Campbell River author Dayle Campbell Gaetz is branching out.
After receiving a Gold Moonbeam award in 2013 for her young adult (YA) novel, Taking the Reins, which was also a finalist for the WILLA Award for Young Adult Fiction from the U.S.-based Women Writing in the West organization, Gaetz is venturing into another market.
This coming spring, Gaetz will be introducing readers to a new, adult-oriented mystery series.
After publishing 21 books aimed at readers from seven to 17, Gaetz’ publisher, Victoria-based Orca Books, has added her to their recent line up, “Rapid Reads,” aimed at older readers.
It’s not that Gaetz has, until now, focused on YA and children’s stories for any intended reason, but just because, “those are just the stories that I come up with most of the time,” she said. “They’re more suited for children or young people.”
Part of the reason her mind works in that way, she thinks, is because, “Nine to 13 was probably my favourite age,” she said. It’s a magical age where children are finding freedom from their parents and discovering who they are, and before the responsibilities of adulthood rear their head.
“You don’t think you’re ever going to grow up,” she said, making it a special time. “At least, I didn’t,” she laughed.
Her earlier YA books would be considered “historical creative non-fiction” by some, as she would often create her characters and place them within real historical contexts, and then “watch” what happened, she said. “Sometimes your characters do things you weren’t planning. That’s wonderful,” she said.
For example, while she was in the midst of writing one book, she stumbled across the historical account of a freighter that landed in Victoria full of girls to be married to the local miners “to keep them from getting in trouble,” and decided when she was done the book she was working on at the time, she would go back and explore that history more fully.
She did just that, and it just so happened that the female leads she created for those two novels ended up meeting and becoming friends in a later work. That work being the 2013 book getting acclaim all over North America.
Check out orcabook.com for more of her YA titles, and look for Disappearing Act next year if you’re interested in a quick-hit of mystery.