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My DragonCon 2015 Schedule

Princess Alethea -- DragonCon 2011The con is still two weeks out, so this is subject to change, but here’s what I’ve got right now. Also, not 100% sure I’m walking in the parade yet. Will update everyone when I know for sure.

[Edit: YES I WILL BE WALKING IN THE PARADE. 10am Saturday — look for me with the Dark-Hunters! Xox]

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Title: Princess Alethea’s Traveling Sideshow
Description: Readings, music, & more from a motley band of costumed authors, plus swag!
Time: Fri 07:00 pm Location: A707 – Marriott (Length: 1 Hour)
Moderator / MC for panel
(Tentative Panelists: Alethea Kontis, Leanna Renee Hieber, Gray Rinehart, Lisa Mantchev, Delilah S. Dawson, Zac Brewer, D.B. Jackson)

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Title: Reading: Alethea Kontis
Time: Sat 01:00 pm Location: Marietta – Hyatt (Length: 1 Hour)
(Tentative Panelists: Alethea Kontis)

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Title: Autograph Session
Time: Sat 02:30 pm Location: International Hall South – Marriott (Length: 1 Hour)
(Tentative Panelists: Alethea Kontis, Sherrilyn Kenyon)

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Title: The Source: Folklore & Mythology in UF
Description: Urban fantasy is rooted in age-old myth, legend, and folklore. Authors discuss influences.
Time: Sun 01:00 pm Location: Chastain ED – Westin (Length: 1 Hour)
(Tentative Panelists: Alethea Kontis, Leanna Renee Hieber, Jean Marie Ward, Jonathan Maberry, Valerie Hampton, Samantha Sommersby)

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Title: An Hour with Sherrilyn Kenyon
Description: The bestselling author of Darkhunter and Chronicles of Nick series answers your questions.
Time: Sun 04:00 pm Location: Augusta Ballroom – Westin (Length: 1 Hour)
(Tentative Panelists: Sherrilyn Kenyon, Alethea Kontis)

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Princess Alethea’s 7 Dragon Con Survival Tips

My Family Reunion has a logo. Does yours?There are many Rules of DragonCon that those of us who are perennials have adopted over the years. Most of them revolve around elevators (You have to go down to go up. Always make room for the handicapped. Always follow a Ghostbuster) or walkways (Don’t take photos in the walkways. Avoid the habitrails on Saturday night). But more of these have been silently adopted simply for our personal survival.

Here are my top seven (with bonus Pro Tips) – please feel free to add more in the comments!

1.) Plan out your wardrobe, including day-to-day costume/outfit changes. This is a hard-core necessity for the heavy cosplayer, but I highly recommend it even if your choices include what geeky t-shirt to wear on what day. Parade outfits become gross and are typically one-use only. If you’re planning to wear a corset most of the time, also plan a down-time outfit so that you can at least eat or drink one meal comfortably at the end of the day. (The same goes for your shoes!) This plan helps when you’re packing, sure, but in the chaos of the con, something as simple as knowing what you’re going be wearing on each day is a HUGE help.

2.) STAY HYDRATED. You will hear this a lot during the con, because it never stops being true. If you can, buy a flat of water for your room. Carry a bottle with you at all times, and when you finish it, REFILL IT. There are giant water dispensers outside most of the panel rooms, and there are always water fountains outside the bathrooms.

Parade (Dark-Hunters) 2014Pro Tip: Play the Dragon Con Drinking Game. When someone you’re with asks you if you need anything, have them get you some water. If you already have water, TAKE A DRINK (of water, guys, come on). Your friends will notice that you are fading before you do.

3.) Eat something. It’s up to you to know your personal food tolerances. It’s fine if you want to let go and eat overpriced heatlamp stuff from hotel food carts all weekend – at the very least, take a multivitamin every day, willya? My three big trouble areas are 1.) I’m always on the go 2.) I’m usually wearing a corset and 3.) I’m prone to migraines.

My saving graces are protein bars (no less than 10g protein per bar). I pack a variety—especially the Kind bars w/protein. I’m usually so busy I don’t take more than a few bites. But every time someone I’m with asks me if I need anything (See: “Dragon Con Drinking Game”, above), I take a couple of bites (and a swig of water). This way my blood sugar stays up without crashing, and I stay comfortable in my corset. (For about 12 hours anyway.)

Pro Tip: Keep some sort of food on your person at all times – if not for you, then maybe for the person beside you about to go into diabetic shock. I literally had this happen in front of me a couple years ago, and it scared me to death. NEVER AGAIN.

4.) Shower at night. I always take my shower before I go to bed, even if it’s 4am. It can be a struggle, but the mental decompression is SO worth it (as is waking up clean and ready for that next costume and makeup). I also make sure to have a variety of herbal teas on hand in my room (with honey, for when the voice starts to go) to help me calm down and get to sleep.

If you’re like me, you burn like a firework for four days straight – taking a sleeping pill in the middle of all that would absolutely throw me off. Late showers, herbal teas, and aromatherapy are some nice natural ways to come down off that high long enough to catch a few healthy zzzzzs.

No one remembers the Anarchy Cheerleader...5.) Diaper rash cream is your friend. There it is, my dark and dirty secret! Look, folks, Atlanta is HOT in September. You will sweat in places you have never sweat before (especially if you walk in the parade). You will chafe. You may experience heat rash. Happily, there’s help for that! Put some diaper rash cream over your problem areas after you take that shower. Reapply before putting on your costume for the day. YOU WILL THANK ME.

Pro Tip: If you have sensitive skin, check the ingredients on a variety of diaper rash creams. I am allergic to aloe, so I can not use Desitin…but I can use the high powered generic Wal-Mart brand, which is mostly just zinc.

6.) Icy Hot/Tiger Balm is your friend. Feels great on sore muscles and sore feet. (Just don’t put this on directly after that shower unless you really want to feel the burn.) An ace bandage or two is also handy to have, to secure cold towels or ice packs to sore feet. Which reminds me:

7.) Bring a First Aid kit. Include the basics: Headache medicine, multivitamins, Benadryl, band-aids. An ace bandage or two can be a great help. A safety pin can be a life saver. In fact, throw the whole mini-sewing kit in there. And a few temporary tattoos. Because when that giant mysterious bruise of unknown origin appears before your panel with Stan Lee, a temporary tattoo makes a GREAT coverup. If you have roommates, earplugs and an eyemask can also be lifesavers. As will a travel bottle of Febreeze.

There are a bunch of smaller ones that, again, come down to personal preference – bringing bath towels and bath soaps from home, buying all your liquor before you get there, what types of insoles to put in your shoes and even how (and how long) to wear wigs and “travel hair.”

Your turn. What else can I add to this list?

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Alethea Kontis is the author of the AlphaOops picture books, Sherirlyn Kenyon’s Dark-Hunter Companion, and the award-winning Books of Arilland fairytale series. She is the host of the all-star Princess Alethea’s Traveling Sideshow every year at DragonCon. 

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My 2014 Dragon Con Schedule

2014 DragonCon App CodeHey there, everybody! Are you ready for Dragon Con 2014?

Here’s my schedule for the weekend (be sure to download the DC App — here’s the QR code for you!). You may notice my distinct lack of autographing times here…but DO NOT WORRY.

Sherrilyn Kenyon also does not have any officially scheduled autographings — that’s because we will both be signing books at her booth in the Exhibitor Hall at various times throughout the weekend. I will also be signing books at the TAIREN’S LAIR booth, and I hope to also have books with me at the SON OF NO ONE book launch on Thursday night.

I will absolutely be signing books all through Dragon Con! The best way to keep up with me–as always–is to follow me on Twitter: @aletheakontis

Hope to see you there! We’re going to have a blast! xox

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Title: Sherrilyn Kenyon’s SON OF NO ONE Book Launch Party
Description: Join fellow Dark-Hunter fans in celebration of Sherrilyn Kenyon’s new book, SON OF NO ONE — (music provided by DJ)
Time: Thurs 08:30pm Location: Sheraton Grand Ballroom A-F (Length: 3 hours…at least)
Moderator / MC for party

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Title: Princess Alethea’s Traveling Sideshow
Description: A motley band of talented (and costumed) authors offers an entertaining hour of readings, musical numbers, and more.
Time: Fri 08:30 pm Location: A707 – Marriott (Length: 1 Hour)
Moderator / MC for panel
(Tentative Panelists: Alethea Kontis, Leanna Renee Hieber, Gray Rinehart, E. C. Myers, Delilah S. Dawson, Mari Mancusi, Diana Peterfreund)

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Title: Folklore & Mythology in UF
Description: Our panel of authors discusses how they employ folklore and/or mythology in their work.
Time: Sat 01:00 pm Location: Chastain ED – Westin (Length: 1 Hour)
(Tentative Panelists: Leanna Renee Hieber, Alethea Kontis, Samantha Sommersby, Jeanne C. Stein, Faith Hunter, Suzanne Church)

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Title: Reading: Alethea Kontis
Time: Sat 02:30 pm Location: Edgewood – Hyatt (Length: 1 Hour)
(Tentative Panelists: Alethea Kontis)

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Title: An Hour with Sherrilyn Kenyon
Description: Audience Q&A with the bestselling author of the Dark Hunter, Chronicles of Nick, The League, and Belador series
Time: Sun 01:00 pm Location: Augusta Ballroom – Westin (Length: 1 Hour)
(Tentative Panelists: Sherrilyn Kenyon, Alethea Kontis)

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Title: Packing a Powerful Punch: YA Urban Fantasy
Description: Authors discuss why Young Adult Urban Fantasy can have just as much visceral and emotional impact as that written for adults.
Time: Sun 02:30 pm Location: Chastain ED – Westin (Length: 1 Hour)
(Tentative Panelists: Delilah S. Dawson, A. J. Hartley, Mari Mancusi, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Alethea Kontis, Diana Peterfreund)

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Alethea’s BEA 2014 Schedule

Signing at FaerieCon East 2013For those friends attending BEA — here’s where I’ll be:

May 29-June 1
BEA
New York, NY
* Thursday May 29, 11am signing at SFWA Booth
* Thursday May 29, 7pm Audie Awards
* Friday May 30, 2pm signing at SFWA booth
* Saturday May 31 10am signing at RWA Booth

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So far, for side activities I also plan to attend the BAEN party on Friday night, and Lady Jane’s Salon on Monday evening (I’m not performing, just attending).

Also, it looks like I will be signing HARDCOVER COPIES OF HERO during all of these signings. My publisher made it sound like there won’t be enough (or any?) DEAREST ARCs available…but last year I signed about four boxes of HERO ARCs for five hours that weren’t supposed to be there either. So you never know. I won’t hold my breath, and just hope to be pleasantly surprised.

Hope to see you there!

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Princess of Niagara, Part Deux

…and then there was this.
Breathtaking.

Brethtaking Rainbow, Niagara Falls

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Princess of Niagara

My favorite photo of the trip so far, I think. Capturing this brief moment made me impossibly happy.

The Niagara Falls Rainbow

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AK April Appearances

Hello, everybody!

I’m trying to squeeze everything in before I hie myself back to Florida at the beginning of May…so if you can make it to any of these VA/MD appearances, I would *love* to see you!

14 — WBN reception, Cascades Library, 7pm
16 — WBN reception, One More Page Books, 7pm
17 — Maryland Romance Writers meeting (special guest Kimberly Kincaid!)
22 — World Book Night USA event, Gum Springs Library, 7pm

Beyond that, it’s Teen Book Festival in May (more hugs for Jordan!) and BEA…and then not a peep from me until RWA Nationals! xox

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Give the Gift of Reading

Hero, October 1, 2013Would you like a book personalized & signed by Alethea? Contact One More Page Books in Arlington at 703-300-9746 or via email to place your order.

Online affiliate links for Alethea’s books can be found HERE.

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Young Author Workshops in 2014

Hello, everyone!

Here’s something for you to pass on to local young people who might be interested — classes will be limited to around 20, so be sure to sign up fast!

I will be doing four writing workshops at the Rust Library here in Loudoun County (Leesburg), FOR TEENS ONLY!
Here is the schedule:

Wednesday January 22, 7-8pm
Session 1: What makes a story? How to wrangle your ideas, formulate your plot, and tell a story from beginning to end.

Wednesday January 29, 7-8pm
Session 2: Finish what you start! You have a great beginning, but this could go on forever. Where do you stop? And how?

Wednesday February 5, 7-8pm
Session 3: Get yourself out there! Formatting manuscripts, proper submission etiquette, and how to find the short story market that’s right for you.

Wednesday February 12, 7-8pm
Session 4: But…I’m AWESOME! Dealing with rejection. Dealing with edits and critiques. Discussing the business of publishing.

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Rochester Teen Book Fest (TBF) Lineup!

Next year’s TBF (May, Rochester NY) is going to be AMAZING and I can’t WAIT.

I’m so honored to be a pert of this all-star lineup!

     Laurie Halse Anderson      Jay Asher      Jonathan Auxier      Leigh Bardugo      Charles Benoit      Cecil Castellucci      Joelle Charbonneau      Alexandra Coutts      Gina Damico      Simone Elkeles      Kami Garcia      Lisa Greenwald      Ellen Hopkins      A. S. King      Alethea Kontis      E. Lockhart      Alex London      Michelle Madow      Lauren Myracle      G. Neri      Nancy Ohlin      Marie Rutkoski      Tess Sharpe      Neal Shusterman      Andrew Smith      Meagan Spooner      Margaret Stohl      Cristin Terrill      Terry Tru

Which reminds me…I need to update my 2014 tour list soon…

*adds to to-do list*

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