Monday, July 25, 2005

Pumping Saline~Some Tough News~and The Lovely Alesia!

Hi, all. Today we are PUMPING SALINE!!!! The insulin pump trainer spent two hours at our house today teaching us how to use the pump. Our son inserted his own infusion set (this is a needle about 2 inches long, thicker than the insulin syringe) on the very first try! (He didn't want any help. He's like that, and always has been. Was giving his own shots within 2 weeks of dx.)

We'll be using real insulin starting on Saturday. We'll be doing a modified "untethered" regimine where he still takes half his basal insulin via Lantus. But still, one shot a day beats the hell out of 4+ shots a day. Wheee.... let the ride begin!

And some sobering news from two friends from my diabetes list. One of them just learned her second daughter also has the disease. They're on their way to the medical center as we speak. The other mom is awaiting a glucose tolerance test on her child, whom she suspects has diabetes like her other child (hasn't had a normal bg reading in four days).

I can't imagine, just can't imagine having two children with this disease (though I am sure these two families will manage splendidly). And I know it is quite a real possibility our daughter will develop diabetes... her risk increased tenfold when her brother developed it. Still, chances are she won't get it... but it will always, always be at the back of our minds. I can't stop thinking about these two families.

So to segue... another MAGNIFIQUE Alesia in our lives (the pump trainer's name was Alesia): The GCC presents the lovely Alesia Holliday! Here's the scoop:

OK, first the hard part: pronunciation. Alesia is pronounced uh-LEE-suh (or exactly like it would be pronounced if it were spelled Lisa with an A on the front of it. That silent I has been the bane of her existence for 30 years.)

This is Alesia and her pug puppy, Daisy, in Alesia's book plotting chair. (SpongeBob pants optional!) Daisy will star in Alesia's upcoming series of legal thrillers, beginning with MURDER BY MASS TORT, coming in March, 2006.

Alesia grew up all over the world and even lived in Turkey for two years and the Philippines for another two years. She carried on the tradition of strapping roller skates to her furniture by marrying Navy Guy.

After a lot of angst over the fact that she really wanted to be a writer, she went for a real (read: boring) job and graduated from The Ohio State University and then graduated summa cum laude (rough translation: with much student loan debt) from Capital Law School, in Columbus, Ohio.

On Alesia's first media tour, she interviewed with the AM Northwest folks in Portland, Oregon, where she met another guest of the show: famous children's book author Sandra Boynton (and her giant chicken). Alesia's children are convinced Mommy's famous - she was on TV right after the chicken!

Alesia spent several years as a trial lawyer in complex class action and mass tort litigation, which means you never actually go to trial, you just sit around with a lot of old guys who tell you how great it was in the good old days when they tried three cases a day in the snow, uphill both ways. She wrote legal briefs that read like comedies, which might explain why she never made partner.

Her first book, E-MAIL TO THE FRONT, shared embarrassing personal stories with people and generated fan letters like "I laughed so hard I snorted pasta sauce out my nose." Causing people to spew foodstuffs out of their noses has been a personal goal ever since.

Alesia hard at work at a booksigning, wearing her new leather jacket. (Pink is the new black!) If you look on the right, you'll see the action figure of Super Jessie, who stars in Alesia's young adult books.

Addicted to making people laugh (and shed the occasional tear), when Alesia really, really couldn't keep the voices of all those fictional people locked in her head anymore, she started writing their stories. And look what that got her - a day job where she gets to work in her pajamas! She burned her pantyhose.

Now she lives in Florida, very near the beach, with her research department (and husband) Judd, two very short people who keep claiming she's their mother, and her pug puppy, Daisy. She's probably either hard at work on her next book, shopping for the perfect pair of high heels, or sneaking out for a movie-break lunch at this very moment . . .


Kirby wanted to meet a nice guy; She had no idea a double-dog dare about whether or not
SHE'S a nice GIRL would put her vacation, her job, and her self-respect on the line!


NICE GIRLS FINISH FIRST is a hoot! This book is funny, entertaining, and heartwarming -- a well-written, fast-paced story all wrapped inside one little bookcover. . . NICE GIRLS FINISH FIRST is a top-notch story for a summer beach read, and one not to be missed.
- Diana Risso Romance Reviews Today

Nice Girls Finish First is the perfect story for you to toss into your beach bag and enjoy on a lazy summer day.
- Lydia Funneman, Writers Unlimited

Readers cannot help but be drawn into the two women’s struggles, and cheer them on. This is a writer who will make you smile whenever you see that she has a new book released.
- Amanda Killgore, Huntress Reviews

And onto the interview:

MO'C: Your new novel, NICE GIRLS FINISH FIRST, features a woman who is so nasty, someone bets her she can't even get another person to call her "nice." Have you ever known anyone like this? What was the inspiration for this book?

AH: Kirby isn't nasty as much as she is focused and driven - very ambitious. She's afraid to let any niceness show, for fear that she won't get taken seriously. But she comes up against that paradox that women must appear to be "nice" at all times or get called something that rhymes with witch. :) As a trial lawyer, I fought this battle a lot. My clients loved me, because I won cases for them and cared about them very much. But sometimes my colleagues (and especially opposing counsel!) thought I wasn't "nice" enough. It ticked me off because none of the guys I worked with had to play games to get ahead.

MO'C: I notice you've written about Reality TV. What is your favorite current reality TV program? (Mine is Hell's Kitchen) Who is your favorite reality candidate on any program and did they inspire anything in American Idle?

AH: I LOVE Survivor and American Idol. And they also drive me insane! :) The reality craze is a scary insight into our psyche - are we all so voyeuristic that we want to watch other people's lives rather than live our own? When I realized I was turning down dates with friends to stay home and watch TV, I started freaking out about it. Then I knew I had to write about it. I have a line in the book that goes something like "it's not reality TV that matters. It's that our only reality that MATTERS is TV." I didn't want to become that person!

On last season's Survivor, I LOVED the woman (can't even remember her name now) who was the sole survivor of the one tribe. (M'S note: Stephenie... :) fellow addict) She was pretty courageous and tried so hard, in spite of being stuck on the crappy team. I liked her spirit!

MO'C: Here's a topic that's been discussed a lot. Do you ever encounter jealousy in this profession we call "author," and how do you cope with it?

AH: This is a tough one to talk about. I've had some very difficult times. When I sold my first book, and then even more so when I sold my first novel, I lost friends over it. It really hurt me very much.

MO'C: How would you define the term "chick lit"? How does your work relate or not

AH: I call chick lit books about the woman's journey through contemporary life. My books, at least, are a funny look at the stress put on friendships, family, work, and romance by the craziness of living in the world today. They're introspective and honest, and they tend to poke fun at cultural icons.

MO'C: You write in a variety of genres: teen fiction, general fiction, and romance. What are the benefits to this? Any disadvantages? Do you use a pen name? And, do you have any advice for those who'd like to write in more than one genre?

AH: Yes, plan to be very busy!! Seriously, I enjoy the opportunity to explore different genres. My first legal thriller will be out in March, so I'll get to use my years of trial lawyer experience. I do use a pen name (Jax Abbott) for my teen books, because they are very G-rated, and I want it clear that they are different from my Alesia Holliday books. I have a young daughter, and it's important to me that moms out there don't think I'm trying to steer their daughters to my rather R-rated chick lit! For the other genres, I'm using my own name all the way. Writing has been a dream for me for so long - I couldn't bear to put somebody else's name on my books!

MO'C: Why did you decide to leave the legal profession? Does your legal background help you with your work?

AH: I enjoy practicing law, but at least in my field, it's not very compatible with raising two small kids. I'm having a ball being able to be home when they get home from school, take the summer to be with them, and just generally do the "Mom" thing. Plus, as I mentioned, I'm writing a series of legal thrillers for Berkley Prime Crime, so I get to keep my hand in the field a little bit.

MO'C: I'm curious about the Literary Chicks blog. How did this blog get started? When did you step in? What have been some interesting experiences related to the blog?

AH: Lani Diane Rich gets all the credit for that! She wanted to start a joint blog and invited me and Michelle to tag along. Lani also designed and maintains the site. We loved the idea of similar writers getting together to do a joint blog - the synergy is terrific! Plus, when one of us is sick or on deadline or out of town, the others can step up so the constant pressure to put up fresh content is not on each of us individually. We also have "guest chicks" who come in and blog with us, and that's tons of fun.

MO'C: What has been the most rewarding part of the publishing process for you? The most frustrating?
AH: The most rewarding is seeing my stories in the bookstores and hearing from readers that I made them laugh. I have received the most amazing letters from people who are going through seriously horrible times in their lives, and they write to tell me that I made them laugh when they'd thought they might never laugh again. Of course, these letters make me cry, and they make me very proud to be a storyteller.

MO'C: What advice would you have for aspiring authors?
AH: Write and write and write. Join a writer's group and meet people like you and write some more. And never, EVER give up. Study craft and learn the business and persevere. It's such an amazing moment when you hold your first book in your hand (actually, I just received author copies of my SEVENTH book - counting collections -- and it is STILL amazing).

MO'C: What's next for Alesia Holliday?
AH: A week in Reno at the RWA national conference, then a move from Florida to Virginia mid-August. The mass market reissue of AMERICAN IDLE will be released next week, and then in September, my essay, "The Evolution of Envy," is part of the book FLIRTING WITH PRIDE AND PREJUDICE: Fresh Perspectives on the Original Chick-Lit Masterpiece, edited by Jennifer Crusie. Then I'm in an anthology with 3 terrific authors in November, called THE NAKED TRUTH. It's a crazy busy year and I love every bit of it!!

That's it, folks! Thanks, Alesia, for your great answers! Don't forget to buy her new book at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or your local indie bookstore! Ooh, and devour a free excerpt here! I love Free, and it'll whet your appetite for more!