Dr. Munish Batra and Keith R.A. DeCandido: Entertainment and Outrage

Authors Dr. Munish Batra and Keith R.A. DeCandido explain how they came to co-write their novel and why it's important to them that the readers experience outrage while reading.
Author:
Publish date:
Dr. Munish Batra

Dr. Munish Batra

Dr. Munish Batra is a distinguished surgeon who has been featured in People, The Los Angeles Times, and on The Oprah Winfrey Show for his philanthropic work. He was galvanized to write Animal by the animal abuse atrocities he witnessed while volunteering his medical services around the world.

Keith R.A. DeCandido is an award-winning, best-selling author of more than 50 novels, who has worked with major brands such as Alien, Star Trek, and Spiderman, to name a few. Together, Batra and DeCandido wrote Animal to make people question whether noble intentions, such as protecting the innocent, can ever be used to justify horrific acts…

Keith R.A. DeCandido

Keith R.A. DeCandido

During the pandemic there has been an increase in pet adoptions; however, there has also been an increase in animal abuse. A portion of the proceeds from Animal will go to the San Diego Humane Society among a number of other animal funds and sanctuaries, to help animals who have been abused or abandoned.

In this post, Batra and DeCandido explain how they came to co-write their novel, why it's important to them that the readers experience outrage while reading, and more!

****

Advanced Novel Writing

Push yourself beyond your comfort zone and take your writing to new heights with this novel writing workshop, designed specifically for novelists who are looking for detailed feedback on their work.

Click to continue.
****

Name: Munish K. Batra, M.D., FACS and Keith R.A. DeCandido
Title: Animal
Publisher: Word Fire Press
Release date: January 4, 2021
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Elevator pitch for the book: For twenty years, a serial killer has been travelling the globe, murdering people who harm animals. Now, an Interpol agent and two detectives are finally closing in on him—but who is the real animal, the killer or his victims?

animal_novel_by_munish_k_batra_md_facs_keith_ra_decandido_book_cover

Indiebound | Bookshop | Amazon

[WD uses affiliate links.]

What prompted you to write this book?

A confluence of reasons led me to write Animal. One important factor was my son Ayaan’s inquisitive nature about animals, especially when he heard about the extinction of certain species on this planet. He is seven years old and had some very deep philosophical questions, which were difficult for me to answer. Also, while on a trip to China, which was one of the places I was considering doing humanitarian work, a chance walk through a back street market place left an indelible imprint on me. I saw hanging carcasses of dogs and cats, and this led me to truly realize the brutality of humans against these sentient beings. This is the same brutality that has been inflicted on the killer whales at SeaWorld and elephants who are poached, and it continues every day. This senseless brutality seems endless and is one of the main inspirations behind Animal.

(10 Things Shakespeare Can Teach Us About Writing Thrillers)

How long did it take to go from idea to publication? 

The idea for Animal was in the making for about seven years. Initially, I had put together more of a movie storyline, and it wasn’t until I met Keith and had a chance to work with him that the novel came to fruition. Keith has been an amazing collaborator, and together, I really think we have created an amazing novel that I hope will shock readers and make them think twice before their next meal or the next time they plan to buy fur, etc.

Were there any surprises or learning moments in the publishing process for this title? 

Animal was initially turned down by several publication houses because of the graphic nature of the story. There are many nonfiction elements in the book, including the torture inflicted on animals, as well as the way the killer exacts revenge on the perpetrators. I definitely used my training as a surgeon when coming up with the killer’s techniques. What was really key here was that neither Keith nor I wanted to tone down the graphic elements of the book because we both felt that the horrific nature of what happens—to both the animals and humans—had to be depicted vividly to really get the idea across.

Once the publisher at WordFire Press got a hold of Animal and told us that the storyline and writing had engrossed him to the point that he forgot he was supposed to be reading the novel to give editorial feedback, we realized that WordFire Press was the perfect fit for us.

(The 5 C's of Writing a Great Thriller Novel)

Were there any surprises in the writing process for this book?

We knew intellectually how badly animals are treated all over the world, but the detailed research done to make the instances of animal cruelty in the novel accurate was sobering, to say the least. The sheer number of ways that animals are harmed is bad enough, but the reasons are often so incredibly shallow and pointless.

What do you hope readers will get out of your book?

We want readers to get a healthy mix of entertainment and outrage.

Batra&DeCandido_1:18

If you could share one piece of advice with other authors, what would it be?

Persevere. Finish what you start. Have a thick skin. Okay, that’s three pieces, but writing is an impossible way of life, and it’s distressingly free of guidelines, so one should give and listen to a lot of advice. But not all of it, that’s just silly.

Arisa White: Putting the Pieces Together

Arisa White: Putting the Pieces Together

In this post, Arisa White shares how she was able to piece together her past with her present, how some works freed her to write, and more!

Adapt vs. Adept vs. Adopt (Grammar Rules)

Adapt vs. Adept vs. Adopt (Grammar Rules)

Learn when to use adapt vs. adept vs. adopt with Grammar Rules from the Writer's Digest editors, including a few examples of correct usages.

wow no thank you

Nuggets of Humor

Bestselling humor author Samantha Irby talks about her writing process and finding funny topics for essays.

April PAD Challenge

2021 April PAD Challenge: Guidelines

Announcing the 14th annual April Poem-A-Day Challenge on Poetic Asides. Here are the guidelines for this fun annual poeming challenge that starts on April 1.

writer's digest wd presents

WD Presents: Call for Submissions, Free Downloads, and more!

This week, we’re excited to announce a call for submissions to the WD Self-Published Book Awards, free resources for writers, and more!

Flash Fiction Challenge

2021 February Flash Fiction Challenge: Day 28

Write a piece of flash fiction each day of February with the February Flash Fiction Challenge, led by editor Moriah Richard. Each day, receive a prompt, example story, and write your own. Today's prompt is to write a story using only dialogue.

Nicole Galland: On Returning to Familiar Characters

Nicole Galland: On Returning to Familiar Characters

Bestselling author Nicole Galland explains what it was like to dive into writing a series and how speculative fiction allows her to explore her interests.

6 Tools for Writing Nonfiction That Breathes

6 Tools for Writing Nonfiction That Breathes

Nonfiction author Liz Heinecke gives her top 6 tips for crafting a nonfiction book that will really capture your subject.

Flash Fiction Challenge

2021 February Flash Fiction Challenge: Day 27

Write a piece of flash fiction each day of February with the February Flash Fiction Challenge, led by editor Moriah Richard. Each day, receive a prompt, example story, and write your own. Today's prompt is to write something that makes you laugh.