Thursday, April 9, 2015

Get Lost in a Story welcomes Annette Dashofy

Get Lost in a Story readers, I’m thrilled today to introduce to you not only a fabulous author, but one of my most favorite people in the world. Annette Dashofy has been first a fellow writer, a critique partner and a friend. I want you to know about Zoe Chambers  mystery series and two characters that are as real to me as my neighbor next door. I’ve lived in Pennsylvania thanks to Annette, and follow religiously the exploits of Paramedic Zoe Chambers and Police Chief Pete Adams.  Please welcome, Agatha nominee and USA Today bestselling author Annette Dashofy as she promotes book three in the series, Bridges Burned.

About Bridges Burned:

Paramedic Zoe Chambers is used to saving lives, but when she stops a man from running into a raging inferno in a futile attempt to rescue his wife, Zoe finds herself drawn to him, and even more so to his ten-year-old daughter. She invites them both to live at the farm while the grieving widower picks up the pieces of his life. 

 Vance Township Police Chief Pete Adams, of course, is not happy with this setup, especially when he finds evidence implicating Zoe's new houseguest in murder times two. When Zoe ignores Pete's dire warnings, she runs the very real chance of burning one too many bridges, losing everything--and everyone--she holds dear.

DONNELL:  Good morning, Annette, thanks for being my guest today.  I did a little arm-twisting to get you here – you’ve been busy.  Talk about a typical day for you.

ANNETTE: I’m so glad to be here, Donnell! As for “typical,” I’m not sure if there is such a
thing. I crave routine, but the life seems to have other plans for me. I write just about every day—or at least 6 days a week. But the rest of the day might involve doing promotion of some sort, taking care of Pennwriters business (I’m vice president), doing research, or spending time with my mom who turns 95 tomorrow! On rare occasions, I clean house.

DONNELL:  You once fell off a horse, and of course got right back on – but you did something else that has become a lifelong habit/passion for you.  What is that?


ANNETTE: I discovered yoga! I’d had a bad spill from a colt I was trying to break (who broke whom is a good question!) and landed in basically a shoulder stand. I was a regular customer at my chiropractor until I started taking yoga classes. Eight months of yoga did more to help my pain than eight years of chiropractic. Nothing against chiropractors, mind you. I still go for tune-ups. Anyhow, I became a yoga instructor, taught in a studio for over 10 years and continued to teach privately until very recently.

DONNELL:  You also have something in common with Paramedic Zoe Chambers.  How much is Zoe like Annette Dashofy, and in what ways are you dissimilar?

ANNETTE:  I worked as an EMT on our local ambulance service when I was younger, so I know the world Zoe lives in. Both she and I are farm gals who love cats and horses. The Kroll’s farmhouse where she lives is based on my grandparents’ farmhouse where I grew up. HOWEVER, Zoe is younger than I am, has a much better figure, and is tougher. While I had a boring, “normal” childhood, Zoe had a rough time of it, losing her dad when she was eight. As a teen, she was a wild child where the boys were concerned. Me? Eh. Not so much. I was a nerdy geek wallflower.

DONNELL:  Police Chief Pete Adams is one of my favorite characters of all time.  You have managed to make him very human to me.  He’s divorced, has a father with Alzheimer’s, works a case with a badly sprained ankle. You really put him through the ringer.  Bad for Pete, intriguing for readers.  Who/what inspired you to create Pete?

ANNETTE:  Pete and Zoe first appeared on the page in a short story I wrote (“A Signature in Blood”), which was nominated for a Derringer Award in 2007. At the time, I never intended to write anything else with them in it. But I wanted to create a new series, and someone who liked the short story asked me when she could expect to see more of Pete and Zoe. So I spent some time fleshing them out, but it wasn’t until I decided Pete kinda looked like Mark Harmon that he became a living, breathing character to me. I knew he was divorced from the start, but his dad came later, probably because I was dealing with losing my own father to the disease. And the bad ankle think happened organically during the writing of Lost Legacy. I even thought for a long time I might go back during revisions and take the injury thread out of the story!

DONNELL:  You also have another series that I’m dying for you to release. Any plans?

ANNETTE:  You simply will not let that one go, will you, Donnell? Ha. I know you don’t want to hear this, but no, I don’t have any plans to drag my racetrack veterinarian series out of mothballs and publish it. However, I never say never, so who knows?

DONNELL:  If you’re not writing, where will we find you?

ANNETTE:  You mean in my “spare time?” Please see my answer regarding my routine day. Okay, assuming I’m not writing, promoting, taking care of business and Mom, you’ll probably find me reading. Or, if I can finagle an invitation from one of my horsey friends, you’ll find me in the saddle, out on the trails.  

DONNELL:  Now it’s time for you to ask the reader a question.  And, readers, this just in . . .   Annette will be giving away a Zoe Chambers mystery (winners’ choice) to 3 commenters who answer this question: 
ANNETTE WANTS TO KNOW:  I was on a panel at a book festival a couple weeks ago discussing the trend toward unlikeable characters in fiction. My question is: What makes a main character likeable or unlikeable to you?
Readers, follow Annette at http://www.annettedashofy.com/
Facebook: www.facebook.com/annette.dashofy
Twitter: @Annette_Dashofy

Thanks for being our guest, Annette!

25 comments:

  1. Thanks for having me here today! Egads, Donnell, you did some digging to come up with that old yoga photo of me!

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    1. Annette, my pleasure! And I took liberties finding that old photo. It's such a great one. Wishing you a fantastic sell-through with Bridges Burned and an Agatha to your resume at Malice this year!

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    2. I was thinner, in better shape, younger, and had much shorter hair in that picture, so it's deceptive. LOL! And thank so much. Only 3 weeks until Malice! I'm a wreck!

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  2. I just read book one and loved it! For me, an unlikeable character might never grow, might be too mean to like, or be too one-dimensional.

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  3. Thank you so much, Edith! Yes, my comment on the subject an unlikable character is it depends on if the character is interesting. One-dimensional is boring, likable or unlikable!

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  4. I love watching an unlikeable character become heroic. Susan Elizabeth Phillips' Ain't She Sweet comes to mind. At the beginning of the book the entire town hates the heroine, but as the story unfolds you learn everything behind her behavior and she's well loved. It takes some talent to pull this off.

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    1. I totally agree, Donnell! But have you ever read a book where the unlikable character never shows any signs of growth? I've stopped reading a few because I couldn't find any reason to become invested in the story or the character.

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  5. Hi Annette! Unlikeable characters. Hmm, where have I talked about that before? For me, I have to be invested in a character's journey. Is there enough interesting for me to continue with him or her? I dislike characters that are flat-out self-centered with no hope of redemption. However, for compelling, I always go back to Frederick Forsyth's Day of the Jackal. One of the POV characters, the Jackal, is absolutely not a "likable" guy. But man, he sure is compelling!

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    1. For those who don't know, Mary and I are critique partners, so yes, we've had this discussion a time or two. Or ten. ;-)

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  6. If a character is just plain black&white like the abusive brother in Stephen King's "The Body" (movie "Stand By Me"), he's wonderfully hateful but not much more. But plug in the really bad guys of Elmore Leonard's "Raylan" on which the TV series "Justifed" is based and you've got hateful + compelling + unforgettable.

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  7. If a character is just plain black&white like the abusive brother in Stephen King's "The Body" (movie "Stand By Me"), he's wonderfully hateful but not much more. But plug in the really bad guys of Elmore Leonard's "Raylan" on which the TV series "Justifed" is based and you've got hateful + compelling + unforgettable.

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  8. Hi, Annette, and welcome to GLIAS! I'm a huge yoga fan/practioner too. My body craves it. I love the book cover and blurb!

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    1. Thanks, Vicki! If I skip yoga for more than a day or two, I start to feel OLD. And I don't like that feeling!

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  9. I know we all expect the villain to be unlikable (although I think the LIKABLE villain is especially compelling), but what about when the PROTAGONIST? Think Gone Girl and others in this new wave. Do you NEED to like the main character? Or are you holding out for a hero? (How's THAT for your daily earworm?)

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    1. (for the third time, so sorry if this shows up more than once)

      If we define "like" as in "I'd invite this guy/gal over for coffee" then no. I must, however, have a reason to follow his/her story. What made this character and how will he/she react? The characters in Gone Girl fell into my "I just don't care" camp.

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    2. LOL, Mary. I've had to post multiple times to get stuff to show up, too.

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  10. Welcome to GLIAS, Annette. Best of luck with your release.

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  11. Hi Annette. I don't like whiners, and I'm beginning to dislike characters who don't like their entire families, or anyone else they know. (I think I read a couple like that.) There must be someone they like, other than the man they are madly in love with. Just to make that even, I can't get into perfect people either. (I'm a bit difficult, I guess.)

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    1. I think I've read those same books, Norma! ;-)

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  12. I really hate weak and immature, and whiny characters, especially the main character or herione. I also don't like if all they do is complain, but they never DO anything to make their situation better. I also hate heriones who expect to be rescued by the big strong male.
    So...I like strong, independant, smart, or at least not ditzy heriones. But, I don't want them to be perfect. I want to see the flaws, because we all have them.
    Congrats on your new release Annette. I can't wait to read it.

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