Sun | Nov 18, 2018

Melodies and Diaries of Stephanie Wallace

Published:Sunday | August 19, 2018 | 12:00 AMKrysta Anderson

"When I was young, I was certain of two things. I wanted to be a singer and a writer. I'm now living that dream."

- Stephanie Hava Wallace

Growing up was a dynamic experience for Stephanie Wallace, who moved from being raised in rural St Catherine, picking pimento for the local market and showering in an outdoor bathroom, to living in the city of Kingston, with an awakening exposure to information, technology, and the arts.

Wallace was always fascinated by books, stating that leisure time between pages not only consumed, but relieved her from her sometimes troubled reality. And so the book lover decided to provide that sweet escape for others by becoming the writer. "Writing gave me a voice when I was either 'singing too loudly' or 'acting too smart for my age'. Documenting short stories, poems, songs and journaling became my outlet," she told Outlook.

School gave her the tools she needed and set her in the direction to make her passion a fruitful reality. Excelling in English language, literature and the social sciences, she says, "were my jam. Professionally, I have never ventured outside of the arts, nor did I ever aspire to."

Committed, creative, strong, resourceful and passionate, Wallace charged off into the world, ready to pen her melodious mark. She has been actively involved in music for a total of 13 years, and found the time to write her novel, The Diaries of a Scorpion Lover.

"Balancing music and writing is something I'm still trying to achieve. Right now, it's more like juggling. But the two support each other, so it's not a daunting task. It's quite exciting, actually."

Being a mother of two beautiful girls, with a full-time music career, the main challenge she has faced, when she is on author mode, is finding her groove, "I can write at just about anytime, but I can tell when I'm just in my head. I have to find time to create the atmosphere where I can get into my groove of writing intellectually from the heart."

The Diary of The Scorpion Lover is a book about the roller coaster of Wallace's 20s and how those years have informed the woman she is today. It was important for her to document that formative-to-transformative aspect of her journey. From pain to power, she articulates her joys and trial of love, loss, marriage, divorce, sexual assault, physical abuse, young motherhood and more. It is sprinkled with unapologetic expressions of sensuality, wildly relatable, raw and real, all in one.

The reception, she asserted, has exceeded her expectations, especially since this is her first book.

"Once I decided to write about such personal content, I knew I had to commit to the stories and go all the way in. My readers thus far all appreciate the honesty and guts in my writing. And they say they are able to relate to at least one of the experiences, or knew someone who did."

With that relatability, various types of conversations have consequently come into play: discussions that are relevant to the reformation of outlooks on relationships, whether it is personal or social, or even familial. As far as book sales are concerned, "Reviews and word of mouth have been selling my books, a lot of my recent readers have said that it was recommended by a friend or that they have seen the reviews. It's been great."

 

MOTIVATED BY HER CHILDREN

 

When asked who motivates her to push through and keep going, her answer was her children. Aside from the fact that they are of the view that she has superpowers, she wants to remain their constant and consistent example of drive and perseverance. Plus, the good author added, it is her desire to leave a rich legacy for her princesses, so that a solid foundation created can mould and shape them into queens.

Busy times are ahead for the multi-talented artiste who has a new book on the horizon, hopefully by early 2019 and a new album set to release before the end of this year. If she is not singing or writing, she binges on movies and TV shows, or engage in fun adventures with her children and her partner. Her advice to anyone craving to live their passion out loud is to commit and follow through, "Surround yourselves with those in your field who are successful and learn as much as you can. Don't stop learning; never be too accomplished to keep learning, whether from mentorship or from seeking out information."

For more details on how to get your hands on The Diary of a Scorpion Lover or on her upcoming book, it is on Amazon and on Amazon Kindle in ebook. It is also available at Bookophilia in Kingston. You can follow her page on Instagram: @diaryofascorpionlover

krysta.anderson@gleanerjm.com