{Guest Post/Giveaway} How Alethea Kontis [Technically!] Got Her Start in Horror!

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 How Alethea Kontis [Technically!] Got Her Start in Horror!

I'm so excited about today's guest post!!!! You all know how much I adore author Alethea Kontis. Her fairy tale-influenced novels RULE.

Her brand-brand-brand new book [So new it's out TODAY} HAVEN, KANSAS is a far cry from fairy tales....because it's all about horror, oh yeah!

(Check out today's review of HAVEN, KANSAS from Mandy!)

With the novel's debut coinciding with our final day of The Books Hiding Under Your Bed Week, we HAD to get Alethea to stop by and visit!

You might be surprised to find out that the self-proclaimed Queen of Glitter and all things magical...ACTUALLY got her start through making horror movies!

Read on to hear more!

Check out today's review of
HAVEN, KANSAS by Alethea Kontis!


Alethea Kontis is a princess, author, fairy godmother, and geek. Her bestselling Books of Arilland fairytale series won two Gelett Burgess Children’s Book Awards (Enchanted and Tales of Arilland), and was twice nominated for the Andre Norton Award. Alethea also penned the AlphaOops picture books, The Wonderland Alphabet, Diary of a Mad Scientist Garden Gnome, Beauty & Dynamite, The Dark-Hunter Companion (w/Sherrilyn Kenyon), and a myriad of poems, essays, and short stories. Princess Alethea lives and writes on the Space Coast of Florida with her teddy bear, Charlie. You can find her on her YouTube channel, all the social media, and at www.aletheakontis.com.

Connect with Alethea:  

"How I [Technically!] Got My Start in Horror"
by Alethea Kontis

A bunch of years ago, during one of my first podcasts with Greg Hall (aka “The Funky Werepig”), Greg mentioned how I’d “gotten my start in horror.” I didn’t correct him, mostly because it would have been rude. Sure, I’d had some dark short stories published here and there, and I ran with the horror crowd at the time, but my first published book was the picture book AlphaOops: The Day Z Went First. Granted, some teachers, librarians, and book reviewers thought that an out-of-order alphabet was pretty terrifying, so I let it slide. 

Trouble is, once I thought about it some more, I realized that Greg was right. It was horror. 

It all started with a boy. 

(I’m a romantic dreamer—let’s face it; most of the nonsense in my life started with a boy.) 

Thanks to growing up with family who owns movie theaters, my first job at 16 was as a concessionist at the Movies at Polo in Columbia, South Carolina. By 17 I was head projectionist, and graduating high school with enough college credits to start USC as a Sophomore. (I was a genius kid. School was easy.) 

My parents didn’t want me pursuing some worthless subject like English, despite my lifelong desire to be a writer, so I majored in Chemistry. No big deal. My boyfriend at the time—one of the other projectionists at the theatre—was majoring in Media Arts. Media Arts majors make a LOT of student films. And I don’t mean all this digital stuff you kids have today. I mean actual 16mm FILM. 

Needless to say, I graduated with that degree in Chemistry, but what I actually learned in college was Media Arts. 

My boyfriend’s clique included Tommy Faircloth—the Joss Whedon of the early 90s SC indie film scene. He was just finishing up a film called Crinoline Head—a slasher movie parody about a bunch of annoying teens vacationing at a summer house. (My boyfriend played Mark. He died. They pretty much all die.) That film became such a huge part of our lives that we could all quote the movie backwards and forwards. 
(Probably still could.) 

  It was a one-for-all and all-for-one kind of affair: Tommy helped the boys with their films, and they helped Tommy with his. I was one of the only girls in the group…and technically as a girlfriend I wasn’t really in the group…but I was there. Which meant that I had a lot of bit parts, I held a lot of microphones, and I carried a lot of gear. Scoring me my first official credit on IMDb as a Location Manager and Technical Advisor on Generation Ax. (We let Tommy film a scene at Movies at Polo after hours…and I was the only one who knew how to turn all the various ice machines and whatnot off that were driving the sound guy nuts.) 

  Now, just to be clear, I am NOT a fan of horror movies. I do not enjoy watching people hurt other people. Give me a good Hitchcockian suspense or meta-mind game like Cabin in the Woods any day, but you can keep your Texas Chainsaw Massacres and House of 1000 Corpses to yourself. The thing is, when you’re a girlfriend whose final grade isn’t on the line, you really have no say in the project. And when you’re on set, where all the magic happens…well, setting up the scene where the kids discover your boyfriend’s severed head in the popcorn popper is admittedly kind of fun. 

So, a bunch of years later, when a different boyfriend’s buddies said, “We want to make a movie about a killer in the woods,” I said, “I’m in!” and handed them a check. 

I was only ever able to be on set a few times during the filming of Blood Oath. But I got to go bowling with Tina Krause, Tiffany Shepis and I are still friends on Facebook, and I will always remember the day we got to shoot Natalie Hart with Super Soakers full of fake blood. That movie had an actual premiere in an actual theatre…and this time my name was in the credits at the beginning. 

The director of Blood Oath (Dave Buchert) is also the reason Haven, Kansas exists…but that’s another story. 

Would I like to help produce another movie again, horror or otherwise? Absolutely. I’ve even included it as my final milestone goal on Patreon

Not that I ever expect to hit that goal. But you never know…

Some pictures from the set of Blood Oath!!!

Grab it while it's hot off the press! 

The e-book is only $3.99!!!

O F F I C I A L   I N F O:

Author: Alethea Kontis
Release Date: Oct. 22, 2016
Publisher: Alethea Kontis


Never reap a harvest sown with blood.

150 years ago, in Haven, Kansas, a witch was burned at the stake. This October, in Haven, Kansas, a boy plays a prank on his big sister. Suddenly, crows fill the skies, a female scarecrow plagues the town, and teenagers are dying left and right. Amidst the violence, strange things keep happening. Lora Townsend discovers a secret room behind the wall of her bedroom, in which a dark and foul Book of Shadows has been hiding for over a century. The book belonged to an ancestor who documented the spells and stories of the strange woman he loved...a woman the town later killed for practicing witchcraft.

There are whispers on the wind. The death toll is rising. And Lora and her family seem to be the center of it all. They must call upon Lora's small knowledge of magic to help them. Will they be able to take the town back from the witch, and can they manage it without losing their lives in the process?

Lois Duncan meets Joss Whedon in this literary slasher for the twenty-first century!


Filled with a generous mix of fantasy, intrigue, and grab-you-by-the-throat horror, Alethea Kontis’s HAVEN is a powerhouse novel every fan of fine YA literature should have on the shelf.”

“Kontis writes with poise and passion, delivering chills and thrills with every page. A must read.” —New York Times bestselling author Sherrilyn Kenyon

“HAVEN is a page-turner and its characters are drawn well—they're believable, both in their actions and in their dialogue (the ‘dialogue’ of young teens isn't as easily captured as some writers with less talent believe). It’s an exciting tale of witchery and revenge, told with style and intelligence, that is, most importantly, a heck of a lot of fun. I simply enjoyed it from start to finish.” —T. M. Wright, author of A MANHATTAN GHOST STORY


During The Books Under Your Bed Week,
We're giving away a book of YOUR CHOICE
from the event!

It could be a pre-order of HAVEN KANSAS!

This giveaway is INTERNATIONAL to any country that Book Depository ships to.  You can also claim an e-book as a prize; it doesn't have to be a physical copy!

You must be at least 13 years old to enter or have a parent's permission!

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