Today I’d like to introduce you to my guest, Indie Author Erica Gore. Like myself, she introduces children to a world of intrigue with her series, Taya Bayliss Mysteries. Come explore with me as we learn more about this author from “Down Under.”
I understand that you are a retired teacher. Has your experience in the classroom been beneficial to your writing? If so, in what way?
That’s right. I was a classroom teacher for over 30 years. I think this has given me a stronger connection to my readership in that I understand the way they speak to each other, the way they think about and react to the world around them, the things that worry them and the things that they feel strongly about. I think children are wise little beings and that we, as adults, often underestimate them.
I’ve read your first book in the Taya Bayliss Series, Treasure Hunter, and found it quite enjoyable. What age group do you recommend this series for and what kind of message do you hope your protagonist relays on to your readers?
The Taya Bayliss Mysteries are aimed at children aged about 8-12 years. Taya and her best friend Chris are ordinary kids but they have extraordinary adventures because they are in touch with their surroundings. These days we see children so attached to screens of one form or another that they can miss what’s happening around them. I hope that the TB Mysteries show kids that it isn’t necessary to have supernatural powers to be able to make a difference in the world.
You currently have five books in the Taya Bayliss series. How many books do you hope to produce?
My goal is to bring the collection to a total of 10 books. I have five more nifty titles organized with vague storylines. It is simply (!) a matter of fleshing them out. What fun!
I have always wanted to visit Australia, what do you love most about your country? Has it influenced your writing or found its way into your story lines in any noticeable way?
What I love about Australia is its position on the planet. We are “Down Under”. We are separated from everywhere else. That can be a pain when you want to take a quick holiday and find you have to fly for hours and hours to get anywhere, but it also ensures Australia is a unique place. We have weird and wonderful animals, stunning scenery, and a laid-back population.
I think the issues that crop up in my stories are the issues that kids in Australia think about and have to confront e.g. bullying, protection of environment.
Are you working on any other projects that you’d like to share with everyone?
I have recently published the first of a new series, Gummshoes – Mission #1: The Nobbled Numbskull. This series is going to focus on the problem of bullying and equipping children with strategies to combat it. This is something I feel strongly about. I want to see kids build resilience and confidence in order to be able to help themselves and others to take a stand against bullying.
What encouraged you to take the Indie publishing route? How much of the process do you personally handle and what portions do you prefer to outsource?
I am a bit of a control freak so I chose to retain as much control over the process and the intellectual property as I could. I have loved learning all the ins and outs of creating a book and getting it into bookstores.
I have a wonderful editor, a formatting genius and two super talented artists with whom I work to produce my books. My job is to come up with the story. Their job is to help me slap it into shape so that it emerges as an engaging, exciting mystery.
I’d like to thank Erica for joining me today and giving us a glimpse into her writing, Australia, and why she chose to take the Indie route of publishing. Personally, I loved learning that we have similar views when it comes to believing in the intelligence of children and how often they are underestimated. Further, in the importance of instilling self-confidence in them. A child with self-confidence is far less apt to be a victim of bullying, and if paired with compassion, is also less likely to bully others.