Q&A With Loreth Anne White
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Q&A With Loreth Anne White
Last night I finished reading an early copy of Loreth
Anne White’s upcoming novel The Unquiet Bones coming out on
March 5th, 2024. After I finished speeding through the book, I
couldn’t wait to finally do this Q&A with her. Loreth is the Washington
Post, Amazon Charts & Bild Bestselling author of many mystery thriller
suspense novels, some of them are The Maids Diary, The Patients Secret,
In The Deep, Beneath Devils Bridge, & In The Dark. In a past life
Loreth was a journalist in both Canada & South Africa!
Q: Loreth, would you like to tell the readers who haven’t read the novel The Unquiet Bones a little bit about it?
A: When human remains
are discovered beneath the foundations of an old chapel in the woods, evidence
suggests the bones could be linked to a decades-old case of a missing local
teen. Homicide cop, Jane Munro—pregnant and sharply attuned to the preciousness
of life—hopes the grim discovery will finally bring closure to the missing
girl’s family. However, for a group of old school friends once dubbed the
Shoreview Six by the media—it threatens to expose a terrible pledge made on an
autumn night almost 50 years ago. These friends are all now highly respected
and affluent members of their communities. All have rich and extended families.
None expected this dark chapter in their past to ever surface again. But as
Jane and forensic anthropologist Dr. Ella Quinn begin to peel back the layers
of secrets and close in on the truth, the group begins to fracture. And they
discover just how far each might go to guard their own secrets.
Q: I read somewhere that The Unquiet Bones was inspired by an actual unsolved disappearance & murder in Canada. How much truth is in this novel and how much of it is fiction?
A: The spark of the idea for THE UNQUIET BONES comes
from the real murder of 16-year-old schoolgirl Rhona Duncan. In 1976 Rhona—a
friendly and popular teen—was walking home from a party with her friend in a
safe North Vancouver residential neighborhood. But she never made it home that
night. The next morning, she was found dead (raped and strangled) outside a
house just three away from the safety of her own. Her murder remains a mystery
to this day. But while THE UNQUIET BONES was sparked by Rhona tragic death, my
story is entirely fictional, and inspired in large part by my own experience. I
went to school in an area not far from Rhona’s home when I was around the same
age as she was. I remember her neighborhood of the past, and how safe it
seemed. I know the music and fashion and trends and kids of that time. And I
wanted to spin a tale of friends who believe an old secret from that time is
safe, until bones are found, and their group—their old pact—begins to crumble
as a cold case cop closes in.
Q: You were a journalist in both South Africa & Canada. What was it
like being a journalist in both countries? Would it be fair to say that your
journalism career helped with writing your mystery thriller books?
A: My journalism background trained me to reach
word and story targets, day after day, week after week, month after month, year
after year. It also familiarized me with various editing, deadlines, and
production processes, and taught me how to constructively process criticism.
And it provided some great fiction ideas.
Q: If it’s not too early to ask, are you currently
writing your next book and if so, can you reveal any details about it?
A: I’m currently finishing off edits for a twisty
psychological suspense novel due to be released in September 2024. My hope is
that readers who enjoyed THE MAID’S DIARY will love this one! It’s a story
about Chloe Cooper, a somewhat lonely and quirky bartender/dog walker who has
trouble navigating social currents, and who becomes parasitically fixated on
her new neighbors—a glamorous ‘It’ couple who has just moved in across the
street. But of course, things are not what they seem, and when Chloe witnesses
a murder, things turn very dangerous for all involved. I also have a short
story coming out with Amazon Publishing in March/April 2024 – THE GHOST
WRITER—and two novellas in the works.
Q: What would be helpful advice for anyone
wanting to write mysteries like you do?
A: For me, one of the best tips would be to read and to keep reading
stories in the genre you want to write. It helps to internalize genre-specific
elements like pacing, voice, POV use, tense use, planting fair play clues,
end-of-chapter hooks, placement of twists, etc. And just start writing—put that
proverbial pen to paper. Because sometimes you don’t know what you need to know
until you get going, and then when you hit a hitch, you can figure out what to
research further and ask.
Q: Does Hollywood have the rights to your work? I could
see The Unquiet Bones becoming a great limited series on HBO, Starz &
Showtime. Also the entertainment industry needs original content again.
A: I have had works optioned for film/television but so
far nothing concrete has come from it. And thank you—seeing THE UNQUIET
BONES on screen would of course be something of a dream come true.