AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT Alyssa Day
What is your most current work?
(The Warriors of Poseidon #8)
Berkley (Sensation), December 2012
336 pages Paperback
Tell us a little about Heart of Atlantis , what inspired you to write Heart of Atlantis?
Heart of Atlantis is Alaric’s story – the culmination of 6 years of writing and 10 books in the Warriors of Poseidon universe!! I have been building to his book since the very first—Atlantis Rising—and it is a WHIZBANGER!!
When you start writing, do you already have the story plotted out or do you let the characters dictate what will happen?
A little of both. I love to plot, but the characters ALWAYS take me in new and fascinating directions.
What inspired you to write in your genre? Is this the genre you started writing in or have you morphed to this one?
I first wrote in the romantic comedy style called chick lit under my real name, Alesia Holliday. I loved it; it was fast-paced and fun and snarky and sometimes deeply philosophical, but the publishers dumped tons of badly written books on the genre, since it was so successful, and that killed it.
Do you have a favorite character you have written?
I have too many to name, but Quinn, the heroine of Heart of Atlantis, and Alaric, are both definitely on that list!
Who was the toughest character for you to “get right” that you have written so far?
A female protagonist in Nice Girls Finish First (an Alesia Holliday book) who was a real doormat and incredibly emotionally vulnerable at the beginning of the book. I’m a very strong, independent person, and I write all of my heroines that way, so it was a real stretch for me to write her. I believe I learned a lot from the experience though, and I always love to learn new things as I write, so I cherish the memory.
Do you draw inspiration for your characters from real life? Any fun stories you could share?
With the chick lit, definitely. I wrote those as satirical commentary on reality. For example, my first novel, American Idle, made fun of the reality TV craze as it first broke. With the paranormal romance, I use real-life history and archaeological discoveries for the basis of fictional world-building. (Did you know vampires are the real cause of the disappearance of the Native American tribe that used to live at Montezuma’s Castle outside of Sedona?)
What do you find the hardest part of writing?
Ever EVER believing the book is good enough to let it out of my hands. I am always striving to be better and better, and perfectionism is the kiss of death to being able to move on in commercial fiction.
Name one thing that your readers would be surprised to know about you.
I am one of those people who have a mutant brain—I am both wildly right-brained (creative, imaginative, artist, writer) and coldly left-brained (mathematician, former trial lawyer). I might be secretly a psychopath. J
Do you have a guilty pleasure?
YES. Really, really, bad and cheesy horror and sci-fi movies! My new goal is to get to play a bit part in a SyFy Saturday night horror movie like that modern classic: Sharktopus!!!
What TV Show are you addicted to?
See above. Also, I love Vampire Diaries, The Mentalist, The Good Wife, The Walking Dead, The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, The Voice, Castle, Firefly (I watch the DVDs when I need a pick-me-up), and many others! I Love TV and movies! Not nearly enough time to watch, though.
What do you need before you start writing? Anything that is just a must have or the creative juice don’t flow?
Nope. Just my dark and twisty brain. J
Does music influence your writing? If so, do any of your stories have a theme song?
Not usually, but a couple of times I’ve listened to playlists composed for my books and enjoyed them. When I get toward the end of a book, I listen to Norah Jones’ first CD over and over again on continuous loop. I’ve done this with every book since my first novel.
If your story was optioned for a movie, who would play your characters?
Wow. I’d love for Joe Manganiello to be High Prince Conlan and Ian Somerhalder to play High Priest Alaric. Although, actually, Ian looks a lot like the hero of my new series, The League of the Black Swan.
Where were you when you got your first contract? Who did you tell first?
At home in Seattle. My husband, a Navy flyer, was flying at the time, so I had to wait until he landed.
How old were you when you read your first romance book?
In my teens, sometime. I wasn’t a big romance fan then; I was addicted to Stephen King, Frank Herbert, Isaac Asimov, among others. I still gravitate toward the urban fantasy/romance hybrids; I need a lot of excitement and action and sword-fighting with my love stories, as my readers can tell you from my books!
What author causes you to “go fan girl”/squeal over/anticipate upcoming books?
I read VORACIOUSLY so there are too many to name!
If you still have one of those pesky non writing jobs what is it?
Nope. Been writing full time since my first book, E-Mail to the Front, a non-fiction memoir about how hard it is to be a military family during wartime, came out in 2003.
Do you have a favorite movie you have seen in the last few months and/or an all time favorite?
The Lord of the Rings trilogy and I CANNOT WAIT FOR THE HOBBIT!!!
What are you currently working on, and what else is in the wings?
I am doing the finishing final touches on THE CURSED, the first book in the League of the Black Swan series, and CURSE OF THE BLACK SWAN, a novella that will be part of the League series and featured in an anthology named ENTHRALLED. Both will be out in May, 2013. I also have a secret project I can’t talk about yet! Whee!
If you could co-write with another author who would it be?
My kids and I may co-write a children’s book. I tried a collaboration once (with people not my kids) and hated almost everything about it. I’ll never do that again!
How do you pick your characters names?
It’s part of the magic. They come to me.
Do you prefer the love at first sight approach or a steady growth throughout?
Both! Depending on the genre.
What is your reaction to people who say one of the following…”Oh you write romance, I thought you were a real writer”, “Romance isn’t a real writing career” or the ever popular “Oh, one of those books”.
I am 5’11” tall, Irish, Italian, a Scorpio, and a former trial lawyer. People rarely insult me to my face. J
Where can readers find you?
And for the silly side – What is your favorite type of chocolate?
Dark! With caramel and nuts, sometimes! But I’m more of a salty person-I’d go for the nachos over the chocolate every time.
Aragorn or Legolas?
Aragorn every time! Legolas is pretty, but Aragorn has that bad-boy thing going on . . .
Thanks for inviting me to Joyfully Reviewed!! And happy holidays to everyone!!