I’m excited for some of my author friends who are collectively putting out six more novellas in the Lei Crime Kindle World. Sadly, I won’t be contributing this time since I’m hard at work on a novel I hope to have done this fall. That said, I can still make sure folks hear about these fantastic and diverse stories.
Eden Baylee’s Seal of a Monk, is the first of the batch I’ll talk about here. She has another fantastic cover for the story she describes this way:
Seal of a Monk, By Eden Baylee
The ancient jungles of Kauai provide the perfect setting for self-discovery.
Despite the terror she experienced on her last trip, Lainey Lee returns to Hawaii to manage a silent meditation course on the Coconut Coast. Twenty-five women are under her care for ten days in a beautiful and remote location. Lainey expects to find inner peace, but four days into the course, one of the meditators disappears without a trace.
Did the girl leave of her own free will, or was she lured away by a strange cult? Lainey is frantic to answer these questions. As her desperation grows, she finds help from an unexpected source—a retired Navy SEAL named Maxamillian Scott.
Now, Lainey has two mysteries to solve: what happened to the missing girl and the case of her own heart. Can she ever trust a man again?
Sounds really good doesn’t it? I can’t wait to read it. In the meantime, Eden took the time to fill me in on how this project went for her.
Me: Is the second time around in writing Lei Crime fan fiction easier or harder for you?
Eden: Harder! In my first novella, A Snake in Paradise, I created a new character whom readers liked. They wanted to know more about Lainey Lee, the feisty divorcée who took a trip to Hawaii and met up with a ‘snake.’
Though it was really encouraging to learn that readers enjoyed the character, it gave me pause, as I wasn’t sure I could create another story around her.
I’m happy to say I managed to do it.
There’s a fine balance with staying true to a character, and writing a story that stands on its own merit. I hope readers will find SEAL of a Monk as enjoyable as the first book with Lainey.
Me: So this is a sequel? Your fans will be happy to hear that!
Eden: It continues the story of protagonist, Lainey Lee, so I’ve carried her over to this upcoming book.
In SEAL of a Monk, we learn more about Lainey, but the story stands alone. This time it takes place on the oldest of the islands in Hawaii—Kauai.
Me: Since this is your second time around, what did you do differently, if anything? What do you think is going better for you this time?
Eden: I rarely deconstruct my writing, but the main thing was to stay true to the characters, while expanding on them. I wanted three-dimensional characters that readers could relate to, even if it was not a full-length novel.
I also wanted a story that would capture the essence of Kauai. It is untamed territory, which lends itself to mystery. The landscape and wilderness feature prominently in my story.
What is getting better is knowing more about Hawaii. Though I don’t expound on specifics, an understanding of the culture is important for creating a mood for the story.
Me: Have you considered writing fan fiction for any other Kindle Worlds? If so, which ones?
Eden: At this point, no, but I won’t close the door on this. It’s certainly proven to be a worthy project for me in many ways. Right now, I intend to get back to writing A Fragile Truce, which is the second book in my series with Dr. Kate Hampton.
Me: Does your Lei Crime KW story have any connection to your usual writing?
Eden: I write in multiple genres, and my first novel was a mystery suspense called Stranger at Sunset. To this end, writing in the same genre for Lei Crime KW has honed my skills, and I hope to improve as I write more suspense stories.
Me: Do you think you have or will find new readers because of the KW experience?
Eden: Definitely. Toby Neal has a huge following, and it’s a wonderful way to attract new readers to my books. The whole idea that my readers will like her books and vice versa is a big reason the Lei Crime series has been such a success.
Me: Any fan fiction author can write and upload a story to any Kindle World at any time. What is the advantage in participating in these group launches?
Eden: The main advantage was the support of other writers. Everyone’s enthusiasm to see the series go live was a driving force to making it happen.
We had a great group when we launched, (you were there, Mary, so you know!) An infectious good energy of the authors made it seamless and fun. I didn’t feel alone in the process, and that was important.
In many ways, we learned together so our victory was a true group effort. Yay for us!
Me: Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Eden: Yes, thank you Mary for taking time out of your busy schedule to interview me. I look forward to your next entry in the Lei Crime series too.
Me: My pleasure! Good luck with launch and check back for my review of Seal of a Monk in coming days.