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.

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

Want more Woodcutter books? Support Alethea on Patreon:
Click here to get Haven, Kansas for only 99 cents!

No Comments | Tags: , , ,

The Enchanted Enchanted Inkpot

The lovely and talented YA author Leah Cypess has graciously invited me to drop by The Enchanted Inkpot today to answer a few fun questions.

The questions were a lot more brief than the answers…mea culpa…but it sure was a heck of a lot of fun.

Be sure to click on over and comment about my blatherings!


Comments Off on The Enchanted Enchanted Inkpot | Tags: , , ,

RIP Colin Harvey

I honestly don’t know what to say. No one from the Codex Writers has ever died before. I’ve been in shock since I woke up this morning and saw all the Tweets and thought groggily, “I know that name. He’s a movie star, isn’t he? Movie stars are named Colin.”

Our Colin was a star, all right. I hope he’s finally taking that trip to Mars he always dreamed about.

I just sifted through my inbox. We’d exchanged emails in December, chatting about the benefits of selling short stories to anthologies versus stand-alone magazines. We talked again in May when I asked him to participate in the Month of Writers interviews I set up, inspired by Codex. Here’s is his interview.

I never got to meet Colin in person, and now I never will. That is my loss.

He was too young for this–but my friends are too young to die at any age.

I don’t know what else to say. This is just weird. And horrible. I don’t even want to hit the “Publish” button, like somehow I can make it not true anymore.

My heart goes out to his family. My heart goes out to all of you who have Colin in your thoughts today.

Love you guys. xox

3 Comments | Tags: , ,

The Quotable Princess

The infamous Luc Reid — optimistic motivator, SF writer, award winner, member of the League of Unextraordinary Gentlepersons, and founder of the Codex Writers Group.

In Luc’s infinite wisdom, he decided to post pages of memorable quotes by its fantabulous members, lifted from the Codex forums (with permission, of course). In Luc’s own words:

I love the group not because of the amount of success of its members (which tests my envy tolerance on a regular basis) but because of the flood of wisdom, intelligence, kindness, encouragement, and enthusiasm that wells up every day through posts, e-mails, discussions, critiques, and in-person meetings. And while I can’t share all of that material, I can and will share quotes that have cropped up on our forum, with the position of the originators.

And who is the quotable member (by far not the most quoted–that’s probably James Maxey)? WHY ME, OF COURSE! You can check out all my nuggets of wisdom by clicking this little old link right here. It’s funny to see my own words from so long ago posted on an internet wall like so much bathroom graffiti…and full of all  the inherent wisdom that comes with such an honor.

I also highly recommend this list of quotes from Eric James Stone and Helena Bell — two of my favorite witty people. Well worth reading…and possibly writing on a wall with a Sharpie somewhere.

These quotes make me miss Codex. I am terrible about keeping up with things like messageboards (and Facebook mail, and phone calls), especially when I should be writing. Happily, everyone there knows I’ll pop back in from time to time, and they’ll continue the conversation like I haven’t been gone a day. They really are the best of all possible friends.

No Comments | Tags: , , ,

Genre Chick Interview: Tony Frazier

May’s Month of Writers continues — today’s victim of my little interview-questionnaire is SF author Tony Frazier.

Be sure to stop by Tony’s site after this, on which he’s releasing, chapter-by-chapter, a superhero novel. (Which means, of course, that he can’t pick a favorite in the superpower question… I love being a geek.)

According to this picture (that I want to steal), it looks like he has a few superpowers already. Perhaps Luc and Heather and I might recruit him into our League of Unextraordinary Gentlepersons…


Alethea Kontis: Mac or PC?
Tony Frazier: I use a PC, although I’m seriously considering getting off the Microsoft train. I haven’t used a Mac since the original all-in-one-model I bought in 1985.

AK: Coffee or Tea?
TF: Tea. Unsweetened.

AK: Fantasy or Science Fiction?
TF: Space Opera and superheroes, which straddle the uncomfortable space in between. Fantasy in science fiction drag, if you will.

AK: Music or Silence (while you write)?
TF: Usually silence. When I wrote screenplays, which are all image and action, I wrote to music. But writing prose fiction, where I have to get into the heads of my characters, I seem to need it quiet.

AK: What weird food do you like?
TF: My time in Korea gave me an inordinate fondness for kimchi. I seriously love the stuff. Haven’t had it in years, though. Must remember to buy it again.

AK: How many novels/short stories/screenplays/poems/etc have you published?
TF: I’ve had four short stories published. And I’ve put out two novels on my own–one through a vanity press and one an epub.

AK: How much do you write every day?
TF: It varies with my day job. Because I have weekly blog features, I have to keep my output pretty high, but that often crowds out other writing, like short stories or new novel projects.

AK: How much do you WISH you could write every day?
TF: Enough to put out two or three chapters a week instead of one.

AK: What are you working on now?
TF: I’m serializing Hero Go Home, a superhero novel featuring Digger, the star of three of my four published short stories. And I’m getting ready to put out an epub anthology reprinting the Digger stories with some new material.

AK: If you could write like one author, who would it be?
TF: Donald Westlake. He could switch gears between noir and comedy like nobody’s business.

AK: If you could be one superhero, or have one superpower, who/what would it be?
TF: This should be a natural for me, since I’m all about the superheroes, but I can’t pick just one. And knowing me, as soon I picked Flight, say, then I’d immediately wish I had picked Telepathy or Invisibility or something. As soon as you pick one, you realize there’s something cool about all of them in different ways.

AK: What’s the coolest thing you’ve ever done?
TF: I opened a show for Bob Hope once (okay, it was my high school choir, but I had a featured duet). Bob Hope was a famous comedian, kids.

AK: Name three things on your List of Things to Do Before You Die.
TF: I’d like to tour Asia. I’ve spent some time in Korea and would like to go back, but would also like to see Japan, China, Singapore, Thailand, India. I’d like to take my daughter to Disneyland before she’s too old. And I’d like to visit the set of a Digger movie in production.


Tony Frazier’s fiction has appeared in Baen’s Universe, Strange Horizons, and Daikaiju! 3: Giant Monsters vs. the World. He can currently be found on, where each week he holds forth on movies and comic books and features a new chapter in Hero Go Home, a superhero novel scheduled to conclude in June.

No Comments | Tags: , , , , ,

Genre Chick Interview: Nancy Fulda

Today my writerly victim is Nancy Fulda, Phobos Award winner and creator of the phenomenal Anthology Builder website (on which I am a Featured Author this month — create an anthology including one of my stories and get $1 off!). Nancy is a true wunderkind — and as she lives in Germany, I am completely justified in saying that.

And I can’t wait to read the novel about the lizards.


Alethea Kontis: Mac or PC?
Nancy Fulda: PC all the way.  I grew on IBM.  I will probably stick with it until I die.

AK: Coffee or Tea?
NF: Neither, but I eat chocolate.  Lots and lots of chocolate.

AK: Travel the World or Travel Outer Space?
NF: Outer Space.

AK: Fantasy or Science Fiction?
NF: Both.

AK: Music or Silence (while you write)?
NF: Silence.  (Or rather, I wish it were silence.  I have three kids under the age
of eight, and things get pretty loud around here.)

AK: What weird food do you like?
NF: I do not like any weird foods.  By definition, if I like a food, then it is not
weird.  Example: Melted cheese and bananas?  NOT weird.

AK: How many novels/short stories/screenplays/poems/etc have you published?
NF: About twenty short stories.  I think.  I don’t keep track very well.  I’m
writing my first novel, and it’s going to be totally cool.  It’s got spaceships
and giant pack lizards and a stubborn girl who has no idea that she’s about to
help change the world.

AK: How much do you write every day?
NF: Depends.  If I’m lucky, I’ll write about 1000 words.  But some days I never make
it onto the computer at all.

AK: How much do you WISH you could write every day?
NF: 2000-3000 words.  If I could do that on a daily basis, I’d have written five
novels by now…

AK: What are you working on now?
NF: A novel!  It’s called “A New Kind of Sunrise” and it’s set on this really cool
planet with a v-e-r-r-r-y slow daily rotation.    Everything burns up during the
Day and freezes to death during the Night, so the inhabitants have to travel
around the world staying in the twilight regions in order to survive.

AK: If you could write like one author, who would it be?
NF: Lois McMaster Bujold.

AK: If you could be one superhero, or have one superpower, who/what would it be?
NF: The ability to stop time.  Then I could work 48 hours per day, and still spend
all afternoon with my kids…

AK: What’s the coolest thing you’ve ever done?
NF: Hm… that depends on what’s cooler: Winning a trophy in ballroom dance or
presenting a research paper on Artificial Intelligence at an international

AK: What’s the coolest thing you’re about to do?
NF: I don’t know.  Seeing into the future isn’t even on my list of wished-for

AK: Name three things on your List of Things to Do Before You Die.
NF: See Alex grow up.  See Aubrey grow up.  See Janika grow up.  (Alex, Aubrey and
Janika are my kids.)

Nancy Fulda is a Phobos Award Winner, a Vera Hinckley Mayhew Award recipient,
and was been honored by the National Space Society for her story “That
Undiscovered Country”.  She holds a Master’s Degree in Computer Science and
knows all kinds of cool things about machine learning and artificial
intelligence.  She lives in Germany with her husband and three children. You can find her online at

1 Comment | Tags: , , , , ,

Genre Chick Interview: Luc Reid

Back on “Take Your Princesses-in-Training to Work” Day, Ariell and Kassidy helped me create a great questionnaire that I could send out to the ever-growing list of authors on my to-interview-list. After I sent the interview out, Ariell then started formatting all the interviews into posts for me. Hooray!

We start with my dearest longtime friend, Luc Reid. (Some of you may remember him from the Beauty & Dynamite essay “The Story Magnet.”) Not only is Luc the founding father of the Codex Writers Group, he is one of the original members of the League of Unextrpardinary Gentlepersons. Find out about his writing, his exceptional motivation, and his superpowers in this interview!


Alethea Kontis: Mac or PC?

Luc Reid: Both! I bought my Mac laptop solely so that I could use Scrivener on it, but I’ve used it enough now that I’m almost as comfortable on it as I am on the PCs I work on. I write on that Mac, various PCs, and an AlphaSmart (an outdated-seeming yet very useful device that basically consists of the world’s most rudimentary word processor with a full-sized keyboard and a four-line LCD screen. It cost me $30 on eBay, fires up in less than a second, and can dump data to a Mac or PC with a USB cable). I read and critique stories on computers, scrap paper, and my Kindle.

AK: Coffee or Tea?

LR: Neither, I’m afraid. Caffeine has nasty effects on me unless I administer it in carefully-managed doses–itching, headaches, high blood pressure, etc. You would think that an existence without coffee, tea, and chocolate would be pretty miserable, but once I got used to it, it got so it barely registers on the I-Care-At-All meter.

AK: Travel the world, or travel outer space?

LR: Can I say “both” on this one? Probably not, I’m guessing. Forced to pick one, I choose the World, for several reasons:

1. There are tons of fascinating people on it, and as far as I’m concerned, people are the most interesting thing conceivable. People seem to be harder to find in Outer Space.
2. Cheaper tickets.
3. Better food.
4. Free air. I hate having to pay for air.
5. Travel time measured in hours or days rather than decades or centuries.
6. Water parks.

On the other side of the equation, travel in Outer Space offers things like (possibly) alien civilizations, magnificent views, mind-boggling scientific discoveries, and all the rest–so it’s not an easy choice.

AK: Fantasy or Science Fiction?

LR: Both, again. Apparently I have trouble choosing individual things: I hadn’t noticed that pattern before. I’m also a compulsive black sheep type: you say tomato, I say tomatillo.

Anyway, sometimes I like digging into what the world could be like and what the universe might have to offer, and for that I need SF. Other times I just want to find out what would happen if chickens could talk or if some guy had a tie that made him invisible, and at times like that I tell physics to go jump in a lake and call the result Fantasy. I also am fond of alternative history, except that it’s a hell of a lot of work to do it right.

AK: What is one of your most irrational fears?

LR: My brain getting full. Ever see that Gary Larson cartoon with the kid who asks to be excused from class because his brain is full? That kind of thing completely creeps me out. I mean, brains are finite, right? What if I run out of space and start losing things like how the rocks felt on the shale beach when I was a kid, or the reasons for not worrying about death?

AK: What are you working on now?

LR: I’m revising, expanding, and reformatting my 2006 bookTalk the Talk: The Slang of 65 American Subcultures as an eBook. There was a lot of material I couldn’t put in the book when it originally came out because of page limits, and I get to put some of that back in for the new edition. To get this done, I temporary stopped work on an alternate history novel set in a 1950’s America that has been fending off a decade-long Russian invasion. It’s not about war, though: it’s about musicians.

AK: If you could be one superhero, or have one superpower who/what would you/it be?

LR: I want to be “Insight Man.” I’d love to have some sort of beam I could blast people with that would give them immediate perspective on who they are and what they’re doing. People would say things like “Wait! I’m not even enjoying these chips–why am I trying to bury my emotions under junk food?” and “Hey, I could ditch this crummy job, sell most of my stuff, and live very cheaply while doing meaningful volunteer work!” and “Wow, this shirt definitely does not go with these pants!” I would use it on myself constantly.

With that said, I do already have a super-secret identity, which you already know and which I’ll share with the Internet as long as the Internet promises not to tell anyone: I’m Vertigo Man. I don’t exactly know what my superpower is, but I do have a trademark phrase that I use for people in peril on bridges, skyscrapers, Sequoias, space elevators, etc.: “I’ll save you! Whoa, hold on–that’s really high up!”

AK: What’s the coolest thing you’ve ever done?

LR: I’m not sure, but here are some of the failures and successes that might be on the list: I helped found an intentional community and devised a more or less unique labor management system for it. I’ve raised my son to teenagerhood without (as far as I can tell) seriously screwing anything up. I taught myself some Hungarian and spent a month in central Europe trying to found an import/export company. I earned a black belt in Taekwondo. I won second place in the Writers of the Future contest. I learned how to play a dozen or so musical instruments. Oh, and Charles Barkley sweated on me once: that’s cool, right?

AK: Coolest thing you’re about to do?

LR: I’d like to know that myself! I personally would like to vote for “Release an eBook edition of Talk the Talk that becomes phenomenally popular,” but only time will tell.


Luc Reid is a Writers of the Future winner whose fiction and nonfiction have appeared in Brain HarvestAbyss & ApexStrange HorizonsClarkesworld, and elsewhere. He writes a column called “Brain Hacks for Writers” for Futurismic, is member of the flash fiction group The Daily Cabal, and founded theCodex online writers group, whose members garnered 8 Nebula nominations this year (none of which were for Luc himself). His books are Talk the Talk: The Slang of 65 American Subcultures (Writers Digest Books, 2006; with an electronic edition expected out this month) and Bam! 172 Hellaciously Quick Stories (2010). He blogs about writing and the psychology of habits at and can be found on Twitter @lucreid.
No Comments | Tags: , , ,

Fiction Sale: “Pocket Full of Posey” to 2020 VISIONS Anthology

I am very happy to announce my most recent fiction sale — a wicked awesome little story called “Pocket Full of Posey” that I wrote for fellow Codexian Rick Novy. He’s editing M-Brane’s 2020 VISIONS anthology (pub date TBA). The theme of the anthology is stories set in the not-too-distant future — namely, 2020. It’s a title that begs for some fun.

I had a LOT of fun writing this particular story (you may have seen me squee about it on Twitter while I was doing it). It’s about a girl named Rosalyn who goes back to her ten-year high school reunion, on orders from her therapist, to make amends with the members of her Kill List — the kids in school who made her life hell and deserved to die. (We all had one of those, didn’t we? Yeah, you did. Don’t try to act cool.)

Props go out to my Fairy Goddaughters for teenage advice straight from the horses’ mouths — I repaid them by naming all the Kill List members after their friends. (Yes, I even made Aimee a cheerleader. No, I will not apologize for art.) But Posey, our main character’s totem pocket garden gnome, was all my creation.

So you’ll imagine my surprise when I stumbled across this gnome while looking for pictures to go along with this blog. Kimmel Gnomes calls her “Posie.” Too perfect! (And not a little bit creepy.)

I can’t wait for this antho to come out. You guys are going to love this story. And I can’t wait for the rest of the ToC for this anthology to be released…I’ve heard it’s a doozy!

No Comments | Tags: , , , , , ,