Hey all you readers and writers! Emma Michaels here to introduce our guest author of the day Alethea Kontis!
Hello Alethea and welcome to The Writers Voice.
Are the traits of anyone close to you apparent in your characters?
There is a little bit of me in every character, but in the broader strokes, a few are based on people I love. In Enchanted, Sunday is very much a cross between me and my best friend since the seventh grade, Casey Cothran. (Dr. Cothran is now a professor of fairy tales at Winthrop University.) Princess Monday is my beautiful older sister Cherie, who was once runner up for Miss Vermont. Peter is my older brother West, who has always had a special communion with nature and currently works for a prominent knife manufacturer. Papa is 100% my father and Mama is 90% my mother--not a stretch there at all.
When you were growing up, what did you want to be?
An actress or an author. I starred in an 8-part PBS educational miniseries when I was eight and was already a prolific writer, so I didn't figure it was too much of a stretch. I was always a very realistic child. Despite this, my parents frowned on my career choices and encouraged me to get a degree in Chemistry. So I did.
What would you like for readers to take away from your novel/novels?
I would like the readers of my novels (especially those folks who find themselves terribly confused) to pick up the complete works of the Grimms or Perrault or Andersen and read their hearts out. I would like them to remember that family, truth, and goodness have always been the most important things in life.
If you could live in one book for a day, what would it be?
It's a toss up between Jovah's Angel by Sharon Shinn and A Gathering of Gargoyles by Meredith Ann Pierce. I have a thing for wings, I guess.
What do you feel is your biggest writerly fault and how do you deal with it?
Butt in Chair. It's always been my biggest obstacle, and I struggle with it daily. I have stints where I write 20,000 words in a week and think, "This is awesome! I can do this every day!" but I don't. Life never stops throwing distractions. The trick is to embrace them and live around them. I've been working on that my whole life.
What is the hardest emotion for you to convey?
In writing? Nothing.
In person? Anger.
I rarely get angry -- I don't see the point in it. But it happens, and on rare occasions I have been excessively stern or lost control completely, and then I feel terrible afterwards. Sometimes it takes me a day of silence and contemplation before I can come back to myself. I don't like being that person.
Is there one book that has had an impact on not only your writing, but on you personally?
Voltaire's Candide. My favorite teacher in the whole world (Mr. Jon Stafford, so far the only person I have fully tuckerized into a novel) assigned this as reading material for our AP European History class in high school. Voltaire's satire of optimism only served to further my optimistic nature even more. Like Pangloss, I believe we live in the Best of All Possible Worlds. And no matter what terrible things happen to we who believe that, we will always survive.
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The Writers Voice!