Ardre Orie is an accomplished writer, book publisher, playwright and film director. Ardre attended Florida State University where she earned both her undergraduate and Master’s Degrees in Special Education. After teaching for 4 years, she went on to earn an Ed.S in Educational Leadership.
Orie began her career as an author telling the stories of women in her local community at age 10. As author of Consciously Beautiful: I Am Enough (2014), A Heroine in Heels (2015) and The Art of Storytelling (2016); writer and director of the theatrical productions Lipstick Monologues and The Heart of a Man; and film director of the documentary I Am Consciously Beautiful, Ardre Orie’s work sheds light on life’s experiences while closely examining the effects of mainstream media and societal norms that have defined our journeys and self-worth.
In 2015, Orie founded 13th & Joan, a multimedia publishing company to provide a vehicle for aspiring authors, playwrights and film directors to tell their stories with her support and guidance. Orie tirelessly coaches clients onward to success.
In 2016, Orie, established The Beautiful Mile, the first ever beauty walk encouraging women to love themselves and their stories. Ardre’s dedication to advocacy has created a national network of women that continue the conversation of self-worth and validation. Her works uncover the internal struggles faced by women and continues to lead the charge for redefining beauty goals to include self-worth, educational empowerment and financial stability.
Orie also launched A|Orie Cosmetics in 2017 to change the narrative and words associated with beauty and to help women to recognize that every face has a story to tell and that all of our stories are beautiful and have value.
Meet the Artist: NY Interview with Author and FilmDirector Ardre Orie
NY Elite: What projects are you currently working on?
Ardre Orie: Besides the books that I am ghostwriting for my clients, I am work on books, plays and symposiums this year.
Books that I will be releasing in 2017 are:
- Let Your Lips Speak Life: 30 Days of Self-Affirming Love
- The Art of Storytelling: The Ultimate Guide to Getting Your Book Done Now!
I am also working on launching a series of conferences and symposiums to connect and offer support to writers and create mass awareness about the various forms of storytelling. Those announcements will be coming down the pipeline soon.
NY Elite: What is this book/project about?
Ardre Orie: In 2018, I have an amazing new book that is daring to say the least. It’s a new genre for me and I am so thrilled. The book is called Uneven and it’s about a wife who becomes fed up with the double standard that men can cheat and be accepted back into their relationships but women don’t often get the same consideration. Paige who is the main character intends to even the score for women for years to come. It will be a real page turner.
NY Elite: What genre are your books?
Ardre Orie: When I say, I write it all, I mean it. I am challenged when writing in new genres. My most requested genre is memoir.
NY Elite: What draws you to this genre?
Ardre Orie: I am not surprised by this because I grew up in a home with a counselor. My mother trained me to listen to what was not said but the emotion behind the words spoken. My clients always tell me that they believe our process to be therapeutic.
NY Elite: What are your biggest accomplishments thus far?
Ardre Orie: My absolute greatest accomplishment is and will always be my family. I was raised by strong, single women and I never thought that marriage was for me. To raise my children in the midst of two parents and to have found love that I was never certain of is monumental for me.
As a professional, I can now finally say that I have built a sustainable company after leaving my career in education that I had worked so hard to attain success in. It feels good to have discovered purpose and know that I could earn a living with a skill set that I feel so honored to execute. A highlight of my career was when I selected to ghostwrite a book for a Grammy Award winning client. I will never forget that moment.
NY Elite: What is your writing process like?
Ardre Orie: I go absolutely insane. Once the music comes on, my fingers struggle to keep up with my thoughts. It is not optional for me to keep something nearby to write with. I wake up in the middle of the night with full stories. I have to make sure that I write them when they come or they will inevitably get lost when I am in the shuffle of day to day life.
I can hear the words spoken and the character’s voice. It is pure madness and I would not change it for the world.
I don’t like noise when I am writing because my thoughts scream so loudly. My thoughts coupled with the music are almost overstimulating. The end result is always something that I am proud of. I think that there is such an element of gratitude to be insane in this way that it shines through into the finished product.
My process is centered in creativity. The creativity must live. I protect it at all costs. In the words of Kendrick Lamar, “Please don’t kill my vibe.”
NY Elite: What three social topics/theme do you care mostly about and why?
Ardre Orie: -Domestic Violence
I grew up in a home in which domestic violence almost consumed my mother and I. We fought so hard to get out and to escape that life. I am always in remembrance of whe we experienced and the lasting effects.
Killing of Unarmed Minorities
I’m not sure how this is not an issue for everyone. I do believe in the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. that alluded to the fact that if we allow injustice anywhere, we open the flood gates for it to happen everywhere. I feel that the narratives of minorities are lost and this is one of the many reasons why.
I am working on a project to address this next year.
I have been a “high risk” candidate since age 14. I had a lump removed from my chest at that time. I was so embarrassed because no one was even talking about it during that era. I have had numerous scars and red flags but remain cancer free. It is my hope to continue to share in the fight to raise awareness and advocate towards the discovery of a cure.
NY Elite: What are your top three favorite books/scripts?
Ardre Orie: My favorite books are: The Great Gatsby, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and Pride and Prejudice,.
My favorite screenplays are: Titanic, Moonlight, American Beauty, Do the Right Thing, Goodfellas, Pulp Fiction, To Kill A Mockingbird. Come on! I can’t pick just three.
NY Elite: As a writer, what is the most important aspect of building a character?
Ardre Orie: Back in 2013, when I published my first book Consciously Beautiful: I AM Enough, I wrote real stories about 21 women and teen girls who were on a journey to love the reflection that they saw in the mirror. After writing their stories and capturing their voices, my mind was drawn to thoughts of how they would be different if different aspects of their lives had been altered. I discovered that I was intrigued by what driving forces impacted the decisions and thoughts that determined who they were and how they felt. When I write characters, I try to actually become them. I imagine what makes them angry and what makes them sad. Most importantly, I work to discover what makes them vulnerable. I believe that at the heart of our vulnerability lies all of our secrets and the control box. I am inspired so much by stories because we are all essentially characters in one great big story of life.
NY Elite: What are your ambitions for your writing career?
Ardre Orie: Ambition is my favorite word. I have so many books in my head that I know would be great screenplays. It is my hope that the right eyes, ears and hearts will land on my work to get these amazing stories to even larger audiences.
NY Elite: Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book?
Ardre Orie: I would love to see Nia Long or Keri Washington in the role of Paige, the new character in my forthcoming book Uneven.
They both have the ability to appeal to a vast audience and could understand the depth of the character.
NY Elite: Do you express yourself creatively in any other ways?
Ardre Orie: That is funny that you ask. Not really. To be honest, I killed the creative woman that lived inside of me years ago. I was so structured in my career as an educator and following what I thought then was the chosen path. Today, I live fully as the creative. It amazes me that she had been suffocated and now gets to live and breathe. Writing is my creative outlet and such an integral part of my life.
If there were any other way, cooking would be it. I cook for my family several times a day, depending on our schedules. I love to see them happy from the art that I created in the kitchen with love.
NY Elite: Any tips on how to get through the dreaded writer’s block?
Ardre Orie: I have so many strategies that I use with my authors coaching clients. There are no limits on creativity, which also means that there are no limits on what can be done to inspire the story to flow. For me personally, music puts me in the zone. I listen to everything from hip hop to gospel to jazz and rock and roll. I am so inspired by the melodies and the lyrics that my fingers can’t keep up with my thoughts. Simple strategies that I believe that anyone can use are:
*Establish a writing routine. We are what we repeatedly do.
*Create a special space.
*Set a daily goal.
*Read and listen to books often.
NY Elite: How do you market your books?
Ardre Orie: The world of publishing has changed immensely over the years. No matter how good the book is, marketing is key. I have a running joke with my authors that I envision myself as a rapper who sells CD’s out of the back of my trunk. What I mean is that if you write a book, you should also be about the business of promoting the book. Just because you write it, does not automatically guarantee readers.
I also encourage authors to see the importance of building readers who will be with you for the long haul. This happens reader by reader. Every new reader is a blessing. Authors have to get out and meet people, attend conferences and connect organically.
NY Elite: What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Ardre Orie: There is no perfect moment to become an author. Much like every other dream that we chase, we have to run as fast as we can, unapologetically towards the finish line. I would tell writers to read. That is the surefire way to increase your exposure to different writing styles and genres. I recall the story of my writing hero Dr. Maya Angelou who was raped as a young girl. The person that raped her was eventually released from jail and found dead later that night. She believed that because she had spoken his name when asked who hurt her that she was somehow responsible for his death. She stopped speaking for five years. During that time, she read everything in sight. The result of that pain and that reading is Dr. Maya Angelou. She is a true example of the rich substance that can be displayed by a writer who reads.
NY Elite: NY Elite: What can we expect from you in 2017?
Ardre Orie: 2017 is a year of execution for me. In addition to scaling my publishing company to meet the needs of more aspiring authors, I am ghostwriting several books for clients ranging from YouTube to Grammy Award winning artists. I will write and direct two theatrical productions: Lipstick Monologues and The Heart of A Man: Smoke & Mirrors.
I recently merged the world of storytelling and beauty with the release of A|Orie Cosmetics (www.AOrieCosmetics.com) which features beauty products that emphasize the power of speaking positively into our lives. I will also be releasing my short film The Art of Storytelling and a writer’s symposium in Chicago this year. I’m so thankful for the opportunity to wake up and do what I love, especially when it changes the lives of others in a positive way.
NY Elite: Where can everyone keep up with you to learn more? …social media…website