Wed | Jan 19, 2022

Q&A with Stacy-Ann Smith

Published:Wednesday | June 23, 2021 | 12:11 AMShantay East/Gleaner Writer
Stacy-Ann Smith
Stacy-Ann Smith
Stacy-Ann Smith
Stacy-Ann Smith
Stacy-Ann Smith
Stacy-Ann Smith
Stacy-Ann Smith
Stacy-Ann Smith

“A person’s inability to manage and navigate emotional and social situations will impede their growth. Most people rush to the emergency room if they have a physical wound, but they fail to do so for an emotional wound. People believe they should just tough it out or take it day by day.” These are the words of Stacy-Ann Smith, a communication and public relations expert, trained journalist and broadcaster. Smith is also the creator, executive producer and host of her television talk show ‘It’s a Woman’s World’.

In her memoir and first published book, Time Does Not Heal, the 44-year-old shared her experiences as a child growing up in the community of Maverley, and describes the struggle, pain and loss of that time as “the valley versus the mountaintop”. In one chapter of the book, ‘Lessons from my Clothespin’, Smith described an instance in which her grandfather put a clothespin on her nose. This, said Smith, caused her to have negative perceptions about herself. The mother of two and the oldest of three siblings also writes about her strong relationship with her sisters and brother, which is a recurring theme in her book.

A graduate of Immaculate Conception High School and The University of the West Indies, Smith obtained her first degree in mass communication and a master’s degree in communication studies. She is also the owner of the media company, Danrak Productions. With an interest and participation in a number of areas in media, a book was a natural progression for Smith, who says her writing is influenced by Caribbean authors and her own voice. Here’s what the author had to say in her quick Q&A session.

‘Time Does Not Heal’ challenges the commonly accepted view that time helps one get past challenging life issues. What has led you to the belief that time does not heal all wounds?

My experiences in life showed me that you don’t get over things by waiting. I have seen people carry things from childhood into their adult life, and they are still struggling with it. Instead, people say they will take it a day at a time. Men especially are taught to tough it out. [But] people need to seek someone who knows what they are doing and give sensible advice to help navigate the issues of life.

Having faced many challenges, how did you restore your confidence during the process of healing from your past?

I strongly believe in the value of speaking to a professional and getting therapy. It can simply be someone who has experience or someone from your church, or a guidance counsellor. This played a big part in my transition, which helped me to move from where I was to where I wanted to be. You can be smart as a tact, but if you cannot manage and navigate emotional and social situations … this can impede your growth.

Which book(s) are you currently reading?

I am currently reading a book called A Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes.

What difficulties did you experience when writing your first book?

The flexibility of people who were referenced in the book. I made references to family members and having to balance their need for privacy with my need to share my story. Also, I was a little fearful of being open and vulnerable to the public, which was not easy because people tend to be judgemental.

How are you able to balance life as a mother of two and now the publication of your book?

I have always been clear on making sure I prioritise my children and the people around me who are important. I reach out to friends and family as much as I can, especially now during a pandemic. It is so important for us to stay connected. There are times I have to cancel plans to be around my loved ones.

What is the most rewarding aspect of your career?

The creation of my TV talk show ‘It’s a Woman’s World’. This was my first time on the business side of producing a television show. It was gratifying to take an idea from my head, write it on paper and see it in fruition, and played across the Caribbean.

Can we look forward to any new books from you in the future?

I am almost finished with my second book. It is going to be a collection of short stories.