I’m thrilled and honored to announce there's going to be Lei Crime Kindle World fan fiction site coming soon–April 7! No idea what I’m talking about? Check it out here, and don’t forget to watch the fun video with Hugh Howey and Bella Andre talking about crossing worlds!
Kindle Worlds are a wonderful new place on the Amazon site where any writer can develop stories within an established World of known characters. Included are TV shows, graphic novels/comics, and of course, popular book series.
This is a big step for me to announce, not just because so few authors are tapped by Amazon to develop a Kindle World, but because in July of 2013, I wrote a blog post that received a lot of hits: “Why I lawyered up against Fan Fiction.” The upshot of the piece was that I had fans beginning to write Lei Crime stories, unlicensed, and it made me realize I was vulnerable to copyright infringement. The article got muddled when I included discussion about Hugh Howey’s then brand-new Kindle World, because what I didn’t understand at the time was that Kindle Worlds actually protects authors’ rights! In fact, a percentage of every story sold goes to the creator of the World.
It’s now 2015, I’ve learned a lot, and Amazon has approached me to develop a Lei Crime Series Kindle World.
Nine books in, I am… not burned out, exactly, but realizing I’m reaching the end of the character development arc I’d set out to explore in the Lei Crime Series. I want to write other things, and I already am. While I’m not ready to say I’m finished writing the series, output is slowing way down. But just like my readers, I don’t want to say goodbye to Lei, Stevens, Keiki and a host of characters who’d come to feel real, like wonderful friends. At the same time, I don’t want to keep writing Lei Crime just because of demand, or make the mistake so many writers have: books devolving in quality as they lose steam.
The Lei Crime Kindle World is a way the series can go on, and so can I.
I can write new things that interest me, and other writers can take the World in directions I may never have considered. All this is great for readers!
Amazon told me they wanted to launch the World with at least five pieces to kick it off. I wrote a passel of author friends, asking them to consider contributing. I felt sheepish asking, but I was moved, surprised, and flattered by the ensuing cascade of ideas and dialogue, the flurry of sharing and discussion about my characters and storylines that have ensued. Most of these writers had read at least one Lei Crime book, something I hadn’t known, and some had even read them all, a huge compliment. So far, NINE already-published authors are going to contribute to the Lei Crime Kindle World, which goes live April 7, 2015!
It’s heady and amazing to realize that a story world of people I have created is so beloved (or at least interesting) to others that they’ll bring their own creativity and excitement to inventing new stories, with ideas I might never have dreamt of. Here are some of the ideas writers have shared:
- A mystery solved from Keiki the Rottweiler’s point of view
- A story involving an unknown Chang branch of the family and the military on Oahu, with Marcella and Ken Yamada;
- A paranormal with Lei set in South Carolina
- A suspense with a new Hawaiian character who comes to work with Lei on exposing a drug ring
- A mystery with Lei and Stevens involving murdered veterans and bow hunting mouflon sheep on the Big Island
- A prequel where Stevens has a romance and tracks a vigilante serial killer
And SO MANY MORE! I simply can’t wait to read these.
What you can expect: when the World goes live, I’ll be running Author Spotlight interviews with the wonderful writers who’ve stepped up to kick off the World, so you can get to know them and take a look at their unique slant on the Lei Crime world and characters. I want to especially mention Steve Konkoly, who generously shared how to support my Kindle World authors and whose post-apocalyptic World looks fascinating.
Who wins in this scenario? Everyone! I get to see my series go on, taken in new directions. Readers get more stories starring their favorite characters, and writers get to reap the fruits of their labor in a popular series that helps expose their work to loyal fans.
I’m thrilled to be a part of Kindle Worlds, and I’ll be the first hitting the “Buy” button to see what my fellow authors have come up with. It’s a brave new world of sharing and collaboration, all of it stimulating new ideas and creativity. Look for more announcements in the coming weeks…but for now, check out the authors who’ve accepted the challenge to have a Lei Crime Series piece ready by April 7:
Eden Baylee, who writes erotic romance and suspense
M.L. Doyle, who writes mystery
Craig Hansen, who writes suspense thrillers
Talitha Kalago, who writes romance under a pen name, fantasy
Emily Kimelman, who writes mystery
Christine Nolfi, who writes women’s fiction/mystery
J.L. Oakley, who writes historical
Corinne O’Flynn, who writes fantasy and mystery
Lucas Kana Peterson, who writes mystery and fantasy
Anyone else interested in stepping up to enter the Lei Crime Series Kindle World? It’s not too late to meet our crazy deadline! And once up, the World will be ongoing for the next ten years! Lei Crime fans will always be able to find something to read, long after I’m done writing the series.
Has anyone participated in Kindle Worlds before, either as a reader or a writer? Let me know what you think of this new venture—we’re excited!
Excellent post introducing your new world, Toby! I’m thrilled to be a part of it and can’t wait to read all the other writers who will be launching with me April 7th!
Terrific, I hope you’ll take a look at the books when they come out!
Yay, so grateful a writer of your caliber is willing to join the Lei Crime World!
Sounds interesting. Hate to hear that the Lei Crime Series might come to an end, but excited that other writers will pick up and take the characters to different places. Should be exciting.
I’m not finished yet, but I am definitely going to be doing other projects in the coming years. This is a way the Lei Crime Series will live on no matter what!
Hooray! I can’t wait to see what everyone does. A story from Keiki’s POV sounds awesome!!
And I’m thrilled you decided to join us, can’t wait to see what you come up with!
Toby, I’ve always adored both you and your novels and can’t wait to help you launch the Lei Crime Kindle World! In Leilani Texereira, you’ve provided readers with a unique protagonist, and her supporting cast is exceptional. I don’t want to give anything away, but my KW novella will send Lei into a world where magic is possible. I can’t wait!
This is so exciting! I can’t wait to read it.
So excited for this!!! I’m loving writing from Keiki’s point of view. That dog has a rich interior life and some great friends 🙂 Can’t wait to read what the other authors are working on. So proud to be a part of this world. Congrats again Toby!
I think this could spawn a whole new direction for you, Emily, and I will always treasure our fun retreat together!
What a nifty idea, can’t wait to read the books. A toast to all of you!
What a fantastic way to expand the Lei Crime lives! I’m so excited to see where some of the authors take the characters, especially Emily’s take on Keiki’s adventures. And such a great way for you, Toby, to allow this world to grow without burning out! Brava!
Wow Toby, that’s awesome! I’d never heard of Kindle Worlds, but it’s a fascinating concept – and I agree, I’ve seen too many authors drive a series into the ground because they were clearly out of ideas but kept going anyway (for probably the best of reasons, not judging). I had nothing but respect for Mercedes Lackey when she announced that she was not going to write any more Valdemar for the time being for that very reason, though may come back to it in the future if more comes up (and she is now focusing on some other series I ADORE, so I win, lol), and now nothing but respect for you too. It takes a lot of self-knowledge to realize that you’re out of steam, and guts to admit it. But having this as an alternative is so amazing! I’m excited to see what comes of it.
I was afraid I wasn’t going to be able to get it done in time, but once I started, your characters, as they do in your books, just had a life of their own. The best part of this project is meeting the other great authors you have involved. It’s an exciting time. April 7 will be an interesting day. Looking forward to reading everyone’s story.
Getting there. Saddle Road has gone through some changes since we hunted up there years ago, but I can’t help but imagine what my blurb looks like:
“Mouflon sheep. Wounded heroes. When a body shows up in the Kahalui Harbor, for Detective Lei Texeria it looked like another bad day for some poor soul in Paradise. When the man is identified as a well respected veteran from the Mainland, Sergeant Lei Texeria and her soul mate-husband, Lieutenant Micheal Stevens find themselves in the middle of a veterans help organization scamming returning vets from Iraq and Afghanistan with PSTD. Stevens suffers some PSTD of his own. It will all come to a head up on Saddle Road.”
All of Tobys books are FABULOUS
Thanks, Susanne! aloha
So looking forward to this new “take” on the Lei series characters. Can not get enough!
Yay, I’ve read drafts of several and I think you’ll love them!