’t give two f**ks about playing by the rules. He is a person who has done it and seen it. He is a bisexual lover that if he finds someone attractive will flirt, and not always just to get what he needs for a case. Zachariah is an adept magic user, older in years than he lets on, has a ton of baggage that he can’t seem to let go of, and seems to make enemies faster than he can make friends.

Novella 1, “Zachariah Lars and the High Elf Mystery” will be releasing on May 10th from Kyanite Publishing.

Do you pour yourself into the characters you create? Which of your characters do you feel has more of you in them than the others?

I feel I pour myself more into the worlds that I create over the characters, because its in my believe that when you have a diverse, complex world then the characters will evolve to encompass that world.

That being said, however, I do have a single character that I poured more of myself into than any others, his name is Jeffrey, and he is the main character of my gay romantic-comedy, “Something of Him”, available on Amazon

That being said, however, I do have a single character that I poured more of myself into than any others, his name is Jeffrey, and he is the main character of my gay romantic-comedy, “Something of Him”, available on Amazon

I used a lot of my personal experience to form all the male characters, but a lot of Jeffrey’s insecurities around relationships and life mirror my own when I wrote the book. I apparently put so much of my own experience into this book my husband will not read it.

How do you come up with character names? Does it differ between stories?

Coming up with character names usually just happens as I am doing nothing at all. It is not something that I can force. A lot of times I will be in the car and something will catch my interest and I will use say a license plate or a place name and tweak it to make a character’s name. Sometimes it’s a whisper and sometimes they scream out “That’s my name!”. But it differs between stories, and usually when I figure out the name, I know which series it will go to. Very rarely do I put it in one genre and then move it. If all else fails, I will also use a fantasy name generator or something similar, that also helps get the creative juices flowing.

Tell us a little about where you’re located. Have you always lived there?

I currently find myself located in the blazing, almost unending heat of the United Southwest, more specifically, Tucson, Arizona. My husband and I have been here nearly 5 years, which is a huge change of pace and temperature to the Midwest living that we are accustomed to for most of our life.

I am originally from the Southside of Chicago (White Sox Territory). I have also lived in Kalamazoo, Michigan for a few years, as well as middle-of-no-where Springfield, Illinois, and Saint Louis, Missouri. That last destination is the inspiration for my urban fantasy novella series, The Case Files of Zachariah Lars.

Do you have any dedications in your books? Who are they to and why? I

In my fairy tale fantasy book, “Bound by Wolves & Roses” which was published by Black Rose Writing, but since the rights have returned to me and is being reworked for re-release, the dedication is “To the heart of my truest believer, Sean”, who is my husband and I am obligated to say number 1 supporter of my writing career, but to be fair, the next dedication will explain why it is a tie. He is my rock, and I wouldn’t be where I am without his support and constant pushing to make me a better author.

In my fantasy book, “Fate of the Flames”, it is dedicated “To the most patient Mother-in-Law in the world,” because she fights her son as my number 1 supporter of my writing career. It is dedicated that way because she was the first person I let read ANYTHING I had ever written, including a full-length novel. She considers that series HER series and has been patiently waiting since 2009 for it to be published. She devours everything I give to her like I was her favorite published author.

How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have? What are your plans with them?

Let me just say, I have enough unpublished and half-finished books/ideas to keep me writing my entire life. I run the gambit from adult sci-fi, and fantasy, to YA sci-fi, and fantasy. That is only what is on my computer too. I also have two master binders with notes for various series. All with the eventual plan to release them. They are stories that I want to tell, and have people enjoy, and they are not doing any good gathering dust in my brain.

Outside of that, I also have two comics that I have had planned out since high school that I would eventually like to see get created. I am a decent drawer and would be able to do the one, but I am terrible with drawing humans, so the second would need to be done by someone else!

Ping and Pong disapprove of paparazzi

Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?

I do! One big one that I guess I can give away is that I have a sci-fi series I am working on, very Dune meets Star Wars meets Foundation Series, in which it starts off small scale but grows as the series progresses. That’s not the secret, I promise (unless you didn’t know I also write sci-fi, then surprise you get an extra secret today!), the secret is, this timeline which spans centuries into the future (which is nearly all planned out by the way) overlaps with several other timelines in a fantasy work that I am writing. So, the secret is, several fantasy series take place centuries into the future of my sci-fi series!

Another secret that careful observers will notice in my work is I have placed a small red jewel in each work/world. It is always insignificant, and most times it disappears and the character wonders if they saw it at all. This jewel is meant to transcend all time and space and be in all universes yet none. The paragraph they show up in are quick, and easy to miss, so good luck hunting!

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What authors do you think others should give a try? Why?

One of my personal favorites is, Diana Wynne Jones, author of Howl’s Moving Castle. If you love the movie by Studio Ghibli, then you will love how this book is only 50% like it! She blends traditional fantasy tropes in new ways, such as using parallel universes to account for worlds with magic and challenges the readers as they enjoy a fast-paced tale and memorable characters. While Howl’s Moving Castle is the first in the series, the second book, Castle in the Air is more of a spiritual sequel than direct. It does possess a few characters, but it does follow a similar formula to the first but with more Arabian themes and characters. The true sequel is House of Many Ways and is just as enjoyable if not more so than the first.

Another author I enjoy suggest is Jane Yolen. She is another fantasy author, but what stands out as the book that MUST BE READ is her “Briar Rose”. It is a take on the Sleeping Beauty fairy tale (which sold me), combined against the backdrop of the Holocaust. It is an amazing blending and weaving of fact and fantasy and you will cry.

Tell us about your writing process. Where do you start? What do you struggle with?

My writing process typically starts with either a character or two, or three, to which I build a story around them. Or I begin with a vague idea, develop some characters and go from there. Most often then not everything I have written begins with some sort of world building, so far, the only novels that haven’t followed this formula have been “Something of Him”, and my currently unpublished YA Mythology Fantasy, “Crystals of Ragnarök” (which is being planned as a trilogy).

I think the biggest thing I struggle with is keeping my brain focused on a single work for a prolonged period. Usually I can go a week or multiple weeks on a project, but then I will open it and not be able to touch it for a while. Luckily, I have plenty of other things to keep my writing going, but it’s the biggest obstacle I face when trying to release multiple books back to back quickly.

 

Thank you for reading! I hope this inspires you to check out Jonathan’s books and give him a follow. I really enjoy his author page.

Have questions for him or another author? Share below! We love to hear from you 🙂 Happy reading.

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