Alethea Kontis

Alethea’s Convention Survival Guide

NEW_LOGO_DCAt the beginning of every month, I put a blog post on my site directing folks over here. Well, this month I’m going backwards BECAUSE I CAN.

As I continue getting ready for DragonCon, my biggest convention of the year, I remind myself of all the survival tips I’ve come to adopt over the years.

CLICK HERE TO READ MY TOP SEVEN CONVENTION SURVIVAL TIPS.

They started out as particular to FragonCon, but they have served me well at other conventions and conferences over the year.

What are YOUR biggest conventions?

How do YOU survive?

xox

Mermaids & Friends: David B. Coe/DB Jackson

Alethea MermaidDavid B. Coe (a.k.a. D.B. Jackson) has been my dear friend for over a decade (David contributed a guest post on my blog recently in which he discussed the circumstances of our meeting in 2002, and our friendship since then).

David is not only an exceptionally talented writer (his Thieftaker books are my favorite) but he’s also exceptionally prolific. I’m not kidding–the guy has TEN books out this summer.

Okay…so maybe I’m exaggerating. But not by much. Check out: Water Witch, Dead Man’s ReachHis Father’s Eyes…and I’m sure I’m missing something. On top of the hundreds of guest posts he wrote for this month’s blog tour to celebrate all these releases. LIKE THIS ONE! Which I demanded. Because what else are friends for? <grin>

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His first name ain't baby. It's David... Mr. Jackson if you're nasty.Birds, Teen Angst, and High Fantasy: Three Books That Changed My Life…
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Amazon, Friends, and Family

There’s been a bit of hullabaloo lately in the writing community and–SURPRISE–it’s all about our favorite website, Amazon.

Click here to read a nice, concise summary of the new policy.

Firstly, Amazon decided to ONCE AGAIN change the way books are reviewed. Remember the “Like” buttons? And then the “Author Likes” and then the “Author Page Follows”? Well, now reviews are being weighted based on “helpfulness” (that box you get to check under each review) and “verified purchases” (if you actually bought the book through Amazon, as opposed to another reputable dealer).

I didn’t bat much of an eyelash at this one, since Amazon seems to change this aspect of Likes and Reviews and Follows about once every six months. I don’t even bother asking my fans to “support me” every time this happens, forcing them to ask “How high?” just because Amazon has once again yelled “Jump!”

I’ve learned not to get too attached.

TRIXTER... <br /><a href=Read the Rest…

To Be Or Not To Be…a Local Author

Lunch Money -- Family Indie Rock for Kids!It’s June, everyone! Three weeks ’til midsummer, countdown to the end of the school year, and advent of THE SUMMER READING PROGRAM.

I love Summer Reading Programs. Always have. Even before I was a Children’s Librarian running puppet storytimes and painting faces at Carnival, I was a kid checking out 20 books every two weeks (the Richland County Public Library max at the time) and racking up the prizes.

This past weekend, my friends in the band Lunch Money held a concert to kick off the RCPL Summer Reading Program. (If you happen to have young children in your life and they don’t have these CDs, they are missing out!) J.P. texted me after the show and told me that he’d name-dropped my one of my children’s books (AlphaOops: The Day Z Went First) during the set and highlighted the fact that I was a local author. By the end of the concert,…
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Judging A Book By Its Cover…and Then Writing It To Match

The manuscript for my fairy tale novella, Trixter (available today!), was supposed to have been finished in January. I had not factored in home renovations, my father’s surprise birthday party, Marscon, houseguests and a dual book launch (Hero & Dearest).

Oops.

So I found myself back in DC for the NoVa Teen Book Festival in early March, having an impromptu Mermaid Brunch with Kerri and Dana. I’m sure I whined about the fact that the novella still wasn’t finished, but I showed them the preliminary cover art and smiled when their jaws dropped.

“Yeah,” I said, “it’s not exactly what I had in mind for the character…he’s really kind of scrawny in the book, but this cover is SO gorgeous that I’m going to keep it.”

Kerri and Dana–mouths still open–looked at me as if I was insane. (It’s a look I’m used to.)

“You have to do something about that,” said Dana.

“Your book is a fairy tale,” Kerri said vehemently. “Can’t you just…I don’t know…whip…
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Mermaids & Friends: Delilah S. Dawson

I met Delilah S. Dawson at Dragon Con. We were on a panel together — I forget how many years ago. She was the other author on the panel (besides me) wearing a fabulous costume. We did not sit next to each other. I slipped up and accidentally called her “Delia” and felt like an idiot. I don’t think I saw her again that year. But I remember thinking, That woman is really cool and I wish I knew her better.

Getting to know Delilah S. Dawson has been one of the better decisions of my life.

My love for Delilah started with her tweets of verbatim dialogue with her kids. (Delilah’s son once decided to be an evil supervillain whose goal was to shut off the sun. She asked him politely not to, because she needed it. His response: YOU HAVE A LAMP.) Then there was her blog, with its incredibly helpful entries on being an author and reader…
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Finding My Joy

Norton Nominated PrincessI finished a new novel yesterday.

I didn’t write the words “THE END” because I was running late for a dinner party. I sent the last chapter to my mom (she reads chapter by chapter) and the whole thing to my editor and went off to watch the sunset at Cocoa Beach (technically, the Banana River).

I don’t think I was much fun at the dinner party. Which was okay–it meant I got to sit around and soak up other people’s stories for a while. And it allowed me to process some things.

Because I had just finished the first book I’m ever going to self publish.

I know what you must be thinking right now: “I get it. She got dumped by her publisher because she’s a terrible writer. Ugh. I don’t have to listen to this.” I know this is going through some people’s minds because it’s what went through my mind many, many times in those first…
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Three Books That Warped Heather Brewer

Alethea and Heather at the Less Than Three Conference 2014My dear friend, bestselling YA author Heather Brewer, has a new book out this week. In honor of the release of THE CEMETERY BOYS, I asked Heather if she would share with us a few of the books that made her into the fabulously awesome and darkly misfit Auntie we know and love today.

Three cheers for Auntie Heather and all her Minions!

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THREE BOOKS THAT WARPED ME INTO WHO I AM TODAY By Heather Brewer

It’s not difficult to admit that I was always an…unusual…child. Whereas most of the kids my age were reading The Babysitters Club books and Little House on the Prairie, my tastes leaned toward the dark and macabre. Horror was like candy to me. I watched it on television, in movies, read books. If it featured blood or monsters, I was instantly drawn to it. But there are three books that really stand out in my…
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Mermaids & Friends: K. Tempest Bradford

Hello, the Lagoon!

Alethea & Tempest, Blowing up the InternetsAlethea Mermaid here, swimming today with my first ever Writer-in-Residence at my Florida Oasis: K. Tempest Bradford! In addition to writing fiction, Tempest also writes reviews, articles, and opinion pieces for various magazines, both online and in print. One of her recent pieces for xojane challenged readers to broaden their reading horizons. A worthwhile challenge, n’est-ce pas? Except for one teeny tiny little detail…

Tempest’s article, with its clickbait title and similar photo, pretty much blew up the internet. Seriously. Be careful if you go read that original post. There are over 2500 comments–most posted within the first 72 hours–and the majority of them are not kind. Beyond that, Tempest was called names and threatened for even daring to suggest this challenge. A #lovetweetsfortempest movement was started to counteract some of the hate. The vileness spilled over into her other social media. The post went viral on Tumblr and was picked…
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The Writing Oasis

“I’m sorry,” Leanna texted me. “My life is just so crazy right now.”

“Everything is wonderful and there is no drama at my Writing Oasis,” I replied. “Just hurry up and get here.”

My dear bosom companion and book release-date sister Leanna Renee Hieber joined me here in Florida for two weeks in February for our Florida Fabulosity Book Tour, but she was not my first Writer in Residence. That honor belongs to K. Tempest Bradford.

I saw Tempest when I was in NY for BEA last June. She was contemplating giving up her very expensive (and falling to pieces) apartment in NYC and couch surfing with all of her great friends who lived all over the country. I knew where she was coming from — I contemplated  this very thing when I left Virginia. But, having previously been a homeowner, I have STUFF, so I require a home base. In fact, I had just put an offer in on a house in Florida. It needed a…
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