Annette Dashofy stops by the Hen House to celebrate the release of LOST LEGACY, the second in the Zoe Chambers Mystery Series, and chat about launch parties, Pete and Zoe’s future, and her plans to donate royalties to the Alzheimer’s Association.
It’s been less than a year and you’re already releasing the second Zoe Chambers mystery. How crazy is it launching your first two books in the same year? (And is celebrating any different the second time around?)
Crazy’s a good word for it. It’s been an educational year for sure. Writing, revising, editing, and promoting all at the same time! But I’ve loved every minute of it. As for celebrating the second time, it’s every bit as exciting as the first, but I do have a better sense of what to expect. I hope. The first time I was blindly going along for the ride a great deal of the time. This time I’m trying to steer. A little.
Once again I’m having my party at Mystery Lovers Bookshop, which is my home away from home. Everyone’s invited. I was debating what to provide in the way of food, and both my husband and my critique buddy requested a cookie tray! Who am I to argue? Especially since this book is dedicated to my dad’s memory and he was a cookie addict. So, yes, there will be cookies. And chocolate wine since that seems to be my signature beverage.
We loved them in CIRCLE OF INFLUENCE, and now Zoe and Pete slowly grow closer in book two. Can we expect more romance between the pair as the series progresses? (Any hints about what’s in book three?)
While I tend to carefully plot out my mysteries, I really don’t plan ahead for Zoe and Pete’s relationship. That seems to take on a life of its own as I write, and they surprise me every chance they get! I can tell you this much about the third book: it’s a roller coaster ride for both of them with some very HOT highs and some very deep lows.
Zoe has to juggle a murder investigation, a terrifying parental visit, and newly unlocked secrets concerning her deceased father. LOST LEGACY has so many layers of family drama! How much of that comes from your own experiences (or experiences of those close to you)?
My family is really normal and—dare I say it?—boring. So Zoe’s family drama is definitely not based on my own experience. However, I’m always fascinated by family dynamics and the way childhood relationships evolve into adult ones. I’ve drawn from a number of friends and acquaintances to get a feel for Zoe’s dysfunctional bond with her mother as well as her continued grief over the loss of her father.
You’re clearly very active in Sisters in Crime. How has being part of such an organization influenced your writing career?
Oh, my, where to start? I honestly don’t think I’d be published if it weren’t for the guidance and support of SinC. The workshops, retreats, and mentoring they’ve provided have been instrumental in my growth as a writer. The networking opportunities have been fantastic. I’ve made wonderful friends from all over the world through this organization. And I couldn’t ask for a better group of cheerleaders. They’ve been my street team for helping to promote both CIRCLE OF INFLUENCE and LOST LEGACY.
We hear you’ve decided to donate a portion of your royalties from LOST LEGACY to an Alzheimer’s charity. How fitting, considering Pete’s dad has Alzheimer’s. In addition to the story line, what else made you choose that charity specifically?
I’ve had several family members fall victim to Alzheimer’s, including my dad. I watched him deteriorate from a vital, active robust man into someone who couldn’t even feed himself. It was devastating to watch and I’m sure even more devastating to experience. So writing Harry (Pete’s dad) was a true labor of love. It just made sense to me to take the tribute that extra step and donate a portion of my royalties from the book’s sales to the Alzheimer’s Association.