HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN: Picture a horse with an attractive man riding it. So—did you envision a silk-shirted jockey on a sleek thoroughbred? An elegant jodhpur-wearing equestrian in the midst of Olympic dressage? A kilted Highlander galloping across the heathered moors?
My heroes have always been cowboys.
So goes the old Willie Nelson song. In my case, it does seem to be true. I grew up on a steady diet of westerns thanks to my dad and brother. I met my husband when I worked in a western shop. He says he only came in for a pair of boots. I know better. He came in to pick up the sales girl. He was wearing a cowboy hat and did buy those boots. Never mind that he’d grown up in the suburbs and had never ridden a horse. He looked the part. Close enough.
Not all of my TV heroes were cowboys though. One TV show in particular played a huge part in shaping my life. Back in the 70s, my absolute favorite show was Emergency! It had nothing to do with cowboys (or so I thought). It was about paramedics, which was something new in those days. Firefighter/paramedics John Gage and Roy DeSoto rescued the sick and injured and transported them to Rampart General where they would be treated by the dashing Dr. Kelly Brackett. I never missed an episode.
And as soon as I graduated high school, I signed up for Emergency Medical Training. Before long, I was out in the field, just like Gage and DeSoto. I loved it! Oddly enough, I never found an ER doc to match Dr. Brackett though. Go figure. Fast forward a few decades.
Although the western genre had largely faded from view, retro television networks started popping up and brought back all the oldies but goodies. I rediscovered a bunch of my old favorites. And I stumbled across one that had run before my time…or at least before I was old enough to be aware of it. The voice grabbed my attention first. No one has a voice like
Dr. Brackett. Except Jess Harper of Laramie. Yes, actor Robert Fuller had a starring role
long before that of Kelly Brackett on Emergency!
Last summer I had the great privilege to meet Robert Fuller. I thanked him for his influence in what was to become my writing career. I even gave him a set of my first four books.
And I got a hug.
Earlier this month, my almost-cowboy husband and I attended the Williamsburg Film Festival where I once again got to see Bob. Yes, I can call him “Bob.” The man has a massive fan base known as the Robert Fuller Fandom. Along with them, my husband and I waited in line for hours…just so Hubby could meet my hero...and watch me get kissed by the man I’ve adored for ages. Hubby is a very good sport. He even took pictures. My feet will touch the ground again…in another few weeks. Or months.
Have you ever had a hero who shaped your life? And have you ever had a chance to meet him/her? Was it all you hoped?
HANK: Annette, congratulations on the brand new book NO WAY HOME!! Hurray! And more about that below. As for meeting a hero? I always worry, I confess to you, that I would have no idea what to say. How about you, Femmes?
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.
USA Today best-selling author Annette Dashofy has spent her entire life in rural Pennsylvania surrounded by cattle and horses. When she wasn’t roaming the family’s farm or playing in the barn, she could be found reading or writing. After high school, she spent five years as an EMT on the local ambulance service, dealing with everything from drunks passing out on the sidewalk to mangled bodies in car accidents. These days, she, her husband, and their spoiled cat, Kensi, live on property that was once part of her grandfather’s dairy.
Her Zoe Chambers mystery series includes Circle of Influence (finalist for the Agatha Award for Best First Novel and the David Award for Best Mystery of 2014), Lost Legacy, Bridges Burned, which was nominated for the Agatha Award for Best Contemporary Novel of 2015, With A Vengeance and No Way Home, the fifth and most recent in the series.
Her short fiction, including a 2007 Derringer finalist which features the same characters as her novels, has appeared in Mysterical-e, Spinetingler, Fish Tales: the Guppy Anthology, and Lucky Charms: 12 Crime Tales.