Alethea Kontis

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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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…
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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…
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