Three authors – Amy Allen, Lynda Filler, and A.J. Llewellyn – have returned to the Lei Crime Series Kindle World and share with readers and authors about their experiences.
What have you enjoyed the most about being an author for the Lei Crime Kindle World?
Amy: The friends I’ve made with the other authors. Being able to ask questions of them and getting feedback – whether positive or negative. Having Toby being involved, as much as she is able, with encouragement, or suggestions. Feeling like I’m part of a family.
Lynda: It’s a dynamic world. Once an idea comes, it flows easily with the use of Toby’s characters. I love how every single writer has a completely different interpretation of the direction a novella might take. It’s not simply fun to write the stories but great to read others’ ideas.
A.J.: Well, I am very comfortable writing about the adorable Abe Torufu! I loved creating a love story for him with his boss, C.J. Omura, also known as the Iron Butterfly. I got a kick out of the fact that Toby Neal liked the idea and ran with it in her latest book. In my third Abe book, Hula Pie and Coconut Bras, they’re not openly together yet and Abe is struggling with being involved with a powerful woman.
In Toby’s book, they’re openly together…and I love that!
Why have you chosen to write a sequel to your Lei Crime Kindle World book?
Amy: In Holiday Surprises, I had/have farther to go with Jared and Lana and I am enjoying their romance. Especially since both are/were damaged in some way and weren’t very trusting of the opposite sex before meeting each other.
Lynda: In The Road to San Pancho, my main character Peace is a feisty red-head who recently lost her mother. She never knew her Dad. But she had a feeling from some correspondence she found after her mom died, that he lived in Mexico. The story wrote itself; but when I finished the first novella, I knew Peace’s journey was far from over. Now about Jared…Two troubled people who’s journeys come together. They will decide if it’s romance or friendship.
A.J.: I have been taking forensic science classes at University of Southern California. I’ve learned so much and wanted to use some of my knowledge in the continuing adventures of Abe. I also wanted to touch on the old, unsolved Honolulu Strangler case from 1986. I used that as the backbone for this story. Part of the reason was that this was the first serial killer case in Hawaii and the island was ill-equipped to handle such an investigation at that time. I was shocked to discover the police had a suspect but the evidence against him was circumstantial. They were forced to release him and he flew to the mainland. He has since died, but an early victim who survived his attack had startling things to say including that HPD told her she would have to pay to fly the suspect back to the islands if she wanted to testify against him. Things have improved a lot since then!
Last year I did a tour of Honolulu Police Department with my fellow Sisters in Crime and was astonished to learn how few things are handled on the island. For example, they don’t test for Mitochondrial DNA there. These samples are sent to a mainland. So it’s nothing like Hawaii Five-O where they know who the killer is and where he lives within the first five minutes of the show. I liked the idea of writing a book about how it really works in the islands. How an investigation can be handled without all the bells and whistles. There are so many dedicated men and women working for HPD and I wanted to highlight good, old-fashioned police work.
What advice do you have for authors who are considering writing in a Kindle World?
Amy: Read the original series before you do your own novella so you have an idea of the original author’s characters (so for say the Lei Crime Series – read at least up through Rip Tides (Book 9) so you get introduced to, and are at least familiar with, Toby’s characters) and then, if possible, read some of the other novellas in the Kindle world series you plan on writing in to get a feel for what some of the authors writing in that series do. And don’t be afraid to ask the other novella authors questions if you aren’t sure of something.
Lynda: Don’t be afraid to go for it. Everyone has a unique voice. If you feel a story, write it. There is no right or wrong, it’s simply your version of events. If your heart is pulled in by Toby’s books, why not play in her world. It’s fun, scary and dynamic. Wait… I think I convinced myself to do another story!
A.J. It’s a fun world – and there are so many but I am really attached to Toby Neal’s books and her world. Have fun with it but read other books in the series first. It’s really worth your time.
CONNECT WITH AMY ALLEN
CONNECT WITH LYNDA FILLER
CONNECT WITH A.J. LLEWELLYN
COMMENT AND WIN
Comment on this blog and be entered to win a copy of both New Beginnings and Holiday Surprises (1 winner), and eBook of Second Chances (1 winner), a $10 Amazon Gift Card (1 winner), $5 Amazon gift cards (3 winners), and a $5 Amazon gift card and an eBook of any one of the Coffee and Kukui Nuts series (1 winner).