JMW: Hello, this is Jean Marie Ward of BuzzyMag.com. With me today is New York Times best selling author of “The Dark Hunter’s Companion”, Alethea Kontis. Welcome, Alethea, and congratulations on the publication of your first young adult novel, “Enchanted.”
Alethea Kontis: Yay. Yay.
JMW: I’ve been reading it since the Nebula and I’ve got to ask, is there a particular reason why you decided to write about a magical Sunday’s child?
Alethea Kontis: Well, I was born on January 11th, 1976, which is a Sunday–you can actually Google that and find out for sure. But I have always hated that poem because Sunday’s child is live, bonny, good, and gay, and I thought that was crap. Because what sort of fate is that? I mean I’ll live happily ever after, but I want to have a decent life before I live happily ever after. So that is kind of Sunday’s problem, in “Enchanted”, is that she wants to have an interesting life. She doesn’t want to just be doomed to a happy life, so this is her adventure.
JMW: This is her story. This is your first young adult novel, but it’s not your first book. What’s the back story on “AlphaOops!” And I think it’s one that most writers would kill you for.
Alethea Kontis: It is. To continue the fairytale theme, it really is a Cinderella story. I did not submit “AlphaOops!” I wrote it just as a fun little story and I sent it to a couple of friends and one of those friends says, “Oh my gosh, this story is fantastic. Can I please send it on to one of my friends?” And I said, “Sure, no problem.” Like an email forward–we get email forwards all the time. What I did not expect was the phone call from Candlewick Press. Their art director got it, read it out loud to the entire department and everyone was cracking up and “Could they please, please, please publish my novel or my picture book?” So I was just kind of on the phone doing this and not saying much because what do you say other than, “Yes”. So it kind of was a fluke, but it was my kick in the butt to actually, hey, get myself in the chair and start writing.
JMW: Butt in chair, always the first order of business.
Alethea Kontis: Absolutely.
JMW: And how do you go from there to working with Sherrilyn Kenyon?
Alethea Kontis: Sherrilyn Kenyon and I became really good friends in Tennessee. It was right around the publication of her very first book, “Fantasy Lovers”. So she would show up at Borders and there would only be about three or four of us, for an hour, and we talked to her. I had fallen in love with one of her short stories, her novellas, novelettes, that she had in a book called “Tapestry: Dragonswan”, which is now a little booklet of its own. And my friend, Nicole, and I went and we hung out with her for about an hour and thought, “You know, she would make the best girlfriend.”
Jean Marie Ward writes fiction, nonfiction and everything in between, including art books, novels (2008 Indie Book double-finalist With Nine You Get Vanyr), and short stories such as WSFA Small Press Award finalist “Lord Bai’s Discovery” and “Personal Demons” in the award-winning anthology Hellebore and Rue. Her videos include author interviews and tutorials.