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The Princess Formerly Known as Snow White

The Unicorn HunterReaders often ask me about my favorites. Favorite book that I’ve written. Favorite character I’ve invented. Favorite EVERYTHING. It’s so tough–like choosing a favorite child!

But I will admit…I do have a favorite short story. To this date, my favorite story that I’ve ever written is “The Unicorn Hunter.” I dreamed up the concept a very long time ago: if a certain unsavory character wanted to hunt unicorns, what better bait to use than “the fairest of them all”? But the story never came together. There was something missing. Until John Skipp asked me to contribute a story for his Demons anthology and it hit me. My missing element was A DEMON. Four days later, I wept as I wrote the last line because I didn’t want the story to be over.

Skipp published “The Unicorn Hunter” in his anthology, placing me right next to Neil Gaiman (again!). Apart from that claim to fame–and a very enthusiastic show of support from SF author Cat Rambo–nothing else really happened with the tale. But it was still my favorite.

That’s the thing about favorites. We just can’t let them go. I held onto these two characters so tightly that I wrote them right into the Woodcutter-filled world of Arilland. And when I assembled all of my fairy tale short stories into Tales of Arilland, I knew that “The Unicorn Hunter” had to be first in the Table of Contents.

While no names are used in the short story, it’s clear from the first paragraph which princess is being referenced. And while it’s not terribly obvious when Ashes makes her cameo appearance in Hero, eagle-eyed fans were incredibly excited to put two and two together. As was I.

This interview was posted on a friend’s website right around the release of the anthology. That post has gone the way of the Internet Black Hole–for that reason, I am publishing it again here for you to enjoy.

Perhaps in the next fairy tale anthology, I will include all the Troubadour interviews I’ve done with my characters. Come to think of it…I’m really going to need to write this Troubadour into Arilland, aren’t I? Oh, that will be FUN…

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Interview with The Princess Formerly Known as Snow White

Tales of ArillandTroubadour: I’m here today with Her Royal Majesty Princess Snow White, who has agreed to speak with us about some of the challenges she faced during her tumultuous–and infamous–childhood.

Princess: I agreed to meet with you only because my story-loving aunt sent you. I don’t want to talk about Snow White. She was a silly, stupid princess, and her jealous stepmother killed her. My name is Ashes-on-the-Wind.

Troubadour: Please forgive my impertinence. May I call you Ashes-on-the-Wind?

Princess: You may call me “Your Highness.” And I would thank you to not go transforming what I’m about to say to you into some sappy ballad; I don’t care what Aunt Sunday says.

Troubadour: I’ll do my best, Your Highness. But I really must implore you–the world is desperate to know what happened to that beautiful little girl the Huntsman led into the forest so many years ago. Were you frightened? Did he attack you?

Princess: (sighs and touches her left shoulder, briefly) I wasn’t afraid until he attacked me. But he didn’t get very far. I was saved by a…Unicorn Hunter.

Troubadour: Rumor has it that this Unicorn Hunter was a demon.

Princess: There are no such things as demons or unicorns, and don’t you dare tell the world any differently. I won’t have innocent girls or arrogant men chasing after either. I am the only one who knows what happened in that forest, and you will take me at my word.

Troubadour: As you wish, Your Highness. So this Unicorn Hunter–whatever his origin–saved you from certain peril?

Princess: He did. He needed my virtue intact, you see, to catch the unicorns. One can be the fairest of them all and still lose her virtue. (A far away look haunts her eyes) Instead, I lost my innocence.

Troubadour: The two of you became friends?

Princess: Yes. I believe we did.

Troubadour: Do you and the Unicorn Hunter still keep in touch?

Princess: No. He is…no longer a part of my life. I moved in with a band of hardworking miners and moved on with my life, just as we should move on with this interview.

Troubadour: Yes, Your Highness. One more question, if I may?

Princess: If you must.

Troubadour: It is also rumored that you are currently employed on a pirate ship. Is that correct?

Princess: (Smiles broadly) That is correct! (Pulls a folded paper from her breeches pocket) Here is a list of the captain I serve under, the men I work with, and all our ports of call.

Troubadour: Really?!? (Unfolds the paper. It is blank.)

Princess: No, not really! I used to be stupid, remember? (Drains the rest of her tankard and wipes her mouth on her sleeve) Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a deck to swab. Are we done?

Troubadour: Yes, Your Highness. Thank you, Your Highness.

Princess: No problem. Do send my aunt best wishes. And remember, no sappy ballads.

Troubadour: I’ll do my best, Your Highness.

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CLICK HERE to purchase a copy of Tales of Arilland in paperback or on Kindle — hardcover coming soon!

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In Which Alethea Interviews Sharon Shinn for USA Today

I am happy and honored today for two reasons: 1.) that I have the opportunity to interview one of my favorite authors, Sharon Shinn, and 2.) that I get to do it for USA Today’s Happy Ever After blog.

The graphic novel publisher First Second is announcing today a collaborative effort between Sharon Shinn and Molly Ostertag called The Painted Warrior (if you’re not familiar with Molly’s superhero webcomic  Strong Female Protagonist, I highly recommend you to check it out).

Needless to say, I am SUPER EXCITED about this graphic novel, and I was thrilled to have the opportunity to ask Sharon a little bit about the project.

Click here to read the full interview!

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Angela Slatter Interviews Princess Alethea

Princess Alethea, Jan 20149. You travel a lot for appearances and cons – how do you organise your life to fit in writing, relaxing, family, all the other stuff?

HAHAHAHAHAHA YOU SAID “ORGANIZE” HAHAHAHAHAHA

*snort*

(Click here to read the reat of the interview!)

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Princess Alethea, Strolling About the Web

Today feels like the TRUE first day of 2014 for me — yesterday was an exhausted flurry of getting Soteria out of the hospital and then working my aunt’s New Years party for 82 hours, so this is my day to jump back in swinging.

AND BOY, AM I SWINGING.

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First up: I have a blog post today over at Waterworld Mermaids, where I explain what exactly happened over Christmas, details of The Emergency Surgery, and Why My Packing Karma is Strong. Click here to read “There and…Still There.”

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Next, hie yourself on over to BOOM! Studios, where I am interviewed as part of a featured series about being a woman in the comics industry. Please take extra special note of my favorite part, which introduces both me and about my publishing background. “Alethea Kontis, a writer who has worked on The Wonderland Alphabet for Archaia as well as numerous other books for others!”

That’s right…OTHER BOOKS FOR OTHERS. Like that one that hit the New York Times List.. Twice Or that other one that got selected for World Book Night 2014. Or that other one that sold 65,000 copies through Scholastic in one month. But really, the only one that matters for this article is THE ONE WE PUBLISHED. (*rolls eyes* *blows New Year’s horn*)

But you know what? AT LEAST THEY SPELLED MY NAME RIGHT. And that’s something.

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Lastly, the awesome crew at TBF (Rochester Teen Book Festival) that I am VERY MUCH LOOKING FORWARD TO THIS YEAR (is it May yet?) posted a really superfun interview with MOI over on the TBF site. Mom, you’re going to love the color red they use. Click here to read the interview!

 

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Funky Werepig Slumber Party Rebroadcast

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone in the US!

In honor of these last few days of HERO being TMV Cafe’s BOOK OF THE MONTH, The Funky Werepig is rebroadcasting our infamous Princess Alethea Slumber Party Interview tomorrow night at 9pm!

Set your watch/phone/timer/TARDIS…and if you missed it the first time, be sure to tune in! (CLICK HERE TO BOOKMARK THE LINK)

It was a BLAST. With cookie-brownies and everything.

Much love to you all!

xox

The Three Amigos

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Princess Unbound

I have another fun and quirky interview today — my hosts are the lovely bloggers at Pages Unbound.

I also get to answer my favorite question: the “is there anything we forgot to ask you?”, or what I like to call The Blank Check.

What did I decide to ask myself on this particular occasion? There’s only one way to find out!

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Interview Up at The Writers Voice

Enchanted by Alethea KontisThere are authors who don’t like interview questions. I suppose that, someday, I might get sick of them too. Maybe I’ve just always liked essay questions–maybe I just love talking about myself (and my books!).

The best part about doing interviews is when questions come along that are just REALLY FUN TO ANSWER.

I have to say, Emma’s questions for me for my Writer’s Voice Interview today were just that awesome. It was tough to pick a few from her list, but there are only so many hours in the day, you know?

Click here to head over to the Writers Voice website and check out the fun!

 

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20 Minutes with Princess Alethea at The Roundtable Podcast

What better way to celebrate the world NOT ending that listening to a very fun interview with me, hosted by the Roundtable Podcast?  (I certainly can’t think of anything.)

Alethea Kontis – author of “Enchanted” (recently listed on Kirkus Reviews among the “Best Teen Books of 2012“), the award-winning “Alpha-Oops” series, and so much more – is a passionate and informed storyteller. Her diverse background includes, among other things, a love and respect for the theater and of the rich heritage of folklore and fairy tales, both of which informs her work and infuses it with authenticity and magic. Justin Macumber (co-host and founder of the Dead Robots’ Society podcast) joins me in a rousing 20(ish) minutes as Alethea waxes rhapsodic on the allure of fairy tales, who she writes for, her revision and editing process, and much more. The Fairy Queen is in the house people… woot! (and come back for more writerly goodness in Alethea’s Workshop Episode airing Christmas Day! It’s our present to you.)

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN.

Happy Yule, everyone! xox

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AK and JKL in Wonderland at Sequential Tart

Janet and I just did a really great interview over at Sequential Tart. MAN they asked some good questions.

I love the irony of doing interviews for The Wonderland Alphabet: Alice’s Adventures Through the ABCs and What She Found There — all my answers are wordier than the entire book.

Heck, the title is almost wordier than the entire book.

Want to know which letters were the most difficult? What decisions Janet and I had to come up with before we even started planning the book? What we would say to someone who didn’t think Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass were two of the greatest books of all time?

Click on over here and find out.

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MoA&A Interview #31: Zoraida Córdova

So here we are…the very last day of July’s Month of Artist & Author interviews! It’s been another super-fun ride. I’ve been honored to host such amazing creators. As always, I encourage you to check them out.  If you missed any, don’t worry, you can still find them all on the Interviews Tab.

I was *this* close to letting Elaine Isaak close out this month yesterday with just an overview today…but I can’t skimp on you guys. YOU DESERVE THE WHOLE MONTH!

So when my YouTube digest came in with the newest Vlog from my gorgeous new author friend from NYC Zoraida Córdova, I knew I had to drop her a line. Zoraida was one of the women who performed with me at the May Lady Jane’s Salon reading, and I later joined her at her own launch party for her novel The Vicious Deep. If you’re a fan of mermaids (like I am), you need to be into this book. The sequel, The Savage Blue, releases in January of 2013.

Zoraida, darling, much love to you and your incredibly supportive family. Thank you so much for being my finale!

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Author or Artist?
Artist!

Who are your professional role models?
My MOM. Also, Libba Bray, Holly Black, and Ryan Lochte because he is a professional merman.

What’s your favorite writing/sketching weather?
Thunder with a chance of rain.

Set your current playlist/musical device to “shuffle all” and hit PLAY. What’s the first song that comes up?
18 & Life – Skid Row (don’t judge me.)

If you could win any award, which would it be?
The best hair award

Would you rather have magical powers, or a spaceship?
Magical powers.

What was your favorite book as a child?
The Little Leftover Witch

What thing do you wish you could go back in time and tell your 10-year-old self?
Don’t wear the pink lycra.

What’s your favorite constellation?
I don’t really know any. I just like looking up at the stars.

What’s your favorite fairy tale?
Errrr….. “The Little Mermaid.”  [LOL Raise your hand if you’re surprised! ~Alethea]

What thing are you most proud of?
My family. We all left everything to come to America in pursuit of better things.

The Colin Harvey Memorial Question: Name 3 things on your List of Things to Do Before You Die.
1. Travel — Greece, Italy, England, Denmark, Egypt, Ireland, Scotland, Australia.
2. Write the best novel I possibly can.
3. Be loved.

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Zoraida Córdova was born in Guayaquil, Ecuador, where she learned to speak English by watching Disney’s The Little Mermaid and Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker on repeat. Her favorite things are sparkly like merdudes, Christmas, and New York City at night. You can find Zoraida online at http://www.zoraidawrites.com. Watch her vlog on her ZoraidaLand YouTube Channel.

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