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The Golden Band (7th Grade Edition)

Cover Illustration by Casey Cothran, circa 1988

The Golden Band
Cover Illustration by Casey Cothran, circa 1988

There are authors I know who say they would rather die than ever show their first attempt at a novel to the world.

I am not one of these authors.

In the Fall of 1987, my English teacher decided that she wanted our class to write in a journal every day. I did not like this teacher and decided I did not want her knowing anything personal about me, so I announced in my first entry that I would be writing an ongoing story for the duration of the class.

Now, this teacher wasn’t that sharpest tool in the shed; she did not seem to notice the speed at which my writing improved and my journal entries lengthened. She did not care what I wrote (if she even read it)–it only mattered that there was a date listed beside every entry so she knew where to make her check mark. She never spoke to me about my broken idea of plagiarism, this fear of copying someone that kept me from writing at full speed until many, many years later.

And yet, despite all that, I thank this teacher. Because, at the heart of it, and though it wasn’t her intent, she taught me how to write a novel.

I was eleven years old.

When I met Amanda Havard at MISTI-Con this year, she introduced me to a website called WattPad — a free fiction site frequented by fan fic folks and many others looking for a good read. (You can even check out her first novel, The Survivors, there for absolutely free. I highly recommend it! But if you’re like me, you’re still going to want the immersedition…)

WattPad seemed the perfect home for this project I’d had on the backburner for years: to post my original novel, in its original form, complete with Author’s Notes and Teacher’s Comments. (I’ve put those in the comments section below each chapter, for ease of reading.)

The Golden Band  is now published there in its original incarnation, as I wrote it in my journal in 1987. It’s entitled The Golden Band (7th Grade Edition).

The 7th Grade edition of this novel only runs through Chapter Seven — at that point, in the summer before 8th Grade, I decided I could go no further until I had fixed certain elements at the beginning of the story that just didn’t fit anymore.

Now that I have fully entered the 7th Grade Edition, I will be posting the new edition, in installments, also on WattPad. It will be called The Golden Band (High School Edition).

I encourage you all to check out the story, follow along, and make comments as you see fit. Above all, I hope you enjoy this peek into the time capsule from the Life of Alethea Kontis.

xox

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A Princess by Any Other Name

The Waterworld MermaidsToday over at the Waterworld Mermaid lagoon, I’m talking about name pronunciation…specifically, my own.

This has been a very harrowing six weeks, and having people call me by the wrong name for that long is possibly the reason for the migraine I’m currently having.

How badly has YOUR name ever been mangled? Tell me all about it HERE.

I’m often asked by friends if I’d rather go by “Alethea” or “Lee.” My answer: as long as you can pronounce “Alethea” correctly, it doesn’t matter.

I also answer to “Princess.”

xox

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The Publicity Machine Rolls On

Some really great quotes on the back...Those following on Facebook (and sometimes Twitter) know that right now publicity for the paperback of Enchanted is the LAST thing on my mind right now, as my niece undergoes a very dangerous heart surgery up in Burlington, VT.

But, as my very wise and significantly more published friends have reminded me, the publishing machine does not stop for us, or our troubles.

I appreciate all the efforts of fellow bloggers and podcasters to help further the sales of my books — I implore to you check out all of these things, and enjoy!

Meanwhile, I’m going to be over here doing more work and waiting for  updates on Alana. Stay tuned to Facebook for more. xox

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* Jonah Knight invited me back to the Pros and Cons podcast while I was still in CA to chat about Nebula Awards Weekend. Have a listen here. (length: 19:00)

* The Regency Inkwell posted a fabulous interview with me about Enchanted and my writing process.  Read that here.

* I completed a very long (and very fun!) interview on Kids Books Ink…and they published it almost immediately. Thanks, guys! Check that out here.

* And just in case you haven’t purchased a paperback copy of Enchanted for yourself and your ten closest friends, you can just follow this link here and take care of that.

 

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HeroesCon 2013

Wait…you thought BEA was the end?  [insert maniacal laughter here]

This weekend I’ll be sitting pretty in Artists Alley at HeroesCon in Charlotte, NC. Kids 12 and under get in free!

Please stop by if you’re in the area, my table is AA-2004 (on the outside edge toward the back–click the link for a map).

I’m not scheduled on any panels (that I know of), so find me at the table! I’ll be sharing with my good friend & fellow Codexian Alex Wilson. We’d love to see you!

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[Edited to add: Have just been contacted by HeroesCon & told that, essentially, because I have AT&T my phone will be useless during the convention. I don’t mind uploading all my pictures afterwards…the part that stinks will be when I can’t accept credit cards. (GAH.) Joe and I will do our best to find a way to work around this, but if you’re planning to shop at HeroesCon this weekend, you’re going to want to make sure you have a decent amount of Cash On Hand. I’m not going to be the only table with this problem.]

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Nine Minutes of Awesome

Hey, Mom–

I know you couldn’t be in NY for my Books of Wonder panel on Wednesday, but THAT’S OKAY, because one of my lovely new friends from MISTI-Con was brilliant enough to record me introducing myself, my love of fairy tales, and my summary of Enchanted.

It’s nine minutes of Princess Alethea Awesomeness! (And for something I threw together off the cuff, pretty coherent, if I do say so myself.) Enjoy! xox

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My Hero, Sarah Beth Durst

Hero, October 1, 2013My dear awards-sister, Sarah Beth Durst, has already devoured her ARC of HERO and has this to say:

“I loved HERO. It’s the kind of book that makes you smile from the inside out.–Sarah Beth Durst, author of Vessel

How wonderful!  I’m all aglow.

Thank you, Sarah!!!

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Do Not Miss This

The gorgeous Nebula of Kim Stanley RobinsonI posted a Very Important Essay on the Waterworld Mermaids site today called “How to Lose an Award Without Losing Your Mind.”

All you folks who were there with me (in body and spirit) the night of the Nebula Awards — you’re not going to want to miss this one.

It’s personal. Which means it’s a good one.

xox

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Un-Oopsing the Alphabet

In this cute YouTube video, a young fan reads all of the AlphaOops letters…in order.

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