Monday, July 2, 2007

Welcome USA Today Bestselling Author Alyssa Day!

Hello Banditas, and please help me give a warm welcome to the fabulous Alyssa Day!! Alyssa Day is the pen name (and dark and tortured alter ego) of RITA award-winning author Alesia Holliday. She is a multiple finalist in the prestigious RITA awards for excellence in romance fiction and has won several awards for her novels. We are lucky to have her here at the Romance Bandits blog! :-)

1) First, tell us about your current series and the next book you have coming out. Where did you get the idea to write about Atlantis?

I've loved everything Atlantis since I was a little girl - I even told my mother that I was going to discover Atlantis when I grew up. Now, in a way, I have! :) I am a huge fan of anything mythological, of ancient history, and of anything to do with lost civilizations. I asked my editor what she thought about the idea for my series and she said Go for it!

2) How did you start writing romance? What was the road to publication like for you--short and smooth or long and bumpy?

My first book was actually non-fiction about what it's like to be a military family when one spouse/parent goes off to war. E-MAIL TO THE FRONT came out to a lot of buzz and gave me the courage to make the jump to my lifelong dream of writing novels. I actually had a Cinderella story to publication - my first novel sold in two weeks, at auction, on a synopsis and the first 42 pages. And that book, AMERICAN IDLE, launched a new trade paperback line for Dorchester Publishing and was a double-RITA finalist. So it was a crazy, crazy time.

3) You've written both steamy adult romance and fun young adult urban fantasy. What do you like about writing in each genre? Which direction do you see your career headed?

The YA I wrote was at the request of my editor at the time, who'd started a new YA line of books. I really had fun writing it, but haven't had the time to do more of it. Maybe some time in the future. Although my kids are demanding I write a tween-age book next . . .

4) The romance formula is pretty clear--boy meets girl, boy and girl hit some bumps on the road to paradise, boy and girl live happily ever after. How do you keep your stories fresh and exciting?

I have never thought of romance as a formula any more than I thought of mystery as a formula, with the two mysteries I wrote. And I've never written according to any so-called "rules." I truly believe that all good books begin with a great story and characters the reader can connect with, and after that anything's possible.

5) Have your books changed since you started writing? In what ways?

I hope they've gotten better! :) I know they've gained emotional depth. In the comedy, that was something I wanted to learn to do better and in the paranormal romance/action novels I'm writing now, I'm reaching that goal. I've actually made myself cry writing some scenes!

6) Do you have a favorite book that you've written? Hero? Heroine?

Every book I'm writing is both my favorite book and the book I hate the most, depending on what time of day it is. And I fall in love with the hero of every book.

7) What's in your "to be read" pile? Anything you've read recently that knocked your socks off?

I recently read and loved an ARC for Alexis Morgan's upcoming book in her Paladins series, and also I've read the first two of the launch books for the new Shomi line by Liz Maverick and Marianne Mancusi. You can find them at their Rebels of Romance site. Very fun and different books!

8) Anything else you want to share with our readers? The meaning of life? How to lose those last ten pounds? (I'm particularly interested in this last one...)

Yes!! I am the champion of declutter! My husband is in the Navy, so we move every 2 years or so and in 6 weeks we're back on the road to move to Florida. So I am the queen of decluttering! Here are some simple rules:
1. If you haven't used or worn it in a year, get rid of it! Charities will find someone who needs it.
2. If it has a layer of dust, you don't need it.
3. Sentimental value is fine, but limit it to one small box/trunk for each child. Anything that doesn't fit in the box, take a picture of it for the scrapbook and get rid of it!

Thanks for inviting me to guest at your wonderful blog!! The Banditas will pick two winners from comments to win an autographed copy of Atlantis Rising.

Please stop by and visit me at and say hi!


Caren Crane said...

Wow, Alyssa, I am a bit intimidated by your de-cluttering. *g* I have a family of pack rats and de-cluttering is major trauma in our house. I guess when you are moving often, it has to be a way of life. Have you ever let something go that you later regretted?

Alyssa Day said...

Hi! No, I have never regretted anything that's gone - mostly I never think of it again! My husband is a pack rat and it drives me insane. He actually tried to convince me I could use his old dot-matrix printer to print draft copies of my books!! I said, Sure, honey, if I want to spend 3 days doing it! lol.

My only rule is I never, ever throw or give away something that belongs to him or the kids without their permission. My mother used to do that to me and it made me nuts. I'd get home from school and my stuff would have vanished! So I've trained my kids from an early age that there are lots of people who could make good use of the things we have gathering dust in closets. We give often to the Navy Relief and AmVets and GoodWill. If you think about young families with not much money who could really use the stuff you're hoarding, it's much easier to give away the crib that has been collecting dust in the garage.

Kirsten said...

Hi Alyssa,

Thanks so much for being with us! I loved your bit about decluttering--i am the same way. Can't STAND clutter. We call it "purging"--I purge everything that isn't used regularly (especially kid's toys--love getting rid of all that plastic they call toys these days!). And I also have a special place in my heart for the Atlantis series. When I was young, i used to swim so much I really believed someday I would figure out how to breath underwater. It helped that my (real) name means mermaid! :-)

Thanks again for being here!

Caren Crane said...

Great point about getting permission, Alyssa. As soon as my best friend's left for college, her mother got rid of everything in her room. Now, my friend was living in a shared dorm room, so it's not like she took much with her to school. She still resents it over 20 years later!

Note to self: feel free to throw away shredded jeans of my husband's which could get him arrested, but ask about warped vinyl albums in attic...

Beth said...

Thanks for being here, Alyssa! I'm a great declutter-er too *g*

Your new series sounds fantastic! Can't wait to read it :-)

Alyssa Day said...

Thanks Kirsten! My daughter is the same way; I call her my little mermaid. I really think she has Olympic potential (says the proud Mommy)!!

Oh, Caren, that's so heartbreaking about your friend!! leaving for college is hard enough without feeling like your parents can't wait to get rid of you and your stuff!

Thanks Beth! I hope you enjoy it!

Alyssa Day said...

off to see the Disney rat movie. sigh. Only a parent is forced to see a movie about rodents . . . Will be back to chat in a bit!

Caren Crane said...

Alyssa, please give us the scoop on "Ratatouille". My youngest (12-1/2) wants to be a chef and can't wait to see the movie!

Christie Kelley said...

LOL about the decluttering. Before I start a new book I always have to clean up my office. It's as if I want to make a good impression on my new characters. And since it's time to start a new book guess what I've been doing all day? Yep, cleaning up my office and especially the paper-clutter-holder I call a desk.

jo lewis-robertson said...

Welcome, Alyssa, and thanks for guest blogging with us today. I loved your comment about falling in love with all your heroes. I often find that if I don't like my hero all that much, he falls flat in my story and I let him die LOL. Same with my heroines. In fact, in a rewrite, I just killed off an "Olivia." I just didn't like her all that much. How odd and I wonder, where did she come from anyway, mucking around in my story?

DMacMeans said...

Hi Alyssa -

Thanks for joining us for the day.
Thanks as well for your decluttering tidbits, something this packrat needs to remember.
I love your video trailer and wanted to encourage everyone to visit your website and give it a play. I see more and more of these (though not many as nicely done as yours), have you noticed an impact on sales?

BTW, my kids are all grown and I miss not having them as an excuse to go to the Disney movies. I really, really want to see the culinary rat movie. I'll have to talk my 26 year old daughter to go with me. She was in culinary arts and so can feign a need as well.

Donna MacMeans

Joan said...

Hi Alyssa!

I recently had all the rooms in my house painted. It was an eye opener to cart the clutter from one room to the next ahead of the painter. (I found 2 petrified jelly beans in my office behind a desk. Obviously, the Easter Bunny has been using my office on the sly)

As to your writing. I LOVE THE ATLANTIS series. And I want more...right now...this minute.

Included in this adoration is your anthology in Wild Thing (as I commented here on this blog. It got me through a 6 hour layover in Atlanta) Wow, the heat was turned up with Bastien and his shapeshifter mate.

I've added you to my list of pubbed authors who by example teach me to write.

BTW, please thank your husband for his service to our country and to you...his family...who support his efforts.

hrdwrkdmom said...

Hi Alyssa, can't wait for the new book! As soon as I get the nerve I am going to my son't room and make three piles, trash, put away, and permission...LOL With that major accomplishment done I will do the rest of the house.

Trish Milburn said...

Alyssa, thanks for joining us today. I can't wait to get some time to read later this month so I can get to your first Atlantis book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, and the zillions of other books on my TBR mountain.

LOL on the dot matrix printer. Man am I glad we don't have to depend on them anymore.

Christine Wells said...

Alyssa, I sympathise with your fascination for Atlantis. I used to pretend I was a mermaid in our swimming pool. I had this idea that if I swam underwater long enough, I'd find the lost city.LOL Of course, you had to swim like the Man from Atlantis or it wouldn't work.

Cherie J said...

Great interview! My husband was in the Navy as well. We live in NW FL. Hubby and I are pack rats and we need to learn to declutter like you do. Your Atlantis series is so cool! I need to get to the bookstore soon.

Alyssa Day said...

Ratatouille report: if you can get past the rats touching food in the kitchen part, it's actually lots of fun. My kids (7 and 10) loved it. And I'm guessing it's doing very well, because the Monday at 2 show was packed!

Hi Christie! I clean my office between books, too. It's the one room I never let the housekeepers in, so the piles of paper grow to frightening proportions!!

Hi Jo!! I have a funny Olivia story, too! My first novel, I get a phone call from my editor. "What happened to Olivia?"
Me: What?
Her: You had a chararcter called Olivia in the first 3 chapters, and then she disappeared.
Me: Oops!!

It must be something in the name!!

Hi Donna!! Trailers are like everything else in promotion; it all builds ripple effects that you hope have a cumulative effect. I know that the many sites where I was able to get the video placed did make a big difference in name recognition.

Joan!! I ADORE YOU!!! Thank you so much for the kind words. I'm writing Ethan's story in a novella right now and he's quite interesting with his "I am the alpha male" attitude he's trying out on a centuries-old Atlantean female. She's not buying it . . . :)
And thank you for the nice words to Judd. He's out to sea, again, so I'll pass them along as soon as I can.

Hrdwrkdmom: Good luck with that job! I'm getting ready to tackle my son's room and it's scaring me. I think I need extra chocolate . . .

Hi Trish!! It's fun to be here!

Hi Christine! I never learned to swim until I was 23, so wanting to discover Atlantis really was a dream for me!

Hi Cherie! We were in Pensacola for 3 years. Beautiful, beautiful!

Alyssa Day said...

and P.S. to Joan:

>>I've added you to my list of pubbed authors who by example teach me to write.

This may be one of the nicest things anyone has ever said to me about my books. Thank you sincerely for that. We all work so hard at this job, trying to make out books better every time, and sometimes critics and mean-spirited amazon reviews and the like can really get to me. But it makes me appreciate the honest kind words all the more. So, thanks again!

Joan said...


That was actually going to be part of my GH acceptance speech last year (right after "You like me! You really like me! LOL)

I was going to reference the fact that so many of the authors in the audience, who write fabulous stories are unaware of the impact they have on the up and coming.

I hope that WHEN I am published, I too might impact a new writer. (It won't be in good grammer. I, have, comma,, issues,,, Ask TL Gray my crit partner)

Now,um....get back to Ethan (grrrrowlll)

Alyssa Day said...

Joan, WHEN you are published, I want to be first in line to buy your book!!

I still to this day have no idea what I said last year in my RITA acceptance speech. I was sort of delirious. LOL. This year I'm presenting, and I'm guessing I will be WAY less nervous.

KimW said...

Loved reading all the questions nd answers. Congratulations on the quick sale of your first book. That's something to be proud of.

Had to laugh at your decluttering tips. So simple and so true! I need to work on my own.

Alyssa Day said...

Thanks, Kim!! Good luck with the decluttering. It's one of those never-ending jobs . . . :)

Alyssa Day said...

Thank you, again, to Romance Bandits and to everyone for stopping by to say hi during my delightful day of guest blogging!! I'm off to drink a glass of "way to go, you packed 9 boxes in your office, three large bags for charity, kept the kids reasonably healthy and fed, and even got some work done" wine. Whew! I had a great time here, and please feel to stop by my blog at over the next month or two to hear the harrowing tales of the move, my Warriors of Poseidon, and more. May your summer be truly magical!

danetteb said...

Hi Alyssa,
My daughters think they're mermaids too,we go to the beach and my youngest jumps right in yelling "I'm Mermaid Rein,watch me"
I think they'll be Atlantis fans too*g*
Hugs, Danette

CrystalG said...

Hi Alyssa. Great interview. I love your advice regarding decluttering. Your Atlantis books sound great. I have always been fascinated by the story of Atlantis.

Pamk said...

Great interview and I love love your atlantis series books.