If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com

Our September Author Interviews--9/6 Kathleen Valenti, 9/13 David Burnsworth, 9/20 Jeri Westerson, 9/27 Frances Brody. Please join us in welcoming these authors to WWK.

September Saturday Guest Bloggers: 9/2--Anne Bannon, 9/9 WWK Bloggers, 9/16 Margaret S. Hamilton, 9/23 Kait Carson, and on 9/30 Trixie Stiletto.


“May 16, 2017 – The Women’s Fiction Writers Association (WFWA) today announced the finalists of the second annual Star Award, given to authors of published women’s fiction. Six finalists were chosen in two categories, General and Outstanding Debut. The winners of the Star Award will be announced at the WFWA Retreat in Albuquerque, New Mexico on September 23, 2017.” In the general category, WWK’s Carla Damron was one of three finalist for her novel, The Stone Necklace. Go to Carladamron.com for more information. Congratulations, Carla!

Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Warren Bull's new Lincoln mystery, Abraham Lincoln In Court & Campaign has been released. Look for the Kindle version on February 3.

Shari Randall's "Pets" will be included in Chesapeake Crimes: Fur, Feathers, and Felonies anthology, which will be published in 2018. In the same anthology "Rasputin," KM Rockwood's short story, will also be published. Her short story "Goldie" will be published in the Busted anthology, which will be released by Level Best Books on April 25th.

In addition, our prolific KM will have the following shorts published as well: "Sight Unseen" in Fish Out of Water, Guppie (SinC) anthology, just released, and "Making Tracks" in Passport to Murder, Bouchercon anthology, October 2017.

Margaret S. Hamilton's short story, "Once a Kappa" was published as a finalist in the Southern Writer's Magazine annual short story contest issue. Mysterical-E published her "Double Crust Corpse" in the Fall 2016 issue. "Baby Killer" will appear in the 2017 solar eclipse anthology Day of the Dark to be published this summer prior to the eclipse in August.

James M. Jackson's 4th book in the Seamus McCree series, Doubtful Relations, is now available. His novella "Low Tide at Tybee" appears February 7 as part of Lowcountry Crimes: Four Novellas, which is available for order.
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Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Anita Page Interview and book Give Away
















Anita Page’s debut crime novel, Damned If You Don’t (L&L Dreamspell), is set in the Catskill Mountains, where she worked as a freelance journalist. The book features community activist and teacher, Hannah Fox, daughter of sixties radicals, who finds herself on the side of a killer when her battle to stop an eminent domain scam ends in murder.

Anita’s short stories have appeared in journals, webzines, and anthologies including Murder New York Style: Fresh Slices (L&L Dreamspell) and the MWA anthology The Prosecution Rests (Little, Brown). She received a Derringer Award from the Short Mystery Fiction Society in 2010 for “‘Twas the Night,” which appeared in The Gift of Murder. She’s a member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and the Short Mystery Fiction Society. She can be found online at www.womenofmystery.net and www.anitapagewriter.blogspot.com.
Can you tell us a little about yourself and your writing?
Warren, I’m happy to be here today. Thanks so much for the opportunity.
I began writing short stories in college, and over the years had a few published. Although I was an avid reader of Golden Age authors like Sayers, Marsh and Allingham, it was a long time before I tried writing crime fiction. I taught for a bit and also worked as a journalist, first for a monthly paper in New York City—my home town—and later, after moving to the Catskills, as a freelance feature writer for a regional newspaper.

After a long hiatus during which I taught first graders to read and write, I began writing crime fiction full time. I had some short stories published in webzines and anthologies and began work on a full-length mystery that I imagined would be grabbed up immediately. Clueless, I admit. Two years later, I finished a second manuscript, Damned If You Don’t, which I submitted to L&L Dreamspell. They’d published Murder New York Style, an anthology that included one of my stories, and I hoped that connection would get the manuscript read. It did, and they offered me a contract. The book was published this year in paperback and as an eBook.

You've had considerable success with short stories and now you have a well-received novel. Which do you enjoy writing more? What did you learn from writing short stories that helped you with your novel?

If you ask a greedy person like me whether I’d like cake or ice cream, I’ll say: Some of each, please. It’s the same with short stories and novels. I love the fact that when I begin to write a short story, I see it as a whole, like a piece of pottery you hold in your hand. There may be surprises along the way as characters assert themselves, but the shape of the thing remains constant. In writing a novel, I’m happy if I can see my hand in front of my face, let alone know the shape the thing will take. But working on a novel brings a different kind of pleasure, and that is getting to live in a world I’ve created.
The great lesson in writing short stories is economy. You don’t need a lot of details to breathe life into your characters. You just need the right ones.


Can you tell us about your novel?

So glad you asked!

Damned If You Don’t, set in the Catskill Mountains, features Hannah Fox, a community activist and teacher, daughter of sixties radicals whose childhood was dominated by her parents’ politics. Though it wasn’t part of her plan, Hannah’s social conscience leads her on a similar path. With the backing of a tight-knit group of activist women friends, Hannah takes on the power brokers behind a fraudulent eminent domain scheme that ends in murder. When her friend becomes a suspect, Hannah is drawn into the police investigation—and into a relationship with the lead detective that complicates her already shaky marriage. As she probes the dead man’s past, Hannah faces hard choices, convinced the murder was a heroic act even when it’s clear she may be the killer’s next victim.

What was it like dealing with your publisher?

It’s been a pleasure working with Lisa Smith and Linda Houle at L&L Dreamspell. Linda gets the credit for the book cover, which has gotten many positive responses. It’s also been great having the chance to connect with other L&L writers.

You have some great reviews. As a first-time novelist, how did you persuade well-known authors to read and write blurbs for your book?

I’ve met a lot of writers through Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America, and also by attending mystery writers’ conferences. This is such a generous and supportive community. Here’s one example: At the first NY/Tri-State SinC meeting I attended, I sat next to a woman who asked about my writing. When I told her I was trying to sell a manuscript, she gave me the name of her agent, and offered to contact him and tell him to expect my query. I was grateful and amazed, but have come to realize that’s typical of the way mystery writers’ reach out to each other. Your sharing this space is another example of that, Warren.

Is Hannah Fox going to be a continuing character? If so, what characteristic and skills does she have that make her interesting enough so readers will want to follow her adventures?

At the risk of sounding like a bragging mom, I think Hannah’s got what it takes to carry a series. She’s a smart, strong, compassionate woman who loves her dog and her friends and is willing to take on the bad guys for a just cause. However, as a reader I’d be skeptical if an amateur like Hannah once again became involved in a murder investigation that put her in life-threatening situations. For that reason, I’ve made her an important secondary character in the new book, along with Jack Grundy, the cop with whom she may or may not be having a serious relationship. My new protagonist is a journalist on tryout at the local newspaper. She’s young, edgy and has a very dark past—a lot of fun to write.

Do you have an online "presence" and how important is that for relatively unknown writers like me and you?

Here’s my fantasy: That we’re back in the first half of the twentieth century when writers had no responsibility other than to turn out a book every few years and show up at an occasional cocktail party pretending to be social but really thinking about the next chapter.
That said, I love the fact that we have this online community where we can meet other writers and readers, share ideas and support one another’s work. I’ve been blogging for a few years at Women of Mystery with friends from the NY/Tri-State chapter of Sisters in Crime. I’m also at anitapagewriter.blogspot.com, a web blog that I find more flexible and easier to manage than a traditional website. In addition, I drop in at several listservs and blogs, including this one. Like everyone else, I struggle not to let that eat into my writing time.

Do you often get mistaken for the silent movie star who shares your name? :-)

Do you believe that this woman, who died in 2008 at the age of 98, still has a following, if her website is any indication? We should all have such a loyal fan base.

What question would you like be asked and what is your answer?

Question: Which writers do you re-read?
Answer: Here are six off the top of my head: Elmore Leonard, the master of economy, who I read again and again to try to figure out how he does it; Donald Westlake who made comedy look easy when it’s the hardest thing in the world; Denise Mina whose Paddy Meehan is one of my favorite protags ever—talk about a character breathing on the page; Julia Spencer-Fleming for the pleasure of hanging out with Clare and Russ (and wasn’t it a relief when they finally got together); Donna Leon for her elegant prose and the joy of wandering through Venice with Guido Brunetti; the great Stewart O’Nan who makes you forget you’re holding a book in your hand.

Warren, thank you once again! This has been fun.




Anita has been kind enough to offer to send a copy of the book to someone who leaves a comment with a valid e-mail address (She writes mysteries. She does not solve them.) and who lives in the United States (dratted postage.) So please leave a comment below.

24 comments:

Jacqueline Seewald said...

Hi, Anita and Warren,

I thoroughly enjoyed reading DAMNED IF YOU DON'T. It's an exceptional mystery novel that I recommend.

Have a happy 4th of July!

Best,

Jacqueline Seewald
DEATH LEGACY
THE TRUTH SLEUTH

James Montgomery Jackson said...

Anita, welcome to WWK and congratulations on your stories and novel.

My main protagonist's son, Patrick McCree, keeps telling his father, Seamus McCree, that "it's all about networking."

Given my druthers I too would be a shy introvert, but that isn't life in the 21st century.

Any tips for those trying to figure out what works best?

~ Jim

E. B. Davis said...

I find it amazing that you didn't carry your main character through to the next book, but you chose her to be an important secondary character. Do you see your series developing by making different characters in your stories the new main character for each new book? Will you ever get back to the original main character?

Elizabeth George uses this technique as well. I found the change in POV fascinating from book to book since we see the characters as the others in the series see them.

The hard part will be to carry the character arcs.

Perhaps Warren can follow up with you as you continue to write. I'd love to know how it goes.

Anita Page said...

Jacquie, I'm glad you enjoyed the book. Thanks so much for the kind words.

Jim, I enjoy hanging out with other writers and readers in person and online. The issue for me--as it is for all of us--is time. Writing has to be the priority. I'm probably the last writer on the planet who doesn't do Facebook or Twitter.

E.B., great questions. The fun for me in writing the new book is exactly as you say--the chance to see Hannah Fox through the eyes of other characters. And you're absolutely right about the importance of carrying the character arcs. The plan for book three is so tentative I don't dare say it out loud, but, yes, I'd love to stay in touch with you all.

Linda Rodriguez said...

Welcome to WWK, Anita!Like EB, I'm fascinated by your plan to carry your series along with a focus on a different one of the characters in each book. Do come back and let us know how that works out for you!

Kevin R. Tipple said...

Congrats on the enw novel. Having enjoyed your short story work I suspect the new novel will absolutely be a huge hit.

Kevin
kevinrtipple@verizon.net

Anita Page said...

Linda, thank you. I'm happy to be here.

Kevin, so nice of you to say that. Thanks for stopping by.

About Bobbi C. said...

Great interview, Anita! And congratulations on the publication of your book. LOVE that cover. Happy trails! bobbi c.

Barb Goffman said...

I hope the book is continuing to sell well, Anita.

Richard North Patterson (who, admittedly, I haven't read in a while - too many good authors, too little time), often writes (or used to write?) new books from the point of view of a character who had been a secondary character in a prior book. I remember one book where the main character went out to eat, and across the room spotted an old friend, who had been the main character in a prior book. I liked the small-world feel of that approach. I hope you'll be as successful.

Barb at barbgoffman dot com

Gloria Alden said...

Welcome to WWK, Anita. I, too, think it's fascinating that you're going to focus on different characters while still bringing the others back as a secondary character. I'm looking forward to reading your book, DAMNED IF YOU DON'T. It sounds like one I'd really enjoy.

Anita Page said...

I'm glad you like the cover, Bobbi.

Barb, that's exactly what appeals to me, the feeling of being in a familiar world and seeing someone you've know well from a different perspective.

Warren Bull said...

Sorry, Sorry Sorry. I should never write emails before I am entirely correct. DAMNED IF YOU DON'T is the novel's title. I have no idea what happens if you do,

Nancy Means Wright said...

Great title and fascinating characters, Anita. And I love the Catskill setting. I've brought secondary characters back into my mysteries, too--one, in fact, turned into my protagonist. If you have one who captures your heart, why not?

Anita Page said...

Warren, no apology necessary. You're not the first person to make that switch.

Nancy, I agree. What's interesting to me is that I'm learning things about Hannah this time around that I never knew before.

dkchristi said...

A great interview! I often wonder how much of the writer is included in the characters about whom they write. dkchristi.com author of Ghost Orchid

Anita Page said...

An interesting question, DK. I don't think of myself as Hannah, but we've got a lot in common including our politics and the fact that we're both uninspired housekeepers.

I wonder if it's possible to write a character who doesn't have at least a drop of the author's DNA.

Georgia said...

Anita, you have helped me today."You don't need a lot of details to breathe life into your characters. You just need the right ones." I am killing myself with short story research this week. Think E.B.Davis' parallel with (Elizabeth George)Thomas Lynley's friends very interesting.Look forward to reading your novel.

Georgia Wilson
georgiaruthwilson@gmail.com

Jan Christensen said...

Wonderful interview, Anita. Thanks to Warren for hosting you, too. Interesting that you are using the same setting, some of the same characters, but a different lead character in your next novel. I am also doing that--two of the books written, and one published so far. I agree about the social networking. It in itself can be addictive, but it takes away time for writing. A very fine balance. Good luck with everything you're doing--short stories, novels and networking. Your novel sounds fascinating.

Anita Page said...

Georgia, I'm glad to have been helpful. Deciding what to leave out is always difficult--almost as hard as deciding what to include.

Jan, thanks for stopping by.It's interesting that we've both taken this direction. I look forward to reading your books.

Terrie Farley Moran said...

I already own and read DAMNED IF YOU DON'T. It is a wonderful story, rich with local flavor and enchanting characters. I am soooo happy to hear that Hannah will be back!!!! Even as a secondary character, she'll be awesome.

pennyt said...

I went to college in the Catskills in the 60s, so this book looks very interesting to me. Thanks for a great interview.

pennyt at hotmail dot com

Anita Page said...

Terrie, I'm so glad you liked the book.

Penny, I appreciate your stopping by.

Thanks all for taking the time to comment today.

Special thanks to Warren for hosting me, and to WWKers Jim, E.B.,Linda and Gloria for the warm welcome.

Good luck to all on the giveway. I'll notify the winner by email.

Nikki said...

Jumping in late on this, but I look forward to reading Damned If You Don't in the near future. It sounds terrific. I love the idea of demoting a main character for your next installment, and the rationale is sound, especially for an amateur sleuth. I'm struggling to find plausible murders for my art gallery crew. Maybe I'll steal your idea...
Anita, you're NOT the last writer who doesn't FB or Twit! I only just started a blog, and I reluctantly bought a cell phone less than a year ago. Social media is fine, but you're absolutely right, it does eat into writing time.

Nikki Andrews
Framed
www.scrivenersriver.blogspot.com

Betty Gordon said...

Warren, thanks for a delightful interview with Anita Page. I enjoyed it from start to finish.

Anita, Hannah Fox is certainly a symbol of a strong woman and I can understand why you plan to continue her in your next works. I look forward to reading "Damned If You Don’t."