Thursday, January 2, 2014

Interview with TBF author: Alethea Kontis

Happy New Year TBF readers!

Elizabeth and I apologize for staying silent for so long. I know you guys have been waiting anxiously to hear some news so I won't delay anymore! So without further ado, meet Alethea Kontis, author of the Woodcutter Sisters series.

Miranda Reads: How many books will there be in the Woodcutter Sister series?

Alethea Kontis: There will be seven books in the Woodcutter Sisters series, one about each sister. (Yes, even the dead one.) That's not to say there might not be more books set in the universe of Arilland if they end up being popular enough (read=BUY LOTS), but we'll probably just call it something else.

MR: If you could chose your top 3 favorite fairytales, what would they be?

1.) "The Goose Girl"
2.) "Snow White and Rose Red"
Hmmm...if someone's going to pull out my teeth, though, I'll say "The Twelve Dancing Princesses". (But please don't pull out my teeth.)
MR: Since your books are retellings of different fairytales, do you watch the ABC TV show Once Upon a Time or the CW TV show Beauty and the Beast?
AK: The CW! *That's* what channel that show is on! I need to see that one, obviously. I do watch both incarnations of OUAT--for me, it's like watching a bad soap opera. I hate how much Disney is shoehorned into these plots...I do accept that it's ABC and they do it because they can. But there are some real moments of brilliance in the writing, and that's why I keep watching. Also, Hook is REALLY HOT. So is Jafar. And one day, if I'm very very lucky, maybe the Mad Hatter will come back. *sigh*
MR: One of your five fun facts says that your grandfather was a Greek pirate during WWII. That fascinates me. Do you mind sharing a little bit of what he did during WWII?
AK: My paternal grandfather (Soterios, or Sam) was a small boy when his family escaped from Smyrna during the Great Fire of 1922 (when all the Greeks and Armenians were killed or chased out of Turkey). From there a Japanese Red Cross ship took my family to Greece and dropped them off on one of the islands. The refugees were never really treated like "true Greeks", so when he was old enough, Sam joined the Greek Merchant Marines, undoubtedly to fit in. He was around 23, and on board a ship, when the Nazis occupied Greece...thus leaving him and his crew out to sea as "men without a country." They took what they needed to survive from other ships at sea, and eventually came ashore safely in the US. Sam had other family in Pennsylvania, so he jumped ship and lived in America as an illegal alien for a while until he joined the US Navy as an engineer. 
And that was only a tidbit of what was an amazingly fascinating life! Sam died very young -- 48 -- from heart complications, and my Nana never remarried. He is the one person I wish more than anything that I'd been able to meet. But I love the stories my father and grandmother tell me.
MR: Let's pretend you're on the reality TV competition, America's Got Talent. What talent would you perform?
AK: Oh, wow. Um...gee. Singing, I guess...but only if I had a really good coach help me out first. I would sing the old  hits Memere (my French Grandmother) used to sing, like Rosemary Clooney and Louis Armstrong. I don't think I have the voice to do Christine in Phantom anymore.
MR: What author are you most looking forward to meeting at the 9th annual Greater Rochester Teen Book Festival?
AK: Oh my gosh...such a hard question! At the risk of choosing favorites, I'm going to say Ann Brashares. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants was one of the first audiobooks I listened to and really, really enjoyed. It was just a magical experience. I later had the honor to become a judge for the Audie Awards and I still am...going on my sixth year now.
Thank you so much Alethea! We're all looking forward to meeting you in May!
And thank you, TBF readers for being patient with your TBF bloggers!

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