Interviewed by Shamika Minisee
Quickly becoming one of reality TV’s favorite moms, Vanessa Rodgers Tracy is a woman who you don’t want to miss! As a proud Brundidge, Alabama native & mother of Melody S. Holt, she is a part of a rising entertainment powerhouse that is taking the industry by storm. With the meteoric success of The Oprah Winfrey Network’s hit reality show, “Love & Marriage Huntsville,” Vanessa is proud to have yet another platform that allows her to be transparent about her life in a way that helps soothes the souls of others.
As a former radio host and former first lady, Vanessa continues to blaze trails as the author of “Ushered Yet Abandoned: The Mask of a First Lady”. She is also the author of the newly released series for children “Chronicles of a Grandma- Mother volume 1. The Recipient of The Woman of Purpose Award and founder of VRT Media LLC, she is also a speaker, real estate professional & TV personality. Vanessa’s life is a reflection of what can happen when you use every God-given gift and encourage others to do the same.
The entertainment world will soon get to experience much more of Vanessa in the next season of “Love & Marriage Huntsville,” and a highly anticipated book entitled, “The Real Mothers of Reality TV “.
Always on a continuous path to elevation with God, family, business, and philanthropy, prepare to witness the innovative spirit of Vanessa Rodgers Tracy as she offers the world even more.
Shamika: I’m exceptionally happy to interview you. I have a few questions for you. If anything is too much for you, we will just skip right on to the next question. Please be sure to let the world know who Ms. Vanessa is.
Shamika: I see that you are a published author and that you are also coming out with a book about being a grandma. Tell me, when did you realize that you wanted to be a writer?
Vanessa: I have always been powerful with the pen so to speak. I realized this in High School and I was great at public speaking so I was always writing speeches for competitions. I was really gifted at putting my thoughts on paper. When I was a little girl, I kept a journal and learned that writing was a mechanism that I could use to express myself. I never dreamed of being an author. Growing up I wanted to be in radio and television broadcasting. I wanted to be an anchor woman. My first work, a poem called “A Whisper in the Wind” was published in 1996 in the National Library of Poetry. I wrote my first novel Ushered Yet Abandoned the Mask of a First Lady which was published 3 years ago by In Due Season Publishing. My latest project is a children’s series entitled Chronicles of a Grandma-Mother and Volume 1 is entitled A Trip to Grandma-Mother’s House.
Shamika: Tell the readers who Vanessa Rodgers Tracy is.
Vanessa: I am the Reality TV mom of Melody S. Holt who stars on Love and Marriage Huntsville on the Oprah Winfrey Network, I am a Grandma-Mother of 4, an author, motivational speaker, a real estate broker and I specialize in land sales, an I also work in Timberland Data Management. I am the owner of VRT Media, LLC which was birthed during the pandemic. I’m a native of Brundidge, Alabama and I currently reside in Clayton, Alabama where my business is located. Recently, I signed with Toni Jenkins Entertainment and I am very excited to be a part of some amazing things in the works. Most of all, I’m someone who loves and values her relationship with the Lord.
Shamika: I’d like to know what the dating scene looks like for you with your newfound TV Personality status?
Vanessa: That’s a funny question. You know, I did not always have a social media account. When the show was picked up, I was encouraged to get on social media and of course I used my social media accounts to promote my book and my platform. I didn’t know what people sliding into your DM meant. I didn’t even check my DM. When I finally found out what it was and when I started checking, I would have all this stuff from people and a lot of it would be from guys. As far as dating goes right now, I’m not dating. With COVID, I am not ready to allow someone in my space or to be in their space like that. It’s flattering to know that people find you attractive and interesting and want to take you to dinner and do nice things for you. However right now, I am focused on supporting Melody in her journey and being there for my grandkids as much as possible to let them know that they are loved and that although their family dynamic has changed they still get to spend time as usual with their Grandma-Mother (that’s what the kids call me).
Shamika: That’s so sweet. I love that answer and I just think that a grandmother’s role should be overvalued because we could not be who we need to be without having a grandma-mother in our lives. And so, with that, what would you say is your greatest accomplishment?
Vanessa: My greatest accomplishment is passing down the legacy of who God is to my daughter and knowing that legacy is being passed down to my grandchildren. Knowing that, helps me sleep a little better at night and makes me not fear when it’s time for God to call me home because I know I have put something solid there. I know that this is something that my child and my grandchildren can stand on. What greater gift is there than to pass along who God is and His love down to your child and grandchildren.
Shamika: When your daughter told you that she was going to be on a show on the OWN network that would be starring her, what was your initial reaction?
Vanessa: Well as far as the show goes, I was present during the conception of the idea for the show and the filming of the Demo Reel. My daughter and her now ex-husband decided they wanted to pitch a show to someone about what they did in property preservation. SO, the show was more like a HGTV type of thing and I was very excited because I knew how excited Melody and my ex-son-in-law were about what they were building. Right before they found out the show was being picked up is when I found out that there had been some infidelity in the marriage. I was assured it was a thing of the past and their marriage was solid. I sat down with both of them and told them, “If you are going to do a national television show you already know whatever is out there is going to come out”, but I was reassured by both that this was something that they had gotten past and there was no reason for concern. So, the initial excitement was taken away because it was tainted by this shadow in the background. However, I was still excited for them because all of their hard work was coming into manifestation.
Shamika: Me being a fellow Alum of Alabama A&M University as well as a resident, of course I watch. Not for the demise of your daughter’s marriage but the excitement it brings to see fellow alum and residents represent Huntsville. I really wanted to see how they got past everything. I am married as well as in business with my husband, so I was rooting for them to come out on the other side of this. It’s great that you are there to help her. I send her my regards and I pray that she moves forward and grows because no one signed up for that.
Vanessa: Right and I think people need to realize that no one signs up for marriage to get divorced but unfortunately it happens. In Melody’s case, this is something that played out on national TV because the actions continued even after the camera crew showed up to begin filming. I’m sure that made things a little more difficult than what it might have been if handled in private. But I heard someone say, “tell your own story, don’t allow anyone else to tell it”. So, I’m proud of her in that regard, for telling her story. You guys got to see the raw emotions that were there because this stuff is happening in real time and they are filming. No matter how much we try to put on a strong face, things shake us and our emotions get shattered. However, I think she has handled it very well. I always told her that I supported her in any decision she made regarding her marriage and I never told her stay or go. It was her marriage and her decision to make. I knew she would eventually make the best decision for her and her children.
Shamika: But that made her a strong woman. It was great that you were there to input that Love of God and greatness in her. So, your role as a mother is so important, and I venture to say that she needed that in order to be great and keep going.
Vanessa: A lot of people talk about my relationship with my Grandkids other grandmother, but we have always had a good relationship. I respect the fact that she loves her son and I hope she respects the fact that I love my daughter. At the end of the day, we are both mothers who love our children. I hope things stay that way but if it does not, it will not be anything on my part. My goal is to make sure the kids are still able to have those connections with both of us in a healthy environment filled with love.
Shamika: Yes ma’am. That’s it! Ok, this is some good stuff. Your two books are so different yet relative. I’d like for you to tell me where you draw the strength to write about such private matters and also tell me how it feels to be a grandmother to 4 grandchildren.
Vanessa: First, let’s start with Ushered Yet Abandoned: The Mask of a First Lady. I worked on that novel for a while. What you have on Amazon, Books a Million and my website www.vanessartracy.com is a woman that writes from a place of healing; a woman who came out on the other side a better version of herself. So this book was written as a healing mechanism for me and once I started writing it, I discovered I had something to say. I want readers to take a little bit of laughter, knowledge, and a whole lot of I can make it to the other side and come out ok. When I finished it, I let it sit for a year. I did this because I knew it involved other people and I never want to write from a place of anger because I thought that it would take away from the book. I realized early on that this was bigger than me. It was my desire for the book to go international and it did! I thank God for that! So that’s where the book comes from. In a lot of ways, Minister Viv’s (the main character in the book) husband ushered her into the presence of the Lord but had abandoned her in so many other ways. The man in the pulpit was no longer the man she took home.
Shamika: Ohhhh, I’m going to buy that book as soon as we get done with this interview! A lot of people wear masks and have feelings that are real and need to be addressed. No one wants to feel abandoned in their marriage.
Vanessa: My new released book “Chronicles of a Grandma-Mother” which is a series for children, is something that I am very excited about. My grandbabies were so excited when I wrote my first book but because of the content we did not allow them to read it. I promised them that my next book would be something they could enjoy. I was finally able to get it done and the first volume is entitled A Trip to Grandma-Mother’s House which is recommended for ages 0-5. The Chronicles are about moments of adventures and learning I have shared with my grandbabies and they are the main characters. Melody shows up on some of the pages and of course you have me. I was able to work with a great illustrator who was able to capture the personalities of the children after weeks of editing and corrections. I would love to see this series become an animation on the TV screen. I think the concept is something much needed right now. Being a Grandma-Mother is the most awesome feeling in the world and I am proud to be a part of the Grandparent’s Club.
Shamika: I have two more questions and I will let you go. I want to talk about fashion. What is your go-to fashion accessory or statement piece that you can set any look off that makes you feel put together?
Vanessa: Ok, you are probably going to laugh when I say this. A good control garment and a good hair unit will set any look off
Shamika: My last question is, if you could tell your 21 year old self anything, what would it be?
Vanessa: It would probably be to not be so gullible. By nature, I’m an optimist so it’s easier for me to look for the good in a person rather than the bad. But sometimes because you are like that, you can be gullible. A lot of what people told me I believed it. You take people at their word and then later you find out that their word doesn’t mean a hill of beans. I’d tell my 21-year-old self to be optimistic but to also be realistic.
Reality TV Mom-Vanessa Rodgers Tracy
Whisper In The Wind- National Library of Poetry-A Delicate Balance- 1996
Ushered Yet Abandoned The Mask of a First Lady- In Due Season Publishing 2019
Series for Children- Chronicles of a Grandma-Mother- 1st Volume “A Trip To Grandma-Mother’s House -2021
VRT Media, LLC established in 2021
Facebook- Vanessa Rodgers Tracy