Tami Charles is the author of Definitely Daphne, a new novel for kids. She also has written Like Vanessa. A former teacher, she's based in New Jersey.
Q: How did you come up with the idea for Definitely Daphne, and for your character Annabelle?
A: Capstone actually approached me with a general idea for this story. From there, I had creative license to expand the idea. My favorite addition to the idea was adding in the military theme.
Q: What do you think the book says about the impact of online media on how kids see themselves?
A: Online media can be equal parts empowering and intimidating. In the beginning of the novel, I believe Daphne was definitely more intimidated by it, hence her decision to disguise herself. But in the end, she realizes how something good can come of it, especially since she is able to help one of the characters in the book.
Q: Who are some of your favorite writers?
A: My list is quite long, but I absolutely adore the work of Toni Morrison, Maya Angelou, Kwame Alexander, Rita Williams-Garcia, Guadalupe Garcia McCall, Jacqueline Woodson, and Meg Medina.
Q: You also have a picture book, Freedom Soup, coming out next year. What can you tell us about that?
A: Freedom Soup celebrates the history behind the Haitian tradition of ringing in the New Year by eating soup joumou. It publishes in December 2019.
Q: What are you working on now?
A: Currently, I’m working on some new picture books. I’ve spent the past year writing three novels, so it feels really good to get back to picture books. I’m also planning to write a new middle grade novel in the near future.