{Interview} Alethea Kontis, author of ENCHANTED

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Check out my review of ENCHANTED from last year's Fairy Tale Fortnight
and my interview with ENCHANTED cover designer Christine Kettner!

I'm really excited to read HERO, a companion to ENCHANTED, this fall!

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.

Follow Alethea on her website, Twitter, and Facebook.
An interview with 
author Alethea Kontis

How many books are there going to be in the Woodcutter Sisters series? (One for each day of the week? More?)

The intention is for there to be seven books in the Woodcutter Sisters series, one for each day of the week. There are, of course, far more characters in Arilland than just the sisters...so there is potential for a lot more fun, supplemental stuff. Beyond that, we'll just see how much the publisher still wants me around.

If you do tell each of the sisters' tales, whose do you think is going to be the hardest to tell?

Wednesday's tale is hands-down going to be the hardest to write. In the way that Carroll's THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS was a chess game, Wednesday's story is going to be like three-dimensional chess. I'm going to have to study game theory and do some major plotting ahead of time, which I don't typically do.

Which sister do you think you're most like? Which would be your best friend?

I am all of the sisters. I have to be. But I was thinking the other day: It's funny -- my big sister is very much Monday and my big brother is Peter, but who is my little sister? We were so close growing up--and still are--that really, Soteria is all of the sisters too. 

Picking a best friend is too much like picking a favorite...but I'll be honest, I can't wait to tell Monday's story. There is so much more to her than meets the eye.

Part of the charm of ENCHANTED was the way so many tales were mashed together. What inspired you to do this, and what can we expect to see in books to come?

The original novelette "Sunday" was written in response to a writers group challenge to include three particular elements of fairy tales and nursery rhymes in one story. In a previous challenge, a friend of mine included every single item suggested, even though we only had to pick three. Since fairy tales are my wheelhouse, I decided to jump over that bar he'd raised. I guess you could say that I did. ^_^

Someone asked me once that since I had put every single fairy tale into ENCHANTED, what on earth were the other books going to be about? I assure you, there are SO MANY FAIRY TALES OUT THERE--German, Italian, Dutch, Middle Eastern...the Grimms have over 400 alone!--that I'm not worried about running out of material anytime soon.

As much as we may love any particular tale, each has its own "problematic" aspects (for me, I can't get over the fact that Prince Charming has to find Cinderella, the glorious love of his life, by matching up her feet. I mean, really?). Which problematic aspect of a tale really gets under your skin?

One of my goals for this year was to start a vlog...beginning with my particular pet peeves about fairy tales. Princess Alethea's Fairy Tale Rants. That whole Cinderella bit for instance--no kidding! That prince didn't specify HOW the woman was supposed to fit in the shoe, and as a result rode away with the wrong bride TWICE. So glad his "true love" was such a memorable gal. Don't get me started. Or...do. 

Anyway, now that things have settled down a bit, I'll be starting that up as soon as I'm back from NYC this week. I suspect it's going to be a LOT of fun. 

Stay tuned to my YouTube channel for updates!

Someone gives you a key ring and says you can open any door you want, save one. Then they leave you alone with all those keys and doors. What do you do?

I wouldn't dither. I'd open the first door and walk through. I take the adventure with me wherever I go. The only wrong choice is to not make a choice at all.

This or That?

Tower or Dungeon?

Dungeon. Unless I'm on deadline.

Seven League Boots or Glass Slippers?

Seven league boots. Much more comfortable.

Prince or pauper?

Whichever one used to be the other in a former life.

Hans Christian Andersen or the Brothers Grimm?

I'm a Grimm girl. Andersen seriously needed some Prozac.

Would You Rather...
Have a prince who makes out with your, um...corpse, essentially, or a prince who can only remember who you are by your shoe size?

No fair! You picked both my least favorite fairy tales. I'm going to plead insanity on this one and ride off with a dragon.

Ride in a pumpkin carriage (sticky) or climb a hair-rope (tiring) to get where you're going?

If I had the upper body strength, I'd totally climb the hair rope.

Drink an Alice-ish "Drink Me" potion or eat part of a witch's gingerbread house?

I'm not a big fan of sugar and I'd balk at destroying someone's personal property, so probably the potion.

Be able to spin straw into gold or have precious gems drop from your lips when you speak?

Spin straw into gold for SURE. Can you imagine how annoying the latter would be? I always wondered why the fairy who bestowed it thought it was such a blessing. I mean, better than snakes and toads, sure, but STILL...

Thank you so much, Alethea!  Misty and I, along with several of today's readers, are looking forward to HERO and beyond with you!
O F F I C I A L   I N F O:

Author: Alethea Kontis
Release Date: May 8, 2012
Publisher: Harcourt Children's Books

It isn't easy being the rather overlooked and unhappy youngest sibling to sisters named for the other six days of the week. Sunday’s only comfort is writing stories, although what she writes has a terrible tendency to come true. 

When Sunday meets an enchanted frog who asks about her stories, the two become friends. Soon that friendship deepens into something magical. One night Sunday kisses her frog goodbye and leaves, not realizing that her love has transformed him back into Rumbold, the crown prince of Arilland—and a man Sunday’s family despises. 

The prince returns to his castle, intent on making Sunday fall in love with him as the man he is, not the frog he was. But Sunday is not so easy to woo. How can she feel such a strange, strong attraction for this prince she barely knows? And what twisted secrets lie hidden in his past - and hers?
Title:  HERO
Author: Alethea Kontis
Release Date: Oct. 1, 2013
Publisher: Harcourt Children's Books

Rough and tumble Saturday Woodcutter thinks she's the only one of her sisters without any magic—until the day she accidentally conjures an ocean in the backyard. With her sword in tow, Saturday sets sail on a pirate ship, only to find herself kidnapped and whisked off to the top of the world. Is Saturday powerful enough to kill the mountain witch who holds her captive and save the world from sure destruction? And, as she wonders grumpily, "Did romance have to be part of the adventure?" As in Enchanted, readers will revel in the fragments of fairy tales that embellish this action-packed story of adventure and, yes, romance.


  1. Thanks for sharing. This was so much fun! I can't imagine that precious gem drops is practical. I'm bit of a talker :p I'm also a Grimm girl! I'm so excited and I do hope that there will be 7 books for this series (or even more :D)


  2. Okay, pulling out my copy of Enchanted to go to Florida with me this weekend. (Hope there's a lot of traffic. I've got a lot of reading to do in those six hours). This author is absolutely delightful! I loved her answers and can't wait to read all the stories she "spins."


  3. This is such a great interview! I love both the questions and the answers! And I had no idea there are going to be seven Woodcutter Sisters books! That's fantastic news because I will be reading them all!


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