Alethea Kontis

Embracing Self-Plagiarism

One of the questions a writer is most-often asked is whether they are a “Plotter” or a “Pantser.” We’ve talked about it here on the Waterworld Mermaids a few times. Do you painstakingly outline things, or do you just fly by the seat of your pants and just write like the wind?

I tell people I’m a Plotter, only because the NaNoWriMo goal continues to elude me. The most I’ve ever been able to write in a month is around 36,000 words. Folks who can “Fast Draft” and do something like 50,000 words in a weekend completely blow my mind. *looks at Denny Mermaid*

Am I a Plotter by the true definition? No. Do I actually write all these things down on notecards and post-its and poster board? Not really. I’ve tried it. Short lists, sure. Bullet points. This sequel I’m working on? I outlined it for the publisher three times. The actually manuscript? Well…it kind of looks…
Read the Rest…

How Long Does it Take To Get Published?

“How long does it take to get published” is the title of fellow YA author Brigid Kemmerer’s blog post today. She makes some very good points and chats about her own story. (You should go read it…or at least click over to say hi.)

Like Brigid, I, too, get asked this question quite a lot.

“There is no ‘standard’ in how long it takes to get published,” says Brigid, and she’s absolutely right. Asking an author how long it takes to get published is even more subjective than “Where do you get your ideas?” An author can generally tell you where the seed for a particular novel/story/scene came from. In order to answer “How long does it take to get published”, you have to know two things: Where to mark the START and the END.

How long have you been with your significant other? Married couples get to celebrate an anniversary on the day the got married, but…
Read the Rest…

The Ultimate Sacrifice

This was so much easier when I lived alone.

It took six years for Enchanted to go from being a published short story to a faced-out hardcover at Barnes & Noble. I had the luxury of dropping the manuscript whenever I wanted to write a short story in Excel, or scold Dark-Hunters, or help my friend Janet with an art show. But when I finally made the push to finish the novel, I drove to Starbucks every evening after work and didn’t go home until I had written at least 1000 words. Some days, I only had coffee for dinner.

That doesn’t really fly when you have a family.

First of all, the only decent Starbucks with a sitting area is 5 miles from the house, and it is PACKED night and day. Going there is a commitment in which I must stalk one of the oversized chairs by the fireplace, and then pray that…
Read the Rest…

The Adventures of Supermermaid #1

I am a comic book geek, dyed in the wool from the tender age when I could lift my first Archie Comics Digest. Casey and I loved Elfquest in middle school. I moved on to Arkham Asylum and the X-Men Phoenix Saga and John Byrne’s Next Men when I was a teen. In college, my boyfriend gave me a graphic novel by that guy Tori Amos was always writing into her songs–at my first Dragon*Con, Charles Vess drew the Sandman in silver paint pen inside my first edition hardcover of The Wake. It’s one of my most prized possessions.

I’ve been to comic book conventions before, spoken to artists and authors, found new things and scavenger hunted for signatures. But this past weekend at HeroesCon 2012 was my very first time BEHIND A TABLE.

I snuck into the comics industry through a hidden passage in the hedgerow. My collaborator on The Wonderland Alphabet: Alice’s Adventures Through…
Read the Rest…

Snakes & Snails

I began writing this bog post on April 29th, in the main lobby of the Best Western Westminster, less than an hour after the WRW Retreat officially ended. A few of the Mermaids convinced me to stay on a few extra days with them, to work on my massive pre-book-tour to-do list in solitude and sisterhood.

***************

I have my spoon, and I’m all set to dig my way out of Shawshank. The adventure I’m about to embark upon is a massive undertaking of my own creation, but I am equal to the task because I AM AMAZING.

I am also a mess.

I feel like I’m completely coming apart at the seams. I managed to hold the AWESOME together until last night at dinner, when Robyn Carr told us that everything was going to be all right.

I’ve always said that if I could go back in time to tell my teenage self anything (apart from “Boys…
Read the Rest…

Happy Mothers’ Day!

For Mothers’ Day, I asked my beautiful mother to write a guest post for me on my blog. I thought it would be something cute and fun for everyone, and it wouldn’t take up too much of her time.

I had no idea what a big deal this would be.

I mean, I’ve been blogging for almost a decade. It’s like riding a bike. But while Mom’s an avid reader and frequent commenter, she reminded me that it’s a completely different situation when you’re on the other end of that post.

*************************************

Write a guest blog? Sure. How hard can that be?

Now, what shall I write about?

Since nothing immediately popped into my head I decided to consider some of the suggestions made by others. Hmmmm, “35 things” you do not know about me? Interesting – since everyone knows that my special number is “35”. (Well, maybe you don’t know.  I use that number as often as possible. …
Read the Rest…

Pervasive Sexual Innuendo

As promised last month, when I got off on a Hunger Games tangent, this is my actual, intelligent post about Team Edward vs. Team Jacob. But I’m getting ahead of myself. The King of Hearts recommends beginning at the beginning, and so I shall.

So this novel I wrote (Enchanted) comes out next month, and the reviews (which I read) are pouring in from every direction. These reviews are all over the place–from one star to five stars–but that’s good. I don’t want everyone to love my book. I want some people to love it and some people to hate, because that sparks a conversation, and conversations make the world go round.

But this post is not about reviews. This post is about sex.

One reviewer on Goodreads (who shall remain nameless only because I lack the energy to hunt it down), mentioned that she couldn’t even finish Enchanted because of all the pervasive sexual innuendo.

Now,…
Read the Rest…

Team Katniss

So here’s the deal. I had this great post all ready to write about “insta-love” in YA novels (my new favorite term), followed by an actual, intelligent discussion of Team Edward and Team Jacob.

And then The Today Show ticked me off while I was at the gym (again…why can’t they change the channel?) and I decided to write up this fanatical little rant about The Hunger Games. As the film comes out this weekend, it seemed fitting. (And hell yes, I’m going to see it on Sunday.)

I loved every book in this trilogy. Loved them. It still bugs me that they’re written in first person present tense (if you ever have the urge to do that, PLEASE DON’T), but they are gorgeously written and incredibly fun…which is how it became this huge, colossal entity. (Unlike Twilight, the popularity of which still baffles me.)

What the Hunger Games is NOT, is a trilogy of romance novels. Sure, there are romantic elements in it,…
Read the Rest…

On The Quality of Skin

I’m going to begin this blog post the way I hate people starting emails: with an apology.

I am sorry. I was wrong.

I have, in the past, on numerous occasions, stated vehemently that I do not read reviews for my books. Yes, I will skim through them if my editor sends them to me, because she has taken the time to collect them and copy them and mail hard copies to me, and ignoring her hard work would be a disservice. But I do not want to be one of those people who checks Amazon or Goodreads every day hour minute for affirmation. I do not want to yell and scream and tilt at windmills because some reader called me out for something they obviously misconstrued, or gave me one star in revenge because I cheated during the sixth grade spelling bee. I do not want to be weeping in a ball on the tiles in my…
Read the Rest…

Write What You Know

“Write what you know.”

Ugh.

I hate this cliche bit of writing advice. I first heard it as said to Jo March in Little Women, and then again and again as I dove into the deep, Olympic swimming pool of the writing world.

The trouble with this advice, as with all cliches, is there’s quite a bit of truth in it.

Which is so annoying.

How does one write about magical worlds and special girls with secret powers and evil queens and glittery unicorns when one lives in THIS world? I mean, look around. This world is full of dirty clothes and dirty dishes and traffic jams and bathroom scales and taxes. Taxes, for goodness sake.

Ugh. No way.

The work around this (for me) was to make my life magic. This sounds impossible, but it’s really not. What do you want your forte to be? Become the expert in that field. Vampires? Steampunk? Space Flight? Mermaids? Look…
Read the Rest…

Follow

Get every new post on this blog delivered to your Inbox.

Join other followers: