From the Booking Desk:

Listen, until this year, I had not read any of Annette Dashofy’s books. Annette has always been a friendly face at the various crime fiction conventions and we certainly engaged in some light conversations while waiting for panels to start. Then last year, I was asked to moderate a panel she was part of at Malice Domestic. I always read the latest books by my panelists and I was surprised – shocked even – to discover that her books were not nearly as “cozy” as I assumed from the cover designs. That blame lies solely with me, but with the hundreds of books to read every year, sometimes you have to make quick judgements that are not always correct. Needless to say, I ended up loving that book, have gone back to read others, and will continue to follow the series moving forward. None of that has anything to do with why I invited Annette Dashofy to be part of the Composite Sketch profile series – I did that simply because she is an important member of our tribe, frequently appearing on award short-lists, and is always willing to lend a hand and help out her fellow authors. Let’s see how she addresses our questions.

Name: Annette Dashofy
Location: Burgettstown, Pennsylvania

This person from my personal life is such an inspiration:

My mom, who passed away in 2017 at the ate of 96, taught me by example about caring for others while being strong and tenacious. She grew up on the family farm and could drive the tractor, milk the cows, and prepare a full meal for the hired help. Later in life, she dealt with health issues but never stopped fighting. She was the toughest cookie I know, and I hope I’ve inherited even a fraction of her heart and strength.

One of the people I admire most in the crime fiction community is:

Only one? I’ve received help, guidance, and support from so many. Lisa Scottoline has been a wonderful friend. The late MaryAlice Gorman, original owner of Mystery Lovers Bookshop, was one of my biggest cheerleaders. But if I have to narrow it down to one, I pick Hank Phillippi Ryan. We first met at the Baltimore Bouchercon and have been good friends ever since. Despite her television journalism work and her amazing writing, she always finds time to help aspiring writers. I drove her from Mystery Lovers to the airport after an event several years ago, before I’d found a publisher, and was having a crisis of faith of sorts. I truly believe the advice she gave me on that car ride directly contributed to me getting my first book contract.

STALKER ALERT! If this fictional character were real, they would likely need to get a restraining order against me:

No question about it. Henry Standing Bear from Craig Johnson’s Walt Longmire series. I was madly in love with the Bear long before Lou Diamond Phillips played him on TV.

People are always surprised that I am a fan of this individual (singer, actor, or artist):

I don’t know if “surprised” is the right word, but when people find out I’m a huge fan of singer/actor Christian Kane, about half respond with an enthusiastic YES, and the other half ask, “Who?” The answer is: the guy who was in Angel, Leverage, and The Librarians. I love his portrayal of Eliot in Leverage. He gave the character depth and humor with a touch of vulnerability. Plus, I listened to his music during some of the toughest points in my life to cheer me up and get me out of my head. 

My personal catch phase is (or should be):

I’ve always said I’m nothing if not determined. My parents called it stubbornness. Actually, they said I was bullheaded. But I think you have to be stubborn and determined to make it in this business. I give a lot of talks to writing groups, business groups, high school kids, and such and I always end them with the admonishment to “Never give up.” So that has to be it. The only true way to NOT attain your goals is to stop trying. Never give up.