Alethea Kontis

A Tale of Four Covers

(Crossposted from Alethea Kontis)

Sometimes you’re the bug, and sometimes you’re the windshield. Yes, folks, HERO really is getting yet another cover. This is the way of publishing, and I am so glad I have you all along for the ride.

When I was but a wee lass attending the Ingram Publisher’s Showcase (may it rest in peace), Harlan Coben once gave a hilarious talk–with slides–about the progression of his book covers. One of these days, maybe I’ll be able to give a similar talk. It may go a little something like this:

Once upon a time, I was approached by Harcourt and asked about a cover concept for HERO. I was sent various pictures of various models holding various swords, from which my editor and I picked the one we felt most resembled Saturday Woodcutter. Here’s what we chose

image009

…and here’s what we got.

Hero First Pass Cover

Now, I really…
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Our Valentine Gift to you…A Collection of Heroes

 

Hero Collection

To celebrate Valentine’s Day this year, the Mermaids have assembled a hearty and handsome collection of heroes for all our fishy friends. Here at the lagoon, we celebrate diversity in writing, living and loving, something I was so pleased to see come through in this real life and fictional collection.  We hope you enjoy.

From Alethea

Alethea Valentine

In high school, I had a poster from the movie Sidekicks on my ceiling (among many others). I used to dream that Jonathan Brandis and I were great friends. When he committed suicide in 2003, I was wracked with irrational guilt. Maybe if I had written to him, or even attempted to reach out…maybe nothing. Maybe not. I’ll never know.

But as authors, we have the power to make people live forever.

Recently, our Man Wars Mermaids started posting pictures of their schoolgirl crushes,…
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Healing Hands

Princess Alethea MermaidAs I mentioned last month, among my resolutions for 2013 were a few “Internal” goals. One of these goals I actually cheated and started before the New Year, mostly because I was in ghastly amounts of pain.

That’s right — I booked a massage.

Right now you’re thinking, “Oh, Alethea. What is wrong with you? It’s not terrible to book a massage, you selfish thing!” Part of me thinks that too. In fact, I thought that for so long, I never actually GOT a massage, because I was worried that I would fall in love with it and then never be able to afford it again. All I knew about massages I read in books and saw in movies. They looked like wonderful, magical things…especially for a writer with chronic neck & shoulder stiffness.

A few years ago, I tried a 30-minute chair massage. I was in severe pain for the next three days.

I tried…
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Swimming with the Mermaids: Carlene Love Flores

If you have never experienced in person the gorgeous and amazingly pure sweetness that is Carlene Love Flores, then I suggest you check your calendar and make an appointment to do so at your earliest convenience. If I could convey the effervescent loveliness with which Carlene so subtly reminded me to get my coughing, virus-ridden duff out of its funk and post the interview I did with her last month about her fabulous debut release, Sidewalk Flower, you, too, would wish you had such majestic and judicious grace.

I am as blessed and honored to have her as a Mermaid Sister as I am proud of her release…which just so happened to launch on my birthday. How’s that for awesome karma?

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Alethea Mermaid: Tennessee, California, Australia — what special meaning (if any) do each of these places have for you?

Carlene Mermaid: Let’s start at the end and work our way back (which fits since this is how I wrote Sidewalk…
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Got Books?

Princess Alethea MermaidHello, all–

My lovely fellow mermaids have let me take the lagoon today to spread the word about a project I’m working on.

I belong to quite a few national writers organizations, among them is the SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators). Our Mid-Atlantic region is working on a book drive for Sandy Hook Elementary School, and I am working to spread the word in an effort to collect book donations on their behalf.

If you’re in the middle of your post-Christmas clean up and are thinking about purging some gently used (or even new!) picture books, please drop me a line and I will send you the address of our regional coordinator. She is collecting all the books to send on to the school.

As Sandy Hook only encompassed grades 1-4, we are only collecting picture books. Yes, I, too, was reading at an advanced level by the age of eight, but…
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Class, Please Hand In Your Self-Evaluations.

It’s 2013! Congratulations: you’ve made it to another year!

While every morning or hourly call of the cuckoo is enough to start a new project, exercise, or 1000 words, the tick of the clock from one calendar to another is traditionally when we all get down to the nitty gritty and make The Big Life Plans We Hope To Not Lose Sight of In a Month.

We all make New Year’s Resolutions, whether we write them down or say them outloud or wish them on stars. What I am challenging all writers to do this year is to make GOALS instead of Resolutions.

Think about yourself as one of those annoying corporations with bad coffee and worse management, the kind that asks you to turn in one of those ghastly self-evaluations every year and forces you to set your own lofty goals, goals that may or may not have anything to do with the actual direction of the company, but paperwork that can be submitted on behalf of the pointy-haired…
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Guy Day: Interview with Santa Claus

Yes, it’s that time of the month again here in the Mermaid lagoon: Guy Day!

I would like to welcome an incredibly unique and special guest to our site today. I caught him during the off-season and used all my magical princess mermaid powers to persuade him to answer a few questions for this special day.

Please sit back, relax, and enjoy your milk and cookies while you read this EXCLUSIVE interview with the one…the only…SANTA CLAUS. 

Kill Your Darlings

So…I didn’t end up completing NaNoWriMo. Again. And let’s be honest–I didn’t really try. I finished my third pass of revisions by November 10th or so, but sometimes a body just gets SO EXHAUSTED that it’s like getting the flu. Everything shuts down, emotionally and physically, and you can barely get out of bed. The worst part is, we somehow have to find a way to let our bodies do this, and heal.

Thank the Water Gods for Netflix.

I love watching full seasons of TV shows at a time. They’re fun and pass the time…but it’s difficult to see ten of them and not have the writer brain consider dialogue, pacing, and plot structure. This month, I’ve learned quite a bit from two shows: How I Met Your Mother and Grey’s Anatomy.

HIMYM is, at its heart, just a really fun show. But if one considers everything those writers cram into 22 minutes, it’s nothing short of brilliant….
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The Mermaid Period

[Due to illness, the part of Kerri Mermaid will be played today by Alethea Mermaid. ]

***sprinkles glitter***

As some of you may know, I have a side job that I love…but one I can’t really talk about.

It’s not a “day job” — writing is my day job now, and I don’t make enough from this side job to do much more than pay my AT&T bill every month.

Lots of writers in the DC area have jobs they can’t talk about, so it’s a pretty common theme around here. Most of those jobs involve a security clearance. Mine involves lots of shots and First Aid training.

I am a substitute for the Loudoun County Youth After School program (YAS). It’s only three hours a day, on school days, and only when I get called in. I cover regular leader and supervisor positions in nine schools.

And that’s pretty much all I can tell you. Because when one…
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This.

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!

This is what happens when you land on the first day of NaNoWriMo and you’re still not done the read-through of the novel revision that was due on the 31st AND IT’S YOUR DAY TO BLOG.

*grin*

You’re all participating in National Novel Writing Month, right? Me too. My handle is Princess Alethea.

You will see from my stats that I have participated in NaNo a bunch of years, and I have yet to ever complete it. That’s right, folks, I have failed EVERY SINGLE TIME.

But that doesn’t stop me from trying.  As I learned from Sherrilyn Kenyon & Buzz Lightyear: Never Give Up! Never Surrender!

Based on the fact that I only had a few months to piece together a novel this summer (and then completely revise & partially rewrite it), I believe this year is my best chance of hitting 50K by November 30th.

But I’m not holding my breath.

For instance, I will probably get no new…
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