Alethea Kontis

A Metric Ton of the Mondays

Yeah. It's that kind of day. I don’t like being in a bad mood.

Yes, bad things happen and we deal with them. I don’t want to get it off my chest, or talk about it ad nauseum…I just want to move on.

When several bad things in a row happen, I want to quietly hide from the rest of the world until tomorrow.

Last night went south pretty quickly. I didn’t have the materials I needed for something, I got another email from Spark telling me that the picture book art file I took a day to fix was wrong AGAIN (it took me an entire day to upload it the first time), and YouTube called me a bad name and took away my rights to make advertising money on my fairy tale rant videos. Forever. Without telling me why. Or paying me what they owe me. Because apparently, they…
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Once Upon a Time

NaNo 2014Hello, the lagoon. Welcome to November! And you know what that means…NaNoWriMo!

Since I am 1.) not in the middle of editing or revising a novel at the moment and 2.) new to the East-Central Florida area, I have not only thrown myself straight into the fires NaNo this year, but I have committed to attend several of the Brevard County kickoff parties and write-ins in order to make a few friends and meet some like-minded folks. You know…people who just LOVE writing so much that they can’t seem to think about anything else.

What I’ve forgotten about fledgling writers, though, is that sometimes they would rather just talk about writing instead of actually writing. *sigh* Like teenagers who are in love with the idea of being in love.

And after the jaded “Get Off My Lawn” exasperation in me subsides, I remember what it was like. The dream of…
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Five Secrets of FLIRTING

My dear fellow Mermaid and Sparkle Twin Kerri Carpenter’s VERY FIRST BOOK releases this week — a novella called FLIRTING WITH THE COMPETITION.

My favorite parts of a story are the hidden gems. You know, those inside jokes that family members or close friends will get, those nods to literary, film, or musical influences that superfans will pat themselves on the back when reading. Like the way Tori Amos referenced Neil Gaiman in one song on almost every one of her albums. (That’s right, folks. I was not born a Gaiman Girl, I sprang into his world a fully-formed Toriphile.)

As a writer-geek who enjoys stuffing her books chock full of as many referenced oddities as possible, I am here to assure readers everywhere that we have as much fun including these hidden gems as you do when finding them.

Overall, I think it adds more to the reading experience–especially on multiple readings–when a reader knows more “Behind the Story” — we can connect with the author in…
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Learning the Hard Way

Nov 14 RWRI received my issue of the latest Romance Writers Report yesterday (the November issue), and was thrilled to find inside its hallowed covers not only an article featuring our very own Kerri Carpenter, but a mention of the Waterworld Mermaids blog as well…WOOHOO!

The article, by Laura Kaye, is called “Getting the Call, Despite Ourselves.” Kerri, along with other seasoned romance authors such as Mindy Klasky and Jill Shalvis, volunteer some of the mistakes they made on their road to publication.

It is never easy, this thing that we do…even when it seems like we’re getting cake, we know that we’ll be running marathons to work those calories off somewhere down the line. Some of us get lucky on that first break, but even those of us who did still pay our dues at some point.

Kerri explains in the article that her path to publication took seven…
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Bon Voyage: Locations in Writing

Notre Dame MontrealBonjour la lagune!

This past Sunday–my last official day in Vermont–my sister and her husband took me on a drive up to Montreal for the day. Despite life’s craziness, I’d thankfully had the presence of mind to grab my passport in anticipation of such an adventure.

Vermonters drive up to Montreal regularly: for an event, for the day, or for a weekend getaway. My brother-in-law used to deliver lost bags from the Burlington airport, which took him into Montreal so often that he makes both a fantastic driver and tour guide. We ate sushi and Greek food, visited the Notre Dame Montreal to light a candle for my nephew, and even stopped at a Chapters and Indigo so that I could sign some books (hooray, Canada for stocking all my YA novels!).

Mom and Dad and Soteria and I moved away from Vermont when I was six, so I hadn’t…
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No Such Thing

Vermont in the FallI do not believe in Writers Block. I do not believe in The Muse.

Writers who reference these things frustrate me.

I believe in the power of sitting my lazy butt in the chair in front of my computer and forcing myself to work, however much I don’t feel like it. I believe in Momentum.

Princess Alethea’s First Law of Writing Momentum: A writer at rest stays at rest. A writer in motion stays in motion, unless acted upon by an outside force.

And boy, can the Universe dole out some forces.

In the last nine months, I have dealt with a lion’s share of this crap–literally nine months from the posting of this blog–it started with driving my sister to Baltimore on Christmas Day so that she could have emergency spinal surgery at Johns Hopkins. Since then I have dealt with the illness and recovery of both…
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Using Your Power for Good

Princess Alethea MermaidA few years ago, I played a joke on the internet.

I was meeting up with my Aunt Theda in Baltimore — as many of you know, my Aunt Theda Kontis is a well-known ENT and Plastic Surgeon. She has her own practice, but she still teaches and consults every so often at Johns Hopkins. On this particular day, she let me know that it would be easiest to meet up with her by coming through the ER entrance.

So, for funsies, I took a picture of the ER sign in the Johns Hopkins parking garage and said something flippant.

Within 45 minutes, I had about 28974 Tweets and FB messages asking if I was okay. I received texts from multiple friends, including my sister, and then finally one from Aunt Theda (who had talked to my sister) that said, “You should call your mom.”

So I called Mom, who…
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Denny S. Bryce Wins 2014 Golden Heart

In which our very own Denny Mermaid receives the 2014 Golden Heart Award for Romantic Suspense…and we couldn’t be prouder! (As the following video will attest...)

CONGRATULATIONS, DENNY!

Mermaids & Friends: Deborah Harkness

Hello, all — Alethea Mermaid again here, in the lagoon with an author celebrating the release of her new book tomorrow: Deborah Harkness!

We’re all very excited about THE BOOK OF LIFE, the highly-anticipated final installment of her bestselling All Souls Trilogy.

Deborah joins us in the lagoon today to answer some questions about writing, and her new book. Take it away, Deborah!

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In your day job, you are a professor of history and science at the University of Southern California and have focused on alchemy in your research. What aspects of this intersection between science and magic do you hope readers will pick up on while reading THE BOOK OF LIFE? There’s quite a bit more lab work in this book!

There is. Welcome back to the present! What I hope readers come to appreciate is that science—past or present—is nothing more than a method for asking and answering questions about the world and our place in it. Once, some…
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Mermaids & Friends: Corinna Smith

I have a huge girl crush on Corinna Smith. She’s incredibly talented, kind, a great teacher, and loves kids…and she’s gorgeous to boot! I admire this woman down to my toes–er–fins. Really…she’s just magic. (She’s even a mermaid. I swear!) And her birthday was July 5th — happy belated birthday, Corinna!

Corinna had her violin stolen shortly after she joined up with the Adam Ezra group, who launched a successful Indiegogo campaign to raise the funds to buy her another one. She plays like a dream and is a phenomenon on stage…you just have to see her to believe it.

So hie thee to an Adam Ezra Group concert if they happen to be playing in our area. In the meantime, feel free to friend Corinna on Facebook…and check out her awesome interview, right here, right now!

[Edited to say: I think I always knew making music was like writing…but I wasn’t quite sure JUST how much until I read Corinna’s answers here. See? Magic.–AK]

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