Author interview: Tabitha Suzuma - part 2

Meant to post this yesterday, but somehow didn't get around to it. Here's part 2 of my interview with Tabitha. Enjoy!

Read part 1 of the interview here and read my review of Forbidden here.
6.  How do you feel about book-to-movie adaptations? Would you want Forbidden to be adapted for the big screen?

I have mixed feeling about them. I often feel that movie adaptations dumb down the original book or else change it so much that it becomes scarcely recognisable.

The few book-to-movie adaptations I personally think have worked particularly well in the last few years or so are The Hours, Atonement, Prozac Nation and Revolutionary Road.

In theory I would love the idea of Forbidden being adapted for the big screen.
In practice though I know I would have a hard time relinquishing control and would fear for the book's integrity.

7. What are your own thoughts on incest and what advice would you give to people who find themselves in a situation like Maya and Lochan's?

I feel that consensual incest isn't as black and white as society at large seems to perceive it and I feel that there are cases and situations where consensual incest could be at least 'understandable'. I abhor the blanket dismissal of anything as 'wrong' without the close examination of individual cases.

I feel as disgusted as the next person at the idea of having any kind of vaguely romantic relationship with either of my brothers ... but what if my circumstances were completely different? What if my brother had never felt like my brother?

In that case who would I be hurting by having a relationship with him if he wanted one too?

I think I actually became even more open minded about consensual incest during the writing of the book. So long as it really is completely consensual, I don't think it should ever be an imprisonable offence.

However, I do think that on the whole it should be discouraged and that couples who find themselves drawn into an incestuous relationship similar to Maya and Lochan's should be encouraged to seek counselling.

I don't think having biological children in an incestuous relationship should be allowed, simply because the risk of genetic defects is so high.

8. For anyone interested in more of these kind of reads, what books would you recommend?

I haven't actually read any other YA books about consensual sibling incest, although I guess they must exist. For fans of hard-hitting, uncompromising, gritty teen fiction I would highly recommend S.E. Hinton, author of 'The Outsiders'.

 I was greatly influenced by her books as a teenager. I would also suggest trying three of my other books: A Note of Madness, its sequel A Voice in the Distance, and From Where I Stand.

They deal with tough issues such as mental illness, suicide, self harm and bereavement and are strongly influenced by my own battles with severe clinical depression. Extracts from all my books can be found on my website:

9. Your next book is called A Time to Die. Can you tell us a little about what it's about and when we can expect it in stores?

Again, this one is for mature teenagers who aren't afraid of hard-hitting books. It deals with a topic that some people may also find controversial: euthanasia. It should be out in 2012.

10. And finally… what do you hope readers take away with them after reading Forbidden?

I hope that the book lingers in the reader's mind, makes them think and experience some strong emotions. I hope they take away with them the realisation that things are not always as black and white as they might first seem.

That everyone is different and it is often too easy and narrow-minded to dismiss something as disgusting or wrong. I hope they will come to realise that in some cases, in some situations, something universally perceived as 'wrong' can actually be harmless.

And that you don't choose your emotions, you don't choose who you fall in love with. I also hope the book makes people more open-minded and less judgemental in general and encourages readers to have empathy for others, particularly for those who are different, isolated or troubled and lead difficult lives.

A special thank you to Tabitha and her publicist for taking the time to read and forward my request and for answering my questions!
For more information about Tabitha and her previously released novels,you can visit her website here.


I like your interview style - the questions are really well thought out. I'll definitely check out this author at some point. Her next book also sounds like it'll be an interesting and challenging read.
brandileigh2003 said…
Thank you for the interview- well thought out questions

Brandi from Blkosiner’s Book Blog
Jenny said…
Fabulous continuation of this interview, you asked fantastic questions and I really enjoyed reading her answers. I'm definitely going to pick this one up and I look forward to A Time to Die as well.
Aisle B said…
Amazing simply amazing. You delivered a great interview and the questions hit it on the nail. Tammy girl this is what it's all about, giving a voice to the creator who blew your mind away with her words.

Going to have to beg my contact in the UK for a copy of Forbidden. Wish me luck... I can't imagine having to wait until JUNE 2011 for this book... NO... can't wait that LONG....

Congrats on this excellent interview

PK Out
Anonymous said…
Awesome interview!
Tabitha Suzuma said…
Cheers for the comments!

@Willa - you are a character in the book!

@Aisle B - Forbidden is available for shipping to the US from or free shipping from The Book Depository. Apparently the wait isn't too long, either.