Friday, May 25, 2012

Author Spotlight: Jeremy Laszlo (complete with interview)

Good Evening Beardies, 

A few weeks ago I posted on Twitter that I was looking for Speculative Fiction Authors to interview for the blog and received a reply from tonight's Author Spotlight: Jeremy Laszlo.  Of course, once the reply was received, I did a bit of research and discovered that Jeremy was a self-published fantasy author... not just once, but three times over!  Four, if you count his published book of poetry.

Jeremy Laszlo, At a Glance:


Jeremy grew up in Michigan, but now lives in Southern Louisiana with his wife and children.  Aside from being a husband, father, and writer, Jeremy spent eight years in the Marines, serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom, the War on Terrorism, and the humanitarian effort in Liberia. He is also skilled as a welder, carpenter, roofer, electrician, painter, machinist, and--in his own words--"a romantic."

The Interview

The Bearded Scribe: According to your bio, you're a Marine, is that correct?

Jeremy Laszlo: Yes, as the saying goes: Once a Marine, Always a Marine, and I believe it to be true. I do think, and feel, that there is something in common among marines that will eternally bind them to one another. Something that sets them apart from other people, something that those outside the fraternity may not even notice. However, it is not uncommon for one marine to point out another marine in a crowd, having never met each other before, and just know that they are kin.

The Bearded Scribe: What influence, if any, would you say the military experience has had on your writing projects?

Jeremy Laszlo: Besides personal experiences that have found their way into my works, I would say that the determination created within me by the Marine Corps has had much to do with my work. I am a Marine, and will get the job done. That is basically it. I decided to write the story playing out in my head, and wrote it. I decided to self publish said story, and published it. Truth be told, anyone can accomplish anything they really put their mind to, it is just having the will and determination to do it.

The Bearded Scribe: Being located in Louisiana, would you say that the diverse spirituality and folklore of the region has had any influence on your writing?

Jeremy Laszlo: Honestly? No. Were I writing a straight up horror series, I might let local culture influence that. Perhaps even a paranormal romance, or urban fantasy. Though to be honest, entirely too many urban fantasies are written about New Orleans to count. So sadly, for those readers looking for a bit of good ole Louisiana in my books, I am afraid that, for now, I will leave those particular stories to other authors.

The Bearded Scribe: At what age did you begin writing?

Jeremy Laszlo: I learned to write the alphabet sometime around age four, so I suppose from there on it was just learning to develop my voice as a writer, and experience life in a way that would allow me to transcribe to my readers how something felt, tasted, smelled, or looked using only the words I had written.

The Bearded Scribe: What would you say are your strengths as a writer?


Jeremy Laszlo: My biggest strength as a writer is staying awake. I generally write late at night, though honestly my readers have said that I paint a scene very well, allowing them to experience the world I have created both thoroughly and vividly. That's a hell of a compliment, and I'll take it!

The Bearded Scribe: What about weaknesses?


Jeremy Laszlo: Editing is by far my own personal brand of kryptonite. Won't do it. Don't enjoy it. Fortunately for me, there are these people out there that enjoy this particular insanity, and they even go by the title of Editor. It all sounds very professional, and complicated, and as such I try and leave it all to them.

The Bearded Scribe: Which weakness would you say was the hardest to overcome?


Jeremy Laszlo: Editing! Sounds repetitive right? Well at least in my case it is. The first three books have went under the scrutiny of two editiors to date, though no editor can guarentee the complete absence of errors. That being said, even though they are already published, They are again undergoing editing for the third time as I am still unhappy with the current product, though most would not notice. What can I say, I am a bit of a perfectionist.

The Bearded Scribe: Any advice to other writers who are struggling to overcome their own weaknesses?


Jeremy Laszlo: Indeed, ask a professional. At the very least use google extensively. Try not to cut any corners as the final product will suffer. Oh yeah, and once you are done...turn back to page one and start again...double, and triple check everything. Then have a pro do the same.

The Bearded Scribe: What is your favorite book? What about your favorite fantasy/speculative fiction book?


Jeremy Laszlo: To be honest I cannot pick a favorite book that I have read. Though I have read Edgar Allen Poe's works time and time again. Honestly I love getting lost in a story, but find these days I get more immersed while writing than I do while reading. That being said, my favorite book, is whatever I am writing at the time.

The Bearded Scribe: For me, it was Bridge to Terabithia... was there a particular book that hooked you into the fantasy genre?


Jeremy Laszlo: There was, it was The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks, the first epic fantasy I had ever read. It was a great introduction to fantasy, and hooked me well enough to make reading a life long passion of mine.

The Bearded Scribe: You have three published novels and a book of poetry... could you tell the readers at The Bearded Scribe a little more about each of your works?





Jeremy Laszlo: Sure, though it is not an easy task. Be that as it may, I will start with Clad in Shadow, my collection of poetry. This particular work literally spans decades of my life. Many of the poems in this collection were written while I was a teen or even before that. Most would consider them a fairly dark collection, however I myself consider them a more realistic view of many topics to include alcoholism, society, and even myself. If you want a glimpse within my own mind, this is the window. Within Clad in Shadow you will feel many of my own personal struggles just as I felt them while writing the very poems you will be reading.

The Blood and Brotherhood Saga is the culmination of decades of reading, writing, and wondering what other authors were thinking. With this series I wanted to create a story unlike any other I had ever seen. I wanted everything to have reason and balance. I wanted every action to have consequence. I wanted everything to have a source, everything to have a meaning, and nothing to be left to interpretation. You will not find a single "there just was" theory within my work. Everything happens for a reason. If you want to discover the real reason, just keep reading. Beyond that, I wanted to incorporate all of the different genres I loved to read over the years. Hence you will find elements from many genres to include, but not limited to, fantasy, horror, and even a little romance between the covers of my books.

The Bearded Scribe: What made you decide to self-publish as opposed to traditional publishing?


Jeremy Laszlo: Mainly time. After a brief search for an agent I began leaning towards self publishing. Then, I received an email from a "respected" agency.  One intern had sent it to another intern (accidentally hitting reply all), in which the intern joked about the several hundred mass rejections just sent out without so much as reading a single one of them... Needless to say, I was one among those hundreds, and that was the straw that broke the camel's back. Traditional publishing is obviously broken, at least in my opinion, and Self publishing is better and easier than ever.

The Bearded Scribe: What would you say are the pros of self-publishing?


Jeremy Laszlo: No interns! Just kidding. Seriously, however, there are tons of great things about self publishing. First off, you don't need anyone's approval. No slush piles for you. Secondly, you get to really connect with your audience in a timely manner. You get out what you put in, as it is all in your hands. From start to finish, the person responsible for your success is you.

The Bearded Scribe: What would you say are the cons, if any?


Jeremy Laszlo: For me all the unknowns would have been considered the cons, at least in the beginning. I did not know how much time was required to promote and market a book. I did not know how much research I would need to do to learn the best methods of publishing and marketing my material. There was so much I did not know when I started, that for a while it was a little overwhelming.

The Bearded Scribe: Are you currently working on any new projects?


Jeremy Laszlo: Too many to count. Currently, I am writing the fourth book in my saga, as well as working on a project with a few other authors. I am hoping to get at least two more books out this year, perhaps more depending on time restraints.

The Bearded Scribe: Do you only write in the Fantasy genre?


Jeremy Laszlo: To be honest, I find it hard to pick a genre that my saga belongs to. As each new book progresses, the series strays further from what one would think is a traditional fantasy read. Personally I love fantasy, but have plans fro several books outside the genre in the future.

The Bearded Scribe: Is there anything that you would like to share with fellow writers and the readers at The Bearded Scribe that I did not ask you?

Jeremy Laszlo: Certainly. I would just like to thank you for the interview, for allowing me to reach your fans, and the opportunity to share a little about myself and my work with them.

***

If you would like to find out more about Jeremy, you can visit his website where you can find more information about each of his books.  He often has contests and gives away prizes such as amazon kindles or gift cards. Also, you can follow him on Twitter, or you can check out the Blood and Brotherhood Facebook Fan Page where you can follow news about his writing projects and enter to win even more prizes. Beyond that, visit Skulldust Circle, where you can keep up with not only Jeremy, but a group of very talented writers about whom you may be interested in reading.  To purchase any of Jeremy's books, which (for now) are only available in eBook format, simply click on the book covers pictured above.

If you do decide to follow Jeremy on Twitter or Facebook, or if you decide to purchase any of his books, please let him know The Bearded Scribe sent you!

Happy Scribing,


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