It is indeed an honor to be in the presence of Black excellence. This next Author You Should Know is a talented author whom I have been following for quite some time now on Facebook. One thing I will say just from my observations is that her greatest strength comes from her ability to be vulnerable. She more than just a writer and an author, but a storyteller. Allow me to introduce to you MJB Fam, Womens Fiction and Romance author, Alexus Dominique.
Me: Thank you for joining us! Tell us about yourself. Who are you? Where are you from? What genre(s) do you write in? How many books have you written?
Alexus: My given name is Alexus Dominique Barney. I write under two pen names Alexus Dominique and most recently, “Alexus D. Barney” under which I have recently released one book. I was born and raised on the south side of Chicago. Currently, I have written and released 14 books most of which are Women’s fiction and romance novels. My most recent release “Daddy Issues: Healing from Child Sexual Abuse” a personal memoir about my childhood endurance with sexual abuse from my biological father. It released at the top of this year January 31, 2022.
Me: Nice! When did you know that writing would be a part of your life journey? What inspired it?
Alexus: My love for writing and words began around the third grade. It started with me writing poems and as I got older, it grew to me writing short fictional stories in my notebooks in the 6th grade well into my high school career for the enjoyment of my classmates.
Me: Talk about your journey from the early stages of writing to finally hitting the PUBLISH button on your most recent book. Was it positive? What are some of the highs and lows that you’ve experienced?
Alexus: I always knew I’d publish a book at some point in my life. It has always been a goal of mine. However, I did not expect to write so many of them so early in life. I published my first women’s fiction novel “Beginners Love” at the age of 18, under Royalty Publishing House and after 9 book releases over a 3- year span, I chose to become an independent author. Becoming independent has been a difficult journey thus far, it’s hard not being overshadowed by writers with larger followings, however my passion for the art keeps me in the fight. I love what I do win, lose or draw.
Me: I understand the fight to not be overshadowed by authors with larger followings. Sometimes, it feels like we are all a bunch of salmon racing to get upstream. What are some things that you’ve learned about publishing? What advice would you give to a newly inspired writer who wants to publish their first book?
Alexus: Be consistent! Be consistent! Be consistent! Believe in your art and don’t allow the business side of publishing and writing to discourage you from the art and enjoyment of it.
Me: How would you define your literary experiences as an author of color?
Alexus: I’m proud to be an author and especially an African American author. Our history is deeply rooted in talent and truth. I am so proud of the soulfulness and originality that only black writers can bring to this industry.
Me: Which character have you written thus far do you consider your favorite? What was that process of creating him/her like for you?
Alexus: My favorite character is always the one that I’m currently working on. That’s always the one that gets my undivided attention. They all have different sides of my own personality written into them only intensified. If I had to choose one character though, I’d choose Jayda from Pursuing the King of Memphis. She was unlike any woman character that I ever wrote about. She had an undying loyalty and love to the people around her that I admired. She was as tough as nails, but still possessed her femininity. I listened to Tupac and Lauryn Hill a lot with her (so you can only imagine how complicated my girl is!).
Me: Brag on yourself: What are some of your most memorable accomplishments you have achieved since publishing your first book?
Alexus: The release of my latest book “Daddy Issues” honestly has made me the proudest. It was personal. It was my truth, and it was something I needed to do in order to move forward with my career. That story had such a hold on me that I simply could not produce anything else before getting that off of my chest and into the physical world.
Me: I feel like it was deep healing for you. I also believe that Daddy Issues, will help a lot of young women who have walked the same path as you. What can readers expect from you moving forward into 2022?
Alexus: My readers can expect me to be more consistent with my releases. They can expect to see more of me as I am finally comfortably coming out of my shell. So, that looks like more interviews, book expos etc. They can also expect four book releases from me before this year ends.
Me: What motivates you to keep writing?
Alexus: My supporters really keep me writing. They are sometimes they are the only fuel that I have to keep running. When I’m discouraged, I’m always met with a sweet message or someone contacting me telling me how much they enjoy my work and would love for me to continue writing and I promise to do just that.
Me: How do you balance your work life/family life with writing?
Alexus: It’s a struggle, I have a three- year- old son, who is the highlight reel of my life. He keeps me busy and beat! However, he also inspires me to keep pushing to find the energy I need to pursue my dreams so that he one day will follow his.
Me: What is one thing that you want readers to know about you that they may not know already?
Alexus: They haven’t seen the best of me, yet.
Me: In your opinion, what are some of the challenges that authors face today that they might not have experienced when you first started publishing?
Alexus: I believe authors face the challenge of being easily overlooked. We live in a society that demands everything quick so sometimes, it can seem as if it’s much quantity over great quality however, I personally move at my own pace. It is not a race.
Me: What is your support system composed of? Family? Friends? Coworkers?
Alexus: My support system is made up of people who enjoy my writing. Mostly strangers from all over the country, however my family and a lot of people from my city has shown me a lot of support within the last two years of my writing career.
Me: What would you say, separates you from the other authors that are on the market right now?
Alexus: I believe that my mindset around what success as an author looks like is what separates me.
Me: (Last Question) What can readers expect when they read your books?
Alexus: Readers can expect quality writing, original storylines and real -life experiences and topics of the African American community to be implemented into my stories. They can expect to be satisfied with a great read!
I appreciate you so much Alexus for joining us! MJB Fam, you can check out Alexus' work by clicking this link: