This month sees the launch of Dearest by Alethea Kontis, Dearest is the third in that Woodcutter Sisters series Alethea Kontis is an acclaimed author of fantasy and fairy tale fiction, winning the Gelett Burgess Children’s Book Award in 2012 and the Garden State Teen Book Award i 2015 for Enchanted, the first book of the Woodcutter Sisters books. Both Enchanted and, Hero (Woodcutter Sisters #2) were nominated for the Andre Norton Award. She is also a prolific Vlogger on the subject of fairy tales.
How long have you been writing and how did you get started
I started reading when I was three and started writing poetry around the age of eight. Sometime around the age of eleven, I was bored and asked my mother what I should write. She said, “Go write me a new fairy tale.”
What do you like to do when you’re not writing, and does it come in useful for your stories?
I like to fish, paint, travel, meet new people and learn new things…and ALL of it is useful!
What is at the root of your current book/story?
The “base note” fairy tale is Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Wild Swans.”
Ebooks or Traditional?
What is the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever received?
Orson Scott Card looked at me and said, “Just write the book.” It was the look as much as the words themselves–the look said, You’re obviously a professional; why are you asking me a stupid question about taking more writing workshops?
Is there any genre or style of writing you haven’t tried yet but would like to?
I have written everything from greeting cards to anti-drug pamphlets to month-long Twitter serials (the last was written on an Excel spreadsheet). I’ll try anything…I love the challenge!
What aspects of writing to do you find the most tricky?
Putting my butt in the chair and avoiding distractions.
Romance: Pride and Prejudice or Fifty Shades?
P&P–with special props to The Lizzie Bennet Diaries.
Who has been your favourite character from your book/series and why?
Henry Humbug. Because…SPOILERS!
If you could have dinner with any writer in your field (past or present) who would it be and why?
Toss up between Roald Dahl and Lewis Carroll.
Is there one subject you would never write about as an author?
I can’t say that I would never write about illegal drug use…but I have zero experience in that area. Whatever I wrote would be based on secondhand knowledge. I’m happy to leave those stories to more experienced authors.
What was the first (*genre ) story you read and what kind of impact did it make on you?
My Memere gave me my first giant book of fairy tales when I was eight. It was a love that lasted forever.
Have you ever included people you know (disguised or not) in your fiction?
Absolutely! In Enchanted, Prince Rumbold throws up in a plant given as a wedding gift by Sir Jon Stafford, my favorite teacher in high school. At the ball, the dark-haired woman in the green dress is my friend Kat Deacon. In Dearest, all the Kates are named after my friend Kate Baker, because I was writing that scene on her birthday. Similarly, Niall and Rhiannon in Dearest are the spitting image of two very dear friends.
Fantasy: Lord Of The Rings or Howl’s Moving Castle?
GAH — Howl’s Moving Castle, of course!
What are you currently reading?
First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen
Who are some of your favourite authors and what is it about their work that appeals?
For subversiveness: Lewis Carroll. Ogden Nash. Gelett Burgess. Voltaire
For characters & dialogue: Jude Deveraux. Tamora Pierce. Robin McKinley.
For voice: David Sedaris.
For worldbuilding: Anne McCaffrey, Meredith Ann Pierce. Sharon Shinn. Diana Wynne Jones.
For writing the perfect book: William Goldman (The Princess Bride)
Comic: Batman or Fables?
Who would star in the film?
Dearest was the first novel where I actually cast some of the characters before I wrote them. The Swan brothers would be played by Noah Hathaway (Sebastien), Bradley James (Christian), Scott Grimes (Rene & Bernard), Jonathan Brandis (Tristan), River Phoenix (Philippe), and Thomas Brodie-Sangster (François).
What/when was the first piece of fiction you wrote? And what happened to it? (Be honest now!)
I started writing my first novel when I was 11 (The Golden Band). It’s on Wattpad.
If you could have written any other book what would it be and why?
The Darkangel Trilogy by Meredith Ann Pierce. To me, those are simply the perfect books. (And no one but William Goldman could have written The Princess Bride, or I would have picked that one.)
Conventions: when and where.
Any one I’m formally invited to, and Dragon Con. Always Dragon Con.
What are you up to next?
This year I will be publishing Diary of a Mad Scientist Garden Gnome (another illustrated collaboration with Janet K. Lee), Trixter (a Woodcutter novella), and a trilogy of short contemporary romance novels set in a small beach town in central Florida. I’m very excited about all of them!
Dearest is the third book in the Woodcutter Sisters Series and is another magical edition.
Hello, everyone! Princess Alethea Kontis here. I’d like to formally welcome you to a month that’s chock full of fantasy and fun –in shining, glittery fairy tale fashion, as only this princess can do! We’ve got surprises in store for you every day this month: insightful blogger reviews, in-depth interviews (complete with ridiculous Alethea-style answers), original essays, and fairy tale rants…it’s enough to make an evil witch’s toes curl. And each step of the way there are more chance to win one of three Princess Grand Prize Packs!
Like Sunday Woodcutter says, I cannot promise you a happy ending (or even nice weather, for that matter), but I can promise you a month of magic, merriment, and mayhem. Grab your cloak of invisibility, strap on your seven-league boots, grab your best talking-animal friend and let’s start this adventure!
February Tour Schedule
2 – Lilac Reviews
3 – Special post @ Waterworld Mermaids
3 – Coffee Books & Art & The Book Lovers’ Lounge
4 – Special post @ USA Today’s Happy Ever After
4 – Buried Under Books, Mommabears Book Blog, & Rabid Reads
5 – Interview @ J.T. Ellison
5 – Gidget Girls Reading
6 – Zerina Blossom & Geo Librarian
8 – Welcome to Book City
9 – Kelly P’s Blog & Katy’s Krazy Books
10 – Mel’s Shelves & Jan Edwards
11 – Katie’s Clean Book Collection
12 – A Backwards Story & Wishful Endings
13 – Library of a Book Witch & The Quotable
14 – Biggest Literary Crushes post on @ Teen Reads
15 – The Written Adventure
16 –My Life Loves and Passion & Colorimetry
17 – I Am A Reader & The Library of the Seen
18 – Special post on @ Teen Reads
18 – Printcess & Living a Goddess Life & Melissa’s Eclectic Bookshelf
19 – 100 Pages A Day & mrsjennyreads
20 – Books and Ashes & Addicted Readers
22 – Miss Little Book Addict YA House of Books
23 – SBM Book Obsession
24 – Deal Sharing Aunt
25 – Min Reads and Reviews
26 – Pieces of Whimsy & Wonderous Reviews
27 – The Scribbling Sprite
28 – Grand Finale
(Woodcutter Sisters, #1)
by Alethea Kontis
Hardcover & ebook, 308 Pages
May 8th 2012 by Harcourt Children’s Books
(Woodcutter Sisters, #2)
by Alethea Kontis
Hardcover & ebook, 304 Pages
October 1st 2013 by Harcourt Books
New York Times bestselling author Alethea Kontis is a princess, a fairy godmother, and a geek. She’s known for screwing up the alphabet, scolding vampire hunters, and ranting about fairy tales on YouTube. Born in Burlington, Vermont, Alethea currently lives and writes in Florida, on the Space Coast. She makes the best baklava you’ve ever tasted and sleeps with a teddy bear named Charlie.
photo Alethea Kontis courtesy of Lumos Studio 2012