Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Interview With Lisa Mantchev

I've been a loyal Lisa Mantchev fan since I met her on Twitter two years ago, a few months before her first book, EYES LIKE STARS, came out. I was fortunate enough to get an advanced copy of ELS, and I was WOWED. Smart, original, vivid, compelling, and addictive! Then, PERCHANCE TO DREAM came out, and I was thrown for a loop. I'd thought I was staunchly Team Nate, but ... PTD made me wonder if maybe I was really Team Ariel. Or both! Can I please have both?

So now, as the final book in the trilogy is released, I thought I'd have Lisa on the blog to introduce these fabulous books to my readers. (I won't tell you which team I finally decided to support! You'll have to read and decide for yourself!) Here's a sneak peek at SO SILVER BRIGHT:

Things are never easy for Beatrice Shakespeare Smith. Something's happened to the Théâtre Illuminata, putting the only home she's ever known in limbo. Her mother's sanity is fraying under the strain, her father has vanished and an angry goddess is out for revenge. Bertie is caught between her duties and her dreams, just as her heart is torn between Ariel and Nate. But hope glimmers in a Distant Castle, and if Bertie can put on the performance of her life, maybe she can win the magical boon that may save them all.

Lisa decided to be interviewed by the Spork of Doom. Considering how easily she handled Captain Jack last year, I think the Spork should be worried.

Spork of Doom

Lisa Mantchev
Now that you know who's who, it's time to reveal the cupcake of ... well, this is a PG blog, so I can't really use the adjective this cupcake deserves. If you've read Lisa's books, you know the fairies from A Midsummer Night's Dream are mischievous scamps who both help and hinder Beatrice in her journey. The fairies are especially distracted by dessert. When Lisa told me the theme of SO SILVER BRIGHT is dreams coming true, my hubby decided to make a cupcake of a fairy's dream come true. It ... well ... he was tired. It was super late. And I think that while his original vision was sound, this is the cupcake destined to go down in cupcake history as the Frosting Crotch. Without further ado, I give you Lisa's interview with the Spork of Doom and one lucky fairy getting his ultimate cake dream.

1. I’m all about world domination, and I’m always looking for good help. Would you be an acceptable minion in my quest?

Probably not. I'm the older sister, which means I am bossy as all get out. I don't follow orders well (never have) and prefer to take the reins in almost any project, be it business or pleasure. Hence the reason I started writing short stories... I got tired of the "rules" of online roleplaying. What's that you say? My elfin elemental sorceress can't become a vampire? Well, screw you! I'm taking my writerly toys and playing by myself over there! *stomps off*

2. The only rule you need to understand is that I make the rules. Being a Spork of Doom takes moxie. What’s the sporkiest thing you’ve ever done?

I shot a man in Reno, just to watch him die!

Interesting. I didn't think a spork could raise an eyebrow like that.

3. Funny. You don't look like Johnny Cash. Besides, shooting is for wimps who don't have titanium tines at their disposal. When I’m not busy taking over the world, I like to eat pie. What kind of pie do you think is worthy of my Spork of Doom status?

My mom makes the most Awesome Pie Ever... it's called a "flat apple pie" and it's made in a cookie sheet. Seriously! You roll out enough crust to cover the bottom of the cookie sheet, then put down a thin layer of crushed corn flakes (stick with me, I know it sounds weird) then slices of Granny Smith apple, then the top layer of pie crust. Bake, and douse with lemony powdered sugar glaze. When it's cool, you can pick up a big square of it in your hand and NOM NOM NOM.

4. *glares* While I'm sure that travesty of a "pie" is delicious, a REAL pie is one where you can use your tines and not your hand. What’s your favorite thing to do with a spork?

Eat pie and poke people. I actually own a titanium spork from ThinkGeek that was a gift from my friend, Jenna Waterford.

5. Ah ... so that's where one of my minions resides. Don't worry about any noises you might hear in the kitchen on October 9th, 2011. I'm sure it's just the cat and NOT the soon-to-be infamous Spork Uprising. I have the ability to be simultaneously spoon, fork, and weapon of mass destruction. What unique ability do you have?

I'm the Queen of Show and Tell... which is a fancy way of saying I like going overboard when it comes to things like parties and projects. For my senior thesis project in college, I did the costume, scenic, and lighting design for an imaginary production of Much Ado About Nothing set in WWII-era New Orleans Mardi Gras. I built a replica of our on-campus theater out of foamboard, added working colored lights that ran on dimmer switches, installed speakers to the back that played swing music, painted and displayed more than a dozen watercolor costume designs, then decorated the table with masks, beads, plastic champagne flutes, and banners.

*might have taken home a prize for that*

6. So, you're saying your superhero ability is to be an over-achiever? HOW does this make sense with your paltry little under-achieving pie from question 3? In this day and age, a savvy spork bent on world domination can’t afford to ignore a good marketing campaign. I’m thinking t-shirts with “Spork or Die.” If you made a shirt with your own slogan on it, what would it say?

I have "Taste the Bad Candy" written in silver on my (black) business cards. Let's just say it never fails to get the conversational ball rolling.

7. Actually, that has a nice ring to it. *takes notes* If I had to compare myself to anyone in history, I’d have to say I’m most like Napoleon. Only skinnier. And shinier. And smart enough not to lose my empire at a place with a ridiculous name like Waterloo. Who are you most like and why?

Considering my obsession with cake and the fact that I'd forget my head if it wasn't attached--I blame the kids!--I have to answer Marie Antoinette.

8. Why is your job just as much fun as world domination?

Because I literally get to do and say everything I've ever wanted to... all I have to do is imagine something and then write it down. Best magic trick ever.

9. I get to do and say everything I've ever wanted to. If someone tries to stop me, I spork them! In between conquests, I like to read a good story. What can you recommend and why?

Michelle Zink's trilogy, starting with Prophecy of the Sisters, Cindy Pon's lush Asian fantasies that start with Silver Phoenix, Stephanie Burgis's Kat books (different titles here and in the UK), Tiffany Trent's forthcoming Unnaturalists, Y.S. Lee's The Agency series, and Ysabeau Wilce's Flora Segunda series. Obviously, I like my YA well-written and full of good costuming!

10. Speaking of costumes, you need to accomplish a secret, night-time mission as my minion. Cloak? No cloak? Why?

I think Edna Mode said it best in The Incredibles... NO CAPES.

11. My best piece of advice to others is this: “Fear the spork!” What’s your best advice?

Play nice with the other kids (unless they hit you first, then clean their clock!) Also, eat dessert first.

Thank you, Lisa, for such an entertaining interview! To find out more about Lisa's books, included links to where you can purchase them, head to her website. Of course, the fun isn't over yet! Lisa is offering a fabulous giveaway to one lucky commenter.
Prize package: Signed paperback of EYES LIKE STARS, signed paperback of PERCHANCE TO DREAM, and assorted Theatre Illuminata swag!
The contest is open to North America until Sunday, August 28th at 8 p.m. Central Time. To enter, simply fill out the form below. Good luck, and happy reading!


  1. Yay Theatre Illuminata! More people really need to read this series, it's absolutely gorgeous! <3

  2. So, a series with all your strengths utilized. Brilliant. I look forward to the read.

  3. I also really enjoy this series a lot, thanks!

  4. Is it me, or do the fairies legs look like Richard Simmons?

    Funny interview. The books sound good!

  5. This series looks great! Hilarious interview!

  6. These books sound like fun and the interview made me laugh out loud. The spork uprising has got me worried :)

  7. *Applause*

    Marvelous interview! :) Eyes Like Stars was such a fun, clever book. It made the perfect gift for my sister (theater major). For once, we had something to talk about! PTD has been on my list to read for some time now. Is So Silver Bright meant to be the last in the series, or can we hope for an encore?

    Love love LOVE your cover art, by the way. <3

    ~Angela Blount

  8. Seems like Lisa had you there with question 2... lol.

  9. I am on vacation with all the Men in my family. I seriously needed a funny post to read before I started kicking butts and taking names. Thank you! Why must a family vacation involve so much family?!
    Okay so I need to get your book 1 and start reading now.

  10. Hilarious interview! I've yet to read these books, but they've been in my to-read list after some of my friends recently raved about them. Can't wait to read them and thank you so much for this awesome interview!


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