What would you say is your interesting writing quirk? Do you always write in the same place or have to have specific objects or food/drink handy?
I’m afraid I’m notoriously boring in this department. I don’t have any real “quirks” but I do have a routine. I get up, shoo my husband off to work, grab a cup of coffee and some breakfast and then take my second cup of coffee into my home office where I write for two or three hours.
When writing this book what was the hardest thing about it? Easiest?
The hardest part was the research. And the easiest part was…the research! There was a lot of police procedure in WITH A VENGEANCE, and often I’d mistakenly think I knew what I was talking about! I’d write a scene the way I thought it would happen. But then I had a long chat with our local police chief who talked me through how the situation would really play out. The “easy” part was—the more accurate version was so much better! The rewriting was a blast! Later, rather than write the scene I envisioned first, I took the set-up to a cop friend of mine and said, “Okay, what would Pete do?” He gave me a long detailed account of different ways to handle it. My response was WOW. He just wrote the end of my story for me! Well, not quite, but he sure contributed a lot.
When did you first come up with the idea for the Zoe Chambers series?
Zoe and Pete first appeared in a short story in Mysterical-e back in 2006 (I think) and was a finalist for the Derringer Award of 2007. About that time, the series I’d been working on failed to find a publisher, and I wanted to start something new. A reader asked if we would ever see more of Zoe and Pete, so I thought I’d toy with fleshing them out a bit. I guess it worked!
This is book four in the series. How much have your main characters grown?
Zoe has definitely matured and overcome some obstacles in her life and in her career. After Bridges Burned, the previous book in the series, she was faced with a brand new devastating problem. I won’t say what in case you haven’t read it yet. But she continues to struggle with it in this book and will for the next couple as well. Also, her rocky romance with Pete is progressing slowly, but definitely progressing.
How would you describe the audience who will most enjoy reading the Zoe Chambers series?
I’ve had my books compared to Julia Spencer Fleming’s and Louise Penny’s series, which I find immensely flattering. But I think if you like a good mystery with a strong sense of setting, but something not too fluffy, you’ll enjoy my series. Hank Phillippi Ryan once called them “not-quite-cozies” and I like that!
Can these be read as stand-alones or should readers start with the Book 1?
If you pick up the fourth book and read it first, you won’t be lost. But if you do start with Book 1 (Circle of Influence) and read them in order, you’ll pick up little tidbits that won’t mean anything to you otherwise.
Have you started the next in the series? What’s in store for Zoe and Pete?
Yes! I’m finishing up Book #5 in the series, which is due to my editor June first (cue hysterical screaming!), and it takes Zoe out of her comfort zone and into the wild west of New Mexico. It’s definitely a fish-out-of-water tale involving three homicides, two states, and some very hot topic issues. Don’t worry, though. Zoe comes home to Pennsylvania by the end!
Who are your favorite authors (any genre)?
This is always a dangerous question because I have so many and can’t list them all! I adore Julia Spencer Fleming, Craig Johnson, Hank Phillippi Ryan, Nancy Martin, and Margaret Maron, just to name a few. And I’m an Agatha nominee this year for Best Contemporary Novel with two of those ladies! (Squee!) And I love the other nominees (Louise Penny and Catriona McPherson), too! (Double squee!)
What else would you like to share about yourself and your books with your readers?
I love to meet my readers, so please check out my list of appearances on my website and come say hello! http://www.annettedashofy.com/
Or track me down on Facebook (where I spend way too much time). https://www.facebook.com/annette.dashofy/
Books in the Zoe Chambers Mystery Series
WITH A VENGEANCE
Paramedic Zoe Chambers and the rest of rural Monongahela County’s EMS and fire personnel are used to wading into the middle of trouble to rescue the sick and the injured. But when someone with an ax to grind seeks retribution by staging accident scenes and gunning down the first responders, Zoe finds herself forced to not only treat her own brethren of the front lines, but also, in her role as deputy coroner, seek out whoever is killing her friends.
At the same time, Vance Township Police Chief Pete Adams races to track down a gun, a mysterious all-terrain vehicle, and the sniper before Zoe goes back on duty, placing herself—and Pete—firmly in the gunman’s crosshairs.
Related subjects include: cozy mysteries, women sleuths, murder mystery series, whodunit mysteries (whodunnit), book club recommendations, audio books for download, police procedurals series, amateur sleuth books.
About The Author
Annette Dashofy is the USA Today best-selling author of the Zoe Chambers mystery series about a paramedic and deputy coroner in rural Pennsylvania’s tight-knit Vance Township. CIRCLE OF INFLUENCE, published by Henery Press, was a finalist for the Agatha Award for Best First Novel and for the David Award for Best Mystery of 2014. LOST LEGACY, was released in September 2014 followed in April 2015 by BRIDGES BURNED, which has been nominated for the Agatha for Best Contemporary Novel. WITH A VENGEANCE, the fourth in the series, will be available May 3.