Erica Basora: An Author Virtuously Making a Difference for Children One Book at a TIme
Virtue, by definition, is the quality of being morally good or righteous and for an author of children’s books, being virtuous takes on a whole new meaning. In a world where it is so easy to be consumed by status and influence, striving to be virtuous is challenging for many, especially children. This is why Basora, an MSN and mother of two, writes children’s books. She understands their power to shape perspectives and beliefs and motivate children to be better people. Books can also inspire children to be kind, brave, and compassionate.
During a recent interview, Basora, a graduate of Rollins College and the University of Central Florida, shared that her inspiration for becoming an author came from all the times she tried to find children’s books to read to her girls about different topics or on certain themes and could never find books they can see themselves in the character. Her inspiration also comes from providing children with books other than the common biblical stories they find themselves always reading, as well as educating young children about careers in the medical field they may have never considered to promote health literacy.
She also shares many more passionate things that would inspire anyone to look at life differently and understand the passion in every word she writes in her books.
Thank you for taking the time to chat with me. Tell me a little about yourself and what you do.
At a young age, she learned English as a second language. Much of my adult life was spent in Florida. I now reside in Georgia with my two beautiful daughters, Jolyn and Ava, and work as a Quality and Education Clinical Specialist for Surgical Services. Before becoming a circulating nurse in the operating room, I was an elementary school teacher and a middle school media specialist.
I love being an author. Seeing my writing come to life and helping others become authors with my publishing agency, That’s Love Publishing.
Who is your target audience for your books? Why did you decide to write to this demographic?
My target audience is parents, caregivers, and teachers of kindergarten to fourth grade, looking for books to help children learn how to care for themselves, stay healthy, and have characters they can relate to and look like them. I decided to write books for brown and black children because these children are underrepresented in children’s literature. The Cooperative Children’s Book Center (CCBC) 2019 survey results on diversity in children’s and YA literature reported that from 3,716 books, 11.9% of the main characters in the books were the main characters were Black/African, 1% were First/Native Nations, 5.3% were Latinx, and 8.7 % were Asian/ Asian American. Authors like me are changing the landscape and providing books with characters resembling underrepresented children in children’s literature.
What inspired your children’s books?
Each children’s book I have written has been inspired by my girls, family, and work. I Promise to Hold Your Hand was inspired by my daughters, Jolyn and Ava. Each milestone we celebrate, I have held their hands and will continue to as they grow older. My Little Miss and Little Man series was inspired by working as a nurse in the operating room. Many things we do in the operating room aren’t shared, and many won’t know what to expect when having surgery. Covid-19 provided an opportunity for operating room nurses to educate the community on the first line of defense for staying healthy in washing your hands and properly wearing a mask. My Mom, a Proverbs 31 Woman, was inspired by my mom, stepmother, and all the women in my life that demonstrate the characteristics of a Proverbs 31 woman. I wrote this book to honor those women and bring biblical principles to children’s literature.
What is the significance of the title?
The significance of the title for My Mom, a Proverbs 31 Woman, is to demonstrate how our mothers demonstrate the scripture in the bible and to honor my mother. The significance of I Promise to Always Hold Your Hand came to me the day my oldest went on her first day of middle school, and she held her dad’s hand. This reminded me of all the times we’ve held her and her sister’s hand and all the moments I will hold their hands in the future. The significance of My Hero Wears a Mask is to show that not only superheroes wear masks, but our everyday heroes wear masks like nurses and doctors. Last, Little Miss Wash Your Hands is significant because I can see many parents relating to asking their children to wash their hands.
Tell us about the process for coming up with the cover.
The book cover for My Mom, a Proverbs 31 Woman, is all women in my life and represents a Proverbs 31 woman. On the cover, I have my mom, my best cousin, my sister, my friend, and my coworker: all women representing different backgrounds but all women of God.
The cover for I Promise to Always Hold Your Hand was a cover that replicated me holding my daughter’s hand and the beauty of having that bond. I also love flowers and have tried to grow my own.
The cover of My Hero Wears a Mask was one in which I wanted to demonstrate that everyday heroes like nurses and firefighters wear masks. So, in the height of Covid-19, I wanted to demonstrate to young children not to be afraid of wearing a mask to protect others because many everyday heroes wear masks for their professions for that same reason.
The cover for Little Miss Wash Your Hands was created to be colorful and fun so that children would relate washing their hands as something they can have fun doing.
What is the most surprising thing you discovered while writing your books?
The most surprising thing I discovered is that “I can” be an author. As a child, I never thought my writing was good enough. As English was my second language, I struggled early on in school. So, I learned that the limitations that others place on us are their own opinions and setbacks. Believe in yourself that you can, become self-disciplined, learn your craft, and don’t be afraid to ask for help; you will succeed at whatever you dedicate yourself to.
What do you like to do when you are not writing?
When I am not writing, I love watching my girls play volleyball. I also love traveling and experiencing new activities. Most of all, I love listening to praise music and spending time with the Lord.
What is next for you in the next year or so?
What is next for me is launching and building my publishing agency and helping first-time authors publish their first book idea. I also am starting to attend more speaking engagements and have my next book released in the Little Miss series in late September.
Where can people pick up your books, and where can people connect with you? People can pick up my books on Amazon or my website at www.thatslovepublishing.com. You can also connect with me by email at [email protected] or on Instagram @thatslovepublishing.