Holliday, Alesia

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HOLLIDAY, Alesia

(Jax Abbott)

PERSONAL: First name is pronounced "uh-LEE-suh"; married Judd McLevey (a Navy officer); children: two. Education: Attended Ohio State University and Capital Law School.

ADDRESSES: Agent—Penguin Group, c/o Berkeley Sensation Publicity, 375 Hudson St., New York, NY 10014. E-mail[email protected]

CAREER: Writer; former trial lawyer for class-action and mass-tort suits.

MEMBER: Chick Lit Writers of the World (founder; past vice president).

WRITINGS:

E-mail to the Front: One Wife's Correspondence with Her Husband Overseas, Andrews McMeel (Kansas City, KS), 2003.

(Under pseudonym Jax Abbott) Super What?? (young-adult fiction), Smooch Books (New York, NY), 2004.

American Idle, Making It (New York, NY), 2004.

(With Naomi Neale and Stephanie Rowe) Shop 'til Yule Drop (three novellas; includes "Publicist in a Pear Tree"), Love Spell (New York, NY), 2004.

Nice Girls Finish First, Berkley Sensation (New York, NY), 2005.

(With others) The Naked Truth (includes "The Naked Truth about Guys"), Berkley Trade (New York, NY), 2005.

(Under pseudonym Jax Abbott) Super 16 (young-adult fiction; sequel to Super What??), Smooch Books (New York, NY), 2005.

Murder by Mass Tort (mystery novel), Berkley Prime Crime (New York, NY), 2006.

Also contributor to Pride and Prejudice: Fresh Perspectives on the Original Chick Lit Masterpiece, edited by Jennifer Crusie, BenBella Books (Dallas, TX), 2005.

WORK IN PROGRESS: Super Spring Break and Super Graduation, for Smooch Books; more legal thrillers, for Berkley Prime Crime.

SIDELIGHTS: Alesia Holliday began her writing career in 2003, when she published a collection of letters she had sent to her husband, a naval officer, while he was stationed in Afghanistan during the early days of the War on Terror. Following this debut she quickly branched out into novels for both adults and teenagers. Her first adult novel, American Idle, satirizes the reality television show craze. The book follows a would-be television scriptwriter, Jules Verne, as she sees the seamy side of the business while working as a production assistant on Pop Star Live!, a reality show with striking similarities to the series American Idol. As Jules quickly discovers, the job is less than glamorous. It mostly involves traveling around the United States listening to truly awful singers who want to try out for the show, and sometimes trying to avoid the bombs that they occasionally set off when they are rejected. On the plus side, one of her traveling companions is Sam Blake, the show's handsome set builder, and his company helps to keep Jules sane. Through all of the drama, Jules's best friend and parents are there to support her and help her figure out what to do, and it is these "relationships with the noncelebrities in her life that give Holliday's story heart," Aleksandra Kostovski commented in Booklist. Library Journal reviewer Kristin Ramsdell declared the book "smart and sassy," and said that it "offers a bit more substance than the average chick lit romp." In addition Tanzey Cutter commented on the Best Reviews Web site that "Holliday is a talented writer whose characters are three-dimensional and realistic, and her dialog is entertaining and witty."

Jules's best friend, Kirby, gets her own book in Nice Girls Finish First. Kirby is self-confident and impatient with others' stupidity to the point where she fires every single person on her staff within the space of a few weeks. Her boss responds with a bet: Kirby has one month to make just one person call her "nice." If she wins, he will give Kirby time off to take the vacation to Italy she has been planning; if she loses, he will fire her. Holliday's other works for adults include the novella "Publicist and a Pear Tree," published in Shop 'til Yule Drop, about a literary publicist named Leah, who is having a very bad holiday season. Her job is overwhelming her and she can barely keep up, let alone get any Christmas shopping done. Then her pregnant sister goes into premature labor, and her parents cancel their plans to spend Christmas in New York with Leah to be with her sister. This leaves Leah all alone for her Christmas break, with nothing to do but plot a way to seduce Luke. All of Holliday's fiction falls under the heading of "chick lit," a genre that Holliday has great enthusiasm for. "I love that there are books that speak to my experiences, in my voice," she told a ChickLitBooks.com interviewer. "They're fun, they're real, and the best of them make you think."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, August, 2004, Aleksandra Kostovski, review of American Idle, p. 1909.

Library Journal, August, 2004, Kristin Ramsdell, review of American Idle, p. 55.

Publishers Weekly, July 26, 2004, review of American Idle, p. 38.

ONLINE

Alesia Holliday Home Page, http://www.alesiaholliday.com (June 15, 2005).

AllReaders.com, http://www.allreaders.com/ (June 15, 2005), Harriet Klausner, review of American Idle.

Best Reviews Web site, http://www.thebestreviews.com/ (July 10, 2004), Tanzey Cutter, review of American Idle; (September 30, 2004) Harriet Klausner, review of Shop 'til Yule Drop.

ChickLitBooks.com, http://www.chicklitbooks.com/ (June 15, 2005), interview with Holliday.

Jax Abbott Home Page, http://www.jaxabbott.com (June 15, 2005).

Tampa Area Romance Authors Web site, http://tara.writerspace.com/ (June 15, 2005), interview with Holliday.

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