- Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing?
Durham, Maine. That’s where it all started, just like it did for Stephen King!
At the time, I was writing a lot of SEO content for several marketing gigs. I was constantly complaining about how I’d love to write something that actually interested me. After getting tired of my whining, Chris (my partner-in-everything), sent me this writing contest he found on Facebook. I picked the first topic from the list, something like “My favorite day of the week.” It turned out to be a cute little story, so I decided to email it to a couple of online magazines that publish readers’ stories. Imagine my surprise when Horse Illustrated magazine contacted me and told me they’d like to publish my article in their printed magazine!
My thoughts when the (very modest) paycheck arrived a couple months later? “Well, that was easy money!”
So, I wrote a pile of stories and articles, pitching them all over. Luckily, I didn’t quit my day job because most of my work got rejected. I did get one short story published in a short story book, and a few articles were published in small indie magazines.
Finally, I got an idea for a book. This book ended up becoming three books. The trilogy gave me an idea for a new 100k novel. The novel was put aside because I got an idea for a twenty book series. And… well, here I sit, mind racing and ideas flowing!
- What inspired you to write your book?
Unchipped: Kaarina was inspired by a single, random thought: “If the world ends today, where will I run and hide?”
The answer was, (as for me it so often is), the barn. I imagined living at the stables without anyone else around, just the horses and Finnish forest creatures. Never in a million years did I imagine this would lead to me creating a complicated universe with hundreds of characters, a 20-book series that the Unchipped story is today.
- What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?
No being on Earth is too small or insignificant to make a difference.
- What drew you into this particular genre?
After spending seven years in the States, moving back to Finland made me obsess over cultural differences, society issues, and humanity in general. Then I read The Dog Stars by Peter Heller, and Margaret Atwood’s The Heart Goes Last, and it felt very natural for me to jump genres. My previous trilogy was contemporary women’s fiction.
- If you could sit down with any character in your book, what would you ask them and why?
I would sit down with Doctor Solomon and ask her to tell me a joke. Just to see how effed up the joke would be!
- What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership?
Facebook, by far. I’m obsessed with Facebook ads and the long-term strategies that come with them. I’m also a part of this Facebook/Instagram group called Dystopian Ink, which inspires me to read and write more every day.
- What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out there?
Only write stories that genuinely intrigue you. Go a little crazy with your scenes. Have fun with your characters. Don’t shy away from bad/dad jokes. Invest in a professional editor who isn’t afraid to give criticism but appreciates your storytelling and respects your voice. Your cover doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg, but it does have to be breath-taking and scream your genre.
- What does the future hold in store for you? Any new books/projects on the horizon?
Ooh, where do I begin?!
The Unchipped series is streaming out every 18 days, so this series will keep me entertained for a whole year! I’m writing book ten at the moment, while my editors (I have two, and they’re both out-of-this-world) are working on books 7 and 9.
After this, remember that 100k novel I talked about? I’m going to mold it into a full post-apocalyptic / dystopian series. The story takes place on flooded Martha’s Vineyard, so the working name for this series is “The Flood.” Still, the story arc is changing as I’m outlining the series, and therefore the name will be changing too. This story has heroes with superpowers, and such immense plot twists that I’ve put it aside for now, but my fingers are itching to dig it out from my desk drawer! Soon!
About the Author
Taya is a Finnish-American author, writing contemporary fiction and dystopian sci-fi. After living, working, and traveling in America for seven years, she now lives in Finland with her partner-in-everything Chris, their dog Seamus, three bunny-boys (Ronin, Baby, and Loki), and her horse of a lifetime, Arabella.
Taya’s restless feet have taken her all over Finland, the United Kingdom, and North America. Her new dystopian series “Unchipped” is inspired by the real-life characters she’s met on her travels. Cultural differences, social issues, and behavioral psychology have always fascinated Taya. “Unchipped” tells the story of the world in 2085, when technology has replaced people’s need to truly connect with one another. The series describes what it feels like to be an outsider and takes an in-depth look at the unlikely friendships between perfectly imperfect people across the globe.
Justice. Kindness. The fact that all beings on this planet are equally important. Taya’s world revolves around these values every day, and they play a substantial role in her storytelling as well.
Taya’s writing is inspired by authors such as Margaret Atwood, Peter Heller, Hugh Howey, and C.M. Martens.
Teija’s author site: https://www.tayadevere.com
Her Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/Taya-DeVere/e/B07KRJPMTV
The Unchipped series page on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08CHKB96S