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Horrorfind 2009 Pics

The pictures from Horrorfind Weekend are up! I’ll be posting them to Facebook too, but if you want the captions & tags, you’ll have to check out the official Picasa album. Just click on the big happy family.

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Fiction Sale — “The Monster & Mrs. Blake” to Story Station

Hooray! Just got notified that "The Monster & Mrs. Blake" has sold to The Story Station! (

has a story up there now.) I’m super-excited about this one, because it’s one of my absolute favorite stories…and it’s for kids!!

Summary: Jeremy Blake has a big imagination. He’s eleven years old. He has a monster under his bed. And the monster’s getting bigger.  He’s too ashamed to tell any of his friends or his father about it, but he finally confesses the details to his mother…who knows a lot more about dealing with monsters than Jeremy ever dreamed.

I liked Story Station because their guidelines said they wanted "stories like Goonies," and that’s just awesome. No details yet on when the story will go live — I’ll let you know as soon as I hear.  Squee!!! I really can’t wait. You guys are going to LOVE this one.

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Horrorfind Weekend 2009

I’m home, finally, and I have got to get to bed. Tomorrow expect lots of updates and tons of pictures. In the meantime, please enjoy the BEST PICTURE OF THE WEEKEND, which I believe epitomizes everything about Horrorfind.

What would YOU caption this?

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2009 Southern Festival of Books

What? You haven’t heard about Southern Festival of Books?

The Southern Festival of Books: A Celebration of the Written Word is a three-day literary Festival celebrated each year during the second full weekend of October. It is free and open to the public. No advance registration or tickets are required. All seating is on a first-come basis.

Come one, come all, October 9-11 To War Memorial Plaza in lovely downtown Nashville. Go to the website to check out the amazingly long ilst of horribly famous authors you’ve known for years, and new blood you might want to check out. Follow them on Twitter (@SoFestofBooks) — they’re doing fun author trivia contests and giving away free books every Friday. For sure you should come see me host the Young, Fanged, and Undead panel. It will take place on Sunday, October 11 from 2:30-4:00 and features Melissa de la Cruz’s The Van Alen Legacy, Daniel Waters’ Kiss of Life, and David Macinnis Gill’s Soul Enchilada. (David and I go waaaaaay back — we were Orson Scott Card Boot Campmates together in 2003. Expect there to be some ribbing.)

And check out this official 2009 poster! It’s one of the best ones yet. The one on my wall starts out red at the top left and fades to purple by the bottom right…it’s really super lovely. A lot of people get the poster and then hang out all weekend, trying to get signatures from every single one of the guest authors. It’s a pretty classy idea. I’m tempted to try it myself!

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Fiction Sale — “Poor Man’s Roses” to Apex Magazine

Yay! I sold a story to Jason Sizemore at Apex Magazine called "Poor Man’s Roses." It’s a 2400-word dark science fiction tale set in the near-apocalyptic far future. It’s also a total homage to Patsy Cline.

I dedicate it to my fellow author and BFF Kelli Dunlap, who inspired me to come up with the idea (the woman being bled by her husband stuff, not the Patsy Cline stuff. I take full responsibility for that part).

I should have a contest to see how many Patsy Cline references people can guess. Of course, by now I’ve forgotten how many I actually crammed in.

Turns out, Jason was so excited about this story, he’s going to run it in the October issue. I’ll be sure to post a link when it’s out!

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Fiction Sale — "Poor Man’s Roses" to Apex Magazine

Yay! I sold a story to Jason Sizemore at Apex Magazine called “Poor Man’s Roses.” It’s a 2400-word dark science fiction tale set in the near-apocalyptic far future. It’s also a total homage to Patsy Cline.

I dedicate it to my fellow author and BFF Kelli Dunlap, who inspired me to come up with the idea (the woman being bled by her husband stuff, not the Patsy Cline stuff. I take full responsibility for that part).

I should have a contest to see how many Patsy Cline references people can guess. Of course, by now I’ve forgotten how many I actually crammed in.

Turns out, Jason was so excited about this story, he’s going to run it in the October issue. I’ll be sure to post a link when it’s out!

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The Princess and the Dragon*Con (3 of 10)

Number Three of my Dragon*Con Top Ten:
Meeting Paul McGillion
(or: Earth to Atlantis; come in Atlantis)

I mentioned earlier that due to my busy schedule I didn’t have many celebrity sightings this year – celebrity, of course, being someone of esteem that I don’t already have in my phone or on my Christmas card list. The two folks I caught a glimpse of who qualified were Anthony Daniels (C3PO from Star Wars) and Paul McGillion (from Stargate: Atlantis).

Now, there’s a whole story that revolves around the crew of Stargate: Atlantis, a story I promise to tell on the day I meet Jason Momoa and not before. Suffice it to say that it culminated in Janet’s and my hard & fast goal to introduce ourselves to every celebrity within arm’s length, no matter how intimidated, scared, or fangirl we might be.

So there we were in the Green Room. It was late. I was getting punchy. Everyone else was well on their way to being several sheets into the wind. Carl–the Green Room’s very tall bouncer whose job it is to bellow “Last call!” to no objections—offered me some high-octane vanilla cognac from his private flask. Not sure what Mike Lee was drinking, but he was loving the world and tipping well, so it must have been good…but not so good he wasn’t jealous of Carl’s favoritism toward women in low-cut dresses.

I had befriended a fabulous artist named Marrus (pictured right), whose friend explained how creeped out he was that I looked just like Marrus twenty years ago…and still looked quite a bit like her now, plus a few pounds and inches, and minus the frosted hair. We laughed and joked and carried on and yelled plans for the future in each other’s ears. See, once it gets packed and the evening wears on, the Green Room isn’t so much a haven as it is a really crowded bar with great snacks and free drinks. At first you only have to talk above the background music, the beer pong game, and the masquerade…later you have to yell above all the other people trying to be heard above all those other things too.

I followed Mike to the bar the first time as an excuse to walk by Paul McGillion. After like the sixth or seventh time, as folks were starting to head to other parties in anticipation of getting kicked out, I hooked Mike’s arm and dragged him slowly toward the door. I swear he said goodbye to everyone—which included bestowing a giant hug on Paul McGillion. Now, I had no idea Mike knew Paul. For all I know he probably doesn’t. But I stood there and smiled, and courteously after Mike said goodbye, Paul turned to me. And this is what happened.

Lee: (sticks out her hand & shouts) I’m Alethea Kontis! It’s nice to meet you!
Paul: (cups his ear) What!?
Lee: (leans in) ALETHEA KONTIS!
Paul: (smiles) Thank you! Thank you very much!

I tried to say something else just as he tried to say something else, and we both leaned in to scream it again in each other’s ears only to stand there in awkward silence. Paul then kissed me on both cheeks and said, “Have a good night!” Embarrassed, and feeling like I had just had a conversation with someone via tin can and string, I dragged Mike out the door after Janet, Leanna, and Chris.

WHAT had just happened? I touched my cheek. Paul McGillion had kissed me. Does it matter what happened?

The next day I stopped by the Sherrilyn Kenyon booth to tell my story to Eddie and Erin. They were just as confused as I was abou8t what had transpired. “What exactly did you say again?” Eddie asked.

“I just introduced myself,” I said, “and he said ‘Thank you.’”

“What exactly did you say?” said Eddie.

“I’m Alethea Kontis,” I said slowly, enunciating every syllable. There was a pause, and then we all started laughing. My cheeks flushed all over again. “He thought I was saying, ‘I love you,’ didn’t he?”

“That, and he probably thought you were very drunk,” said Erin.

I sighed. Not exactly that ‘meeting of soul mates’ moment that everyone wishes to have when introducing themselves to celebrities they admire. Then again—what is it I say?—some things are meant to be, and some things are meant to be great stories.

The next time we meet, I have a feeling Paul will get a kick out of this one.

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Smyrna Library Reading Rally

In which I am billed as "other special guests" because I don’t wear a big furry suit:

Join us for our annual Reading Rally, a midday festival to celebrate the written word, following a day of reading in all the schools in Rutherford County. This free festival will be held 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on September 25 at Linebaugh Library, Smyrna Library, and LaVergne Library. We’ll have visits from storybook character Clifford the Big Red Dog, Snowbird, Corey Fleming (former football player at UT and in the NFL), and other special guests. Plus: storytelling, magic, music, crafts and activities for children, face painting, free snacks and $1 pizza, and door prizes. Co-sponsored by Read to Succeed.

The Smyrna Public Library is located at 400 Enon Springs Road W., Smyrna, TN 37167. 

Phone: 615-459-4884  FAX: 615-459-2370

My reading time slot is 11:40 am.

I’ll bring AlphaOops, but chances are I might not read it. See…I *love* reading books, but reading AlphaOops every time is like Pat Benetar always having to sing "Love is a Battlefield." My two default read-alouds are AlphaOops and The Monster at the End of This Book. But it has occurred to me to beef up my reading shelf. Per a coworker’s suggestion, I will be bring Bark, George with me to the Reading Rally. I’m excited!

What are your favorite read-alouds? I need some books for my shelf. New, old, classics…suggest away. And thanks!

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Smyrna Libary Reading Rally

In which I am billed as “other special guests” because I don’t wear a big furry suit:

Join us for our annual Reading Rally, a midday festival to celebrate the written word, following a day of reading in all the schools in Rutherford County. This free festival will be held 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on September 25 at Linebaugh Library, Smyrna Library, and LaVergne Library. We’ll have visits from storybook character Clifford the Big Red Dog, Snowbird, Corey Fleming (former football player at UT and in the NFL), and other special guests. Plus: storytelling, magic, music, crafts and activities for children, face painting, free snacks and $1 pizza, and door prizes. Co-sponsored by Read to Succeed.

The Smyrna Public Library is located at 400 Enon Springs Road W., Smyrna, TN 37167.

Phone: 615-459-4884 FAX: 615-459-2370

My reading time slot is 11:40 am.

I’ll bring AlphaOops, but chances are I might not read it. See…I *love* reading books, but reading AlphaOops every time is like Pat Benetar always having to sing “Love is a Battlefield.” My two default read-alouds are AlphaOops and The Monster at the End of This Book. But it has occurred to me to beef up my reading shelf. Per a coworker’s suggestion, I will be bring Bark, George with me to the Reading Rally. I’m excited!

What are your favorite read-alouds? I need some books for my shelf. New, old, classics…suggest away. And thanks!

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My Grueling Commute to Work

Takes me about 20 minutes every day to get to the other side of that rainbow. Music helps pass the time.

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