Alethea Kontis

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).


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…
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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!



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…
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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…
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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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Mermaid Takeover – Kerri Bumps Alethea

Here at the Mermaid Lagoon, we each get at least one day a month to blog. Today is Alethea’s day. Or was… [Insert ominous laugh]

That’s right, I’m stealing Alethea’s day! But before you get your fins in a bunch, don’t worry. It’s all to talk about our lovely, amazing, sparkly, Princess, massively talented, beautiful Mermaid Alethea. And bonus, she has a new book out today called Dearest, the 3rd book in the Woodcutter series, and it’s amazeballs! I’m not just saying that because she was my crazy-fun roommate in San Antonio who encouraged me to put whipped cream in my coffee every morning or make waffles in the shape of Texas.

So read on to learn more about our very own Alethea, what she’d make me for dinner, how she’s taking my dog to Hawaii, and which noise she really, really hates. (It’s a good one!) Go Alethea! Dearest Read the Rest…

Mermaids’ Favorite Fairy Tales

Hello, everyone! Alethea Mermaid here.

Hero in Paperback With Hero out in paperback this week and Dearest out next week, I’ve got a serious case of Fairy Tales on the brain (and Buzzfeed just told the world that fans of Once Upon a Time should read Enchanted…how cool is that?!?).

With all those Happily Ever Afters in my noggin, I took the opportunity to ask my fellow mermaids which tales were THEIR favorites.

(Mine? “The Goose Girl” by the Brothers Grimm. Followed closely by “Snow White & Rose Red” and “The Twelve Dancing Princesses” and “The Wild Swans” and “The Fairies”…)

Kerri Mermaid — My favorite fairy tale is Beauty and the Beast (the Disney film version). Not only do I love the idea of kindness and really getting to know who a person is on the inside, but Belle likes to read. And I dig…
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Mermaids from Coast to Coast

Alethea: I honestly believe that Carlene and I were destined to meet. Even on the day we officially met–around that table at the WRW luncheon that we relabeled “Misfits”–we realized we’d already met once before. “You might not remember this,” Carlene said, “but I saw you at a Sherrilyn Kenyon signing. You helped me take a photo.” “I am SO glad you said that,” I told her. “Because you look so familiar, it’s been bugging me.”

Carlene: Yes! Destiny it is. That was the weekend I joined WRW just so that I could meet Sherrilyn at that retreat. What I came away with was the blessing that is Uh-lee-thee-uh!

Alethea: Carlene and I were instant friends. Our shared love of music led us to a few concerts together, and mutual fangirl squeeing over bands.

Carlene: I still owe you a Kings of Leon concert!

Alethea: Carlene and her son even came over to my apartment and helped me pack during my escape from Washington DC to Titusville, Florida. Carlene moved this past…
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The Portable Career

As most of you know, I moved to Florida this summer.  In reality, I’ve been on the road since Christmas of 2013. (In between I’ve been temporarily parked at my parents’ house–my new place is *still* mid-renovation.)

Cities I Visited in the Last 12 Months (in chronological order):

The Traveling MermaidCharleston SC Baltimore MD Williamsburg VA Leesburg VA Abingdon VA Tampa FL Charlottesville VA Arlington VA Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada Charlotte NC Titusville FL (the big move) Rochester NY New York NY San Antonio TX Atlanta GA Burlington VT Montreal, Quebec, Canada Ft. Lauderdale FL …and then Charleston SC again this December, to come full circle.

For those counting, that’s nine states and two provinces. (It’s also very possible I skipped something in there.) Yes, I am definitely one very well-traveled Mermaid (and I’m not the only one…I know Denny Mermaid in particular tends to jet set at least…
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