WRW Speaks with Alethea Kontis, Author of Enchanted

 

By Miguelina Perez 

WRW’s own Alethea Kontis’ father read to her every night when she was a baby, so it’s no surprise that she was reading by five and a budding author at eight. Recently, I sat down with her to learn more about her writing and the author herself.

Miguelina: Do you have philosophy for your writing career or life?

Alethea KontisAlethea: Other than “Shut Up and Write,” my biggest philosophy is “Every stranger is a best friend I haven’t met yet.” Like Sherrilyn Kenyon always told me, you make your fans one at a time. I’ve learned from experience just how true this is.

Miguelina: Nice…What drives you to write?

Alethea: I want to write books just like the ones I loved when I was a kid, reading my way through the juvenile section of the library. Someday I want to mean to someone what Tamora Pierce and Robin McKinley and Dianna Wynne Jones and Meredith Ann Pierce and Lloyd Alexander all meant to me.

Miguelina: Who is your favorite fantasy writer? What draws you to this writer?

Alethea: I could no sooner pick a favorite star in the heavens! But the book I buy extra copies of to give to friends is William Goldman’s The Princess Bride. It is a brilliant masterpiece of storytelling, and if you’ve only seen the film then you have no idea what you’re missing. Just read Chapter One. I promise. You won’t regret it.

Miguelina: I think I shall…We know that authors love all of their creations, but is there one of yours that is your ultimate favorite?

Alethea: Right now, my favorite is a story called “The Unicorn Hunter”. It is the story of what really happened to Snow White, between the time she left the huntsman in the woods and the time she found the dwarfs. It’s such a beautiful bittersweet tale of love and friendship…I cried when I finished writing it, because I lamented those characters being on the paper now, instead of in my head. But worry not, for they will return in the Enchanted universe…oh yes, they will.

Miguelina: Tell me more about Enchanted. I read excerpts from it and felt as if I was reading a song.

Alethea: I admit: I had way too much fun writing Enchanted. It was the story I’d been waiting to tell all my life, in the way only I could tell it. What I didn’t realize back when I was 12 and writing fairy tales was that in order to tell a fairy tale properly, I had to live one first. I’ve gone from being the engineer’s daughter in the house at the edge of the Wood to being a princess, and the long, hard road in between has been fraught with magic and monsters.

Enchanted takes the premise that all the fairy tales we know came from one family: the Woodcutters. They have seven daughters: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Sunday is the seventh daughter of a seventh daughter, who has a magical little book in which the things she writes come true. She shares her writing one day with a frog in the Enchanted Wood who becomes her friend. And when her kiss finally does work, the frog turns into a prince…one her family has long despised. So he goes back to the palace and decides to hold three balls and invite all the eligible ladies in the land…a subversive effort to get Sunday to fall in love with him as a man.

But other evils are afoot, and many other fairy tales are hiding in the woodwork. Enchanted really was a five-year labor of love. I’ve listened to the audio-book three or four times now, and I still sometimes can’t believe I wrote it.

Miguelina: Thank you for taking the time to meet with me.

Alethea: Thank you!