JORJA TABU is Raunchy heretic and writer that dabbles in anything sultry, shiny, sexy, sin-bent or soulful. Her blog and twitter are the best places to catch ramblings about upcoming books, feminism, horror movies, and the many and varied reasons why Canada is sexy.
Getting to Know Jorja Tabu
A&RBC: Can you tell us four words that describe your writing style?
JT: Hmm. Erratic yet truly obsessive.
A&RBC: Do you have a writing process? If yes, briefly explain.
JT: I used to–I needed a quiet, comfortable place that allowed me to just write as much as I felt like it at that given time, and crank out a first draft. I’m one of those weirdos who has full-on conversations with her characters, so I need time and space to let that happen productively. If I’m writing a series I will move ahead to the next part of the work before I go back and draft, because I find that helps with consistency. These days I just try to remember to plug in my lap-top and type in five minute bursts 🙂
A&RBC: Describe your ideal place of escape to write your books.
JT: I love writing with a big cup of iced hibiscus tea (covered of course) at the local library.
A&RBC: What is your favorite genre to read and or write?
JT: My latest book is a novel about Imani Cartwright, a successful film-maker who returns home to discover who murdered her estranged brother, make amends to her family, and reconnect with her first love (who just happens to be the prime suspect). It is a very emotional, epic love story with a suspenseful plot that I hope a lot of people connect with–grief and redemption seem to be things I’m dealing with a lot as I age, and hopefully that will resonate with folks.
A&RBC: Tell us a little about Imani Cartwright.
JT: Imani is an interesting character… She’s not an entirely reliable narrator, because she has a lot of guilt and this makes her very critical of herself. She is brilliant in that way great artists often are, where she can look at an event or person and see exactly how they fit in the overall picture of history–like Octavia Butler, Tom Wolfe, Picasso, Joni Mitchell and Spike Lee, as examples. Very broad vision. She’s also a very noble person, trying hard to do the right thing, although she doesn’t really know that about herself, and she grows a lot during the novel.
A&RBC: What is your favorite thing to do before a book signing?
JT: I’ve never done a book signing! I imagine if I had the opportunity I’d spend a lot of time beforehand hyperventilating into a paper bag 😉
A&RBC: What city would you love to have a book signing or speaking engagement?
JT: Toronto! Montreal! Vancouver! I’ve never been to Canada and I’m totally drawn to it.
A&RBC: What is your favorite drink or beverage?
JT: Tahitian limeade, heavy on the coconut.
A&RBC: Are you a early bird or night owl?
JT: Naturally, I’m very much a night owl, but in a household with young children everybody’s an early bird. You’re just left reminiscing about sleeping in till noon, that’s the closest to night-owldom you get.
A&RBC: If you could collaborate on a book with any author, who would it be and why?
JT: …I’m trying very hard not to jinx a great thing happening right now, where I might be collaborating with one of my heroes–all I should say is look for it next year! And if I could collaborate with absolutely anyone, I’d get my best friend to write a book with me. I’ve been trying to emotionally blackmail her into it for years, and I think it might actually come down to actual kidnapping. I’m pretty sure it’s her turn to be kidnapped anyway 😉
A&RBC: What is one thing you do to show appreciation for your readers?
JT: The most important thing I try to do for readers is only publish books I would read myself. From top to bottom, from the actual story to the presentation. I’m primarily a reader, in a lot of ways, at this point–I am a big reader in the genre I write in, and I want to make sure my work is at the absolute top of its game. It’s the least you owe someone who took a chance on you.
A&RBC: What advice would you give your younger self?
JT: Forgive yourself, honey. And forgive everybody else while you’re at it.
A&RBC: What is one thing you would change about your life?
JT: I would’ve chosen a different career–I work in the medical/health setting and the level of stress and disappointment is really difficult to manage emotionally.
A&RBC: What is your motto for life and career?
JT: To thine own self be true–it’s a really difficult one to actually live by, but a great goal to keep in mind.
About The Book
Imani Cartwright left the rough world of her childhood in Virginia almost a decade ago. Among the broken pieces she abandoned were her best friend, Monica, and the ruined young man that swore he would love her forever, Roman O’Malley. Her brother, Tyreke, a passionate advocate who turns to the UFC to save their neighborhood, can’t forgive her for leaving.
She hasn’t spoken to anyone back home but her mother for over a year when the phone finally rings, and suddenly the rift between the past and her new life has grown too wide for anyone to cross… But Death.
When her brother is murdered Imani has no one but old friends and enemies to turn to. Did Roman O’Malley, UFC Prize-Fighter and her brother’s former best friend, kill Tyreke? What happened to Monica, the sweet young girl who was Imani’s best friend? And if they’re innocent, then who killed Ty?
A Galaxy of Scars spans a decade, an epic love, and contains rough language and adult sexuality and situations. It is meant for mature audiences.