Vanna B

It is FOR and ABOUT authors. Here we shine the light on authors who we've read, reviewed, and recommend to others. In this edition we are shining our light on another gifted author.

Vanna B. is an author and publisher of fiction novels. The Hope Street Publishing CEO is a native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and received her BA in journalism from Temple University. Writing has been a life-long passion of hers and she always planned on authoring books.

Vanna's professional writing career began with newspapers and magazines, where she served as a restaurant reviewer, proofreader, advice columnist and staff writer covering a range of topics including current events, local politics and culture. After making the decision to leave the workforce to stay home to raise her son, she began penning her first novel, “Fancy.” “Fancy” went on to be a huge success, landing on the Amazon Kindle best-sellers list for multiple categories, earning Vanna the 2012 Philly Hip Hop award for ‘Best Author,’ being featured in The Source Magazine, and receiving overwhelmingly positively reviews. This year “Fancy 2” and “Knock-off Nina” also made the Kindle best-sellers list, and Vanna was nominated for two AAMBC Awards as well as two Urban Literary Awards.

Her current titles include: “Fancy,” “Fancy 2,” “Knock-off Nina,” “The Succubus: Sins of the Flesh,” and “Waist Training 101: A Guide to Using Corsets to Slim Your Waistline.”

What’s next for Vanna? I am currently working on a collaboration with my husband, Cal Akbar, entitled “The City of Brotherly Blood.” And on July 31st my company, Hope Street Publishing, is releasing “The Hustle: A Means to an End” by Donisha Derice and Jai Darlene.


What is your favorite home cooked meal? Curry chicken! My husband makes it the best. I could eat it every day.

I think my best feature is my smile, dimples and all, and I play it up by showcasing it every chance I get. No matter what is going on, there is always something to be happy about. Plus, a smile is much more attractive than a frown.

What do you usually do when you meet someone for the first time? Listen. I usually do more listening and observing than speaking. I like to take it all in and get a good read on them.

The best advice I ever got on love was: That it often requires work but true love should never be given up on. So true!

Which one fashion accessory do you like more than others? A nice stiletto heel—the higher the better. High heels just make me feel so sexy.

My biggest turn-on is: Intelligence. There is nothing sexier than an intellectual man…a man I can learn from and become better from…one I can just fall into, listening to him speak and enjoying his conversation.

Do you prefer pens or pencils? Pens. Pencils always remind me of elementary school.

The thing I am most proud of: My writing/publishing career. I’m proud of myself for taking a leap of faith to pursue my dreams and the continuous growth I’m experiencing while doing what I love.

What is the weirdest thing that has ever happened to you? Having someone steal a photo of me and put their face on my body. I was like, “What the hell?” Because the last time I checked, I was neither blonde nor Asian. It was so bizarre. People do some crazy manipulations with Photoshop.

The one clothing item I can’t live without is: A good steel boned corset to keep my waistline sleek and curvy. It’s become sort of an addiction and since I sell them I often find myself dipping into my supply! Lol.


"The author did an excellent job the first go around with the potential to only climb in her career." - Readers With Attitude Book Club

"Everything and everyone are not what they appear...Fancy experiences a series of dramas that inspires great change for her life." -Vanessa Irvin Morris,

“Loved both books, well written & I didnt get bored while reading, I will definitely be reading more from Vanna B.” – Alisha

“Knock Off Nina is such a good read. I loved that the storyline was very different but still official in it's own way. This novel is filled with drama with a capital D and leaves you in suspense more than you'd like. It's a true page turner and the end with leave you with your jaw dropped. All I can say is go get this book. Great job Vanna B.” – Jenise Brown

“I thoroughly enjoyed this book! I must say Vanna B did her thing with this book right here! The suspense and build up kept me from putting the book down! It was very well written and very entertaining! The characters were very strong and held their own! There was not one boring part of this book! I enjoyed it from start to finish and would highly recommend this book to other readers! Kudos for Vanna B for putting out an excellent product for her readers! They will definitely be talking about this one for some time to come!” – Faye Wilkes

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Clever Black

Author Spotlight 2013

It is FOR and ABOUT authors. Here we shine the light on authors who we've read, reviewed, and recommend to others. In this edition we are shining our light on another gifted author.

Clever Black

Born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana, Clever Black and his immediate family left New Orleans on August 28, 2005 to escape hurricane Katrina and they’ve never returned to the city except for the occasional visit. He now calls Charlotte, North Carolina home.

Clever Black Books, LLC was formed in 2011. Its goal is to deliver a thought-proving read to all who are interested in this epic family saga that exposes and expresses many of life’s experiences—the American experience. The Holland Family Saga is America at its best and its worst. It is a sweeping and epic family saga filled with drama, violence, deep-dialogue and deadly alliances. And that’s just scraping surface.

In less than two years, Clever has released seven full-length novels under his own publishing company. In February of 2014, he signed with Write House Publishing and released his eight novel, titled Outlaw Chics, and now has a total of nine novels, with two more novels slated for release in 2014, The Holland Family Saga Part Eight: Definition of a Boss, and Outlaw Chics part two coming in the fall/winter.

Clever has a bi-monthly column in Urban Grapevine Magazine, a digital magazine that caters to Urban Fiction, People, Polliticking and Publishing. Writing is his passion. Telling stories is a skill he works hard at every day in order to perfect and refine his craft as he evolves on the literary stage.


What is the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten? BBQ goat.

If you could bring one character to life from your favorite book, not including your own, who would it be? Noah from the Bible. Would love to know what the world was like before the flood.

What is one of your favorite quotes? Many men indulge themselves into a way of life that ultimately forces them to become slaves to the very world they seek to conquer. (My own)

If you could throw any kind of party, what would it be like and what would it be for? I'd throw a party similar to the movie The Hangover and strictly for fun.

What did you want to be when you grew up? One of the things I am today: a truck driver.

What 3 songs would be included on the soundtrack to your life? A Change Gonna Come by Sam Cooke. Foe the Love of Money by Bone. The Formula by D.O.C.

What was the first thing you bought with your own money? Kool Moe Dee's song Go See the Doctor.

Where’s Waldo? In a crowded train station behind the pillar on the left.

If you were immortal for a day, what would you do? Travel to another galaxy.

What sound do you love? Kids' laughter, peace and quiet, and cheering at sporting events.


“I am always skeptical of books that claim to be about New Orleans. I am a New Orleans native & current resident & usually the books that claim to be about the N.O. really don't have a clue. Not this one. It was so real! From the neighborhoods to the way the characters talked and interacted! I really enjoyed this book. It caught my attention & keep me eagerly anticipating every page! This book had me rooting for the crew to make it. It broke my heart, made me happy, made me sad, & made me angry all at the same time. You won't be disappointed with this one! I absolutely can't wait for part 2!” - Richelle Lloyd

“Clever Black outdid himself with this book. It's definitely a page Turner! Glad to know the saga continues because this series is awesome!” - T. Edwards

“Clever Black books keeps raising the bar. He takes readers into his books so they aren't reading but living in his story. It's not my usual type of book but he has me hooked.” - Mary Ann Wade

“I have read all of the Holland Family books I waited till I finished this one before I reviewed them. Please read these books you won't be sorry, I felt like I was part of the family at times because I could relate to them. I hope this isn't the last one I want them to go on forever!” - Patsy L. Davis

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