Dog Dreamzzz (2014), the second Abby Swann Mystery, continues the adventures of Abby and her two Tibetan Spaniels, Dawa (“Moon”) and Senge (“Lion”), and introduces Ah Choo, a sassy Siamese. The challenge of writing Dog Dreamzzz was to integrate the human and animal characters in distinct but interwoven plotlines—murder mystery, history mystery and fantasy mystery—and bring the three to a unified and thrilling finale.
The murder mystery gets underway during the aftermath of a hurricane when the Tibbies find the body of the mayor of Murderkill Beach sprawled in the marsh. The history mystery begins when Dawa unearths a cache of letters hidden in the 18th century museum house where Abby volunteers as an interpreter. In the fantasy mystery, Dawa’s recurring dreams reveal a former life in ancient Tibet.
While stories that “anthropomorphize” animal characters make many writers cringe, I’ve never had qualms about putting thoughts into the minds and words into the mouths of the intelligent, inquisitive and talkative Tibetan Spaniel. As you’ll see in this short excerpt, narrative featuring human characters is in first person, but the animal characters’ story is told in third person.
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Susan Waller Miccio is the internationally recognized author of nonfiction books about Tibetan Spaniels plus the two Abby Swann Mysteries. Her classic, The Tibetan Spaniel—A Gift from the Roof of the World, is still the go-to book for Tibbie owners worldwide. When not working full-time for the State of Delaware, Susan writes and volunteers with Tibetan Spaniel rescue. She is a member of the Tibetan Spaniel Club of America, the Potomac Valley Tibetan Spaniel Club and the Dog Writers Association of America and patron of the Tibetan Spaniel Association of Victoria (Australia). Susan and her “attitude” of Tibbies—Coco, Twyla and Suzy Q—live in rural Delaware where she is plotting her next mystery. Visit Susan on www.susanwallermiccio.com and Facebook.