Indie Muse | Author Alex Elle
Author, Renaissance Woman, Queen, Mother
Q: At what age did you realize that you had a gift for touching others with your words?
Alex Elle: Oh my gosh, last year I guess. I was 23 (laughs). [I realized it] when I first started showing my work on social media, so I would say it probably started at 22 or 23. I didn't know it was such a big deal until people started telling me it was. That's kind of how it all started.
Q: As a creative person, what inspires you?
AE: I guess I would say, the people around me, my relationships with different people, and the different places I visit - those are the most inspiring. Especially with my daughter and going on that journey with her so I would probably have to say the people around me.
Q: Who are some of your favorite writers? What are some of your favorite books?
AE: I love Paulo Coelho, author of "The Alchemist". That's my favorite book. He's awesome. I like him. Right now I'm reading "Fault in Our Stars" by John Greene, which is another phenomenal book. What else? I'm a big Paulo Coelho fan. I've read a lot of his books, so he's probably my favorite.
Q: What's your most favorite thing that you've ever written?
AE: As far as a certain piece? Or a body of work?
Q: Maybe a certain piece.
AE: I don't know, I can't pick one. It's really hard (laughs). They all hold a very special place in my life and in my journey and story so I can't pick one but they all come from different places, different pieces of inspirations.
Q: That's beautiful. Speaking of things you've written, how did Words from a Wanderer come about? What was the driving force behind writing your first book?
AE: People on social media actually wanted the book. I wasn't planning on writing one. A lot of people kept saying, "We're tired of screenshotting your work so we want to buy a hard, tangible piece that we can carry around with us", so really the push from my followers and the supporters is really want got the ball rolling. And then talking to some of my other author friends and getting inspired by them and encouraged to go for it played a big role.
Q: How will Love in My Language differ from Words from a Wanderer? How will it be the same?
AE: Well first, it's much different. Its only similarity is poetry in it and I do alternate pages as far as like poetry and longer pieces, just like Words from a Wanderer, it was poetry and notes to self. So with this second book, it's 137 pages and I'll probably end up adding a few more pages to it and there is a fifty-page journal in the book so that's similar to Words from a Wanderer but in general it's very different as far as experiences shared and the type of writing that actually goes on in the book is not as general as Words from a Wanderer and is way more transparent.
Q: What does being a woman mean to you?
AE: Creation. Mainly because we are the bearers of children and we have a voice and we have choices - not to say that men don't but I feel like a lot more falls on women than it does on men.
Q: What does being black mean to you?
AE: Resilient. If I could describe it using one word, it would be resilient, you know the ability to bounce back. I feel like people have done for ages, way before us so being resilient and keeping that resilience in the forefront. When we get knocked down, we can get back up. What others have been through in order for us to get to where we are, there are no excuses. I feel like if they could do it, we could do it.
Q: What makes you feel free?
AE: Walking around with no bra on. (Laughs) It's probably THE most freeing thing ever. Being able to work for myself and being 24 going on 25 running two successful businesses and having the brand that I have can take me near and far, I think that plays a huge part in my freedom and time management and time with my daughter and all of that. Really being able to do what I want to do everyday when I wake up is a blessing because not many people can say they can do that. So that's a huge deal for me.
Q: How did that come about by the way? I didn't write this question down, but how did that come about, you deciding that you were going to work for yourself and then actually taking the steps to make that happen?
AE: Well I've had my own businesses for years now, going on four years now, but I never thought that I could do it full time. So last year when Charleigh (her daughter) started kindergarten, I decided that I'm absolutely not going to be commuting to DC everyday from Maryland and being on the train all day and all night - I just didn't want to do that. And when she went to school I made a vow to myself that I was gonna do something different and that I was either going to fly or fail. And I decided that I was going to quit the job I was at and do my jewelry and book full time. Once I decided to quit, all these opportunities came my way. I was really scared, like what the hell am I going to do? How am I going to do it? Will I be successful at it? How will I make money and live off it? Once I completely let go of all of that worry and concern, everything started to come full circle. Like everything. It was definitely a risk but I would not not do it again. I would definitely do it again.
Q: What is love?
AE: Oh gosh. I don't know. It's different for everybody, that's what I would say, it's different for everybody but it definitely warms you. It feels good, it feels honest. It's hard to explain. I was asking my friend who was in love, "Oh my gosh, like how did you know?" and that's what everyone's first question to me is now, "How did you know?" The truth is, I don't know, I just know. And I feel that's what love is, even in a platonic relationship, we just love them and there no reason other than you love that person. It's just like, this is right and I want to do whatever I can to help them and support them. I feel like that's what it is to me.
Q: What is fear?
AE: Not trying. That's what I would say period, in a nutshell.
Q: What has being a mother taught you?
AE: It has taught me patience and tolerance. I learn more and more about those two things everyday. Absolutely. (Laughs) Parenting is not easy but it is definitely something that will teach you about the type of human you are, for sure.
Q: How has life changed since finding your one?
AE: I don't know how to explain that one. It's gotten easier and it's gotten better. More full, I guess you could say.
Q: When do you feel most beautiful?
AE: When do I feel most beautiful? When my daughter tells me. Because kids tell the truth. (Laughs) If she sees beauty then I guess it's true. (Laughs)
Q: What are your words to live by?
AE: Be the change that you wish to see in the world by Gandhi. Huge, that's huge for me. When I first saw that quote, I was like, absolutely. I try to live by that.
Q: What's next on the horizon for you?
AE: This next book and then I'm hopefully gonna go on another tour and do more speaking and hopefully have some writer's workshops coming up and things that I can connect with as far as my readers and fans and all of that, just continuing the fellowship on a more personal level. And then, book three!