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Woodcutter Sibling Birth Order

Good morning, everyone!

Lily asked a very good question on another post: “What’s the birth order of the Woodcutter siblings?”

Obviously, Monday-Sunday are easy to figure out. It’s one of the reasons I liked using those names–with so many daughters in a family, I could have easily confused my readers. But what about the boys?

At one point during a copyedit of Enchanted, I was forced to change the age of Prince Rumbold, which then changed a lot of the timing references throughout the story. I was forced to make an Excel spreadsheet of the Woodcutter children, with birth dates and ages that each of them where when certain events happened in their lives (Tuesday’s death, Monday’s marriage, Jack Junior’s disappearance, etc).

My good friend Eric James Stone helped me put something together, and I’ve used that grid ever since. I wont’ share the full grid with you (because I still want plausible deniability if I screw something up in the future), but here are the Woodcutter Siblings–brothers and sisters–listed in birth order (including Trix).

Jack Jr.
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Peter
Friday
Saturday
Trix
Sunday

Woodcutter Sisters 3******************************

Want more Woodcutter books? Support Alethea on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/princessalethea
Click here to get Haven, Kansas for only 99 cents!

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Status of the Woodcutter Sisters

I’ve been putting off writing this post. When you read it, you’ll realize why.

Once a week or so, I get an email asking about the fate of the Woodcutter Sisters series.

The short answer: Get everyone you know to pledge their support to my Patreon. When I hit $2500, I will drop everything and finish writing the Woodcutter Sisters, as originally planned. (Seven books in total, Sunday – Monday…and yes, I know exactly what happens)

Woodcutter Sisters 3

The longer answer: Harcourt still has the North American rights to the first three books in the series.

Back in 2014, I was dumped by my publisher and my boyfriend on the same day.

Harcourt had some big reorganization and everyone who ever worked on the Woodcutters left the company. In a way, getting dumped was a blessing–few authors have positive experiences working with a new editor after they’ve been “orphaned.”

It also paved the way for a project I’d pitched that they’d turned down: Writing a short novel based on what happened to Trix in Hero (a storyline they made me remove from the book entirely because “pacing”).

My goal was to finish Trix’s novel and use it to teach myself all the ways of this new-fangled “indie publishing.” I had launched my own small press back in 2005 (Nyx Books), but a lot had changed in the decade since I’d dipped my toe in the print-on-demand business. I did have a leg up, having owned a publishing company before and having a ton of contacts in the industry…but that also made it scarier. Because I knew just what I was getting myself into, and the superior level of quality I expected from my books.

And let’s be honest: mentally, after getting dumped, I felt like a Giant Failure. Plus, remember how 2014 was the year that a bunch of my close friends and family kept dying?

Yeah. One doesn’t exactly snap back from that.

It took a while to get off the ground, but eventually Trixter was published, along with Tales of Arilland (the fairy tale short story collection I’d pitched and gotten rejected) and a few other things. I even wrote a sequel called Trix and the Faerie Queen — not something I’d originally planned, but a plotline I realize I LOVED.

I started writing Thieftess (Thursday’s book). I even had a model do a photo shoot for Thursday’s cover. (Yes, we still have those pics. She is SO Thursday!)

I wanted to  get myself on better financial ground before I completely threw myself into writing the rest of the series. It takes a lot of head space to get into a series like the Woodcutters, and anxieties like “bills” and “utilities” and “credit card debt” and “car repairs” really chip away at that space. (I still have no car, btw. Haven’t for over a year.)

What I found out was: continuing to write in the world of Arilland wasn’t making me significant money. The reason? I don’t have the rights to the first three books. I can’t put them on sale, or make the first one permafree. I can’t offer them up for Bookbub deals.

I make 89.9 cents on every paperback copy of Enchanted sold (as opposed to $2-3 on each indie book sold). I get that money twice a year. And those books aren’t selling particularly well. Enchanted, Hero, and Dearest combined pull in about $2000 every six months. That’s not nearly enough to live on. The up side is, once the sales of those books fall below a certain threshold, I can have the rights back.

So you see my dilemma.

When I get my rights back for Enchanted, Hero, and Dearest, here is the plan:

–Reprint all of the books, with better covers. (I’ll keep the titles, because we’re in this too far to change them now.)

–Release an “author’s preferred edition” of Enchanted, that puts back in most of the 30,000 words the publisher asked me to take out. (A lot of this is about Prince Rumbold, which was published in Tales of Arilland as “The Cursed Prince.” A lot are deleted scenes I read on YouTube.)

–Audible is still interested in producing the rest of the series, when they are published, and Katy Kellgren is still interested in narrating.

What I am doing right now: I am writing.

The Truth About Cats & Wolves: A Nocturne Falls Universe NovelI spent years teaching myself every aspect of indie publishing…and realized the hard way that I’d taken the wrong road by pursuing the Woodcutters. I ended 2016 broke, desperate, and still writing like mad.

I threw everything I had into my career, pulled out all the stops. Thus my recent (and awesome!) endeavors in Nocturne Falls, the “Once” anthologies, and The Simi’s ABCs book.

I also have plans to start a new series–comedy romance, like the books I write for NFU, but obviously more fairy tale based. In fact, I’ve seeded a bunch of characters and worldbuilding into my NFU books already…

Yes. I would like to at least finish Book Three of The Trix Adventures (Trix and the Fire Witch), but as of the writing of this post, my life is All Nocturne Falls All the Time. And traveling with Sherri. And narrating stories for ACX and IGMS. And doing about a thousand other things to try and bring in every penny I can, because I know how fickle this industry is, and I’m still not standing on financially solid ground.

So there you have it. The very long (and mildly depressing) answer.

I would love to be able to write the rest of the Woodcutter Sisters books. As a terminal optimist, I believe that one day, I will be able to. YOU GUYS ARE GOING TO LOVE THEM SO MUCH!

In the meantime…buy a t-shirt! Buy Trixter or Trix & the Faerie Queen or Haven, Kansas! Or any of my short stories or audiobooks! Review them! Buy them for your local library! Share them with friends!

And please support me on Patreon!

All the love in the world,

xox

Alethea

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It’s An Honor to be Nominated…Again!

I’ve had a really strange experience with contests in the RWA (Romance Writers Association).

The year Enchanted came out, I asked my publisher for a box of books so that I might submit them to a bunch of RWA Chapter contests. I mean, Enchanted won the Gelett Burgess Award right out of the gate, so it was a shoe in for any others, right? I wanted to win them all. I especially wanted the Fantasy, Futuristic & Paranormal (FF&P) Chapter‘s coveted PRISM award, since my bestie Leanna had walked away with TWO the previous year.

Leanna Renee Hieber: Award Winning Goofball Whom I Love to Death

I spent a LOT of money in shipping and contest entry fees. I submitted to about six Chapter contests. Enchanted finaled in only one of them.

Le sigh.

Even worse, in the confusion my publisher assumed I had taken the reins completely and was sending books and fees in to every RWA contest…which meant Enchanted completely missed being submitted to the RITA for consideration at all.

Le double-sigh.

This year, I saved my time and money. I did not enter any of the RWA Chapter contests. Hero was submitted for the RITA by my publisher, per usual. Due to some new rules-wrangling, the RITA Awards won’t even have a YA category this year.

Le triple-sigh.

HOWEVER…I lied. I did submit to one Chapter contest. I didn’t tell my publisher about it. (Heck, I don’t even think I told the Mermaids about it.) At the very last second, the 11th hour, last-call for submissions, I entered Hero into the PRISM. And then, as always, life got crazy and I just forgot about it…

…until now, when I just opened the email telling me that Hero is a finalist for this year’s PRISM Award, to be presented at RWA Nationals in San Antonio. And I just so happen to be attending Nationals this year because Kerri Mermaid talked me into being her roommate.

WOOOOOOOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thanks, Kerri.

Now if I win that darned thing, I promise to take a picture just like Leanna’s. 🙂

Hero Paperback Cover

 

 

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Waiting for Maleficent

(Now I want to write a parody play with this title. But that’s beside the point…)

I was notified yesterday that The Huffington Post had cited THE ENTIRE WOODCUTTER SISTERS SERIES as part of a list of “10 Books to Read While Impatiently Waiting for Maleficent.”

WOOHOOOO!!!!!!!
Yeah, I’m still dancing about it.

To read the article with the full list (which is a great list, btw), check it out here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/colleen-oakes/10-books-to-read-while-wa_b_5090743.html

…and be sure to share it with all the teens, librarians, teachers, and other fairy tale fanatics of your acquaintance!

I *am* part of the horde eagerly awaiting the new Maleficent flick. If you haven’t seen the preview for that yet, watch it here!

 

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Fast Forward TV Interview is Now Live!

The great thing about Snow Days isn’t just how much *you* get done, it’s how much *other people* get done when removed from the distraction of their pesky day jobs.

And…VOILA! My Fast Forward TV Interview is now live. (And the links in Monday’s Fairy Tale Rant have been updated to reflect this.)

Enjoy! xox

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Fairyleaks

You would be amazed the the number of things we, as professional authors, are not allowed to announce to the public. Book deals, cover art, bestseller list placement and awards…just to name a few.

In this Age of the Intarwebs, however, it’s tough to keep things under wraps. So it actually *thrills* me when someone leaks something (especially cover art), because at that point I am (usually) allowed to announce it, without taking any of the blame on myself for forcing the information to go viral.

With that, I give a hearty thanks to the Librarian and Artist who recently posted the cover for DEAREST and the cover art for the paperback of HERO.

Aren’t they GORGEOUS?!?!? xox

Dearest, coming Feb 3, 2015

HERO paperback, coming Jan 2015

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School Library Journal Loves HERO

It’s odd for a major review like this to appear so long after the book’s release…but better late than never! Also, I wholeheartedly support comparisons to the TV show Once Upon a Time.

Some of us little people should benefit from The Giant Hammer of Disney, right?

*************************

Hero, October 1, 2013KONTIS, Alethea. Hero. Bk. 2. 304p. (Woodcutter Sisters Series). Houghton Harcourt. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780544056770. LC 2013003895.

Gr 6 Up–This sequel to Enchanted (Houghton Harcourt, 2012) follows a different sister in the Woodcutter family. Saturday seems to have no magical talents of her own, but instead relies on an enchanted sword given to her as a gift. Shortly after the novel begins, her “cousin-brother,” Trix, runs away from home when he receives bad news about his biological mother. Saturday vows to bring him back. The heroine and her mother set sail with Thursday, the pirate sister. While onboard, Saturday is captured by an enormous bird and taken to a cave on the highest mountaintop where an evil witch resides. There, the teen meets Peregrine of Starburn, who was cursed and forced to pretend to be the witch’s daughter, and his companion Betwixt, a chimera. Saturday, Peregrine, and Betwixt undertake a fast-paced adventure to keep the witch from casting a spell that will open a portal to the demon realm and destroy their world. Fans of the television show Once Upon a Time will definitely enjoy this fractured fairy tale that references many well-known stories.

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The Book Butterfly Interviews Princess Alethea

Because what you were missing in your life is ANOTHER FUN INTERVIEW WITH MOI!

This time I talk about writing, books, characters, where I’ve lived, my favorite authors, and a bunch of quick fun stuff!

Click here & enjoy: http://theyabookbutterfly.blogspot.com/2013/11/monday-ya-author-interview-with-alethea.html

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Nominate Princess Alethea…for everything!

Okay…not *everything*. But I am happy to report that I have more than one work this year eligible for award nominations! Yay!

*Hero, October 1, 2013

Best Novel /Andre Norton Award

HERO (Fantasy, YA) — Second in the Woodcutter Sisters series of fairy tale mash-up novels. (Think “Once Upon a Time” meets “The Princess Bride”) Saturday Woodcutter is a girl with a sword who is mistaken for a boy through the whole book. She has to rescue Peregrine of Starburn (mistaken for a girl through the whole book) from a witch and a dragon. IT’S AWESOME AND FUN.

*

Best Short Story

There are a handful of original short stories from my WILD & WISHFUL, DARK & DREAMING collection that just released from Alliteration Ink. I will list them all here, starting with my top choice, and what categories they would fall under (depending on which Awards you’re nominating for).

Wild & Wishful, Dark & Dreaming--story collection by Alethea Kontis* “The Were Four” (SF/F, YA) — On Dec 21, 2012, the world didn’t end. Instead, 90% of the people on Earth became a were-creature of their totem animal. This is the story of four high-school aged, misfit, REALLY LAME weres (platypus, piranha, sloth & mosquito) who enter a local Battle of the Bands.

“Blood, Sweat & Tears” (Contemporary, Horror) — The story of a young Romany woman who ghostwrites bestselling novels with a magic potion literally made of of blood, sweat, and tears.

* “Alligator Baby” (Fantasy, YA) — Deep in the Louisiana Bayou, a young orphaned girl petitions the local voodoo priestess to find out what really happened to her parents.(Really hard for me to choose between this one and “The Were Four”–I love them both!)

* “183 Million Light Years from Home” (SF) — A tired young father on a dark, nearly-deserted stretch of TN highway accidentally kills a stranger…and saves the world.

“Confessions of the Ex-Future-Mrs. X” (Fantasy) — A secret, in-depth interview with the woman who almost married Willy Wonka.

*

Also Original to WWDD:

* “Deathday” (Fantasy, Poetry) — A dark love letter to the soul of a girl’s mother on the day she was born.

 

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HERO on the Web Today

This weekend’s launch was FABULOUS…pics to come soon!

In the meantime, I’ve got some GREAT stuff out there on ye olde intarwebs today:

Carrie S. reviewed HERO for Smart Bitches, Trashy Books. The book received a hard-earned B+ from this exceptionally tough review site, and I’m honored! Click on over to see if you agree with her assessment.

***

I Smell Sheep is hosting an exceptionally fun character interview with Saturday Woodcutter. I had so much fun doing a character interview with Sunday last year, that I really wanted to do it again, and Sharon was all too happy to host my “punch first and ask questions later” heroine. Click here for much amusement.

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Also falling under the category of “things that will make you laugh on a Monday”, I wrote a craft piece for the RWA’s Future, Fantasy & Paranormal blog about how dating some really big jerk helped me learn how to become a better writer…by stealing. Click here to read “Queen of Thieves.”

***

And there’s more…on the way soon! xox

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