Annete Dashofy is visiting today to talk about her new book Lost Legacy. She was kind enough to answer some questions about her writing process and her book! Don’t forget to find my prize guy for her Raffle Copter Giveaway!
Tell us a little about yourself.
Thanks so much for having me here today, Teresa. I’ve been writing since I was a kid, but became serious about being published about ten years ago. My first publication credits were in nonfiction, writing for magazines, especially Pennsylvania Magazine. I also wrote a number of short stories along with my long fiction. While I have a few novel-length manuscripts hidden in my closet that should never see the light of day again, my first novel to be published was CIRCLE OF INFLUENCE (Henery Press, March 2014), featuring paramedic/deputy coroner Zoe Chambers. LOST LEGACY is the second in that series. As for other jobs, I’ve had quite a few, including a stint as an EMT on our local ambulance service, which serves as fodder for the stories. Right now though, besides writing, my only other real job is teaching yoga privately. I have two students (no, I’m not seeking new students) who have been with me for probably 15 years. And I take care of my 94-year-old mom, although thankfully, she’s in terrific shape.
What inspired the idea behind your book?
When I was a kid, my mom told a story about her two uncles who died under mysterious circumstances at nearly the same time in their barn. As she told it, foul play was definitely involved. (Cue the spooky music.) A few years back, I decided to do some investigating with thoughts of writing about it. What I discovered was there was NOTHING suspicious about the deaths. In fact, the brothers died 10 years apart. I was so disappointed. My one good bit of family folklore never really happened! However, being a mystery writer, I decided to take my mom’s completely fictional story and flesh it out. Hence, in LOST LEGACY, a modern day suicide (or is it?) has ties to a series of mysterious deaths tracing back over several decades, including the murder/suicide of a pair of brothers—Zoe’s great-uncles.
Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination? When you were working as an EMT, did you start to see potential plotlines for your writing?
A little of both. Besides that story of my great-uncles, LOST LEGACY also tells the story of Pete Adams’ dad who comes to visit for a while. Harry Adams suffers from Alzheimer’s, as did my father. While I stress that Harry is NOT my dad, I did borrow a lot of Dad’s idiosyncrasies for the character. Back when I was working as an EMT, I honestly wasn’t thinking about someday writing about it. If I had, I’d have taken better notes!
Who is your favorite character to create scenes for in the book?
Harry Adams was absolutely my favorite character to write in LOST LEGACY. I was concerned about making him “real.” Alzheimer’s is a horrible, horrible disease and there isn’t anything entertaining about it. I didn’t want Harry to be depressing, even though so much about his illness is. However, he took over the page and stole every scene he was in.
Tell us about your short stories and where we can find them.
My short mysteries have been published in Spinetingler Magazine, Mysterical-e Magazine, Fish Tales: The Guppy Anthology, and Lucky Charms: 12 Crime Tales (an anthology put together by my Pittsburgh Chapter of Sisters in Crime). The two anthologies are available in print and e-book formats through Amazon and Barnes and Noble. The others can probably still be found in the archives of Spinetingler and Mysterical-e. One of those short stories, “A Signature in Blood,” actually introduces the characters of Pete and Zoe and was nominated in 2007 for a Derringer Award. I’m noodling with the idea of re-releasing it in e-book format as a “gift” for my Pete and Zoe fans. Stay tuned. And my story “Sweet Deadly Lies” in Lucky Charms focuses on Detective Wayne Baronick from the Zoe Chambers books.
How can readers find your books and are there more coming in this series?
Both books are available at bookstores everywhere. If your bookstore doesn’t stock them, they should be able to order them. They’re also available in all e-book formats. You can order and request a signed copy through Mystery Lovers Bookshop (www.mysterylovers.com). Yes, there are more Zoe Chambers mysteries coming. The third in the series, BRIDGES BURNED, is scheduled to be released in April 2015.
On a sultry summer afternoon, Paramedic Zoe Chambers responds to a call and finds a farmer’s body hanging from the rafters of his hay barn. What first appears to be a suicide quickly becomes something sinister when Zoe links the victim to a pair of deaths forty-five years earlier. Her attempts to wheedle information from her mother and stepfather hit a brick wall of deception, one that brings into question everything Zoe knows about her late father, who died in a car crash when she was eight. Or did he?
Police Chief Pete Adams fears Zoe’s inquiries are setting her up for deeper heartbreak and putting her in danger. As Zoe and Pete inch closer to the truth, they discover that a missing gun links the crimes which span more than four decades. But the killer isn’t done. Two more Vance Township residents fall victim to the same gun, and when tragedy strikes too close to home, Zoe realizes her family is in the crosshairs.
Zoe Chambers is an EMT in a small town in Pennsylvania. In the very first scene Dashofy gets your attention with a suicide by hanging, and then just keeps the story rolling with strong characters and excellent plot complete with some beautifully written wrong paths for the reader to stumble down. I loved Zoe and Pete’s relationship, but I also loved the sheer selfishness of Zoe’s mother and the stubbornness of the local farmers. Murder? Who cares? We have hay to bring in from the fields! As the story unfolds, the reader finds this isn’t the first hanging in this barn in Vance Township, and Zoe just happens to be connected to it. Great storytelling! Now I have to go back and read the first book in the series. 5 STARS