Monday, June 11, 2012

Author Interview: Alethea Kontis

 alethea

I’m super duper excited to have Alethea Kontis, author of Enchanted, on the blog today. Even though Alethea was super busy with her book tour, she agreed to have me interrogate interview her. If you’ve read my review of Enchanted, you’ll know that it’s one of my favorite books!

Before we get started with the interview, take a moment to read about why she’s awesome!

Enchanted-201x300New York Times bestselling author Alethea Kontis is a princess, a goddess, a force of nature, and a mess. She’s known for screwing up the alphabet, scolding vampire hunters, turning garden gnomes into mad scientists, and making sense out of fairy tales.Alethea is the co-author of Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark-Hunter Companion, and penned the AlphaOops series of picture books. She has done multiple collaborations with Eisner winning artist J.K. Lee, including The Wonderland Alphabet, The Umbrella of Fun, and the illustrated Twitter serial “Diary of a Mad Scientist Garden Gnome.”Her debut YA fairy tale novel, Enchanted, was published by HMH (Harcourt Books) in May 2012.Her short fiction, essays, and poetry have appeared in over ten anthologies, as well as venues such as Realms of Fantasy, Clarkesworld, and Apex Magazine, and she is the monthly book reviewer at Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show. You can find Princess Alethea online at: www.aletheakontis.com.Born in Burlington, Vermont, Alethea now lives in Northern Virginia with her Fairy Godfamily. She makes the best baklava you’ve ever tasted and sleeps with a teddy bear named Charlie.

Where do your ideas come from?

The fairies leave them on my doorstep in the morning, providing that I've renewed my
subscription.

Who inspires you to write?

My family. John Scalzi. Mary Robinette Kowal. Janet K. Lee. Sherrilyn Kenyon. The
person at Harcourt who cuts my paychecks.

What’s the first story you can remember writing?

I made up my own Promethean-style myth in elementary school about a boy who fashioned crude shoes for himself. The god Hermes, the only one allowed to have shoes at the time, came down from Mount Olympus to witness this. Hermes cursed the boy into the form of a cloud, forever walking across the sky. It explained how we invented shoes, and why clouds never stop moving across the sky. Plus, it gave Hermes a bit of the spotlight. You never really hear about Hermes having cursed any humans like his cohorts (Zeus, Athena, Aphrodite, etc.) were famous for.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers?

Never stop writing. Every writer is a brilliant storyteller--the words on the paper are just the tool you use to tell those stories. After time, those tools get better at communicating the story in your head. But those tools can't get better if you stop writing.

You get to choose any of your characters to go out to lunch with. Who do you pick,
where do you go, and what do they order?

I've always thought it would be fun to hang out with Jeremy Blake's mom from my
story "The Monster & Mrs. Blake". I would love to ask her about how she met her husband...one day, it would be nice to tell that tale! We'd have sandwiches in a little café by the seaside while Jeremy was at school. She would definitely order the fruit cup as her side item.

If you could meet any author (living or dead), who would it be?

This answer changes every five minutes. Right now, I'd love to meet J. R. R. Tolkien.
He's one of my favorite crotchety old men authors, right up there with Maurice Sendak.
I've learned that Tolkien had a soft spot for fairy tales and women writers...I think perhaps we might hit it off.

What are 3 words that best describe your personality?

Magic Storytelling Princess

You are trapped on a desert island, with no way to escape. What 3 books would you
bring?

I've actually planned for this for a while now! I'd take the Complete Works of Rudyard
Kipling that my French grandmother gave me some time ago. It's five volumes...but I
don't mind cheating. Now if that plane would hurry up and get here...

If you had to choose one food to eat for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream. I'd start with Coffee Heath Bar Crunch & Black Raspberry.

What is your all-time favorite fairy tale?

"The Goose Girl." Followed closely by "Snow White and Rose Red."

 

Let’s give Alethea a big round of applause! If you haven’t yet, you need to read Enchanted. It’s, well, Enchanting! Plus Alethea is super cool, so her book has no choice but to be cool as well.

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