||Strategic Book Group
||April 21, 2011
Bridget Holiday is a 41-year-old cynical freelance writer who is obsessed with her weight. She meets Kate, a beginning hypnotherapist who wants to help her confront her past demons, but unknowingly regresses Bridget back to a time before her birth, when she is still in spirit form.
Barnes & Noble.com
Strategic Book Group
All In Her Head takes us on an enlightened journey into one woman's psyche. Forgiveness comes as Bridget takes responsibility for the life she planned, and the specific lessons it would bring.
Her yoga teacher/massage therapist mentor, Rosalina, helps guide her through this new astral world, where Bridget meets up with her dead boyfriend in her dreams and meditations. When faced with her own life-or-death crisis, Bridget realizes her only hope for salvation is to embrace the life she has.
As Bridget learns to love her inner self, she connects with the soul mate of many lifetimes and begins to manifest the story occurring in her dreams.
Former Benicia Pens First Novel
By David Ryan Palmer
Like many of us, the protagonist of Michelle Paisley’s novel “All in Her Head,” Bridget Holiday, is concerned with her weight, her life, her future, her prospects.
Holiday visits a hypnotherapist whom she hopes will help her get her weight and her life back under her control. What she finds — through a series of remarkable events involving yoga, hypnoregression, and a little bit of out-of-body experience — is that she always had control.
“I created a character who is kind of a normal, ordinary person obsessed with her weight,” Paisley said by phone Thursday. “A lot of people are, especially women.”
Paisley’s book, published by Strategic Books, debuted on Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble’s online store June 1, a prelude to a book signing tour that Paisley said is still being hashed out.
She said she hopes it includes a stop at Bookshop Benicia, 856 Southampton Road.
In “All in Her Head,” Holiday turns to a hypnotherapist to help her deal with her weight issues. But the therapy works a little too well, somehow thrusting the heroine back to the moment before she was born.
“She comes to a kind of ‘Let’s Make a Deal’ situation, where she gets to decide many of the choices later in life,” Paisley said.
Holiday later explores the consequences of decisions she never made — and in the process, Paisley said, comes to love herself.
“I was really interested in the idea that we get to choose our own lives,” she said.
“I couldn’t let go of that idea, that we create our life.”
Paisley’s influences show in her subject material. While she was a reporter — for The Benicia Herald, in fact — in the mid-1990s, her other passion was yoga and massage therapy.
“When I was a reporter, I did yoga on the side, and it kind of calmed me and relaxed me,” she said. Now she’s the owner of a Flow Massage and Yoga Therapy in Sacramento.
With her background, Paisley could have inserted a lot of New Age concepts into the novel. But she said she tried to keep away from being too “New-Agey.”
“I just like to explore different spirituality and belief systems, (to) ask questions like ‘What is reality?’” she said.
That question is one that Paisley’s protagonist tries to answer. She also tries to find a certain amount of peace, something that Paisley said we’re all looking for.
“At the base of it, all we really want is peace,” she said.
Writing has been Paisley’s path to peace, and she’s happy to continue forging her own path.
“I love being an author. It does so so much good for me,” she said.
Paisley’s heroine does have certain aspects of her creator’s personality, the author said.
“I think that any author would be lying if they said that their character isn’t loosely based somewhat on themselves,” she said.
Still, Bridget Holiday isn’t Michelle Paisley in another guise. “It’s kind of like an actor who’s playing a role. You bring yourself to it, of course, but you’re playing a role.”
Paisley isn’t sitting idle after the release of her first fiction novel. A sequel, titled “All Over It” is already finished, though she’s not found a publisher yet.
“I wanted to see how well this book did first,” she said.
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