Insane musical talent, millions of adoring fans all over the world, and endless partying: There are some major perks to the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle. However, as Taliah Abdallat knows, rock ‘n’ roll and parenting don’t always go hand in hand. She’s the daughter of a famed musician who also happens to be MIA as a dad — until he shows up out of the blue and takes her on an unforgettable journey to meet her grandfather. Jasmine Warga’s Here We Are Now ($18) is a gorgeous look at complicated families, the power of secrets, and the joy of becoming your own person. We caught up with Jasmine Warga and chatted all things creativity and books. Scroll on to learn more from this brilliant author!
B+C: Describe your book in six words or less.
Jasmine Warga: Girl reconnects with her famous father.
B+C: Where/when do you do your best writing?
JW: My study, which is on the third floor of my 100+ year old house. It has a slanted ceiling and is painted a peaceful shade of green. I work the best in the morning, ideally with a cup of a coffee and several lit candles.
B+C: What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever done for book research?
JW: Hm. I haven’t done anything that strange yet, but probably calling a prison and asking about visiting rules and procedures for an incarcerated family member.
B+C: What’s your go-to cure for when you’re stuck in a creativity rut?
JW: A walk with my dog. I have the best dog in the entire world. Her name is Scout and she’s my best friend. She has the biggest heart and walking with her around my historic neighborhood always unlocks my brain and puts me in a good mood.
B+C: What two lady heroes do you turn to for inspiration, and why?
JW: Zadie Smith — her body of work is incredible and her style is unimpeachable. She’s forced the world to take notice of her in a very subtle, but powerful way. And Elin Hilderbrand. I absolutely adore all of her novels. I actually discovered her work when my first child was born, and her dreamy, Champagne-soaked novels are what got me through those first sleepless months. She seems like such a badass and her characters always have the most glamorous taste, which inspires me in a window-shopping sort of way.
B+C: What’s your latest Instagram (or Tumblr/Twitter/media) obsession?
JW: I’ve recently become obsessed with Andrea King Lacey’s account, @akinglacey. She’s a tailor by trade, but she also happens to be married to the lead singer of Brand New, which is a band I was obsessed with as a teenager. She’s a new mama (her daughter’s name is Bowie — how precious!) and since having my own kids, I’ve become really into following other young moms and trying to snag some of their parenting and styling ideas.
B+C: Can you name a book that you think deserves a little more love + recognition?
JW: One of my very favorite books I’ve ever read is called The Professor’s Daughter ($20) by Emily Raboteau. It’s the first time I felt like a book really nailed the bi-racial experience. I’m obsessed with this book and I’ve yet to meet someone who has read it beside me.
B+C: What’s next on your to-read pile?
JW: Manhattan Beach ($28) by Jennifer Egan. I have been exercising all of my willpower not to have immediately dug into it on its release date, but I am saving it for a long flight I have coming up.
B+C: What advice do you have for aspiring creative ladies?
JW: There will always be more. I think there is an impulse when it comes to creative work to hold back, to save some ideas for later. Give whatever you are working on your all and more will come. You must believe in abundance. And be as generous as you can to your fellow creatives — cherish and help one another — we’re all in the same boat. And on that note, to expand on this very bloated metaphor, celebrate all the rising tides — yours and others.
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(Photo of Jasmin Warga via Ashley Sillies; photo of Zadie Smith via Dominique Nabokov)