Alethea Kontis

That IS the Question

Alethea Mermaid

There is one question that every creative freelancer dreads.

It is not: “Where do you get your ideas?” (Some of us actually have a quite a good time making up stuff for that one.)

No, the question we all dread is the one our friend/family member asks as soon as we pick up the phone:

“Are you at work or at home?”

This question drives insane both artists and authors alike. Anyone who works from home can empathize. There seem to be no boundaries when a person works from home. It’s HOME. If you are at home, then clearly you are available to go to the store or pick the kids or go for a walk or lend me your chainsaw or look this up on Google or just chat for 3 hours. Right?!?

I mean, it’s not like your boss is going to fire you.

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A Rose by Any Other Name

My very first review in a major publication (AlphaOops, Publisher’s Weekly) had the wrong ISBN for the book. This caused more confusion than I thought it would, and I discussed complained whined about it to a mentor of mine. His response was: “Listen: it could be the worst review in the world. As long as they get the title of the book right, trust me, it doesn’t matter.”

In that regard, I am so glad that I’ve been blessed with titles like “Enchanted” and “Hero.” Even “AlphaOops” has been spelled right every single time.

Alethea MermaidWhich is a good thing, because my name has been butchered up and down the internet for years…and it’s only gotten worse.

My name is Alethea Kontis. Here’s how you pronounce it: http://www.teachingbooks.net/pronounce.cgi?aid=18395

I have a YouTube channel, on which I state my name at the beginning of every single video. It’s right…
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How to Lose An Award Without Losing Your Mind

Two weeks ago, I lost a very important award.

How important, you ask? Important enough that I had an essay posted about it on USA Today’s Happy Ever After blog the day before the ceremony. Important enough that my nerves had me writing this open letter to my mother on my blog…and her response the next day left me sobbing in the hotel room. But that–and dinner that first night when I discovered my Auntie Jeannine had passed away–were the only times I shed a tear.

Because, you see, the SFWA Nebula Awards Weekend this year was one of the best times I’ve ever had. I can’t think of a more fun way to lose an award. So I thought I might share some tips on what to do the next time YOU happen to be up for some major, ceremony-inducing monolith of Lucite.

Tip !: The…
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Zoraida Cordova Swims with the Mermaids

Zoraida, Queen of the MermaidsGood morning, everyone!

I hope you’ve all had as remarkable a month as I have. (And gods willing, a more relaxing one.) Are you ready for summer?

I thought I’d honor this fabulously scorching-hot day by sharing with you a really fun interview I did with my dear friend Zoraida Cordova. You’ll love her–not only because she is INCREDIBLY GORGEOUS, but because she also WRITES BOOKS ABOUT MERMAIDS.

That’s right — you heard me! Zoraida’s debut novel The Vicious Deep and its follow up, the recently-released The Savage Blue, are young adult novels that follow the adventures of Tristan: a young lifeguard on Coney Island who discovers that his father is…well…the Sea King.

I’ll let Zoraida tell you more in her own words! She and I recorded this interview while having a blast at MISTI-Con, a fantastic Harry Potter themed convention held in Laconia, New Hampshire…
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Happy Blogoversary to Us!

by Alethea and Kerri Mermaid

Alethea: This week, the Waterworld Mermaids celebrate our SECOND ANNIVERSARY of blogging! Can you believe we’ve made it this far? I mean…without killing each other?

Kerri: No!!! It seriously seems like just yesterday we met at the Washington Romance Writers’ Retreat in Leesburg, VA. Fun fact: we met the same day as the royal wedding. So a lot of us (me! me!) were tired from getting up at 4 in the morning.

Alethea: Some of the Mermaids asked that I talk a little bit about our origin and how we came to be. You can still read my first Mermaid post about it here…but I think what they really wanted me to mention was The FBI List.

Kerri: I told you not to tell people about me being on the FBI’s list!

Alethea: Bwahahaha! Okay, seriously: Back in 2011, before the retreat happened, the WRW released a list of attendees. Now, I’ve been to conferences the size of Dragon*Con, so I can appreciate…
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Stranger Than Fiction

Raise your hand if you’re a fan of Jude Deveraux.

*raises hand vigorously*

I am a HUGE fan of Miss Jude, having fallen in love with A Knight in Shining Armor when my mother brought it home in a bag of books she’d bought for me from the local Friends of the Library book sale when I was in my teens. (Those book sales saved my life, and if I could be a member of every Friends of the Library branch in the world, I would…but that’s another story.)

Right now, Jude Deveraux is making a rare appearance at the Romantic Times convention in Kansas City this weekend. Lamentably I am not at RT right now–because I am doing 4 conventions and multiple events across the US in the next 6 weeks and my stamina and wallet couldn’t take it–but I really wish I could be.

Happily, in this day and age of social media, I enjoy staying in touch with Miss Jude via her Facebook Fan Page,…
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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…
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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…
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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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