Musicians Secret litty matthew

An interview with Litty Mathew, author of The Musician’s Secret

On the morning of the day I started reading Litty’s novel I was captured by an article buried in The Guardian about the Armenian genocide during the 1st World War. Just a few hours later, I found myself in the midst of a novel that uses the very same events as it’s context. Perhaps there was some synchronicity involved as I had never given it a second thought. I’m not sure what comes next, perhaps another revelation of something we all ought to be more aware of.

The Review

Musicians Secret CoverThe Musician’s Secret is a wonderful read; set in the present but referencing the past, it tells of the last days of a Rupen Najarian, an eighty-three-year-old duduk maestro living in Glendale, California. Rupen has a secret and it takes a physical and psychological earthquake to reveal it. Throughout the story small snippets hint at the enormity of the lie his life is based on and it only comes to light because one young Armenian takes it upon himself to attempt blackmail.

The beauty of this novel lies in its simplicity; two central characters dancing in and around each other. The reader embarks on a journey into the Armenian culture at the same time, revealing what makes this people unique and why their history is so important to them.

I couldn’t put it down, I loved it.

The Litty Matthew Interview

litty matthewWhat is one thing that no-one would usually know about you?

My mind is almost always on my next meal. My theory is that it is part of my particular caveperson DNA.  My ancestors most likely survived because they were obsessed with what and when to eat. Thanks, Uncle Grogg for passing it down to me.

Are the names of your characters important to you?

This is an interesting question because on the surface I don’t think character names are important when I’m writing the first draft. However, my subconscious seems to think differently. Months after, when I’ve had some distance from the first draft, I’ll notice something about the names. For example, I have a main character in one of my projects whose last name is St. Jude – the patron saint of lost causes. I couldn’t agree more!

How did you choose a title for your book?

I was so certain my debut novel, The Musician’s Secret, would have been titled by the original working name I gave it. In fact, I was attached to it for more than six years. But when it came time to publish, I asked my panel of first readers to pick for a list of titles and they picked The Musician’s Secret. I took their advice and I think it was the right choice.

Do you have any hints or tips for aspiring writers?

I don’t know if this either a hint or a tip.  But I tell everyone who will listen that we all have a story to tell. And here’s a way to recognize what that is: any time you ask “what if?” What if that women at the next cafe table reached over and slapped her companion? What if this bridge I’m on just dropped into the ocean? What if signifies a premise. And premise always leads to a theme you want to explore.

How do you remain sane while working?

Most writers, like me, must have a day job that pays the bills steady. For me, it is not a writing job but being part of the family business. I have a pretty unusual day job. I run Los Angeles’ only craft distillery with my husband. It’s a great gig dreaming up jasmine liqueur and six-woods malt whiskey so I shouldn’t complain. It’s the job that I hope will one day allow me to follow my calling: writing. I don’t think of writing as work. It’s my passion and it is never a slog. Whenever I get discouraged, I remind myself how lucky I am to be able to get away and write. Also, I’ve noticed that all my characters like their alcohol.

Tea, Coffee, Water, Juice, Wine or Beer … which do you prefer when writing?

None of the above. Naturally,  the day job does provide a natural bias towards cocktails!

If you could commit the perfect murder where would you hide the body?

Unfortunately, I think about this a lot. It is my (humble) opinion that the best place and time to commit a murder is during a natural or manmade disaster. I live in Los Angeles, where earthquakes occur often. What if, I was chatting with my arch nemesis on one such occasion. Something “fell” off a shelf and hit this terrible person on the head?



You can find The Musician’s Secret in Kindle and paperback format here:

You can also catch up with Litty on her website and on Twitter @littymathew



These posts are called The Thursday Throng in honour of the throng that waits eagerly outside the book store when a new author is doing a book signing event or appearance. On this website it takes the form of a ‘Meet the Author‘ online event with some information about our author’s latest book and an interview. If you would like to take part in the Thursday Throng then why not visit Thursday Throng Author Interview Guidelines to find out more.

If you would like to see all the Authors who have been featured on The Thursday Throng you can click here:

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  1. Great interview on such an interesting topic. Just bought the Kindle book–can’t wait to dig in.

  2. A good interview and review that has made me want to find out more; there are so many stories still to be told about the Twentieth Century. I’m off to visit now!