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See her wonderful website: www.alesiaholliday.com and enjoy the music!

WFF: Tell us how you started writing. Your first work was non-fiction. How did that happen?

AA: I'd always wanted to write novels, but life (and a law career) got in the way. Right after 9-11, my husband, a Navy flier, was one of the first sent to Afghanistan. It occurred to me that life was short and if I wanted to write, sooner was better than later. But surviving the deployment -- six months of being a full-time trial lawyer and full-time mom to two small children, while wondering who was firing missiles at my husband -- was so crazy. And people kept asking me "How do you do that?" So I decided to write a book about it. Hundreds upon hundreds of letters from other military spouses saying "I'm so glad you wrote this book" made me very glad that I did.

WFF: A number of people have made the leap from the law to fiction writing but very few in a humorous chicklit key, as you have. When did you decide to become a full-time writer and how important is the humor?

AA: Humor is the way I look at life. I am one of those people who believes you can't "teach" someone to write humor. Either you look at the world in a funny way, or you don't. You can't write the book and then "throw in some jokes." So naturally when I started writing, my voice turned out to be funny. It's who I am. I love the idea of my new December Vaughn mystery series (the first, BLONDES HAVE MORE FELONS, is in stores now), because my protagonist, December, is a lawyer. But she's also a sometimes-funny, sometimes-sad, sometimes-foolish, sometimes-brilliant person, just like we all are. I was so tired of reading legal thrillers with cardboard-cut-out lawyers running through the plot. Lawyers have emotions and life issues, too! Although I confess I never encountered an alligator quite so up-close-and-personally as December.

WFF: You also write young adult fiction. Is it more or less difficult than writing adult fiction and are you planning on continuing to write YA?

AA: I'm taking a break on the Young Adult right now, not because I don't love writing it, but simply due to scheduling issues. I'm writing the mystery series and an upcoming paranormal series and have three books and at least one novella coming out this year and next. It is not more or less difficult to write YA for me, just different. I have so much fun getting inside of the teen head for the book. :)

WFF: The Women's Fiction Festival in Matera is planning a session on the relationship between editors and their writers. Writers tend to treat editors as a rare and delicate species, like unicorns and dragons. Tell us about your editors and your take on the Care and Feeding of the Editor.

AA: I am the opposite of this - I have been unbelievably fortunate to have three of the best editors in the business. They have all contributed to improving my work, but I never hesitate to disagree when it comes to my vision of the book. But I'd say a good 75% or more of their suggestions have been right on point for making a better book. And that's what we both want! Beyond the work, each of my editors have become my friends, too. I have an enormous amount of respect for anybody who loves books and promotes writers in today's sound-bite world, and each of my editors have been terrific examples of that.

WFF: Now you've moved to chicklit mystery writing. What is it about chicklit mysteries that satisfies you? How did the Mystery chicks get started?

AA: As I mentioned, I wanted to write about the law. I love being a trial lawyer, and I miss it sometimes. Although I LOVE the full-time author lifestyle, when it comes to time with my children, no commute, and reader mail! December's story came out as a thriller/mystery, but with my own unique voice, which is comedic/chick lit. So it's quite a cross-genre hybrid, but the success of such terrific authors as Susan McBride, Nancy Cohen, Laura Durham, and Ellen Byerrum (see us at www.themysterychicks.com) convinced me to take a shot at it!

WFF: What will you be writing 20-30 years from now?

AA: Wow!! What a wonderful question! Perhaps the children's book series my kids have been begging me to write. It would be just like me to finally get around to a children's book when my own children are grown up. Like the scarf I knitted my son and finally finished in August . . . in Florida . . . LOL!

WFF: Mystery and suspense books over the past two centuries have evolved enormously, mostly in line with society's evolution. The latest incarnation is chicklit mystery. What do you think the chicklit tone and attitude and voice can add to the mystery genre?

AA: Contemporary voice and younger readership. Many of the traditional mysteries have an older tone or voice that may not resonate with a younger readership. I know many of the series my mother adores failed to capture my interest. But when I started reading authors like Susan McBride and Janet Evanovich and Lori Avocato, I was hooked. These sleuths were living in my world and I could really connect with them. It's my hope that the new tone will add to and complement the world of mystery and bring an increased readership to the genre.


Alesia Holliday
Sarah Tucker
Camilla Vittorini
Karin Stoeker
Alessandra Bazardi
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