Thursday, January 21, 2010

Anne White - Malice and the Road to Lake George

Editor's Note: A big 'Cozy Murder Mysteries' welcome to Anne White, author of the Lake George mysteries, as she tells us about her experiences with Malice Domestic, a wonderful organization for authors of murder mysteries. Enjoy!!

Ten years ago, a talented young writer, Matt Witten, from nearby Saratoga Springs, taught a mystery writing course for the Lake George Arts Project in upstate New York. Matt, who wrote a series of mysteries set in Saratoga Springs, including the prize-winning Breakfast at Madeline’s, is now in California where he’s been a writer for Law and Order, Poltergeist and other TV shows.

Matt was not only a great teacher; he was incredibly supportive and encouraging to his students. He urged me to finish my first Lake George Mystery, An Affinity For Murder, and to enter the Malice Domestic Unpublished Writers Grant competition, which he’d won a few years before. Malice Domestic, an organization of mystery writers and readers, holds a mystery conference every spring in Washington, D.C. ( I urge you all, especially those working on their first book, to check this out.

The afternoon I picked up my phone and learned I was a winner of a Malice grant is still one of my all-time highs.

The next thing I knew I was getting calls from a literary agent suggesting he represent me. I didn’t realize what a miracle that was – an agent calling me, not once, not twice, but three times, before I stopped putting him off

The ups and down which followed made for a wild ride. The grant ($500 then, now $1000, plus registration for the Malice conference) was a terrific boost, but financial problems at the company which published the book plunged me into despair. Fortunately, things straightened out, and two years later Affinity (Oak Tree Publishing) had been published and was nominated as a Malice Domestic Best First Mystery.

Since then, I’ve published three more Lake George Mysteries (Beneath The Surface, Best Laid Plans and Secrets Dark and Deep) with the fifth, Cold Winter Nights, coming soon. (Hilliard and Harris)

This time I’ve set the story in winter and have included some of the cold weather activities we enjoy here, like skiing at fabulous Gore Mountain and other terrific ski areas. My characters take part in a colorful winter activity held each year at Lake George Village on New Year’s Day, the annual Polar Bear Plunge, in which almost 1000 men, women and adolescents wade, creep or dive into the icy waters in temperatures which often hover around 0 degrees. Believe it or not, this event has actually taken place for more than twenty years and grows in popularity all the time. I also introduced a fictional winter activity, a Carnivale on the Ice, and set a maniacal killer in a Mardi Gras mask in pursuit of Loren Graham, my protagonist.

Loren gave me so much trouble as I was finishing this book, I was tempted to let the villain catch her. But maybe your readers will want to find out what happens for themselves. Cold Winter Nights is now available from Amazon, and will soon be at Hilliard and Harris and book stores.

The first four books were also published by Harlequin’s Worldwide Book Club. ( Worldwide Library Worldwide Mysteries)

Anne White:


  1. I love reading cozies. Very enlightening interview!

  2. Thanks for introducing us to Anne, Donna. Great interview! I'm looking forward to reading the Lake George mysteries.

    Mystery Writing is Murder
    Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen

  3. A great story and an interesting new author topped off with a new mystery series to check out. Thanks so much.