The Crossroads of Conflict and Creativity with Alex Poppe

Alex Poppe
Alex Poppe

Alex Poppe decided when she was in her 20s to leave her corporate job and become an actor, with no acting experience at all. After acting for 12 years, she followed her travel instincts, becoming certified to teach English overseas and moving to multiple countries, including Iraq, to pursue teaching and humanitarian work, and writing. Alex is the author of four works of fiction: Duende, Jinwar and Other Stories, Moxie, and Girl, World. Her writing has won numerous awards, including the International Book Award, Reader’s Choice Book Award, and a 35 over 35 Debut Book Award. Alex tells me about her decision to become an actor, how she made the move into teaching abroad—and what she’s learned from both experiences—how her time abroad has influenced her writing, and more.

Episode breakdown:

05:28 16 years teaching, actor training influences writing.

09:55 Networking in theater leads to humanitarian aid.

15:13 Teaching experiences in Middle East were heartfelt.

17:59 Studied and worked in Erbil and Germany.

21:55 Children witnessing war, finding innocence amid turmoil.

25:40 Homesickness, friendships, and social pressures at boarding school.

32:42 Shocked friend describes disturbing bar experience.

33:30 A shocking experience inspired her book writing.

37:14 Returned to the States, started writing in 2010.

41:49 Lyrical book with dense language.

47:30 Exploring character, tone, and emotion in writing.

51:56 Navigating uncertainty in creative process with flexibility.

55:33 Book inspired by old photo, friendship celebration.

Please leave a review for this episode and in it, tell us how you deal with feedback.. If you enjoyed our conversation, I hope you’ll share it with a friend.

Want more? Here’s a handy playlist with all my previous interviews with guests in writing.

Show links

Alex’s website




Kathryn Bolkovac‘s Whistleblower site


You can subscribe to Follow Your Curiosity via the handy links at the top of the page for Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, iHeart Radio, TuneIn, Google, and YouTube. If you enjoyed the episode, don’t forget to tell your friends!

Creative Commons License