Taneeka Bourgeois-daSilva: Being a teacher has allowed me to see firsthand what is missing in our educational system. Kids are not reading and they lack vision. So many kids are lost and unsure of themselves. I wanted to write a book series that encouraged them to read more and discover their true potential in life.
LBBB: How long did it take for you to write your first book?
Taneeka: It took about six years. First, I had a limited background in Children’s Fiction and needed to familiarize myself with this style of writing. Second, in addition to writing the novel, I had to divide my time between creating/managing a publishing company and marketing my book. Third, I’m a full-time teacher, wife, and mother. My second chapter book won't take nearly that long.
LBBB: How do you come up with ideas for your stories?
Taneeka: Thoughts and images come to me constantly throughout the day so I keep a piece of paper with me. Sometimes, it's just a thought or phrase, but other times it's an actual storyline so I immediately write it down.
LBBB: What is your writing routine like? Do you have a set schedule or are you flexible?
Taneeka: I am very flexible which is mandatory when you have a toddler. I find time to write in between work, dishes, family time, etc.
LBBB: What inspires you to write?
Taneeka: My daughter, my job as a teacher, and my relationship with God.
LBBB: Are any of your stories written from personal experience, or any character traits that mirror yours?
Taneeka: My stories are all made up. Of course, I get ideas from my daughter or from my childhood, but for the most part, it's all original thoughts
LBBB: When in a slump, what do you do? If you read or listen to music, what are your go-to books or music?
Taneeka: When I feel discouraged or uncreative, I usually pray and listen to gospel music.
LBBB: How do you respond to negative feedback/comments with your work?
Taneeka: Negative comments are always hard to digest, but I try to find the truth in it and grow from it.
LBBB: What is your writing space like? Do you work anywhere or do you have a special place just for your writing? Messy or clean?
Taneeka: I love writing in my office where it's neat, clean, and free from clutter so that I'm not inundated with distractions. Usually, it's really quiet in the room unless I need inspiration, so then I turn on some gospel music and just let it relax me.
LBBB: Do you have a favorite author? Series?
Taneeka: Aside from my book series, I like the Junie B, Clementine, and Fudge series.
LBBB: Any fur-babies?
Taneeka: I have a Yorkshire Terrier named Sebastian.