Princess Alethea Kontis is the type of author who makes little girls glow with excitement. She wears fairy dresses, has sparkly magic wands, and comes equipped to book signings with coloured pens that match the artwork. Her work extends beyond picture books, such as The Wonderland Alphabet, to novels, short stories, poems, and essays, and she also co-edited the Elemental anthology for a children’s benefit. She lives in Virginia with her Fairy Godfamily, and recently took the time to answer my questions.
1) What is something you do in your professional or artistic life that you think is really cool, and why do you think that about it?
I get to tell kids all sorts of things they never knew about fairy tales. It’s so much fun to watch their faces as they discover new things about events and people they’ve been familiar with all their lives.
2) How did you come to be in the career position you are currently in?
I started writing and acting when I was eight. As the acting thing didn’t pan out after high school and the Chemistry degree went nowhere, I just kept writing.
3) What is something from your personal life that you are very proud of, and why are you proud?
I am very proud of my self-confidence. I had to go down a lot of horrible roads and be broken into many little pieces before I figured out how to fall in love with myself.
4) What is a personality trait you possess that other people might not notice, and how would they miss it?
I see magic everywhere, in everything. Most other people are too wrapped up in messes to notice.
5) If you could change just one thing about the world, what would it be and why would you change it?
I would give everyone on the planet an injection of self-confidence and a good night’s sleep. VOILA! Instant world peace.
6) If you could give a young person one piece of advice, what would it be?
Never stop searching for unicorns.
7) What is something that you would like to do in your life that you haven’t done yet, and why haven’t you done it?
I have never been up in a hot air balloon. The Fairy Godboyfriend is afraid of heights.
8) What is something that you have sworn to never do again, and why won’t you repeat it?
My one rule of the internet: “Don’t Poke the Crazy.” Giving attention to social misfits never ends well.
9) If you could break one personal habit, what would it be and why would you break it?
I bite the inside of my cheek. Nervous habit I’ve always had. You’d think I’d be smart enough to CUT IT OUT by now.
10) If you could take up a new hobby or learn a new skill, what would it be and why?
I would love to learn German, so I could read the original Grimms’ tales.
11) Is there anything from you that we should be looking out for in the future?
My creepy fairy tale story “Blood from Stone” will be released in December 2012 from Apex Magazine. In 2013, HERO (the sequel to ENCHANTED) will be released, as well as a novella called TRIXTER and my newest collaboration with illustrator Janet K. Lee: DIARY OF A MAD SCIENTIST GARDEN GNOME.
Next Week: Eric Wilson