Who would think that a model would outgrow modeling? I mean, really! Who wants to give up the perks like parties, meeting awesome celebrities and getting paid really great money? It appears to be the life, right?
Well, according to Vanna B., she got bored and was looking to do something that was more stimulating to her mind and fulfilling to her heart; something that would show the true artist that was dying to come out as an author. Sure, she enjoyed the perks of modeling but she wanted more, and as a graduate of Temple University with a degree in Journalism, she was going to get it.
Vanna B is making her debut as a writer with her first book, Fancy which hit the scene in the beginning of the year 2012. I was excited to read a book by a Philly author because I am a fan of a few of our female authors in Philly which definitely includes Miasha (my favorite and mentor) and Karen E. Quinones Miller, and I was looking forward to a new face and new message, and I was not disappointed.
Mariel "Fancy" Alvarez is a Latina socialite with the life very similar to her name. With a closet full of extremely expensive designer wear, fashionable friends, VIP treatment at the hottest clubs in Philadelphia and mingling with the finest men in the big leagues, what more can a woman from the Ghetto want?
From the naked eye, she seems to have everything but a closer look into her world reveals that it is all an illusion. The illusion seems like it is coming to an end very soon because she is getting closer to the big 3-0, and soon her options will be slim to none.
Fancy takes us on a journey with her to find her true self and understanding that what people think is not always what is best for her. From losing her apartment to living with her mother; to having no job to stripping in a club, Fancy is finding that life is a serious teacher and you will either pass the class or fail.
So will this “Fancy" girl continue to place herself in danger and awkward situations all for love, money, and comfort or will she abandon the superficial lifestyle she has come to know? The temptation of the almighty dollar can be powerful, but life and love for self can conquer all!!!
It was a great read and a refreshing Urban Fiction book with a clear message: beauty, money, and misguidance comes with a price and being led down the wrong road can cost you everything.
I had the chance to talk to with my new friend Vanna B. about her life as an author and recently she just revealed to me that she had a little rapper in her being, but she has recently parted with that mission… for now. I also got out of her some of her inspirations and why she wanted to put Fancy out for us younger women.
Who is Vanna B.?
I am an urban fiction author. I am a creator, a dreamer, a nerd, a super-mom, a Renaissance woman, and lover of life; a rebel with a cause here to entertain and inspire one word at a time!
Before becoming an author, what were you doing?
Before writing Fancy I wrote for newspapers, magazines, blogs and other websites. I also modeled for years. But after a while I outgrew the modeling and none of the other writing gigs were what I really wanted to do. I decided to become a full-time author and have never been happier.
Did you at any point feel that writing this book was therapeutic?
Yes. I wrote most of it at night after my son went to bed. It would be the perfect ending to a hectic day where I could just sit down alone in the quiet and let my creativity flow.
What made you decide to write Fancy?
I wanted to create a story and characters that readers could relate to and figured since we all know people who “fraud” and pretend to be more than what they are, that would serve as a good premise for the book. So I cooked up the main character Fancy, who is a beautiful woman that portrays herself to the world as being wealthy, popular and happy although in actuality she is really poor, lonely, and miserable.
Is Fancy loosely based on your own experiences or is it completely fictional?
It's mostly fictional, but all fiction has elements of reality in it. I could relate to Fancy being a quiet and shy teen who eventually grew into a more outgoing woman, and like Fancy, I have given in to peer pressure at times. Other parts of the story were taken from people I know or different things I've seen in life.
I really enjoyed that you did not glam-up her situation like most books; was there a reason that you chose this direction?
There are more than enough books glamorizing women living in the fast lane and turning to things like gold digging, promiscuity, drug and alcohol use, etc. But seldom do we see the setbacks of these things and the negative effects they have on people's lives.
Who are the readers that you are trying to reach?
Although people of all walks of life have enjoyed Fancy, I write mainly for an urban female audience. I identify with that demographic the most and they are able to relate to my characters more than anyone else.
What do you want people to get from reading this book?
What I hope readers learn from Fancy is to love themselves; that they are beautiful as they are and don't need to change to conform to anyone else's standard. All that glitters isn't gold and although the grass may seem greener on the other side, it seldom is. Those that can’t accept you for who you are, most likely do not deserve to be in your life anyway.
Do you think that there are a lot of women out there that are living like Fancy? How do you know?
Yes, I personally know people who are a lot like Fancy. And many of the people who read the book also say they know someone like her.
What do you say to young women between 13-18 that have decided to read your book? Any warnings, concerns, etc?
Since the decisions Fancy made as a teen had a direct effect on the person she grew up to be, the book is quite beneficial for young ladies in this age group. There is some profanity and adult situations but they are not raunchy and are acceptable for mature teens.
Do you think that Fancy can be a learning tool for young women?
Yes, absolutely. I wrote it with the hopes that young women would be able to learn from Fancy's faults and mistakes so that they would avoid choosing a similar path.
What can we expect from you in the near future?
The Fancy sequel will be released in January. I am looking forward to publishing other authors' work in the future as well.
Do you have any other ideas cooking in your head?
Lots of them but I've been trying to avoid starting a new book until I finish Fancy 2. People are really looking forward to it so I have to make sure it's ready by January. There will definitely be another fiction novel coming after the Fancy sequel and people have been requesting an autobiography so I'm considering that.
Why is the book Fancy young, hip and chic?
It addresses issues young, hip and chic women may encounter, and aims to uplift and encourage them.
What are your final words for the readers of YHC?
Thanks for taking the time to learn a little about me and Fancy.
You can check out the book Fancy at: www.VannaBOnline.com/books and chat with Vanna B on twitter @msvannab