Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
Taneeka Bourgeois-daSilva is an award-winning author, credentialed teacher, blogger, and entrepreneur. She has over ten years’ experience as a teacher and is the author of the Little Kids, Big Voices book series. She has taken several creative writing courses through the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program and has two Master’s degrees. She is CEO of Building Voices and TCD Kids Foundation, and is a member of SCBWI and IBPA. Her first book, Broccoli Chronicles won the 2015 National Indie Excellence Award in Children’s Fiction and Honorable Mention in Foreword Reviews’ 2014 INDIEFAB Book of the Year Award for Juvenile Fiction! Taneeka’s article’s, “Try, Try Again” and “Feedback That’s Fulfilling” were both published in the IBPA Independent Magazine.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
My latest book, Little Kids, Big Voices Math Workbook, Grades 1-3 is a workbook that focuses on arithmetic, fractions, and decimals. It’s a really great tool for beginning learners.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
Not that I am aware of.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
I’ve been inspired by the book series written by these three authors- Sara Pennypacker, Barbara Park, and Judy Blume. I remember the first day that I picked up a Junie B book and fell in love. I literally read the book right there in the store and didn’t want to leave.
What are you working on now?
I’m currently working on my second chapter book about a young boy that loves to paint.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I advertise a lot on my blog, company website, facebook, twitter, googleplus, and on SCBWI.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
First of all, stay true to yourself, your vision, and your craft. Second, try to create characters that are unforgettable. There are certain characters that win you over right away and that’s what we need in order to sell books and get kids to fall in love with reading again. Last, spend time on details. Make sure that you proofread your work. Hire and editor and someone that formats books. Your image and repetition are on the line. Make sure that every book is polished.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
“If you don’t see the book you want on the shelves, write it.”
― Beverly Cleary
What are you reading now?
I’m not consistently reading anything right now. I bounce back and forth between things. I mostly read baby books with my daughter.
What’s next for you as a writer?
I’m hoping to grow my company. Right now, I am the only author signed with Building Voices. My goal is to get at least five other authors by 2017.
If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books with you what books would you bring?