As featured on The Vault - TrueBlood-Online.com
Tanya Wright, who plays Deputy Kenya Jones on True Blood, appeared at Eso-Wan Books in Los Angeles, CA Tuesday night for the LA debut passage reading and signing of her book, "Butterfly Rising." Shadaliza interviewed Tanya back in August and when reading that interview, I so enjoyed learning about Tanya's many projects I thought it might be fun to hear her speak about the book. So on Tuesday night, I attended her book signing and was privileged to get a brief video interview with her and hear the reading of two passages from her book. What I experienced, was a woman who is driven by her creativity and passion to tell a story. While she readily admits that she is an actor at heart, she has also always had a passion for writing. However, her interests don't end there. She not only wrote the book, but she has also turned it into a movie on which she had her hand in every aspect of its making. She wrote, directed and produced it, and also edited the final film. She is truly a 21st Century version of a Renaissance woman.
I arrived early to meet with Tanya before her reading. When she came out to the main store area to greet me, even though I knew that she was a beautiful woman before we met, I had only seen her, up to this point, in her True Blood Deputy Jones uniform and therefore, I was somewhat shocked at how lovely she was. When she is in her role of Kenya, the determined and somewhat unhappy Bon Temps deputy, she doesn't come off as the gracious, bubbly and pretty woman that she is in person. I suppose that makes her a great actress indeed. We made our introductions and then went into the store's office where I videotaped her answering the few questions I had prepared.
After the interview, I went out to join the audience in the book store while Tanya studied the passages that she planned to read. Once she appeared, and was introduced, she discussed her life as it is now. She lived in Los Angeles for fifteen years, but recently has moved back to her home town of New York City. She mentioned that she was glad to be back in LA however, if for only three days, because it is so cold back in New York City. Before beginning to read, Tanya told the audience about the the making of the book and the film for Butterfly Rising. She discussed her many inspirations to write the book that include the death of her brother six years ago and Aretha Franklin's music. She read two passages to the audience. The first passage is about the two main characters, two women, Rose and Lilah who take a road trip to meet a mythical medicine man, Lazarus of the Butterflies. Rose and Lilah are very different women. Lilah Bell is a quirky outlandish singer who doesn't sing anymore and has fits of fury of darkness. Rose Johnson is a strong willed, aggressively masculine woman who is sexually free. She has relations with other women's husbands and she makes no apologies for it. Many people don't understand Rose, but over the course of the book the reader comes to understand her better. The second passage was a shorter one, which is the introduction of Lazarus. He is a man who has very few words and doesn't need to say much but gets everything done. Lazarus is the basis and embodies the central theme of the book.
The video below is an excerpt from her reading and is in two parts. The first part is of Tanya talking about herself and an introduction to the book. The second part includes a brief portion of the first passage reading which is about a blackout that Lilah had resulting in her being put into the hospital.