Author Interview

1. Tell us about yourself, your background, and/or your credentials and degrees.

When I was 10, I started singing. I would write my own songs and perform them locally. I always had that creative bone in my body. But somewhere along the way I stopped writing music, and when I was 15, I started babysitting. I have nannied for several different families, and I stayed in the childcare industry up until 2014 when I wrote my first book. Since then, I have published 2 other children’s picture books, and am currently working on a new series. I also started a company called Youngster’s Kids where I publish and sell my books through.

2. Tell us about the process of writing and publishing a novel. What inspired you?

The children I used to babysit inspired me to start writing. Just the little things they didn’t like doing; taking their naps, eating their veggies, sharing, etc. I decided to write books that taught the importance of these essential growing skills, while still incorporating creativity and fantasy, making these books really fun to read. I am regularly involved in readings at the local libraries, elementary schools, preschools, even festivals. I am constantly being told by parents how my books have actually made nap time and eating vegetables fun for their kids!

3. Tell us a little about your first and latest book.

The first book of mine officially published was “Nap Time With Harry”, but it actually wasn’t the first book I wrote. My first book was “Little Bear and His Chair”, which I wrote to teach kids to share. The kids I was babysitting at the time had a hard time in that area, so I created a fun short story that rhymed about sharing. I also illustrated this book by myself, which is a big accomplishment considering I have never been amazing at drawing. “Little Bear and His Chair” is now available as a PDF download on my website, but has not been released anywhere else. I have published 2 books since then, and I am currently working on a new series.

Free author interview by Taneeka Bourgeois-daSilva

4. What insight would you give to aspiring writers who are interested in publishing?

First, don’t quit your day job. No matter what people think, you don’t get discovered as a writer overnight. It takes months, even years of hard work before people know your name. This is especially true for independent authors who have a harder time proving themselves without the credibility of a publishing house behind them. And second, don’t give up. I know this is such an overused term, but I can’t stress it enough. You will have many sleepless nights, and it’s going to get very stressful sometimes. But you have to believe in what you’re doing, you have to believe that what your writing is going to change people’s lives. Even if you are just writing children’s picture books, such as myself. You’re creating something, and putting it out into the world. That’s pretty amazing.

Inspired by Claressa Swensen’s story? Get in contact with her!


Taneeka Bourgeois-daSilva is an authorpreneur, teacher, blogger, educational consultant, and writing coach. She wrote the award-winning Broccoli Chronicles and is the CEO of Building Voices and TCD Kids Foundation. She tweets at @taneekabdasilva.

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