Writing short stories, even mini-fiction, can’t always be worked into a writing schedule; so for those authors who may not be able to let their characters play in the sand, I’ve invited them to a nighttime beach bonfire to have a drink, listen to the crashing waves, and answer a few questions of my own.
Can you tell us a little about yourself, something readers may not have heard before?
I am a former child actress—I starred in a local South Carolina PBS miniseries in the 80s called “Pass it Along.” I majored in Chemistry but hung out with a renegade band of Media Arts majors in college, which is how I got my first IMDb credit on a slasher film. I still feed my performance bug by hosting Princess Alethea’s Traveling Sideshow every year at Dragon Con (and others), performing videos for my Patreon subscribers, and narrating the occasional story for podcast magazines.
Official Bio: New York Times bestselling author Alethea Kontis is a princess, a voice actress, a force of nature, and a mess. She is responsible for creating the epic fairytale fantasy realm of Arilland, and dabbling in a myriad of other worlds beyond. Her award-winning writing has been published for multiple age groups across all genres. Host of “Princess Alethea’s Fairy Tale Rants” and Princess Alethea’s Traveling Sideshow every year at Dragon Con, Alethea also narrates for ACX, IGMS, Escape Pod, Pseudopod, and Cast of Wonders. Alethea currently resides on the Space Coast of Florida with her teddy bear, Charlie.
Can you introduce us to the world(s) that you have created?
Much like the fairy tales I raised myself on, every world I create is optimistic and shiny and wonderful…with an undercurrent of darkness and a streak of subversive intelligence so subtle that many readers don’t catch on. And when they do, it brings me great joy.
Will this be your first Coastal Magic or are you a veteran? What was it about Coastal Magic that drew you to it? Why have you continued to return?
I think this is my third year at Coastal Magic. Jennifer Morris and I are comrades from the trenches of Dragon Con. Which is excellent, because she knows exactly what brand of nonsense I bring to my tea parties.
If you’ve been before, what is your favorite CMC memory? If you’ve never been, what are you looking forward to?
Last year I was invited to cohost a Princess party with 4 or 5 other authors. There’s an infamous group shot out there where a smiling Lisa Kessler and I had NO IDEA that the ladies behind us were looming like Dracula’s wives. It’s one of my favorite photos ever. THAT is the kind of fun community I want to be a part of!
What was your inspiration when you created your characters and the worlds they live in?
For my most recent books set in Kristen Painter’s Nocturne Falls, I took my very first inspiration from the constant mention of Mummy’s Diner, reportedly the best diner in town. In my mind, that means it’s OBVIOUSLY run by Greeks. YES! I finally had the chance to base a character on ME and my family experience. Kai Xanthopoulos was named after my Aunt Kalliope and my Uncle Xanthos…her dad sees the future in coffee grounds (just like mine does) and her mother is a force to be reckoned with (have you met my mother?).
Many years ago, Dad made me promise never to get a job in the restaurant industry (like pretty much every other member of our family). But he didn’t say I couldn’t write about it!
Is there any part of your series, any of your series, world(s) that you would like to expand on in the future?
In the process of creating characters for my Nocturne Falls books, I invented a myriad of worlds waiting to have their stories told. There’s a secret town up in Vermont between Stowe and Underhill that was founded by elves; there’s a community of witches and Faerie exiles in suburban South Carolina; there’s an entire Goblin City and other places accessible only by magic mirror… These days, I find myself with too many ideas and not enough time to write them all! But fans will be excited to know that the first story based in one of these Mystic Towns will be out later this year!
How do you separate your imaginary world with real life?
Um…I don’t. Have you met me? If you could live in a world like mine, why would you ever subscribe to this “real life”?
If you could be one of the characters in your book for one day, who would it be and why?
I realized recently that I HAVE inserted myself as a character into my longer running series. In Arilland, I am Aunt Joy, Fairy Godmother and Puller of Many Strings. At Harmswood, I am Professor Blake (named after fellow CMC author Deborah Blake), Head Witch and Main Meddler in Affairs. I am both Glinda and the humbug behind the green curtain. Why on earth wouldn’t I be?
Don’t miss your chance to meet over 50 fabulous urban fantasy, paranormal, and romance authors at Coastal Magic next February! This super casual book-lover weekend happens on Daytona Beach, and gives everyone the chance to hang out with fellow readers and amazing storytellers.
REGISTRATION is now open! If you haven’t been to Coastal Magic yet, you’re missing out on a lot of fun. Be sure to keep up with all things Coastal Magic, by following it via your own personal social media drug of choice: Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | Pinterest | RSVP at the Facebook Event.