Author Spotlight no.5 – article writer turned mystery novelist Anne White

To compliment my daily blog interviews I recently started a series of Author Spotlights and today’s, number five, is of Anne White. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate the author further. You can read the others here.

Anne White, author of the Lake George Mystery series had written more than 100 articles on career and book-related topics before switching to mystery writing. Her first book, An Affinity For Murder, was awarded a Malice Domestic Unpublished Writers’ Grant in 1999, an award from publisher, Oak Tree Press in 2000, and a nomination as a Malice Best First Mystery in 2002.

Lake George, the beautiful, 32-mile long, upstate New York lake near White’s Queensbury home, provides a perfect setting and White has found ways to mix murder, area history and lake-related events, real and imaginary, in four more Lake George Mysteries published by Hilliard and Harris – Beneath The Surface, c2005; Best Laid Plans, c2006; Secrets Dark and Deep, c2007 and Cold Winter Nights, c2009.

White, a former high school librarian, has a BA in English and a Masters in Library and Information Science, contributes articles to Mystery Scene, Mystery Readers Journal, Adirondack Guest Informer, area publications and mystery blogs and has appeared on BlogTalkRadio. She is the mother of six children, one of whom, Kate White, is editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan Magazine and author of this years’ thriller The Sixes, as well as career books for women, the Bailey Weggins mystery series and Hush.

Anne White is a member of Mystery Writers of America, the New York State Retired Teachers Association, the National, New York and New England Sisters in Crime, Mavens of Mayhem, Lower Adirondack Regional Arts Council, Lake George Arts Project and Adirondack Center for Writing.

And now from the author herself:

Lake George Mysteries: An Affinity For Murder, Oak Tree Press, c2000. Malice Domestic Grant winner, ’99, Oak Tree’s Dark Oak Award, ’00, Malice Domestic Best First Nominee, ‘02. Beneath the Surface, c’05, Best Laid Plans, c’06, Secrets Dark and Deep c’07, Cold Winter Nights, c’09, Last four from Hilliard and Harris. (Available on Kindle and Nook. Paper copies from Amazon, book stores and publishers. All 5 have been selections in Harlequin Worldwide Book Club.)

Dark Deeds in a Beautiful Setting.

Lake George, the spring-fed, 32-mile-long, upstate New York lake, has proved a terrific setting for a mystery series. In my five Lake George Mysteries, I’ve incorporated information about the lake and some of the fascinating people and exciting events associated with it

In An Affinity For Murder, my 30-something protagonist Ellen Davies comes to Lake George to research artist Georgia O’Keeffe who painted some of her best loved works during her 15 summers there. Ellen stumbles on the body of a murdered art expert, finds long-lost paintings which appear to be O’Keeffe’s work and thinks she’s lucked out with a terrific hook for her article.

Actually, I was the one who lucked out — doing interesting research on art forgery, visiting galleries and New York City’s Museum of Modern Art to see O’Keeffe’s paintings, catching a spectacular traveling exhibit of O’Keeffe’s work at the Phillipp’s Museum in Washington, D.C. Heady stuff for a longtime librarian.

Beneath The Surface involves artifacts from the French and Indian War found in the lake. The longboats used to transport British soldiers from the southern end to the French-held Fort Ticonderoga (Fort Carillon to them) can’t be raised – they’d disintegrate in the air – but they can be explored by divers. When I wrote about this for Mystery Scene, I made my research at the local dive shop so convincing, Editor Kate Stein asked for a photo of me in my scuba gear. Did I have to backpedal fast!

Best Laid Plans begins with the opening of a community center which my new protagonist, Loren Graham, Emerald Point mayor, hopes will lure tourists to the sleepy little town. The discovery of a body among life-sized statues of Lake George heroes, Rogers’ Rangers, is so not what she had in mind.

For Secrets Dark and Deep I used a setting I’d been saving until I thought I could do justice to it – an abandoned graphite mine near the lake, the winter home of thousands of hibernating bats. I learned bats were way more interesting than I’d realized and my artistic daughter-in-law, Tanya White, (  made me a larger-than-life bat sculpture to take to signings.

My latest Lake George Mystery, Cold Winter Nights, features the Polar Bear Plunge, a New Year’s Day extravaganza when almost 1000 people creep, dash or plunge into the ice-rimmed water and a Mardi Gras-type Carnivale on the Ice, complete with a masked murderer. Sorry – photos of me participating in these events are not available.

You can find more about Anne and her work via…

The blog interviews will return as normal tomorrow with NaNoWriMo novelist, short story author and musician (and my first ‘red pen’ podcast guinea pig – he passed with flying colours) JD Mader – the one hundred and sixteenth of my blog interviews with novelists, poets, directors, bloggers, autobiographers and more. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found at And I enjoy hearing from readers of my blog; do either leave a comment on the relevant interview (the interviewees love to hear from you too!) and / or email me at

18 thoughts on “Author Spotlight no.5 – article writer turned mystery novelist Anne White

  1. morgenbailey says:

    Thank you Anne – I’ve just thrown out the invitation to the folks on Twitter and Facebook. 🙂

    To answer your question, I’d say any more than half a page of an average size book and I start glazing over. One of my writing group poets LOVES description so I’d say you can’t please everyone. 🙂


  2. Nancy Means Wright says:

    A delightful interview, Anne and Morgen! And yes, years ago I learned at the Breadloaf Writer’s Conference to keep description to a minimum. Well chosen words to create an image, and then get on with the story! “Less is more.” Anyway, I’ve loved all your wonderful, beautifully written novels–just the right amount of description–and look forward to a new one!


  3. Anne White says:

    You’re right, Morgen. I’m so glad to hear from Nancy Means Wright who is a terrific writer and a prolific one as well. I appreciate her kind words. And she has another new book this fall — I loved the first one in this series and can’t wait to get my hands on it.
    Anne White Opens to Lake George Mystery #5, Cold Winter NIghts.


  4. Lesley Diehl says:

    I met Anne several years ago when she and I attended a organizational meeting for a regional Sisters in Crime group. The group was named Mavens of Mischief. Unfortunately, it is too far for me to travel, so I’ve not kept in touch. However, I’ve kept an eye on Anne’s work because she writes about upstate New York as do I. Her setting is farther north than mine since I write about the Butternut Valley, but New York State is huge and much of upstate is not known to people. Anne does a super job of getting setting right and making it an integral part of her story. I love mysteries with a strong sense of setting especially when I can learn something about the area. Anne has done her research and writes about an area she loves. Lesley


  5. Sunny Frazier says:

    It’s 100 degrees in the San Joaquin Valley right now, so your latest, Cold Winter Nights, makes me want to take a polar bear plunge!

    I like tight descriptions: less words but ones that carry a lot of visuals. Short story writing, especially flash fiction, teaches writers how to get control over the urge to go on and on with every little detail.


  6. Anne White says:

    Lesley, Thanks for writing. I appreciate your kind words and have also enjoyed your desciptions of another part of New York State. Cold Winter Nights was the first of my Lake George Mysteries to take place in winter and I was pleased to find so much to include. And Morgen is right. I am delighted to hear from you. Anne White


  7. Anne White says:

    Sunny, We hit 100 degrees too sometimes (not often) in upstate New York, but Lake George is spring fed and always cool and invigorating. You’re doing so much to spread the word about Oak Tree Press, you probably don’t get much time for plunging, but your authors appreciate all you’re doing for us. Anne White


  8. williamdoonan says:

    Hi Anne,

    I’m going to have to pick up Beneath the Surface. One of my first jobs after college was working as a nautical archaeologist in Bermuda. Did it pay the bills? No, but there was diving involved. Also, Bermuda. But you’re right, something that’s been underwater that long would have a difficult time on the surface.

    Last summer I visited the Vasa museum in Stockholm, where they’ve raised the Vasa, the only surviving 17th century warship in the world. And it took them years to stabilize the wood. They’re still working on it.

    In any case, looking forward to your book.

    William Doonan


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