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Vault Exclusive: Tanya Wright’s LA Book Debut for Butterfly Rising

Vault Exclusive: Tanya Wright’s LA Book Debut for Butterfly Rising

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.

Tanya Wright

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.

Photo of Lynnpd with Tanya Wright and view of the book store area

Video of interview with Tanya Wright

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.

After the reading, Tanya signed copies of her book for the audience.

Tanya signing her book

It was a lovely evening and I thank Tanya for letting me be a part of it.

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Thanks to Shadaliza for making my videos look so great!

Written by Lynnpd

Lynnpd has an avid interest in the entertainment industry from classic movies to all things True Blood. With a background in art, she enjoys creating in Photoshop, running web sites and finds the internet an exciting place to be. Lynn lives in the LA area and attends as many Hollywood related events as she can. She has covered events for the both websites in the LA area; read all about it at

3 Comment responses

  1. Avatar
    December 16, 2010

    Excellent interview, Lynn. Tanya is very impressive … a multi-talented lady. I enjoyed your vids, hearing about how “Butterfly Rising” came to be, and listening to an excerpt. Wishing Tanya all the best with her book and the film. And … I hope we see Deputy Jones back in Season 4 of True Blood.


  2. Avatar
    December 16, 2010

    Thanks Lynn for reporting, you are getting good at this! :)
    I am intrigued by this story and can’t wait to hold my signed copy in my hands and read the story about Rose and Lilah.

    Tanya is such a creative and multi-talented woman, she is an inspiration and example of “creating your own luck”. Besides that she is so nice, beautiful and has a wonderful laugh!


  3. Avatar
    December 17, 2010

    Tanya really has that creative spark. She really is a good actress and does look so different than Kenya. She is like the softer side of Kenya that Kenya would not reveal to many people.
    Her book sounds very interesting and wish her great success.

    Great job Lynn.


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