Archive for the ‘My Favorite Bit’ Category

My Favorite Bit: Alethea Kontis talks about The Wonderland Alphabet

Alethea Kontis is one of my first writing friends. Anyone who knows her, knows that she is funny, enthusiastic, and incredibly generous. She pretty much set the tone for my introduction to fandom and the SF community. She’s continuing to set the tone for an introduction to the world of the fantastic with her children’s books. Here’s Alethea to talk about The Wonderland Alphabet: Alice’s Adventures Through the ABCs and What She Found There

 

 

 

ALETHEA KONTIS:

C is for Contrarywise

My favorite bit about The Wonderland Alphabet: Alice’s Adventures Through the ABCs and What She Found There is not that I get to work with (and sit at tables with, and get interviewed with, and sign books beside, and plan new projects with) one of my dearest friends: Janet K. Lee.

That should be my favorite bit. Indeed, it takes a very close second.

The Wonderland Alphabet wasn’t originally meant to be a real book at all; it was a way for Janet to hang on to her coveted spot in the inaugural Nashville art show Proto Pulp: Classic Books of the Future when she realized that a non-disclosure agreement prevented her from displaying original pieces of the graphic novel on which she was currently working (Return of the Dapper Men). She was going through an Alice in Wonderland phase at the time; I had just sold AlphaOops: H is for Halloween. We worked in the same office building.

“There’s never been an Alice in Wonderland alphabet book,” Janet said to me.

Like a rabbit with a pocket watch, one was decidedly overdue.

I went home and pulled Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, and What Alice Found There off my shelf. I wrote the alphabet down the left hand side of a notebook page, just I had done with the AlphaOops books, and noted every possible word for every possible letter. Some letters had only one word. Some had plenty. Some had none (X, Z), and for those I used a little imagination. I gave the list to Janet, who circled (where applicable) the objects that called to her illustrative genius.

And then came poetry.

I started writing sometime between the ages of eight and ten. But it was not prose; I was a poet. My favorite books when I was very young (4-5) were Gelett Burgess’s Goop Tales. Shortly after that came Mother Goose, Dr. Seuss, and my beloved Ogden Nash. Sometime around middle school, my little sister discovered Shel Silverstein. And my parents took us to Shakespeare plays every summer, or whenever we could find them. Like the fairy tales, the work of these poets was often very dark but always very clever.

So very, very me.

Because this Wonderland Alphabet project was only for Janet (and the tiny white cards that accompanied her artwork in the show), I didn’t give a fig about making my verse perfect and palatable. I wrote the poems because they were FUN…and yes, I giggled a lot while doing it. (10 points for spotting the Shakespeare reference. 100 if you catch the far more subtle Ogden Nash homage.) Janet had an equally amusing time with the illustrations, posting each one on her Facebook wall as she finished. The first annual Proto Pulp show was a smashing success.

And then Return of the Dapper Men won the Eisner Award for Best New Graphic Novel.

“What else do you have?” the eager publisher asked Janet.

“Well, my friend Alethea and I did an Alice in Wonderland alphabet book a while back,” Janet replied. “She’s a New York Times bestselling author now, you know.”

Thus and Thence, The Wonderland Alphabet: Alice’s Adventures Through the ABCs and What She Found There came to be.

And they didn’t change my poetry at all. Not one blessed, subversive word.

THAT is my favorite bit.

[The Wonderland Alphabet is rated E: For Everyone. The book contains content suitable for readers of all ages. It may contain minimal violence.]

Even at 5 years old, Alethea knew what paradise was.

RELEVANT LINKSAlethea Kontis’s website and Janet Lee’s website

The Wonderland Alphabet: Alice’s Adventures Through the ABCs and What She Found Thereamazon|barnes and noble|indiebound

BIOS

Eisner Award-winning artist Janet Lee lives in Nashville, the Wonderland of the South, and loves to drink tea with rabbits when she can.

Alethea Kontis is a New York Times bestselling Fairy Tale Princess.

 

My Favorite Bit: Sean Williams talks about Troubletwisters: The Monster

Welcome to the inaugural post of a new feature here called, “My Favorite Bit.” This is a series of guest posts in which I ask authors and other creative types to talk about their favorite bit of their newest work. Sometimes it will be a scene, a sentence, a character, or a bit of world-building. It might even be a piece of research that never made it on the page. The key is that it’s something that they love LOVE sooooo much.

For my first guest, we have Sean Williams in to talk about his latest collaboration with Garth Nix. I met Sean at a World Fantasy convention years ago, but have had the pleasure the last couple of years of serving on the board of SFWA with him. He’s our current overseas regional director and has done a darn fine job in that position.

As a writer though, he’s the kind of guy who makes the rest of us feel like we’re slacking. He’s only two years older than me and has written thirty-five novels. Thirty-five. And he wins awards, major awards, with these.

But now, I’m going to get out of the way and let Sean tell you about his Favorite Bit of  Troubletwisters Book 2: The Monster

SEAN WILLIAMS:

Collaborations are fun. I think so, anyway. With the right person. They’d be pretty horrific with the wrong person–like a marriage, I guess, although I wish in no way to imply that I have anything but professional feelings for either of my collaborators, Shane Dix and Garth Nix. (The same might not be said for Caprica Six, were she available. Or real.) Just friendship in spades, which is where these things start. Writing can be a lonely game, and so is touring; why not engineer things so sometimes you have company along the way?

My latest novel is the second in a five-book middle-grade fantasy series Garth and I have been working on for several years, now. Troubletwisters: The Monster is the follow-up to Troubletwisters: The Magic, which emerged from long discussions in bars, at cons, waiting in airports, etc, about writing together (several possible stories, such as a contemporary thriller, a monster movie, even a romantic comedy, have been shelved, but perhaps only temporarily). Trying kids’ books seemed a bit of a no-brainer in the end, since we both love reading them and we’ve both written many of our own. It was just a matter of agreeing on what these particular ones would be about, and then writing them. Continue reading ›

Introducing a new feature: My Favorite Bit

One of my favorite things when I’m talking to authors and artists is listening to them geek out about their favorite bit of their own work. It’s usually something small that they put in to amuse themselves, or that they worked really hard on but don’t expect anyone to notice. You can hear the sheer glee in their voices when they talk about it.

I love that peek behind the curtain.

So, I’ve started a new feature on my website where I invite authors, artists, and other creators to talk about their favorite bit of their newest work. This can be a scene, a sentence, a character, or a bit of world-building. It can even be a piece of research that never made it on the page. The key is that it’s something that they love LOVE sooooo much.

These posts are a chance for you to peek backstage and see what makes an author go to their happy place. In a lot of ways, the things that my guests will be talking about are why we write to begin with.

And now… without further ado, hop on over to My Favorite Bit.

For those authors, artists, puppeteers, or other creators interested in participating, I have an FAQ for you about My Favorite Bit.