Guest Multipersonality Disorder Patient: Alesia Holliday
Today, we’re going to talk with award-winning author Alesia Holliday, alias Jax Abbott, alias Alyssa Day, who is, among other things, a funny, fun writer and a generous person and so we like her. Unfortunately, she has been diagnosed with multiple personality disorder, and that’s what we’re here to talk about. [Warning: Reading this interview may tell you some things about me you are better off not knowing. I need to learn to be less verbose in my questions.]
I first encountered Alesia’s romantic comedies, which she writes as Alesia Holliday. THEN she started writing mysteries, also as Alesia Holliday. Then I discovered she also wrote young adult novels, as Jax Abbott. And NOW, she’s gone totally off the deep end (hee, hee…you’ll see what that’s such a horrible pun in a minute), writing a new genre, paranormal romances, as Alyssa Day. As someone who once took an abnormal psychology class in college and therefore is an EXPERT in this kind of thing, I must say I am fascinated. And as a writer, I’m fascinated by writers who cover multiple genres this way.
Laura: Alesia, I’m currently detecting at least three distinct personalities, and that’s not even counting the one of “Mom”, which a lot of us have. Do you want to tell us a little about yourselves? Also, why have you/your psychiatrist/your circle of loved ones decided to let you run with this rather than getting you help? Because I’ve heard there are medications for this kind of thing.
Alesia: They’ve all given up on me. Even my agent just shakes his head. I prefer “Renaissance Woman” – it sounds so much better than “person with short attention span.”
Laura: How does it work, writing-wise, juggling the different personas? Do you, for example, spend six months as Alesia Holliday and six months as Alyssa Day, or do you tend to spend mornings as one, afternoons as another, or…? When you change from one to another, is it in response to an outside need like Clark Kent? Does it involve lots of spinning like Wonder Woman and do you get to wear red boots? Or is it more like the Incredible Hulk, an inside emotion takes you over? (Do you turn green? I’m not sure you should tell us if you turn green.)
Alesia: I did turn green once, but it was bad potato salad. I go from book to book. I’ve always been a total immersion writer, writing only one book from beginning to end, then picking up the next project, but I’m currently working on two at once and it’s a very interesting experience. I do have Wonder Woman red boots, but I prefer not to talk about my sex life . . .
Laura: You keep talking about the Alyssa Day book, Atlantis Rising, as revealing your dark side. I have always wanted to have a dark side. In fact, I always wanted to be the wicked witch, and I am allowing NO comments from family members about that on this post. I even memorized the entire Macbeth witches’ speech, up to “ditch-delivered by a drabe”, which is pretty darn dark. But I’m afraid my real dark side mostly concerns the way I react to excessive stress or lack of chocolate, while I notice YOUR dark side seems to feature sexy Atlantan warriors. Can you elaborate? Also, can we trade dark sides?
Alesia: Oh, dear. I wonder what that says about us, because I read this and immediately started reciting “Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow, creeps in its petty pace . . .” Scary. You know, I love me my alpha males. Love anything about lost civilizations – I very nearly went the archaeology route in college. So it was like the great meeting of peanut butter and chocolate – life-changing AND delicious.
Laura: It says that Great Minds Know Their Shakespeare, that’s what it says. It says NOTHING about our sanity. Speaking of sanity and NOT of its lack, I will tell you a secret. In my very early twenties, before I went off to Tahiti, I wrote FOUR paranormal romances. But my agent at the time tried to sell them to only one market and gave up because, admittedly, there pretty much weren’t any other markets for paranormal back then. It was another one of those occasions when an editor failed to recognize my genius. Looking back on it, I think this is a good thing, because while I’m still reasonably proud of the world I created, the stories themselves featured a LOT of bulging biceps. Umm…do yours feature bulging biceps? And if so, how did that feel, to write the phrase “bulging biceps”?
Alesia: The Warriors of Poseidon are totally ripped, muscular, larger-than-life kinds of guys. But I never actually used the expression “bulging biceps.” Or “throbbing manhood.” Or “heaving bosom.” Hmm.
Laura: Well, as long as we KNOW they have bulging biceps, that is okay, then. That’s an important part of any story. Talking now to other writers, what would you say are the pros and cons of writing in several different genres as you do? Did you make a premeditated decision to write in different genres, or was it more that you had so many different stories inside you and you wanted to let them all out, not limit yourself to one type?
Alesia: I LOVE it! I’ve always been the total immersion for a short while and move on sort of person. That’s why being a trial lawyer suited me so well. If I had to write the same type of book over and over, I’d get bored. Writing in more than one genre allows me to stretch my writing chops, too, and challenge myself, which is important to me. I have so many stories to tell that I just tell them and leave it up to my agent and editor to figure out how to classify them. 🙂
Laura: You’ve read Blame It on Paris. If you had to pick a book or books of yours to introduce my readers to you, which one would you pick? Or is that a little too much like picking your favorite child?
Alesia: Sigh. I ADORED your book!! Any of my romantic comedies fall in the same genre – funny, romantic, with an emotional underpinning. And aren’t happily ever afters the BEST? Thanks for inviting me to hang out with you and your readers!! They can find my different personalities at www.alesiaholliday.com or www.alyssaday.com for a very cool movie-style book trailer about my hunky Warriors. No bulging biceps in sight, sadly . . .
Laura: Ummm…I don’t know about bulging biceps, but there is a pretty buff half-naked man looking at me when I click on that site. Not that any of MY readers would be interested in cute guys, oh, of COURSE not… Anyway, THANKS, Alesia/Alyssa/Jax/whoever you are today, for coming on, and thanks for offering a tempting male to distract people from Sébastien.
Everyone–feel free to ask any questions of Alesia/Alyssa in the comments. She’s promised to stop by and answer them.