The first book in the Astro’s Adventures series, The Great Escape, was based on a series of emails author, Susan Day, shared with her friend and the real Astro’s owner.
This is how the stories started and these emails are reproduced in the first chapter of the book.
Once the idea to write the book began, Susan was encouraged to include all the family dogs.
In the beginning, there were six dogs – a Chihuahua, a blue heeler, a Doberman, a terrier cross, a Border collie and an old brown Kelpie.
Around these characters the story was framed.
As you can see the dogs were physically very different.
The Chihuahua was small but had ears like a bat and the Doberman was heavy and strong, for example.
What the author really wanted to do was to look at each of the dog’s personalities and incorporate them into the stories.
She sat down with pen and paper and made a list of some of the quirky and funny things the dogs were known for.
The Doberman, Alfie, wasn’t very bright but he liked to use his head to push doors open.
The Blue heeler, Indy, was tough and had the habit of nipping people who walked past her.
The terrier cross, Digger was so named because he turned the garden into a moonscape!
Over the years the characters of the dogs hasn’t changed even though the 12th book in the series is ready to be published.
Instead, the author has been able to craft stories and plots around these characters so they bring out the humour, fun and unique personalities of each dog.