Lisa Mantchev is the Author of the upcoming release Eyes Like Stars which hits book shelves July 7, 2009.
Find out more information by clicking: The Théâtre Illuminata
Questions on Eyes Like Stars:
Tainted Poet: First off, could you please give us a brief summery of Eyes Like Stars?
Lisa Mantchev: ELS is the story of Beatrice Shakespeare Smith, who lives at the Théâtre Illuminata with all the characters from every play ever written. It's a moving story of self-discovery. With glitter. And cupcakes. And great costuming.
TP: How much of yourself would you say you put into your main character Bertie?
LM: She has my love of the theater and coffee. I didn't start dying my hair until I hit college, though, and never blue.
TP: Are you a fan of Shakespeare? Or was there another reason for all the Shakespearean references and characters?
LM: Whenever I read one of his plays, I get an awed feeling at the idea of writing iambic pentameter with a quill pen... especially when I stop to think about how often I use the "delete" key in my word processor! I really enjoy pieces that riff on his work, too. "The Shakespeare Code" is one of my very favorite episodes of Doctor Who, for example, and I love movies like "10 Things I Hate About You" that use his storylines in a modern setting.
TP: Who would you say is your favorite character and why?
LM: It started with Bertie, so I'll stick with her.
TP: Peaseblossom is my favorite. Which Fairy are you most fond of?
LM: It's funny... I think of them as "Pease and The Boys." I can't pick a favorite, any more than a mom would tell you which of her kids she likes best... mostly because they would shove jelly beans up my nose while I'm sleeping if I said otherwise.
TP: What inspired you to write about the Theatre?
LM: I started performing in community theater when I was seven, then majored in Drama in college, so it's something with which I was familiar (that old adage of "Write what you know.") I've always felt that theaters are magical, and hoped readers might feel the same way I do.
TP: Is there a particular message you want readers to take away from ELS?
LM: "Go to the theater. See a play."
TP: Eyes Like Stars is the first of a Trilogy. When is the next one expected to be released?
LM: PERCHANCE TO DREAM will be released in the Fall of 2010, and the third book in the Théâtre Illuminata series in 2011.
TP: What is your biggest literary inspiration?
LM: Probably the Shoes books by Noel Streatfeild (particularly Ballet Shoes.)
TP: Do you have any particular foods or drinks you like to eat or drink when you're writing?
LM: Coffee, coffee, and more coffee. I also love having nibbles nearby (small candies, like Reece's Pieces, Skittles, or jelly beans) that I can nom as I think.
TP: Music or no music while writing? If so, what do you listen to?
LM: If I listen to music, which isn't often, because I get distracted easily, it's instrumental... like the "Assassin's Tango" from the Mr. & Mrs. Smith soundtrack. I listened to that on repeat while choreographing the tango scene.
TP: Are there any particular authors that inspire you?
LM: I just finished Frank Beddor's Looking Glass Wars, which was super-shiny. I also love Patricia McKillip's sensory details and Neil Gaiman's sense-of-wonder. Terry Pratchett's books really gave me permission to let out my inner smart-arse.
TP: Why did you decided to write Young Adult?
LM: I didn't, actually. Before tackling the novel, I was writing short, speculative fiction, and "YA" isn't really a separate genre in that field. While writing it, I just thought of is as "this neat thing I'm working on." Then I sold to a YA imprint, and realized the majority of my reading material comes from the YA/teen section of the bookstore. I had a moment of glorious realization that I'd finally found my place, my writing "home."
TP: How much time do you usually spend writing daily?
LM: It's a full time job for me now, but I work it in around parenting and laundry and vacuuming up the dog-hair tumbleweeds. And "writing" isn't just putting down first draft material... it might also mean revising, which I've been doing nonstop for about nine months, or copyediting, or reading page proofs. It's also blogging and networking and organizational stuff. The hours certainly add up!
TP: What is a question no one ever asks, but you wish that they would?
LM: Nobody ever asks me the meaning of life, which means I have to randomly shout "Forty-two!" at people on the street.
I am personally very excited for this release! Lisa was great to work with and I would just like to give her a round of applause for the wonderful book she has written for us! Brava!
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