Amy Shojai, one of the Fearless Bloggers, is an pet expert, particularly cats and dogs. She’s written over thirty books about pet behavior, as well as three thrillers.
So when her friend Toby Neal asked her to contribute to her Lei Crime series on Kindleworld, Shojai jumped at the chance. And which character did she choose? The Rottweiler, of course!
“I love dogs. Keiki is a Rottweiler police dog partnered with Toby Neal’s main character, Detective Lei Texeira.”
Shojai gave the Rottweiler police dog her own viewpoint, which alternates between that of the dog’s trainer, and a detective’s. The viewpoint gives us Keiki’s stream-of-consciousness, in which she refers to herself in the third person as ‘good dog.’ Her thoughts get communicated to her human friends through actions, woofs and tail wags.
Shojai plans a trilogy, all of which will be a prequel to Toby Neal’s series. “I fell in love with the adult Keiki in Toby Neal’s Lei Crime series, and was intrigued by the challenge to write her backstory. In Toby’s first book, Keiki is already in Hawaii and about two years old. How did she become a police dog (Rotties aren’t typically chosen); when did Lei meet her?”
The first book in the series was Born to Love, which features Keiki as a four-month-old puppy being trained in North Texas.
My own thrillers include “dog viewpoint” so I thought it would be fun to do the same in my novellas, with Keiki as a puppy. The story viewpoints alternate between the dog’s trainer, Keiki herself, and a detective. Don’t worry…Keiki doesn’t talk (other than in woofs and wags *s*)
Trained to Serve is the second book in the series. Keiki is now ten months old (that dog adolescence). Her owner, Lia Corazon, has three days to get Keiki ready for the police dog test. The test is a challenge in more ways than one: if Keiki succeeds, Lia’s grandfather will fund her startup North Texad dog kennel. If Keiki fails, grandpa expects Lia to give up all this kennel nonsense and become a society lady.
Worried about all this, Lia and Keiki stumble on a dead body and another young victim, still alive, who runs away — straight into a forest fire. Keiki runs with her, but now Lia has to find and rescue them, while staying clear of the murderer hard on their heels.
So how does Kindle Worlds work?
Established authors put their series on Kindle World and invite other authors to write new stories set in those worlds. Shojai characterizes it as “fan fiction” published by Amazon. “Writers can choose from a variety of “worlds” licensed to Amazon by the original author of popular series. Kindle Worlds accepts full length novels, series, novellas and short stories.” The authors are paid, but they have to generate their own covers. KindleWorld holds all rights, and the works can only be published on Kindle.
Shojai loves the experience. “There are many reasons for writing in another author’s created world. Sometimes readers fall in love with characters or settings, and want to create their own stories. But for established authors, writing for another writer’s World offers a fun way to feed the Muse, experiment with setting or other characters, gain new readers for their own work (typically the World fans are voracious readers!), and interact with other authors.”
Amy Shojai is a certified animal behavior consultant for cats and dogs, and the author of the September & Shadow pet-centric thriller series, and the Keiki & Lia Thrillers for Lei Crime KindleWorlds.
Amy is also the award-winning author of 30 best selling pet books that cover furry babies to old-fogies, first aid to natural healing, and behavior/training to Chicken Soup-icity. She created the Puppies.about.com site as the Puppies Expert and was the cat behavior expert at cats.About.com, and you can find her half hour Internet Pet Peeves radio shows here. Amy has been featured as an expert in hundreds of print venues including The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Reader’s Digest, and Family Circle, as well as national radio and television networks such as CNN, Animal Planet’s DOGS 101 and CATS 101. She’s been a consultant to the pet products industry and a host/program consultant for select “furry” TV projects.
Amy is also a musician, actor and playwright, and brings her unique pet-centric viewpoint to public appearances and performances, audio books (her own and others), writer webinars, conference keynotes/seminars and THRILLERS WITH BITE!
FEARLESS BLOGGER TOUR
This blog is part of a tour organized by the International Thriller Writer's Association FEARLESS BLOGGER tour. The Fearless Bloggers were created by Alison McMahan to help new thriller writers who were members of ITW promote their work. Blogs are written about new thrillers by thriller writers. All work is done on a volunteer basis. Other blogs in this tour include: