March 28, 2013

By Bobbi Booker

Special to the NNPA from the Philadelphia Tribune


New York Times bestselling author and beloved actress Victoria Rowell delivers another hilarious and shocking send-up of the soap opera world, featuring Calysta Jeffries, the unstoppable diva of daytime drama in “The Young and the Ruthless: Back in the Bubbles” (Atria Books, $15).

As we learned from Rowell’s prior hit “Secrets of a Soap Opera Diva,” no one gets in the way of leading lady Calysta Jeffries. Now, after a brief stint in drug rehab, Calysta is back on the set and ready for action as she resumes her role as the star of “The Rich and the Ruthless.” But not everyone in the cast and crew is happy to have the diva back. As soon as she wraps her first return episode, some of her fellow colleagues and cast members are conspiring, once again, to sabotage her career. She’s already survived amnesia, an alien abduction, and death three times over — but all that and a real-life alcohol abuse problem couldn’t keep Calysta down. So her enemies come up with the nastiest plan ever devised. They invite Calysta’s beautiful daughter Ivy to audition for “The Rich and the Ruthless” and offer her a role alongside her very competitive mother, turning Calysta’s whole world upside down.

Rowell’s latest soap opera drama mirrors her own life as one of the most popular figures on America’s premier daytime drama, “The Young & The Restless” (Y&R), which is presently celebrating its 40th Anni­versary. As the feisty “Drucilla Winters,” Rowell was one of the most popular African-American figures in daytime drama and was nominated for three Day Time Emmy Awards and won 11 NAACP Image Awards — yet when she asked for an equal opportunity to try her hand as a scriptwriter, her character was killed off as a leading character.

Currently, Rowell has over 71,000 Twitter follows, and many are fans howling for Y&R to reprise her role. She advises otherwise. “Not only African-Americans, we’ve seen all ethnicities and all walks of life commenting and asking on NPR News, The Washington Post, the National Urban League and the NAACP, why in 40 years of the ‘Young and the Restless’ and there is not one African American executive anywhere, ever? Over 50 percent of the audience are African-American/Black women in the south, with the number one market in Louisiana. Now you know, that we must not be blinded by the smoke and mirrors or blinded by the on-camera talent only. Black consumers spend over $1 trillion a year. Black women are generational buyers, and the power of the purse campaign is in effect right now until we see one Black executive.”

Raised in foster care, Rowell’s credits her success to the foster families that instilled in her the confidence and drive to succeed. Passionately involved in many charities, Rowell founded The Rowell Foster Children’s Positive Plan, a scholarship fund helping foster children thrive through fine arts classes, sports camps, and cultural enrichment.

For more information, visit to follow @victoriarowell.

Category: Arts & Culture