Meet Alethea Kontis | #FriendlyFriday

It’s #FriendlyFriday, the day I tell you all about my fabulous friends and the brilliant things they’re up to. Have a fabulous friend of your own? Share a link to their awesomeness in the comments or on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag.

I’m moving Friendly Friday posts over from Patreon to my blog. This is where I’m posting all content going forward and the design over here is better, anyway!

I don’t plan to repost the old Friendly Fridays here, though I’m making an exception today. Why? Because today is the birthday of the illustrious Alethea Kontis, who is not only my dear friend but also the person who came up with this great concept. Wish her a happy birthday by dropping a buck or two into her birthday fundraiser :)

If you’ve been following me for a while, you may recognize Alethea’s name from my frequent visits to Florida. She and I have ranted about fairy tales together, challenged people together, and had magical times at the Space Center as well as the beach. Most of the time when I tell people I know her they ask: “So, the princess thing–is she like that ALL the time?” As with most beautifully complex people, the answer is a complicated mix of yes and no.

Alethea is a prolific writer who has found a home in multiple genres: picture books, middle grade, YA, horror, fantasy, romance. The series she’s most well known for, the Woodcutter Sisters/Tales of Arilland, blends together dozens of different fairy tales and folk tropes into stories about sisters and princesses and fairies and queens and ordinary people caught up in extraordinary business. Though the books are aimed at middle grade and YA readers, they are complex in subject matter, language, structure, and execution. They also celebrate all the many ways of being a girl and a woman with no apologies given for any of those ways of being.

Alethea Kontis in the TARDIS

The way she engages with fairy and folk tales has always impressed me, because she’s not just skimming the surface, she’s delving deep into narratives that have always been about more than just whether or not the goose girl will win the heart of the prince or the mermaid will end up married or sea foam. Anyone who has read some of the older versions of these tales know that it’s not all sunshine and glass slippers; Alethea knows this, too.

And so her persona of Princess Alethea is somewhat about marketing–some authors ARE what they write, which is part of why people keep reading–and also somewhat about wanting to create an atmosphere around her that acknowledges both the shiny and the dark and embraces it with fierceness and glitter at the same time. You can’t be around Alethea and not appreciate that.

However, one cannot always be a 100% full on princess. Sometimes one must just be a regular old amazing person, which Alethea is. A person who wants people to feel welcome and loved and supported and energized and live up to their bestness. You can’t be around Alethea and not appreciate this part of her, either.

You should get to know her and her work. If you go to her website or Amazon author page you can find links to all her books. There are many of them. And I can tell you exactly how to start depending on what kind of fiction you want.

If you’re excited by the fairy/folk tale stuff, read The Unicorn Hunter, The Glass Mountain, or the whole Tales of Arilland short story collection. If you like those, then read the three Woodcutter Sisters books, Enchanted, Hero, and Dearest. These books are appropriate for everyone ages 8 and up.

AlphaOops cover

If you want some adorable books for small kids, then get AlphaOops!: The Day Z Went First, and AlphaOops: H is for Halloween and Diary of a Mad Scientist Garden Gnome.

Haven cover

If horror is your thing, then grab a copy of Haven, Kansas and then Wild & Wishful, Dark & Dreaming.

If you’re a romance reader, then her Nocturne Falls books The Truth About Cats and Wolves and When Tinker Met Bell are the places to start.

See, I told you she writes everything. Clicky click on over to find the ones you want.

I also highly suggest you support her on Patreon to get exclusive stuff and to help support her as she continues writing her wonderful books. Depending on the level of support you get videos–and trust me, you want videos so you can see for yourself the magicalness that is my dear friend.

Oh, and don’t forget the fundraiser.