Alethea Kontis

Last-Minute Wonder

My parents had a lot of rules when we were growing up.

And when I say a lot of rules, I mean at least 186–my little sister and I made a list at one point, that my mother swears still exists to this day. Soteria and I even wrote a song about it that we performed at Christmas a couple of years ago. Needless to say, the rules in my family are a tad infamous.

Now, not all of these were silly, needless rules. In fact, most of them were rather clever. One of my favorites is still “If you ask me if your friend can spend the night and your friend is standing right there, the answer is automatically NO.” But tops on my list will always be, “Your father and I will help you with every homework assignment and every project you have to do for school…until 24 hours before it is due. After that,…
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Sometimes, it’s all about context

You never know where a writer is going to get his/her next idea. There have been days when some of my most gorgeous writing was spent in emails…but I don’t consider that a loss. Sometimes, my genius will spark a Facebook discussion, or a re-tweetapalooza, or a reblogging storm on Tumblr.

This man’s writing genius was spent captioning photos and putting them to music. He has other songs, but this one remains my favorite. Yes, there are inappropriate things contained within…but SOMETHING here is going to make you laugh.

And sometimes, that’s what it’s all about. (Click here to watch video if embed player doesn’t come up.)

What’s some of the most clever non-traditional writing you’ve encountered?

With One Hand Tied Behind My Back

Why, YES, it bloody hurts.[Caveat: I am currently typing this post with my left thumb in a splint. Please excuse all the typos I’m sure I’ll find in the morning. –AK]

I am often asked what an average day in my writing life is like.

I have a rough outline of what my *ideal* day is like, in a world where conventions don’t exist, everyone is healthy and paid in a timely fashion, nothing is on television, the world is at peace, and the average temperature is 72 degrees Fahrenheit with a breeze. I have maybe a month of those days spread out throughout the year. And that’s a good year.

The rest of the year, my life is a bit insane. Yes, EVERYONE’S life is a bit insane. But there are times when my days reach Bridget Jones proportions. For instance, here’s an unedited example of an “average” day…
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What Was That Again?

I had a great idea for this blog post the minute I woke up. It was a fabulous premise, brief in nature, and open for comments. I was going to make the title “You Are Cordially Invited”, which would have been a clever play on…WHAT? ON WHAT? BECAUSE I CAN’T REMEMBER WHAT I WAS GOING TO WRITE ABOUT.

I’ve had these moments since I was a kid. I’ve written on receipts and postcards. I’ve scribbled a poem in the wee hours of the morning inside the back cover of a Richie Rich digest. When I got older, I started keeping a small note pad or a stack of post-its beside my bed (and in the shower) to write down random bits of genius.

When I started driving, my parents bought me a handheld tape recorder. When I got a phone, I would call myself and leave messages on the answering machine. When I upgraded to an iPhone, I began sending emails to myself.

I have a really great memory, and…
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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:

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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