Featured Author Steven Lazaroff
By Christine Liston
Featured Interview With Steven Lazaroff
Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?
I was a Military Brat, we moved around a lot during my youth. I lived in several cities in Canada and did a brief stint overseas in Germany when my father served with the Royal 22nd Regiment at the height of the cold war.
Mark, my co-writer and I met in high school and we have remained friends ever since, 30 years later.
He is a bit of an eccentric and has not yet done interviews.
At what age did you realize your fascination with books? When did you start writing?
I was a voracious reader from a young age. Having to rebuild friendships every two years caused me to escape into stories. I started writing short stories and poems in Junior high School and have since been writing in amateur formats ever since. My day job requires me to write very descriptive content regularly.
Who are your favorite authors to read? What is your favorite genre to read. Who Inspires you in your writings?
I loved the Narnia series from C.S. Lewis and pretty much anything from Piers Anthony at a YA stage in my life. Later my tastes evolved to Asimov and Frank Hebert. Simon Scarrow wrote a fantastic Historical fiction series called ‘Eagles of the Empire’ that I really enjoyed. Scarrow also did a series called ‘Wellington and Napoleon’ which I really got into. Finally, I enjoyed Hunter S. Thompson and followed the style of Gonzo journalism, which is perhaps why my writing is humorous and sarcastic.
Tell us a little about your latest book?
Its a collection of short stories essentially. You can pick up any chapter in any order and each chapter is its own stand-alone story. Mark and I researched and documented an example of a confidence scam perpetrated on people at every epoch of recorded human history. We start with the ancient Egyptians, move on the late Roman empire, then middle kingdom’s era of China, all the way through the modern age. Each chapter explains, in detail how the deception or confidence scam was conceived, executed and concluded. There is a lot of humor to keep the reader from being bored. Especially for people that typically don’t enjoy reading history.
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Original article site can be found here
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L’expression deux solitudes réfère, dans la société canadienne, à l’isolement existant entre les Canadiens anglais et les Canadiens français. L’expression est utilisée pour illustrer le manque de communication et l’éloignement culturel entre les deux groupes linguistiques.
La paternité de l’expression revient à l’auteur Hugh MacLennan dans le roman Two Solitudes publié en 1945. Dans son discours d'investiture en tant que gouverneur-général du Canada, Michaëlle Jean a parlé de la fin des deux solitudes.
Nous avons décidé de traduit notre prochain livre afin d’être capable de l’offrir à tous les Canadiennes et Canadiens.
Well, we are on the verge of releasing another work. A great study in the Fermi Paradox. Below is a short excerpt of the work in progress. Tentative release date is on Aug 15th, 2018. Stay tuned here for more info.
The possibility of extra-terrestrial life has gripped humans for as long as anyone knows. The War of the Worlds, encouraged by the idea (now known to be false) that there were artificial canals on Mars, placed life as close as that. And now we know that Mars has permafrost. Permafrost means water. Water means the possibility of life. There’s no expectation that something resembling a person will be swimming in it. What’s more likely – or, at least, possible – is some forms of bacteria.
But a bacterium is life. Its existence would mean that the conditions for life to develop had existed elsewhere than on Earth. And if bacteria can develop, then who’s to say that there isn’t, somewhere, a soccer team competing for another planet’s World Cup?
In fact, bacteria on Mars wouldn’t answer the big question. Rocks disturbed by huge meteor and asteroid impacts have travelled between the two planets. There’s nothing to say that bacteria on Mars did not get there from Earth. Come to that, there’s nothing to say that intelligent life did not develop on Earth as a result of primitive bacteria that travelled from Mars and found better conditions for development here. Because the big question is: has life developed from scratch in more than one place in the universe?
It’s a question scientists are wary of. Charles Darwin, when he mapped out the way that life forms evolved, carefully avoided any mention of where they came from. He didn’t talk about God, and nor did he talk about blind chance. There are scientists who will say that even the simplest lifeforms are so complex that it is almost impossible that the sequence of processes that led to formation of the first bacterium was ever reproduced elsewhere in the universe, and so we are alone. And there are others who say, ‘If it’s that complex, how could it have happened by accident? And if it was planned, by whom? And by what stretch of arrogance would earthlings claim that it was planned only once, and uniquely to this planet?
Fred Hoyle and N. Chandra Wickramasinghe said that it was impossible that life could have started by chance. The odds, they said, amounted to one chance in 10 to the power of 40,000. Since most ordinary humans can’t visualise such a number, they helpfully added that it was “an outrageously small probability.” Richard Dawkins disagrees and treats with contempt anyone who believes that the development of life could even theoretically have been anything but an accident. Stephen Hawking, in his last book before he died, said that the universe was not created by God. Instead, it was the inevitable result of the laws of nature. Yes, Stephen. Quite so. And the laws of nature – where did they come from?
The purpose of this book is not to take one side or the other in that argument. It is to explore the present state of knowledge and to say where humanity now stands on the question of whether or not we are alone in the universe. Because there isn’t the slightest doubt: that is a question that has occupied humans since they became human, and it’s a question that shows no sign of going away.
And if there are intelligent beings elsewhere in the universe – where are they?
The Cuban Revolution saw the overthrow of General Fulgencio Batista, who himself had himself seized power in a military coup, after several years of armed struggle by the forces of Fidel Castro. Castro was a former lawyer who had been angered by Batista’s abolition of elections after he had seized power and his co-operation in the exploitation of Cuban resources by American businesses. Castro survived imprisonment and exile from his own country and fought a guerrilla war against government forces from 1953 to 1959.
Having forced Batista to flee the country Castro declared himself ‘President for Life’, but crucially on a platform of acting for the people of Cuba. Castro was socialist in his political outlook, desiring to see Cuban resources in the hands of the Cuban people and not foreign companies. This led to him being snubbed by his most powerful neighbour, the United States, and drove Cuba in the welcoming arms of the Soviet Union. Cuba became an ally of the Soviets, a fact which would increase the tensions of the Cold War exponentially, due to Cuba’s proximity to mainland America. This tension would reach its peak during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
The expulsion of Batista and the rise of Castro’s Communist dictatorship would have a profound effect on world politics for the next fifty years, bringing the world to the brink of nuclear disaster. This revolution was the last in a series of armed conflicts fought by Cubans against the rule and exploitation of foreign powers. The first significant series of conflicts occurred in the second half of the eighteenth century and resulted in both Cuban independence from Spain and its immediate annexation by the United States. These independence conflicts shifted the antagonists for the Cuban nationalists from the Spanish imperialists to the American capitalists. In turn, this would encourage the growth of socialist ideologies and the ultimate rejection of America and the West and alignment with the Soviet Union.
Get a free copy of 'History's Bloodiest Revolutions' at Smashwords here
Giveaway on first 50 books or until May 1st.
A small excerpt on the chapter on Indulgences from "History's Greatest Deceptions and Confidence Scams."
It’s unclear exactly when the practice of selling Indulgences was stopped, but it probably had something to do with the Reformation. The Reformation was the largest schism the Christian faith has ever seen, and like all great moments in Christianity, it started with something being nailed to a piece of wood.
The something was Martin Luther’s Ninety-five Theses, a scathing document about making Christianity more accessible to the common people, calling out Tetzel by name for charging people for salvation, and arguably claiming that the poor couldn’t afford to get into heaven. This was the protest that started Protestantism.
Luther translated the Bible into common vernacular, getting away from the Latin that the average person couldn’t understand. As an example of how little the average church-goer understood of what they heard: the magical phrase “hocus pocus” is actually a mishearing of the phrase “hoc es mea corpus”, meaning “this is my body” from the communion rites.
It’s probable that once believers could actually understand their holy book they came to realise that there wasn’t anything that directly mentioned Purgatory, let alone Indulgences. We can also assume that priests were a bit more careful about scamming their congregation with hip new competition down the street.
But, you may be asking, why wasn’t Protestantism stamped out by the Inquisition? That’s how the Church dealt with all its previous opponents. The thing was, all those previous “heretics” didn’t have the backing of a monarch. Protestantism, however, happened to come along just when Henry VIII of England was having an argument with the pope over whether or not he was married to Catherine of Aragon.
They couldn’t agree and so the Reformation found itself with a very powerful ally. It wasn’t long after that the Catholic Church issued an official decree condemning the abuse of Indulgences. They do still exist in a heavily altered form today, one much closer to a charitable donation to the Church.
Read more about indulgences and many other scams throughout human history in 'History's Greatest Deceptions and Confidence Scams' available on Amazon.
It’s been a labor of love to capture some of our favorite stories and delve deep into their details, finally putting them all down on paper. The hard part was really choosing which ones to include into this first book; there’s definitely going to be more!. There’s just too many amazing tales of deception and swindling out there not to chronicle them – I think about the sheer audacity of some of the greatest con-men over the ages and am constantly reminded of that phrase attributed to the great showman P.T.Barnum - “there’s a sucker born every minute”. I just don’t want to be one of them.
All the hours, days and weeks of research putting this book together have really provoked some deep reflection for me on human nature, and how we relate to others. While I still fundamentally believe that people are fundamentally good and honest, there’s always going to be an element out there that seeks the easy buck and the easy gain. It makes for some great storytelling!
Well, what can I say?
It took two years to get this project done. Today I received the first proofs of a book co written by myself and Mark.
Its Titled 'History's Greatest Deceptions and Confidence Scams"
It was intense. The research, the rewrites, the cleaning up, the editing, the formatting, the font selection, the paper color selection, I must have read the content over 100 times.
But we wanted to get it right. And, well.... Mark and I think it's a good collection of stories.
At this same time, I am writing a Historical Fiction story and co-writing another book on History's Greatest warriors, as well as working on a book about Alien life.
Busy times. Bursting creativity and late evenings. It truly is a labour of love.
We would like to welcome our first author, a good friend of ours since the late 1980's.
Johnathan's book, "History's Bloodiest Revolutions" is a great read for those that enjoy a blow by blow account of modern history's most notorious revolutions.
It is with great pleasure that we welcome him to our little publishing company and we hope to see more of his work in the near future.
Details of his book can be found here
Welcome aboard John
Although it may look quiet here, there is plenty going on behind the scenes.
Our first book, a subject on Deceptions and confidence scams is set to be released soon. Hold your breath.
Its been two years since I started the research on this subject and approached Mark for help. We had delays, more research to do to get the facts straight, and real life got in the way.
I am pretty confident that the book should be out sometime within the next month, and in the meantime, I will try to publish the introduction somewhere on this site to wet everyone's appetite.
So here it is, my first blog. I was trying to come up with something earth shattering and monumental, something that would go down in history.
Then reality kicked in, at about the same time as my second glass of Glen Deveron.
Who am I? I'm 48 years old, and life in Montreal Quebec, Canada with a wonderful woman, who puts up with everything my crazy brain farts out.
My partner in crime in this project is Mark Rodger, another kindred spirit, someone who shares my sense of humor, and is equally jaded. Mark lives in Winnipeg, which is unfortunate for him. His winters are longer and more brutal, plus his city lacks culture and sophistication.
So we are currently cooking up several titles. As is evident on our home page, where you can see some sneak peeks of the titles, we are planning on releasing some historical themed books.
Writing is not always rewarding. Sitting alone in front of a screen, trying to think of something clever to put to paper, It comes in bursts and spurts, the ideas, they flow, then they stop and disappear. Perhaps its just the scotch.
I'm excited because we got our ISBN number yesterday, and I just have some finishing touches to put to paper. A small summary and closing thoughts chapter. My goal is 3000-4000 words. Something to wrap up the work like the introduction.