To begin with, I love your cover! My family and I once owned a 1968 Oasis travel trailer that looked just like the one in your illustration. Okay. Please forgive my gushing. Tell us about your book!
Why do you write cozy mysteries?
While my books are classified as “cozy,” I think of them more as “traditional” mysteries. Zoe Chambers is a paramedic and a deputy coroner so she has a legitimate reason to be at crime scenes and part of the investigation. As for why I write them, I guess it’s because I love to read this genre. And I love to create puzzles. Creating mysteries is just another way of creating a puzzle.
Please tell us about your book. What ideas or images inspired this novel?
No Way Home takes Zoe far out of her comfort zone. She’s finally overcome some of her personal obstacles in the coroner’s office and has been given the opportunity to work a high-profile case when she’s pulled away by a request from her best friend to help find the friend’s missing son … over halfway across the country. The story was inspired by New Mexico itself and the trips I’ve taken there. My best friend lives in Aztec, NM, where the story is set, and her son works in law enforcement. He’s taken me into the badlands and canyons and given me so much good material, I simply had to use it!
Do you have an ideal reader in mind when you write? If so, please describe that reader.
Mostly I write for readers like me. I used to try to narrow it down — 60ish female with a college education, but I’ve met many fans of the Zoe series (older men, younger women, teens, etc.), who are far out of that “type,” so now I focus on telling the kind of stories I enjoy.
Please describe your writing routine.
Right now, it’s changing. I used to cram my full day’s writing into one hour very early (6 a.m.) because my mother was in failing health, and I needed to keep the bulk of my days free … just in case. She passed away recently, so my entire schedule is in flux. I still find my best writing time is the morning, although not quite as early. I usually open my current work-in-progress at 8 a.m. and work until I meet my page count or run out of creative steam. After lunch, I focus on the other aspects of the business: marketing, promotion, bookkeeping.
What advice do you give new writers just starting out?
I have three bits of advice I like to offer. Join a writing group, either face-to-face or online. Learn your craft and keep trying to improve. And never give up. Writing may be an art, however publishing is all business and involves a lot of rejection. The only guaranteed way to NOT get published is to stop trying. Never. Give. Up.
More about No Way Home:
A relaxing trail ride turns tragic when Paramedic and Deputy Coroner Zoe Chambers discovers the body of a popular county commissioner in her Pennsylvania woods. Inconsistencies surround the horrible accident, but before she can investigate further, she’s pried away by a plea for help from her best friend whose son has been deemed a person of interest in a homicide over a thousand miles away. When he vanishes without a trace, his mother begs Zoe to help clear him and bring him safely home. The task takes Zoe out of her comfort zone in a frantic trip to the desolate canyons and bluffs of New Mexico where she joins forces with the missing boy’s sister and a mysterious young Navajo.
Back at home, Vance Township’s Chief of Police Pete Adams must deal not only with the commissioner’s homicide, but with an influx of meth and a subsequent rash of drug overdoses in his rural community. Bodies keep turning up while suspects keep disappearing. However little else matters when he learns that half a continent away, a brutal killer has Zoe in his sights.
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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, was released in May of 2016.
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