Saturday, June 11, 2011

Concerto by Sandra Miller

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"I see you."

Three simple words from her telephone in the dead of night send violinist Chrispen Marnett's life spiraling in directions she never imagined. The chance to work with the greatest violinist alive drew her to Newton, but nothing could have prepared her for what she found there. Terror lurks in unexpected places--a ringing phone, a late-night rehearsal, unexpected flowers.

And what could have prepared her for Alexis Brooks: symphony concertmaster, international superstar, and accused murderer? Withdrawn and moody, Alexis is cut off from everyone around him; his colleagues in the symphony, his fans, even his own father. Everyone from her mother to the Newton Police has warned Chrispen against Alexis, but as her own danger increases, he may be her only ally.

Join Chrispen on the journey of a lifetime as she fights for her sanity, her happiness, and her life. To survive, she must unravel the layers of the past and learn the secrets the Newton Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra hides.

The dream was always the same.

I was running, running as fast as I could, running for my life--and for someone else's. Cold sweat pasted my clothes to me, and my feet screamed in painful protest. My throat made ragged choking sounds as I struggled to pull in air.

But I knew it didn't matter. I knew I was too late.

A building loomed up ahead, a brick building with climbing ivy, a building I had to get inside. It was so close, and yet so impossibly far away. Still, it was in sight. I felt a doomed hope rush through me, and I did what I would have sworn couldn't be done--I ran even faster.

I was holding nothing back now, my muscles working so frantically there was no time for pain. One of my blood-spattered canvas tennis shoes worked itself completely off my foot on the stairs. I didn't slow down, really didn't even notice. My attention was fixed on the third-floor landing, coming into view. Just around the corner now....I had to go faster....

I heard a woman scream, but I couldn't have told you if it was me or her.

The door was cracked open. But even as I pushed it open I knew I was too late; even as I first saw her lying bleeding on the living room floor I knew I couldn't save her....

And then I heard the footsteps, and I knew I couldn't save myself.

About Sandra Miller

Sandra Miller is an author. She's that girl you knew in school who always had a notebook in one hand and a pen in the other, and spent every spare second experimenting with ways to put them together.

She's also a violinist who has performed with the Las Vegas Symphony Orchestra, the UNLV Symphony Orchestra, and played in the band for a Kenny Rogers show. She's done productions of Oklahoma!, Le Nozze di Figaro, Madame Butterfly, and too many others to list. She's been playing and teaching music for nearly thirty years.

Her fiction works have previously appeared in Alienskin Magazine, Long Story Short, and Bewildering Stories.

Her poetry has appeared at Storyhouse, and one of her poems won the Grand Prize in the FictionAddiction 2002 poetry contest.

Her non-fiction articles have appeared in Writer's Journal, Music for the Love of It, Antiques & Collecting Magazine, Writing World, Vision for Writers, and Writer's Forum, a Writer's Digest publication.

Interview with Sandra Miller

N.L. Earnshaw: What will readers like about your book?

I think Bobbie Crawford-McCoy said it best:

" is an easy read that grabs the reader's attention and holds it to the very last page."

Sandra Miller: Concerto also provides an interesting view into the lives of working musicians. I have played the violin since I was ten years old, and for quite a few years was a working musician in various venues. But I found that even the family members of musicians usually have very little idea what it's really like; what it's like to play music, as a soloist or with others; what goes on at rehearsals, etc. Concerto gave me a way to make a window into that life, for those that would care to take a peek.

N.L. Earnshaw: Why did you self publish?

Sandra Miller: I think the writing has been on the wall for our current form of traditional publishing for quite a few years now. I'm not sure what form that industry will ultimately take when this all shakes out, but in the meantime, it seems to be the most promising place for new books right now is the self-published arena. The opportunities offered right now to writers who are willing to step up and learn the ropes are very exciting--nothing like it has ever existed in publishing as we know it.

N.L. Earnshaw: What is your writing process?

Sandra Miller: Some days I'm not even sure I have one! I have a full time job, so I have to make time for writing outside of that. And I have found that, at least for me, doing the homework like plotting and world-building before I start writing results in a much more solid end product. I try to document and share the things that work for me on my website and my blog. It can be difficult to pin down certain aspects of the process, though--there are parts of it that always seem like magic to me. I suppose that's why I keep coming back. :)

N.L. Earnshaw: How long does it take you to write your first draft?

Sandra Miller: That depends heavily on the story. I have had first drafts that took months, and first drafts that stretched into years. Epic fantasy novels (like the series I am currently working on) can take years for me to do, around everything else I do. Concerto, being a modern-time suspense thriller, didn't require all that world-building and other work that can really stretch out the process. It only took a few months.

N.L. Earnshaw: What inspired you to write this particular story?

Sandra Miller: Two things. It isn't common knowledge, but the stalking storyline that forms the basis of Concerto is based on some things that actually happened to me years ago. Of course it has been changed and reformed into the story, so there is little connection now to the events that actually did take place. And second, I wanted to write a story that was infused with music, where music was so important to the story it is almost a character itself. For me, the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto is wound so tightly through the story, it as practically another character.

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  1. Nice to meet you both.
    I love music and because of this one thing, I'm already drawn to this book. It sounds intriguing. My own book, The Treasures of Carmelidrium, has a flute which when played is magical. But only by my heroine. LOL

    Looking forward to hearing more about you.
    N. R. Williams

  2. Wow, that sounds like an interesting story! I'll have to check that one out. Thanks for visiting!