Welcome to today’s post. My special guest is novelist Fanchon Stylezz and she’s telling us a bit about her writing and her novel, Heart of Kings.
Fanchon Stylezz was born on February 17 in Far Rockaway, Queens. She and her mother relocated several times before settling down in Long Island, New York. While studying Business Ownership and Money Marketing in high school, Stylezz discovered her true passion for writing. Throughout the years she toyed around with the idea of writing movies, but life had other plans for her. As a single mother of two teens and pregnant with her third child, she decided to take medical classes at Hunter Business School. Fanchon graduated two weeks ahead of her class with a 3.9 GPA, and shortly afterwards gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. What should have been a normal recovery changed Stylezz life forever. Two weeks after giving birth she suffered a massive heart attack and was diagnosed with Coronary Artery Disease and Congestive Heart Failure. An Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator was installed in her chest just to keep her alive. Fanchon Stylezz is a survivor and an advocate for Heart Disease treatment and research. She remains strong-willed and outspoken. Having plenty of free time on her hands, she dug back into her bag of many talents and started writing again.
Welcome Fanchon. Please tell us about your current release.
I released Heart of Kings April 2014. It was the biggest and hardest thing for me to do, reason being I had a stroke in the process of trying to meet my deadline. The doctors told my family that the likelihood of me walking again was very slim to none. I was very determined to get my health back to normal because I had a ton of people waiting for the release of my book.
What inspired you to write this book?
Dealing with a lot of unnecessary drama in my life is what inspired me to write Heart of Kings, I would continuously make the same mistakes. I didn’t have the best relationships either so I decided to write about it. Heart of Kings is about a young girl name Taliyah Russo who gets caught up in a very bad crisis when she makes the wrong decisions after her family’s dark secrets come to light.
Excerpt from Heart of Kings:
I’m not gonna water down or sugarcoat shit for you. My life, as far as I can remember, has always been fucked up. From the day I was born, I’ve been through so much unnecessary shit that at one point I thought about ending it all. For some reason, God didn’t allow that to happen. He wasn’t there to protect me when I needed Him before, so what gave Him the right to intervene now? Some of you may be able to relate to my struggle; some of you may not. Whatever you decide, this is my story and welcome to my world.
My name is Taliyah Russo and I’m a junior in high school. In my neighborhood, girls’ holding onto their virginity is very rare but it’s a status that I am able to maintain. Talking about sex nauseates me. Thank God health class is my last period. At the end of school the hallways are always overcrowded. Student bodies can’t wait to break out of this place called kid jail. Me, on the other hand, I kind of enjoy it. School gives me the freedom to flex my intelligence. I pretty much keep to myself, with my head buried in a book.
My school’s population predominantly consists of African Americans and Hispanics, with a sprinkle of Caucasians. I’m one of a rare breed. I’m a combination of Irish, African American and Italian--this is what separates me from my classmates. My dark brown eyes blend perfectly with my almond-tan complexion. I know nothing about hair weaves because my hair flows to the lower part of my back, jet-black and thick enough to pass for Nigerian. On my sixteenth birthday my body matured to the physique of a grown woman. I’m very curvaceous: My breasts are a nice, full, perky size C cup and my ass can be seen poking through anything I wear. Being mixed definitely has its perks. I’m proud of what God gave me; most women have plastic surgery to look as good as I do.
There are a few guys that notice the development of my body and they try to hook up with me, but none of them intrigue me enough to give up my goodies. Females hate me because my mixed ethnicity creates something that they wish they could be. Dealing with major trust issues, I have a hard time making friends. Somehow one girl and I ended up befriending each other: Ava a.k.a. Blabbermouth. My spicy little Latino friend, nothing like Jennifer Lopez, Ava is more like Rosie Perez. Her skin is pale and she wears tons of makeup.
The frame of Ava’s body is so perfect she could get away with wearing practically anything. Loving the attention guys give her, she sleeps with anyone who compliments her. I stopped counting after the seventh or eighth guy. We often speak about her crazy sexcapades and how guys treat her like crap after sleeping with her. I love Ava and all, but I’ll never fully understand why she continuously keeps hurting herself.
Every day after school Ava waits for me by my locker, ready to fill my ears with the latest gossip and rumors. I find her stories very entertaining but there are times when I really don’t care for hearing about other people and their drama. I have my own share of problems to deal with. At the age of nine I became a daydreamer. My mind would drift off, back to good stories my mom shared with me from time to time. There weren’t many, but I would use them to bury my deepest, darkest secret that I hold inside.
On this particular day, walking home from school, I watch the younger kids get off their school bus and run into their parents’ arms. Seeing smiles on their faces, I reminisce back to the story my mom told me of the day I was born.
My parents have a great marriage. I’m my father’s first child but not my mother’s. I have a brother that’s three years older than me. My mom said that a man always wants his first born to be a boy, but not my pops. He wanted a beautiful girl so he could spoil her and turn his baby girl into a little princess. When the doctor pulled my seven-pound, bigheaded, slimy, blood-covered body out of my mother’s vagina and said, “It’s a girl,” my pops was ecstatic and overwhelmed with joy.
“I want to name her,” he said.
My mother couldn’t help but chuckle. “What name do you have in mind?”
With a furrowed brow she lifted her head. “No Antonio, that name sounds horrible.”
“Then what should we name our beautiful baby girl?” he asked, squinting his eyes.
“Taliyah,” she answered, turning her head to look at the doctor, who had just finished cleaning me up.
The doctor stood in front of both my parents holding me wrapped tightly in a warm blanket. “Who wants to hold her first?”
“I do,” my father replied, extending his welcoming arms. Looking down at me, his eyes held a certain glow. Leaning in to kiss my forehead he said, “She has gorgeous eyes and she’s beautiful, just like her mother. Our little angel Taliyah.”
What exciting story are you working on next?
Right now I’m currently working on the sequel for Heart of Kings. Also I am working with a new author, helping her write her first novel. I have my hands in a little of everything building my empire one brick at a time.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
From the time I picked up a pen I became a writer but I didn’t realize my full potential until I published my first book.
Do you write full-time? If so, what's your workday like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I would love to be able to write full time, I write as often as possible. I take mini vacations away from my everyday life to get most of my writing done. When I am not writing I am helping other people with their projects or brushing up on my editing skills.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I love watching movies and listening to different music when I write, it helps me get through my writers block. Also sometimes I like to act out certain things that I would like to see my characters do.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I have always had a passion for writing. What I really wanted to do was write movies. Over the years I found myself writing a bunch of short stories. It wasn’t until I met Damon Diddit, an independent television and film producer and director who read my work and told me I should take one of my shorts and turn it into a novel.
Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
As a survivor and an advocate for Heart Disease treatment and research I can say: NEVER GIVE UP! When you read Heart of Kings you will see why it is so important to never give up no matter what problems you are faced with in life. My motto is to take The Good, The Bad and The Ugly and make it work!
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Thank you, Fanchon! Happy writing!