{Guest Post} Chatting with Alethea Kontis about True.Love, her new story in the anthology ONCE UPON A STAR: 14 SF-Inspired Faerie Tales (Once Upon Anthologies Book 4)

Love fairy tales and mythology?
Fans of mermaids, dragons, unicorns, and other mythical creatures?
Enjoy when a beloved classic tale is retold?
A Twist in the Tail Thursdays features all this and more!

Last week, the latest Once Upon A... fairy tale anthology dropped, this time being ONCE UPON A STAR, with all the tales set in space!

Today, one of the authors, Alethea Kontis, has stopped by A backwards Story to chat about her new story in the collection and tell you a few secrets about it!

New York Times bestselling author Alethea Kontis is a princess, a goddess, a force of nature, and a mess. She’s known for screwing up the alphabet, scolding vampire hunters, turning garden gnomes into mad scientists, and making sense out of fairy tales. Alethea is the co-author of Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark-Hunter Companion, and penned the AlphaOops series of picture books. Her short fiction, essays, and poetry have appeared in a myriad of anthologies and magazines. She has done multiple collaborations with Eisner winning artist J.K. Lee, including The Wonderland Alphabet and Diary of a Mad Scientist Garden Gnome. Her debut YA fairy tale novel, Enchanted, won the Gelett Burgess Children’s Book Award in 2012 and was nominated for both the Andre Norton Award and the Audie Award in 2013.

Visit Alethea's websiteYouTube ChannelFacebook, and Twitter!

5 Facts About 
by Alethea Kontis 
from the anthology 

—The first time I wrote “True.love” was in 2004. I tried rewriting it in 2007. Both versions fell flat—the second was worse than the first!— but the seed of the tale stuck with me. Third time’s the charm…

—In the original versions of “True.love,” Brandon breaks into the main offices with the help of his cheeky hacker buddy Deke. Every single person who read the story—both versions—liked Deke better than Brandon. So this time, I knew Brandon had to be the hacker!

—In 2004, I wrote “True.love” with the idea that one day, websites would have different extensions than dot-com/co.uk/net/info/etc. And now they do! Of course, someone instantly jumped on most of the “.love” domains and reserved them for $$$. A similar domain, “real.love,” is currently for sale at $12,999.99 PER YEAR!

—Brandon originally had three siblings: Elinor, Marianne, and Edward. Recognize those names? Thus the reference to one of his parents as a “romantic English Classics instructor.”

— Yes, in true gamer girl fashion I have put an Easter egg in the story. The first person to find it and email me the correct answer will receive a signed paperback copy of Once Upon a Star! (Email can be found on my website)


Long time readers know how much I adore Alethea Kontis, who has stopped by this blog several times over the years with guest posts and we've had several lovely interview chats. I've even reviewed most of her books.

Whenever I hear she has written something new, I get supremely excited and mark down the wait to having it in my hands.

Kontis has had a short story in a series of Once Upon... Anthologies, beginning with ONCE UPON A KISS, continuing with ONCE UPON A CURSE and ONCE UPON A QUEST and now, its newest addition is ONCE UPON A STAR.

If you're new to the series, you can snag ONCE UPON A KISS for free and all the others for 99 cents -- this week only! It's a special sale to celebrate this week's release of ONCE UPON A STAR!

The newest anthology isn't, as I anticipated, a set of Peter Pan retellings. Oh no. It's fairy tales in space! So if you love books like CINDER by Marissa Meyer (Cinderella), HEART OF IRON by Ashley Poston  (Anastasia), STITCHING SNOW by R.C. Lewis (Snow White), ATLAS FALLEN by Jessica Pierce (Cinderella), and are excited about this year's upcoming releases of SKY WITHOUT STARS by Jessica Brody and Joanne Rendell (Les Mis) and LAST OF HER NAME by Jessica Khoury (Anastasia), you're going to want to get your hands on this anthology!

And to get them all for only $2.99 each, less than a cup of coffee? What a steal of a deal!

Here are some links that Kontis put together to make it easier for you to snag these babies:

Get Once Upon a Star now, at these fine retailers!

New to the world of Alethea Kontis?

I've previously reviewed ENCHANTEDHERODEAREST, TRIXTER, and TRIX AND THE FAERIE QUEEN, as well as her novella BLOOD & WATER, and chatted about Snow Whites role in ENCHANTED. From the Nocturne Falls Universe, I've reviewed THE TRUTH ABOUT CATS AND WOLVESWHEN TINKER MET BELL, and BESPHINXED.

I've most recently reviewed her YA contemporary FISH OUT OF WATER, and Mandy has reviewed her YA horror novel HAVEN, KANSAS and had Alethea over for a guest post on how making horror movies helped give her the foundation to write HAVEN!

Alethea Kontis has also stopped by A Backwards Story several times to talk about her books, fairy tales, mermaids, and more because she's awesome like that! *loves her*

a flash fiction piece entitled "Well Behaved Mermaids Rarely Make Fairy Tales,"
a guest post on "Families in Fiction,"
and a guest post entitled "I Dedicate This Post to You!"

She's also shared two of her famous fairy tale rant videos, one about Rapunzel and one about Cinderella and how it inspired her novel ENCHANTED!

O F F I C I A L   I N F O:

Authors: Anthea Sharp, Sarra Cannon, Alethea Kontis, Phaedra Weldon, Christine Pope, Nikki Jefford, Kasey MacKenzie, Shawntelle Madison, Alexia Purdy, Jenna Elizabeth Johnson
Release Date: February 15, 2019
Publisher: Fiddlehead Press

From the bestselling authors of the award-winning Once Upon Anthologies, the next fabulous volume is here! Revisit your favorite faerie tales, masterfully retold in science fiction settings with delightful, and sometimes chilling, twists. What if the Twelve Dancing Princesses were undead clones? What if the witch in Hansel and Gretel was an AI-sentient house? Are you ready for the Three Little Pigs… in space? 

These fourteen tales will entertain and inspire you, and you’ll never see your favorite faerie tales quite the same way again. Grab your copy of Once Upon A Star, and don’t forget the other anthologies - Once Upon A Curse, Once Upon A Kiss, and Once Upon A Quest - for more magical retellings!