Author Interview: Zaida Alfaro

Do you play music while you write — and, if so, what’s your favorite?

While I write, I shuffle my Pandora stations.  Matchbox Twenty; and The Lumineers radio are the top two stations I have on constant shuffle. 

How did you come up with the title for your book?

If you are a musician, whether you are a vocalist or play an instrument, the song that you are playing and/or singing is in a certain key, for example, G, D, E, etc.  Hence, the title, In the Key of Dead: A Miami Music Mystery.

How long have you been writing or when did you start?

I have been writing since I was very young.  I would always write my family poems or short stories.  I am a story-teller at heart.  So, when I was eighteen years old, I took my journal and my beat-up classical guitar to a studio, and I recorded my first record.  I have continued to release records, thereafter.  Then, many years ago, I became an avid reader of cozy mysteries.  Honestly, I did not know that the Cozy genre existed until then.  One day my sister said to me, “you read so many novels, why don’t you write one yourself.”  That was the moment I wanted to become an writer, not a poet, not a songwriter, but a mystery writer. 

If you could spend a day with another popular author, whom would you choose?

Stephen King.  He is a musician as well.  I would like to get writing advice and have a jam session.

If your book were made into a movie, which actors would play your characters?

Vy = Florence Pugh

Alexia = Gal Gadot

Detective Houston = Chris Evans

Detective Gunbar = Pedro Pascal

Detective Belinda Moreno = Kate Winslet

Matt Evans = Chris Hemsworth

What author in your genre do you most admire, and why?

Victoria Laurie.  Victoria is an Author and Psychic.  I admire her as a writer and person.  The Psychic Eye Mysteries were thrilling and comical.  I fell in love with her characters, and the flow of the storylines. When I began writing my first cozy, The Last Note, I tried to mirror her writing technique.  In her newsletters, she not only speaks about what is to come, book wise, but she is not afraid to vocalize how she feels about what is happening in society today, her political views, and everything else in between.  I admire that voice, greatly.

What characters in your book are most similar to you or to people you know?

Vy = Definitely me!

Alexia = My older sister

Detective Belinda Moreno

Matt Evans

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

I love to perform.  Whether I am performing in person, or in my living room, I love to pick up my guitar and escape into my musical world. 

What inspired the idea for your book?

My musical career has been my inspiration for my novels.  I decided to put my musical experiences on paper, sensationalize it a bit, and add a murder or two. 

Which of the characters do you relate to the most and why?

Vy is the character I relate to.  The Miami Music Mystery series’ main backdrop, the amazing city of Miami, Florida, is beloved and well-known to me.  I was born and raised in Miami, and like the novel’s main character Vy, I am a singer/songwriter, Grammy considered, independent artist.  All things relating to music or literature are my passion. 

Your social media links (Twitter, Facebook, Amazon, etc…)

Instagram: zaidamusic

Twitter: zaidamusic

Facebook: ZaidaMusic and ZaidaAuthor