Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Interview with Lisa Mantchev

Today, I'm super excited to have Lisa Mantchev return to the blog. I've been a fan of Lisa's since I received an ARC (advance review copy) of her debut novel, EYES LIKE STARS. I fell hard for that book with it's incredibly unique premise, hilarious secondary characters, and wide scope of imagination that just took my breath away. SO SILVER BRIGHT is the third and final book in the Theatre Illuminata trilogy, and it's just as imaginative, just as sweeping, and just as full of hilarious moments as the first two. (She even gives us an army of zombies in a post-apocalyptic wasteland ... a delightful surprise for those readers who love post-apoc stuff!) Lisa's writing is full of fantastic imagery, literary references, and wit. Here's a 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.

Now that you've had a taste of the book, let's meet today's guests. Lisa has been a regular on this blog, so she chose to be interviewed by our newest cast member, that conceited pink sock monkey, Giselle.


Lisa Mantchev

Of course, before we dive into the interview itself, we get to reveal the incredible cupcake my hubby made in honor of Lisa. (And yes, every piece of this is edible. He really has TALENT.) Lisa asked for a quill and moleskine journal, both to represent the book of stories Bertie writes in and to represent herself as an author. My hubby complied. Without further ado, I give you the gorgeous quill and journal cupcake and Lisa vs. Giselle.

Quill and Journal Cupcake

1. I believe a girl should be able to describe herself in a single word. Naturally, the word I’d use for myself is “perfect.” What word best describes you?

Caffeinated. Either by coffee, tea, or chocolate (the three prongs in this writer's power plug.)

2. A common misconception about sock monkeys is that we adore socks. This is foolishness. Speaking only for myself, I adore Jimmy Choos and diamonds from Tiffany’s. What are a few of your favorite things?

Dusty antique stores. Anything art nouveau. Costuming (Corsets! Bustle skirts! Fairy wings!) Dessert. Quiet moments early in the morning with just myself and a cup of coffee. Loud moments with the family and dogs and laughter.

3. The only item on your list that looks remotely appealing to a girl of my particular proclivities is dessert. You can keep the rest. Many crave my approval, but few are clever enough to win it. What are you willing to do to win my favor?

*presents you with diamond-encrusted stilettos*

4. Your offering has been deemed acceptable. If I was a dessert, I’d be a French macaron. Strawberry, of course. Why? Because I am French and pink and altogether lovely. What kind of dessert best describes you and why?

Salted caramel chocolate tart. Because… er… I'm complex and rich and have a buttery crust. O.o

5. How ... delightful for you. I understand you write stories. Please tell me why the hero of your book would be my perfect boy toy for a day.

Ariel would be able to whisk you away to any city you desire. Paris, for instance, and a day of shopping.

6. Really? Any city? I'm afraid I'm going to need to keep Ariel for the foreseeable future. You Americans love your movies. One day, when Hollywood tells the story of my life, it will be called Gone With The Perfect Pink Monkey. If your life was a movie, what would be the title?

"Coffee and Chaos"

7. Pink? Or some lesser, inferior color?


8. Darling, black isn't even a color. I love fairy tales. If I was a fairy tale character, I’d be Snow White. The fairest in all the land. Which fairy tale character would you be and why?

Pretty sure I'm whichever one gets eaten by grues straight off. I have that kind of luck.

9. Well, maybe it's because you're busy wearing black instead of pink. Everyone knows all the handsome heroes willing to protect you from beasts love to see a girl in pink. Especially if the girl has puffy lips like mine. Angelina Jolie tried to imitate me, of course, but anyone can see I'm still the definitive example of the puffy pout. I am, of course, a fashion trend setter. (Glitter eye shadow? Six inch heels? Retro gowns making a comeback? Yes. You may thank me with your undying adulation.) If you were to start a trend, what would it be?

I would love to see pop culture trend back toward music and books and movies with substance. I've had enough crap reality television to last me two lifetimes, and I'm tired of celebrities famous for being famous. Give me artists and poets and thinkers of deep thoughts, please!

10. We are in agreement. Even though a reality show titled "Giselle Steals Your Shoes" would be a hit. (Who am I kidding? Anything starring moi is bound to be a hit.) I am addicted to all things French—baguettes, macarons, Chateau Lafite, moi … the list goes on and on. What is your favorite thing from France?

The food, of course. *swoon!* The architecture. The language (I took four years of French in high school, and my husband's first language is French.) The history! My house is decorated in a style I jokingly refer to as "Parisian Flea Market" with a mix of wrought iron, wood, shabby antiques, and vintage glass.

11. Ahh ... a woman who appreciates the glory that is Paris. We shall be friends. Even if you refuse to wear pink. A smart woman always maintains an air of mystery. Often the art of being mysterious involves doing the unexpected. What is the most unusual thing you’ve ever done?

I wrote a novel on a dare… does that count?

12. I suppose it will do. I also believe a smart woman always gets the last word. Any last word you’d like to leave with my readers?

Eat dessert first!

Thank you, Lisa, for such an entertaining interview! To learn more about Lisa, visit her site. To purchase your copy of So Silver Bright (which just came out in paperback) or to get started on the trilogy from the beginning, head to Indie Bound, Barnes & Noble, or Amazon.

The fun isn't over yet, though. Lisa is offering a hardcover of SO SILVER BRIGHT to one lucky blog reader! The contest is open to North America and runs through 8 p.m. central time Thursday, June 21st. To enter, simply fill out the form below. Good luck, and happy reading!


  1. I agree, the BEST thing about France is the food. They really are culinary geniuses there!!

    I just adore the covers for this series.

    deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

  2. I loved the interview and the cupcake. (Once again your husband's cupcake genius amazes me.) You always have the most interesting interviews. Thanks for introducing me to this series. Can't wait to read it!

    Dorothy - The Alaskan Bookie - Squeak
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  3. Nice interview. This was a lot of fun. I love Giselle's attitude. She's a girl who knows what she wants and who she is. And of course I adore Lisa. I love costuming. That's half the fun of ballroom dance.

  4. I have to ask--was the cupcake eaten or admired? :)

  5. Fun interview!I'm a fan of this series but still need to read So Silver Bright. Thanks for the giveaway!

  6. Hahaha, you guys are so funny!

    I take it Lisa likes coffee. Just, you know, a little bit. One of my friends, I swear she has coffee running through her veins, not blood. Without it, she cannot be.

    I've never been to Paris. *ducks to avoid six inch heel thrown in shock*

  7. This sounds like a great book. And I'm like Lisa-caffinated.

  8. Dear Lisa: I adore you. Just so you know. (but not in a creepy, stalker-ish way. Just in a super fan way.) I love your books. Seriously love them.

  9. Your last words make for excellent advise! Cool interview!

  10. I fully support eating dessert first. Can we make this a Thing?

    I now also need to dive into Eyes Like Stars very, very soon.

  11. Is it possible to fall in love with every answer in one of these interviews? I am now fully and deeply committed to Lisa Mantchev. I haven't read the books yet, but now I'm soooo going to. It's like we're soulmats! ;-)

  12. I have a new dream, to be interviewed by Giselle and to have CJ's hubby make a cupcake in honor of my book. Lisa is, and will ever be, outrageously fabulous.

    LOVE IT!
    I want the new book! :D

  14. The word that kept coming back to me as I read it was effortless. The humor works perfectly, and the dialogue rivals Gilmore Girls--only it's a lot more genuine. The cast--and it is a large cast, since, you know, every character from every play lives in the Theater--was handled deftly, and even the minor characters shine.


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