The Dyn’taren Guard
These books for young readers (ages 7 and up, I think) are all about Fluffy Dog and his team of other talking animals, who hide in the world by pretending to be stuffed toys. They use magical artifacts from the planet Dyn’taren to solve problems and defeat threats to the peace of their world. The idea is for successive entries in the series to gradually expand that world, in terms of both setting and scope, so the books will grow along with their audience: early stories stay mostly within the bedroom of Fluffy’s human keeper, while later stories will move on to the rest of the house, the rest of the town, the homes of extended family members, etc.
Having officially begun with “Detective Dog and the Strange Shaking”, my inaugural entry into my second grade writing portfolio, The Dyn’taren Guard’s existence stretches back to even before that when you include things like me talking imagined scenes into a tape recorder, or the repetitive-enough-to-become-scripted games my sister and I played with actual dolls. This universe is by far the oldest entry in my body of work. The name “Dyn’taren” dates to either fifth or sixth grade, though I wasn’t using it in the series title at the time.
As I aged into junior high and then high school, I mostly put stories about Fluffy to the side in favor of stories about human teenagers, the emotions and trials of whom had become of more immediate interest to me. I always planned on coming back to the Guard as an adult, though, and when I found out I had some new young fans of The Case of the Crooked Candles 20 years after its publication, I knew it was time to get started.