Saturday, December 8, 2012

I Learned it at the Movies

Can you keep audiences--and readers--riveted even when they know how the story ends? Two recent films prove that it's possible.

I share my thoughts on how they did it at  Women of Mystery.

Friday, November 23, 2012

What do you do with the rest of your life?

Philip Roth, 79, no longer wants to read, talk about, or write fiction. In a recent interview in The New York Times he said,  “I can’t face any more days when I write five pages and throw them away.”

 Elmore Leonard, 87, who recently received the National Book Foundation’s Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, was quoted in Publishers Weekly as saying: ‘The only thing I’ve ever wanted to do in my life is have a good time writing stories, and this award tells me I’m still good at it.’”

No argument there.

You can join the conversation on the subject at Women of Mystery.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Let's Hear it for "Malarkey"!

In the public interest, and inspired by Vice President's Biden use of "malarkey,"  I did some research and came up with a few more  synonyms for nonsense that you can shout at the TV the next time you hear a politician (fleshpresser) lie (draw a longbow). My favorite is rannygazoo, but for the full list you'll have to hop over to Women of Mystery.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

In his 2009 interview in The Guardian, William Trevor, the great Irish novelist and short story writer said: “To me, writing is entirely mysterious. If I didn’t believe it was a mystery, the whole thing wouldn’t be worthwhile. I don’t know not just how something is going to end, but what the next couple of lines are going to be.”

I discuss Trevor's novella, My House in Umbria at Women of Mystery today.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

A Hypothetical

In the course of doing research for an article, you come across a piece in which the author, Ms X, cites a source you’d like to use. You tweak her language, i.e. paraphrase her paraphrases, and omit any reference to Ms X. Thus you make it appear that this is your own work.

Is this plagiarism? I vote yes...

Read more at Women of Mystery

Saturday, August 18, 2012

A Recent Conversation with PJ Nunn

Here's an excerpt from my recent conversation with PJ Nunn over at Bookbrowsing.  Join us there if you'd like to read more.

PJ: Writing new material, rewriting, submitting new work, waiting, promoting published work…the list is large. How do you manage to divvy up your time to give adequate attention to all needed areas?

Anita: Here are my personal rules for hanging onto my sanity. Put the writing first; develop a tolerance for weeds and dust; no Internet, including email, before three p.m. Do I follow these rules religiously? Take a guess.

Monday, July 23, 2012

New Review

You can read the full text of Carol Crigger's review at  Buried Under Books.

"The cast of fully realized characters in Damned if You Don’t runs the gamut of good and bad, just like you’d meet anywhere. Determining which is which is what puzzles Hannah. Politics in the small town, complete with nepotism and inter-relations rings true. The mystery is a good one, well plotted and paced, with surprising twists. Page is a writer to watch."

Reviewed by Carol Crigger, July 2012.
Author of Three Seconds to Thunder.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012


Warren Bull is interviewing me today over at Writers Who Kill. I'm giving away a copy of Damned If You Don't to one lucky person who leaves a comment.

Sunday, June 10, 2012


My short story "Kiss It Goodbye" is up at  Beat to a Pulp this week. Stop by if you have a chance.

Thursday, June 7, 2012


Yes, dear Reader, I killed it. Full confession at Women of Mystery today.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Damned If You Don't Giveaway!

If you leave a comment at Women of Mystery, May 10-13, you'll be eligible to win a signed copy of Damned If You Don't. I hope this excerpt from the current Gumshoe Review will lure you over.
Damned if You Don't by Anita Page
Review by Don Metzler
L&L Dreamspell Trade Paperback  ISBN/ITEM#: 9781603183819

"Author Anita Page's debut novel is a winner, start to finish. Page's characters come alive with the everyday concerns, fears, and challenges of real people, the sort of challenges that most of us deal with on a regular basis. The situations and scenes that Page draws are believable and down-to-earth, sometimes gut-wrenchingly familiar. From Hannah's involvement at a help center for battered and at-risk women, to the shady, graft-ridden politics of small town America, it all rings true. The sometimes lush but always well-developed settings in the Catskill Mountains of New York provide a backdrop that adds color and visceral substance. The prose is crisp and enjoyable to read, and the story moves at a pace that keeps the reader involved, but never seems frantic or hurried.

 The conclusion of Damned If You Don't leaves the door open for this becoming a series rather than a one-time effort. Future novels featuring amateur sleuth Hannah Fox would be welcome indeed."

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Ian Williams was kind enough to allow me to talk about Damned If You Don't on The Catskill Review of Books, his weekly program on WJFF  Radio Catskill, a public radio station in Jeffersonville, New York. He's the kind of interviewer who not only reads your book but makes you forget you're on the air. Lots of fun. Follow the link if you'd care to listen.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Two Sentence Tuesday

 It's Two Sentence Tuesday over at Women of Mystery. Please join us there if you'd like to share two sentences you've written and/or two you've read. Here's my contribution from the WIP:

The conversation played out as Gaby had imagined, except that Stefan cleaned up his language because their son was there. She could hear Sam badgering Stefan to let him tell her the thing he’d forgotten to tell her about the gerbil, and then, “When is my mommy coming?” After a long silence, Stefan said she could come on Sunday between nine and eleven, and she knew he’d thrown her that crumb because Sam was at his elbow.

(I know, I know. That's three sentences, but it's okay to cheat.)

Saturday, April 14, 2012

WWED (What Would Elmore Do)?

If you're looking for inspiration, there are a couple of items on the freebie table At Women of Mystery today.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

What's the sound of one hand typing?

I have no idea. But the sound of two hands typing is another story. Read more at Women of Mystery today where you'll catch a link to Bill Meissner's lament on the subject.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

When You Don't Know What You Don't Know

"...I was the avid mystery reader in the family, and assured him there wouldn’t be much of a leap between reading mysteries and writing one."

Read more at Poe's Deadly Daughters where I'm guest blogging today on this topic: When You Don't Know What You Don't Know.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


NTTR: Novels to the rescue! At last, a ray of hope in this bleak political season. Read more at Women of Mystery.

Thursday, March 8, 2012



Read the details today at Women of Mystery.

Thursday, March 1, 2012


You'll find the list of Derringer finalists at Women of Mystery today. Well done, all! Of course, I'm especially thrilled that my WOM blog sisters, Kathleen Ryan and Cathi Stoler, and good friend Liz Zelvin are on that list. And did I mention that Liz's story originally appeared in Murder New York Style: Fresh Slices?

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Just Bragging

Critical Praise for Damned If You Don't

"I liked spending time with Hannah Fox, Anita Page's warmly human and admirably hardheaded heroine in DAMNED IF YOU DON'T (L&L Dreamspell). Hannah is a woman who looks at life with both rueful humor and intense sympathy for those who suffer. She's funny and smart, full of well-reasoned opinions and an awareness that she might be nuts. Although very conscious of her flaws, Hannah accepts herself and others with generosity of spirit. And the creature that returns this most consistently, in this mystery driven by complex human beings, is her dog, Brooklyn. Hannah is glad for the solace." --Susan Weinstein,

"In a mystery of this sort believable and sympathetic characters are a must and this is one of Ms. Page’s strengths. Along with Hannah, a fully realized well rounded character who never falls into triteness, Page has particularly believable adolescents, who act like real kids not small adults. If I had one quibble it was keeping track of the many minor characters. Despite that quibble this is a first mystery with an intelligent plot and an appealing heroine and a satisfying resolution."--Ron Smyth, The GenReview

And more words of praise for Murder New York Style: Fresh Slices

If you love New York, you’ll be thrilled about this collection of tales written by
members of the New York/Tri-State chapter of Sisters in Crime. Like the city it honors, this collection has it all and will satisfy even the most well read. The crimes take place in lots of NY locales, not just Manhattan, though it gets a great share of the stories. The characters are many and varied and give a real flavor of the diversity the city encompasses. As will all anthologies, the styles are as different as the contributors. This collection brings some happy moments with old favorites as well as with some newcomers. The stories range from the gritty realistic variety to some with ghostly or even vampiric flights of imagination. This is not a hit or miss anthology. Every entry is top notch. --Mysterical-e

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Writing Strong Women

Yesterday I talked with Sylvia Dickey Smith on Writing Strong Women, her blogtalkradio show. In preparation for the show, Sylvia sent a list of probing questions about my protagonist, Hannah Fox. I thought I knew this woman, but as I told Sylvia, her questions helped me get to know Hannah even better. You'll find the interview here.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Patti Abbott dedicated this week's Forgotten Book Friday to Donald Westlake, in celebration of Hard Case Crime's publication of his last book, The Comedy is Finished. Westlake, who died in 2008, wrote more than 100 books. My review of Trust Me On This was included in Patti's roundup.

Trust Me On This (Mysterious Press, 1988)

Reporter Sara Joslyn, driving down a deserted road on the way to her new job, passes what looks like a body hanging out of a car. She makes a U-turn, because she is, after all, a reporter, and discovers that the person halfway out of the car is better than dead—he’s been murdered. First day on the job and she’s going to walk in with a story about a man with a bullet in his brain.

Poor Sara. She fantasizes accolades when she presents her discovery to her new editor, Jack Ingersoll, but instead gets: “On what series is he a regular?”

As you may have guessed, this isn’t The New York Times. It’s the Weekly Galaxy, a supermarket tabloid with a hunger for celebs and a very relaxed attitude toward truth in journalism. Forget the body, Jack tells Sara, and assigns her instead to a piece on the beer and potato chip diet.

Sara will eventually do some sleuthing, and Westlake pulls off a nice suspenseful climax, but the murder is an afterthought. We’re here to hang out in a newsroom where editors pace their squaricles—taped lines on the floor delineating walls and doors—trying to stay alive and earn their enormous salaries by pitching stories like “Jogging Causes Nymphomania” and “Desperate Aliens Search for Rogue Planet Earth.”

The characters are an appealing mix of evil, lunatic and charming: the despot publisher whose office is an elevator; the three perpetually drunk Australians known as the Down Under Trio; Sara and Jack, whose initial antipathy guarantees that they’ll end up together.

And then there are the wildly comic scenes that read like something out of a Marx brothers movie. Here’s a glimpse of the Down Under Trio in the Veterans’ Bar & Grill:

“The sight of a fairly respectable-looking, neatly dressed in suit and tie, fifty-one-year-old Australian leaping about the bar, up onto chairs and back down onto the floor, suitcoat tail flying, hand firmly holding drink as both hands pretended to be tiny kangaroo paws boxing, the whole while honking, was so captivating that everybody had to do it, beginning with the retirees and finishing with the widows.”

In the end, the murder is solved, of course, and Jack and Sara go off into the sunset, but you’ll be glad to know you can meet up with them again in Westlake’s Baby, Would I Lie?

Part of this review ran previously at Women of Mystery.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

I came across T.C. Boyle's 2006 novel TalkTalk in the library recently, and was immediately hooked. Boyle's highly-charged language and the story of a deaf woman whose identity has been stolen make for a thrilling read. Read more today at womenofmystery.

Saturday, January 28, 2012


I'm delighted to announce the publication of my novel, DAMNED IF YOU DON'T, a dark traditional mystery set in the Catskills featuring community activist Hannah Fox and senior police investigator Jack Grundy. You can preview the first two chapters at Criminal Element:

And here's what some early readers have to say:

“Page’s debut novel is both polished and engaging. Protagonist Hannah Fox is my kind of woman, complex, intelligent, and authentic. Deft writing without a single false note, convincing characters, suspenseful confrontations, and a take on domestic violence that’s both heartfelt and free of preachiness or sentimentality add up to a satisfying read.” Elizabeth Zelvin, three-time Agatha Award nominee

"The richly characterized supporting cast brings Hannah’s world to life, and tight plotting keeps the reader guessing right to the end.” Peggy Ehrhart, author of the Maxx Maxwell mystery series

“Taut, evocative prose that grips the reader from start to finish." Philip Cioffari, author of Jesusville