ALEX ELLE INTERVIEW: AUTHOR, POET AND INSPIRATION
SS101: First things first Alex, thanks for taking the time out of your day to speak with me! You are our first interview since the relaunch so this really means a lot. So your first book Words From A Wanderer was received very well, how did it feel to have people connect with your words?
Alex: It was awesome! I wasn’t expecting it, the only reason why I put out a book was really because people were tired of screenshotting the work on instagram. So that was really the push to put out published work. But, it feels really good to have so many people connect with me on a personal level because what I write about is mostly a reflection of what I have gone through or how I have grown. I say that “no one is ever on their journey alone,” and I think for people to say that they have someone to lean on, be their voice, and write what they are thinking, that has been super humbling for me.
SS101: Since you do have an amazing presence of Twitter/Instagram, what inspires you to keep putting your words on social media where so much plagiarism takes place?
Alex: As of late, I only put out work that is copywritten, so should I have to deal with people who plagiarize, I can take legal action. What I am also learning in this journey is that, it's going to happen regardless. So, I have grown a tough skin because when it started happening it would really upset me and I wouldn’t want to write or post things that I have written. However, I realized that, (by not posting) that would be taking away from other people's experience, when they want to read my work and want to relate to it. I had to find a happy medium. It's just that people steal and want to pass things off as their own. But also a lot of people really don’t know writer etiquette. They don’t know why it's important to quote. So, I think it’s a mix of those two things, of people not knowing the proper etiquette.
SS101: Who influences your writing whether in style or content?
Alex: Nobody really influences me at this point. I have some favorite writers but I really have come into my own with writing. I don’t really have any influences. I do admire certain writers. I don’t have someone where I look at their work and say “Oh I want my work to look like theirs” or have that feel. Mine is Mine and theirs is theirs and I feel like that makes diversity so much fun in the writing community. As an author/poet, there are so many people who can write that have something to say. It's done in so many ways. I do look up and admire certain writers and I feel that we all feed off each other.
SS101: As a writer what do you want your readers to take away from your words?
Alex: I want them to take away…peace of mind and that kinda piggy backs off of not being alone in your journey. There are billions of people on this planet going through something. It may not be the same thing, but they are going through something. So being able to write what I am going through or have gone through, to have people take away, that like “ok I can be at peace, I can be calm, I have a tool to handle the situation.” I think that is important and they really can take away peace of mind. I think that a lot of women especially have connected with my work on that level.
SS101: As a black female writer, how important is it to you to be a positive voice for black women?
Alex: Oh it's very important, I am a writer but I am a writer of color. I think that a lot of people of color feel like they don’t have a voice at all. So the fact that I am a woman, I’m of color, and I write. I think that benefits me in a way or gives me the upper hand when I am trying to reach people who look like me, come from where I come from, or whatever the case may be. I really want to give people that spark that “Ok, she looks like me! I can be a writer! She has gone through this so I can go though this.” I think a lot of times people want to see examples and being able to set that example is a positive one.
SS101: So your new book Love In My Language is set to release July 7th. Can you give us some insight to what your new book will be about?
Alex: It's going to have poetry in it of course but it is also going to have excerpts from my life as a teen mother, single mother, as a depressed teen/young adult and how I came up from the bottom out of depression. The book is really personal and its 124 pages with a 30 plus page journal in the back. So my readers can countine the conversation with their self from Words From A Wanderer by writing. It's just different from the first book, in a good way. They both are unique but this one is very transparent.
SS101: Since your new book is around love can you give me your opinion about the state of love in the black community?
Alex: I think that we kind've lost touch with what love is and we don’t really know because we don’t have any examples. So, I feel that in general that it isn't a black thing, but I do feel that people have lost hope because their hearts have been broken, their daddies/mothers weren’t around. It's so deeply rooted and we get in our own way in that sense, that we can't push other issues aside to embrace the feeling of love whether it be a platonic or romantic relationship.
SS101: As you are an amazing writer, we know that you are a foodie and you have a blog called "breakfast with alex" can you tell us about your website?
Alex: It's just a tumblr that I made just to document, my eating, food and my love for food. So I actually ended up doing an instagram because I wasn’t updating my tumblr. So, it's just a fun food thing, that I like to share. I love food and I love taking pictures so being able to take photos of the yummy food that I eat is great. Initally what it was going to be used for was to be a place to document what I would write while eating breakfast. I still might do that from time to time but I don’t blog on it like I should, but it can be a lot when so many other things are going on. But it's basically food and fun and places where you can get food. When I travel I like to post cafes that I go to or what I am trying. It's just another way to give people an outlet as a woman and person of color who likes to eat and cooks sometimes.
SS101: As you are making your trasnsition to being vegan, can you shed some light on some difficulties you have face?
Alex: I love cheese and eggs, so that kinda gets in the way and I not a fan of vegan cheese. So that’s really the toughest part for me.
SS101: What are your favorite vegan places to eat in the DMV or in general?
Alex: Ok so I love Matchbox! I go there a lot, there's in Montgomery County, MD where I live and theres two in D.C, one on 8th street and the other on Galley Place. I love their food, just awesome food! Founding Farmers is another one of my favorites. There is one in D.C. on Pennsylvania Ave and there is one in Montgomery County as well. I really like Everlasting Life Café, it’s a vegan café. Its ran by African Americans so great to see people of color working there and owing that vegan place. Busboys and Poets is a really cool spot, they have a really great menu, vegan and non-vegan and vegetarian. They have an open mic night, and a bookstore. Also Ted's Bulletin is another really cool place.
SS101: Nice, as you just recently got back from your trip from The Bahamas, where did you stay at and what was your experience like there?
Alex: We stayed at the Memories Grand Bahamas Beach and Casino Resort and it was all inclusive so we had different things to try. There was a sushi place on the resort and they had raw coconuts, where the villagers would cut them open and you could drink water of or add rum to it. It was a fun time and it was great to see the culture and diversity.
SS101: Are there any places you are looking to travel to next?
Alex: Yes! Santorini, Greece and Puerto Rico are next on my list!
SS101. Great! Again Alex, thank you so much for chatting with me today, We are really looking forward to you new book and wish you much success on it and we are huge supporters of you here at Soul Society 101!
This interview was conducted by Branford Jones on behalf of Soul Society 101
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