I’m a novelist. I write both mysteries and romances. And I’m delighted to say that the background of my latest Pet Rescue Mystery, OODLES OF POODLES, resulted from my driving in Studio City.
I live in the Hollywood Hills, on the Valley side. I love animals, especially dogs, and have a great deal of fun writing my Pet Rescue Mystery series for Berkley Prime Crime.
One day a while ago, as I drove along Ventura Boulevard, I spotted a new sign outside a building that might previously have been vacant. It indicated that the American Humane Association’s Film and Television Unit had moved there. Since I drive past that area often, I kept seeing that sign... and it inspired the topic of OODLES OF POODLES.
For, yes, I dropped in one day and began talking to people and learning what American Humane is about--a wonderful group.
OODLES OF POODLES takes place in the film industry, very appropriate for a series centered around a fictional no-kill pet shelter in the San Fernando Valley. It’s sort of a story within a story, since it’s about a movie being filmed about rescued poodles, starring-- you’ve got it!--rescued poodles!
My protagonist Lauren Vancouver, chief administrator of the HotRescues shelter, gets involved because of those adorable poodles. She visits the film sets often to observe how the dogs are being treated. Also present is a Certified Animal Safety Representative™ of the American Humane Association, the only group that can provide the coveted “No Animals Were Harmed”® designation--their registered trademark.
One night the director, who had been endangering the poodles during the filming, is murdered. The chief suspect is a good friend of Lauren’s, so she has to solve the murder to help her friend... and the dogs.
OODLES OF POODLES was a lot of fun to research and to write. And these days, when I attend a movie where animals are included in the cast, I always wait till the very end of the credits to look for that very treasured certification that “No Animals Were Harmed.”
I’ll be signing OODLES OF POODLES and also my new Harlequin Nocturne paranormal romance UNDERCOVER WOLF at Bookstar--yes, in Studio City!--on Sunday, February 17, 2013, at 12:30 PM. At least one representative from the American Humane Association will be there, too.
By the way, UNDERCOVER WOLF, one of my Alpha Force mini-series for Harlequin Nocturne about a covert military unit of shapeshifters, was inspired by a place, too: Bar Harbor, Maine, and the adjoining Acadia National Park.