Sunday, June 17, 2018

ROCCO interviews author Annette Dashofy!

Meow, my guest today is USA best selling author Annette Dashofy!

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. She has garnered three Agatha Award nominations including two for Best Contemporary Novel. The sixth in the series, UNEASY PREY, was released in March, and CRY WOLF, the seventh, cmes out this September. Annette lives with her husband and one very spoiled cat, Kensi, on part of what was her grandfather’s 150-acre dairy farm in rural Washington County, Pennsylvania

Hi Annette! Would you tell us a little bit about yourself?
 Hello ROCCO. Thanks for having me here! I’ve been writing since I was little, but after school, my fiction writing fell by the wayside as life got in the way. Now, I’m grateful though, because one of the things I did during those years was work on our local ambulance. Those experiences are what led me to create this series which has been nominated three times for an Agatha Award and has hit the USA Today Bestsellers list on several occasions.

Do you have anything you would like to say to your readers?
 I have the best fans and readers in the world! If you enjoy my books and are on Facebook, look up “Zoe Chambers Mysteries and Friends” and join. It’s a fantastic group and they have a lot of fun. Especially, it seems, when I’m not around to supervise.

Please tell us about your newest release.
 Uneasy Prey deals with several issues plaguing the elderly including those con men who pose as utility workers to gain access to homes and then frequently rob their victims blind. My own mom fell prey to these lowlifes and this book is drawn directly from her experience.  
Your character has the music blasting. What’s playing, and what is he/she doing while listening?
 Classic rock or country depending on her mood. And she’s probably out in the barn, cleaning stalls.

Were you surprised by the behavior of any of your characters or the direction of your plot at any point while writing?
 This is my sixth book and surprises have happened in one form or another in just about every one of them! Case in point: the ending of Bridges Burned was not at all what I intended. I tried to stop it, redirect it, change it, but no. The ending happened the way it wanted to no matter what I did.  

If your book was made into a movie, who would you like to play the lead characters?
I’ve actually been approached by a film production company, and while it’s unlikely that anything will happen, I did throw this very question out to my readers on the Zoe Chambers Facebook page. Everyone had different ideas, but personally, I’d love to see Zoe played by Beth Riesgraf. I can’t settle on anyone for Pete though. Ideas, anyone?

What do you do when you are not writing?
 I’m almost always writing! I do like to read and to get outside and walk or bike on one of our local rails-to-trails systems. And of course, I love playing with my cat, Kensi!

Is there an author or book that influenced you or your writing in any way growing up or as an adult?
 Mary Higgins Clark was an early influence, swaying me toward writing crime fiction. Currently, I’m very much a fan of Craig Johnson and Julia Spencer Fleming.

Can you tell us a little about your first publishing experience?
 My very first publishing credit was a non-fiction essay in a small, obscure magazine. The biggest shock was discovering people actually read it!  I had a number of short stories published in various e-magazines and print anthologies. But my first Zoe Chambers mystery, Circle of Influence was my first novel-length publishing credit, and it took ten years of rejection to get there.

Do you think you may ever go into another genre?  If so, which one?
I might tackle something more along the suspense or thriller line, but I can’t imagine leaving crime fiction entirely. Murder is therapeutic! (Cue the evil laughter.)

Would you ever write a screenplay?
 Never. I don’t think I’d be any good at it. I like going inside my characters heads, hearts, and souls too much to give up novels.

What is the hardest part of writing in your opinion?
 The beginning. Or maybe the middle. Or it could be the end. Basically, wherever I’m stuck at the moment!

Can you tell us some of your latest news?
 As I’m writing this, I’ve just returned home from the Malice Domestic mystery convention where my fifth Zoe Chambers mystery, No Way Home, was nominated for Best Contemporary Novel alongside Louise Penny and Margaret Maron! Spending time with those two incredible women was an amazing experience and I’m still floating. (Louise won. No surprise there.) Moving on, my seventh book, Cry Wolf releases this September.

Where do you see yourself at in five years—writing wise?
 I’d love to be working on the thirteenth Zoe mystery and maybe branching out to some stand-alones by then too. I have a couple of not-Zoe ideas whispering in the back of my brain.

What is your favorite part of writing?
 I love research. I love how I might find myself stuck, but when I dig into the research, answers just jump out at me. I’ve attended several Citizen’s Police Academies and Writer’s Police Academies. I’ve gone on ride-alongs and toured crime labs and morgues. I’m too chicken to ever be a real cop, but I love delving into that world.

Do you have any upcoming appearances that you would like to share with us? My upcoming appearances are always listed on my website ( The major upcoming events though are Bouchercon in St. Petersburg, Florida in September and Magna Cum Murder in Indianapolis in October.

If you were in the witness protection program, what would you choose as a career?
 Wow, that’s a good one. Maybe I could go back to teaching yoga, which I did for many years before I started writing full time. But I think I’d still be writing. Maybe I could be a ghost writer so my face would never be revealed. Actually, I’m thinking this might make a good story…

 Where can we learn more about you and your books? Check out my website at

Thanks for a great interview, Annette!

IT’S GIVEWAY TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Annette will  give away one signed copy of Uneasy Prey to a commenter. 
To enter, leave a comment on this blog post with your name and email address (entries without email will be disqualified). For extra entries, you can do any or all of the below:

* Follow my blog (+ 1 point)
* Follow me on Twitter (+ 1 point) (Link:
* Tweet about the contest (+ 1 point)
* Friend me on Facebook (+ 1 point) (Link:!/
* Mention the contest on Facebook (+ 1 point)
* Mention the contest on your blog (+ 1 point)

Winner will be chosen at random using  Don’t forget to mention all you’ve done in your comment. Contest ends midnight, June 26. Good luck!


  1. Thanks, Rocco for having me here today!

  2. I bet ROCCO and Kensi could get into quite a bit of mischief together. And I can't wait for the Zoe Chambers movie! (It'll happen one day if the movie industry has any sense at all.)

  3. It is important to highlight issues involving the vulnerable in our society.

    Follow & FB.

    Mary Preston

  4. I've read one of the Annette Dashofy's books but unfortunately haven't had the opportunity to read any others. It would be an honor to read this one. I follow your blog, am a friend on facebook. My fingers are crossed.

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  5. this was a fun interview and I really enjoyed knowing more about Annette and Zoe! I follow your blog and we are facebook friends. aut1063(at)gmail(dot)com

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  6. Con men who prey on the elderly are the worst kind of people. Sorry to hear that your own Mom got conned. Thanks for the chance to win a copy of this book.
    I follow this blog by email: crs(at)codedivasites(dot)com
    and on Twitter: @carlrscott. We are friends on Facebook: (Carl Scott), and I've tweeted a link as well:
    Thanks again, have a great week.

  7. I have this book on my TBR list for awhile and would really like to read. Rocco, I follow your blog and on Twitter. We are friends on Facebook, shared on Facebook and Twitter.

  8. You are really wonderful. Your interest in books and writers made me very happy. You have a nice blog. Achievements...

  9. This is a great series! I'm also intrigued by those not-Zoe ideas.
    Following your blog
    Following on Twitter
    Tweeted about the contest
    Friends on Facebook
    Mentioned the contest on Facebook

  10. What a beautiful story. I love to read the story. I will get eBooks download online and read the complete story.

  11. I'am glad to read the whole content of this blog and am very excited,Thank you for sharing good topic.