Erica Miner discusses her Opera Mystery series and her new release Staged for Murder
Welcome to author Erica Miner whose new cover I just love!
Former Metropolitan Opera violinist Erica Miner is an award-winning author, screenwriter, journalist and lecturer, who actively contributes to major arts websites and magazines. Her debut novel, Travels with my Lovers, won the Fiction Prize in the Direct from the Author Book Awards. The first two novels in her “Opera Mystery” series published by Twilight Times Books, Murder in the Pit and Death by Opera, chronicle assassination and intrigue at the Met Opera and Santa Fe Opera. The third novel in the series, Staged for Murder, which takes place at San Francisco Opera, was released in October 2020.
As an opera expert, Erica is a regular presenter for the Seattle Symphony, Osher Lifelong Living Institute at University of Washington and University of California San Diego, Creative Retirement Institute at Edmonds College (Seattle area) and Wagner Societies on both coasts, among many other venues.
Erica’s mystery novels are available in all formats online, in libraries and bookstores and through her publisher, Twilight Times Books (http://www.twilighttimesbooks.com/StagedforMurder_ch1.html). Details about Erica’s novels, screenplays and lectures can be found on her website, https://www.ericaminer.com.
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/erica.miner1
Twitter handle: https://twitter.com/EmwrtrErica
What would you say are your strengths as an author?
Because of my background as a professional violinist, I’ve learned to be extremely disciplined at my writing, which I think is all important. Having been a musician, I’m also a perfectionist, and I’m committed to rewriting and rewriting until my manuscripts are as flawless and as compelling as possible.
How often do you write, and do you write using a strict routine?
I write every day, most often in the mornings when I’m feeling fresh. My routine is to rise early and get all the “necessities” out of the way: breakfast, exercise et al. Then I’m clear to write all morning and most of the afternoon, or as long as I can continue to produce effectively.
Five years from now, where do you see yourself as a writer?
I hope to have completed my Opera Mystery series with two more novels, which take place at two other opera companies who have expressed interest in having one of my books set in their theatres. Then, with my “opera family” fulfilled, I can continue to do everything I can to get my work out there so people can enjoy it. And maybe even see one of my stories on the silver screen.
If you could offer once piece of advice to a novice writer, what would it be?
Most important is to learn your craft, whether it be writing novels, short stories, screenplays or any other genre. If you want to write mystery novels, for example, learn all you can about that genre, from writers’ and publishers’ websites and blogs to online classes such as those from the Writers Digest. Then you will be ready to attack the blank screen in front of you.
The best compliment would be for a reader to enjoy the read immensely: to both be entertained and to learn something fascinating in the process. That is my greatest reward. I think it stems from being an entertainer in my “former life”!
What are you working on now?
I am working on a biography of my former violin teacher, a celebrated violinist who, sadly, passed away a few years ago. He not only taught me everything I know about playing the violin; he and his wife took me under their wing when I went far from home to study with him. I’ll never forget that. Before he passed, he expressed a wish for me to write for him this account of his extraordinary life and career. I owe absolutely everything to him, so it will surely be a labor of love.
STAGED FOR MURDER
Staged for Murder chronicles the further adventures of Metropolitan Opera violinist Julia Kogan. Having survived murderous mayhem in previous novels at both the Met and Santa Fe Opera, Julia heads to the San Francisco Opera with her significant other, former NYPD detective Larry Somers, and their five-year-old daughter Rachel. Amidst the fiery artistic temperaments, inevitable ego-driven conflicts and emotionally fraught tensions that Julia has discovered are inherent in the art form, the stage is indeed set for murder. But can she leave murder behind? Or rather, will murder fail to follow her?
Publisher’s web page for Staged for Murder (with excerpt): http://www.twilighttimesbooks.com/StagedforMurder_ch1.html
Buy link for Staged for Murder: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08L748R3C
Having survived her entanglement in a murder plot at the Metropolitan Opera in Murder in the Pit, violinist Julia Kogan finds herself once more embroiled in operatic turmoil at the Santa Fe Opera. Against the breathtaking backdrop of mystical New Mexico and the elegant contemporary outdoor Santa Fe Opera Theatre, Julia, now summer concertmaster at the renowned opera company, finds herself smack in the middle of a veritable killing spree backstage. Chaos ensues, as murderous activities plague the performers on stage and off, with a vengeful killer looking to make Julia the next victim.