Interview with Walter Lazo

How do you approach cover design?
We tend to find something in the story that we find provocative and build from there.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
1: Dracula: I have read Dracula five times this year alone. It's February. Not kidding. What I like about Dracula is the normalcy of the storytelling mixed in with what is obviously a very fantastic, supernatural story. What I love about Dracula is the language and the greatness of both the heroes and the villain.
2: Watership Down: This story is just beautiful. I love the language and the sheer imagination.
3: Midnight, moonlight, and the secret of the sea by Darrell Schweitzer: This one may be hard to find. It is worth the effort. The most visual language I have ever read. Surreal story, bordering on the baroque.
4: Dune: Language and philosophy combined with compelling characters and a magnificent plot.
5: The Silmarillion: I know what you're thinking, but hear me out. Tolkien furnishes enough mythology in this book to write at least a hundred books. It is the most magnificent example of imagination and devotion to a project that I have ever seen. I love this book.
What do you read for pleasure?
I'm obsessed with ideas and will read anything that is conceptualized. I have been leaning towards science fiction these last few months, reading some classics as well as more recent works. Currently reading The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells and Rosemary's Baby by Ira Levin. I, also, tend to enjoy reading ancient philosophers.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I like the Kindle, but I also read on my desktop.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Reviews from established book reviewers has helped the most. Facebook has also been pretty good, but I'm old and don't know quite how to interact with people without actually talking to them, so I rely on young people to help me with that.
Describe your desk
A castle besieged by books, notebooks, electronic devices, a screen and a keyboard.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
We used to move every two years when I was a kid. I grew up in California, Massachusetts, Texas, the Republic of El Salvador, and a few weeks in New York. The way this influenced my writing was by revealing to me how powerful culture and ideas are to human behavior, to such an extent that when I write a character I tend to do so from the point of view of values and beliefs.
When did you first start writing?
Wrote my first story at the age of thirteen. It was imitative of Grimm's fairy tales.
What's the story behind your latest book?
The current story I'm working on is a horror fantasy about a powerful witch that requires suffering to fuel her magic, and it is also the story of a foot-soldier who set in motion the destruction of the world and his attempt to find redemption. In short, it is a story of the lust for power and of redemption.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Most of the big companies require formulaic writing. I do not want this. For me, writing is an experiment. Indie publishing allows me the freedom of experimenting with different styles and genres.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords has a built in audience, so it saves me the effort of trying to find readers all by myself.
Published 2014-02-15.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

The Great Dissolution
Price: Free! Words: 3,700. Language: English. Published: December 12, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories, Fiction » Fantasy » Dark
In 1873, Kevin Hollingsbeck's fortune ran out, and he and his companions came face to face with a being whose very essence was corruption, the Great Dissolution.
Witch of the Defiled
Series: Chronicles of the Demon World, Book 1. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 100,250. Language: English. Published: April 28, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic, Fiction » Fantasy » General
Buro Durkierna set in motion the destruction of the world, inadvertently summoning the all-consuming Possessed Realm, ruled by the terrible Witch of the Defiled, Jazael. Now he seeks death as redemption. Unbeknownst to him, however, other forces seek him also, some to destroy him, others to save him. For it is only the hand that set in motion the destruction of the world that can save it.
We Were Good, Once
Price: Free! Words: 2,190. Language: English. Published: February 16, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Horror » General, Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories
An eyewitness account of the last days of a dying world, told from the view of a young man...
In The Realm of the Wolf
Price: Free! Words: 8,210. Language: English. Published: January 22, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Horror » General, Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories
Bart returns to his home town to await an evil he can no longer avoid. As he waits, he questions the decisions he has made that have led him to this fate, and he wonders if perhaps he has sacrificed his own happiness and the happiness of those he loves for the sake of a higher cause that may prove to be beyond him.
The True Story of Jonathan Vera
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 17,410. Language: English. Published: August 29, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories, Fiction » Horror » General
Ex-soldier Jonathan Vera is having a tough year. Instead of despairing he chooses to barter his military experience for quick money. When his new potential employers tell him that the job involves hunting vampires, he suspects that perhaps they are not quite sane. Now Jonathan must decide whether his new employers are crazy or, much worse, telling the truth.
Slaughter Wolf
Price: Free! Words: 1,640. Language: English. Published: July 30, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Horror » General, Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories
Three fierce werewolf hunters corner their prey outside of a ravaged village only to find the beast does not flee from them but calmly waits. The werewolf hungers, but what he hungers for they do not understand. Soon they will learn a lesson about the nature of evil. If they survive, they may well wish they hadn’t.
Werewolf Winter - A Short Story
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 15,990. Language: English. Published: July 14, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Horror » General, Fiction » Fantasy » Epic
Galein, the Terrible Man, fearing the darkness he sees in his own soul, has retreated into the monastery of Sheogarath, hoping to find solace and peace. But a new evil has come to the land of Uruad, a creature of such malevolent hatred that threatens to consume the earth. It is a werewolf. Galein will have to confront more than the darkness he sees in himself, or watch the world die.
Disciples of Oblivion
Price: Free! Words: 3,490. Language: English. Published: July 6, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Horror » General, Fiction » Horror » Undead
Walking home from work one night, a man sees an impossible thing: a rip in space. Out of this pours forth a malevolent being, a vampire. The existence of such a thing will challenge not only his sanity but his notions of Good and Evil. Can he resist the calling of oblivion?
It's Just a Job
Price: Free! Words: 2,300. Language: English. Published: June 28, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories, Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure
A specialist in photographing places that are not supposed to exist, from a safe distance, is enticed by an obscene amount of money into infiltrating an abandoned Research Facility. There he will discover that it is never a good idea to deviate from standard operating procedure. It’s just a job, but sometimes it’s not what the job pays, but what it extracts.
We Who Embrace The Night
Price: Free! Words: 1,030. Language: English. Published: June 12, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Occult, Fiction » Horror » Weird fiction
The Bringer emerges from the shadows to claim another host for his terrible master, the demonic god, Tialith. Tonight is a night of tears and bitterness as the Bringer must not only obey his master but fight against the conscience still alive within him and bring his terrible master an innocent victim.
The Medusa
Price: Free! Words: 4,610. Language: English. Published: June 6, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories, Fiction » Fantasy » General
Five friends, exploring ancient ruins in Greece, find an enormous rock mountain that is not in any of their maps. Imbued with an adventurous spirit they decide to explore it and find a door built into the mountain. The door is slightly ajar. They step through it and find themselves in another world, one which is both beautiful and deadly, for she dwells in it - the Medusa.
Sebastian - The Goblin Hunter
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 7,110. Language: English. Published: May 31, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories, Fiction » Fantasy » General
When Sebastian lost his wife to a malevolent creature of legend, his life, in a very real sense, ended, and his obsession began. Now he is a man driven by only one purpose—revenge. But will this purpose lead him to the satisfaction he craves, or hurl him into a never ending nightmarish war?
Old Jack's Tale
Price: Free! Words: 1,670. Language: English. Published: May 23, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories, Fiction » Horror » General
Fred the Bartender has heard many wild tales in his time, but the one Jack Matthews is about to tell him will challenge both his credulity and his sanity.
The Last Fight of the Dwarves
Price: Free! Words: 1,280. Language: English. Published: May 17, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic, Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories
Modsognir leads the last army of dwarves in a desperate attempt to buy time for the race of humans to escape a dying world, consumed by evil.
Price: Free! Words: 2,370. Language: English. Published: May 7, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Horror » General, Fiction » Horror » Occult
Frank is on his last delivery of the day when his world is turned upside down. Have his senses finally betrayed him?
Let The World Die
Price: Free! Words: 460. Language: English. Published: April 29, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Horror » General
After years of saving the world, an exhausted hero decides that she has finally had enough—let humanity save itself, let the world die.
The Old Mansion
Price: Free! Words: 1,640. Language: English. Published: April 26, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Horror » General
A short story of two young girls and a boy that set out on an adventure to discover elves.