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Thursday, July 16, 2009

Cupcakes and Candy with Lisa Mantchev

What do you get when you add cupcakes, candy and Lisa Mantchev together? A whole load of fat free fun, glitter and sugar high!

Me: Okay firstly, what’s your favourite colour?

LM: To wear? To paint on the walls? For both, some shade of blue. Hrm. Well, I guess that explains Bertie's hair!

Me: Describe Eyes Like Stars in 7 words, among which the words “glitter” and “cupcake” will not be used. Hee, that’ll be pretty hard!

LM: Sugar-fueled mayhem with really dramatic lighting. (Neener, neener! *L*) (MoMaM's note: Darn it! I have to admit that pretty much sums it up.)

Me: Everyone and their fairies have read the fantastic blurb. Did you do the blurb yourself?

LM: I didn't... the fabulous people at F&F put that together for me, and it really does fit the tone and style of the book, so I am very happy with it.

Me: Why are The Players called Players?

LM: When Hamlet goes to speak to the actors gathered to perform for the new King and the Queen, it's referred to as "Hamlet's speech to the Players." I liked the word especially, because I didn't want to use "actor," as that would give the wrong impression.

Me: Is Théâtre Illuminata Based on any specific place, building or theatre, or a collection of them?

LM: In my head, it's just as beautiful and grandiose as the Paris Opera House, but that isn't an art nouveau building.

Me: Let's imagine Théâtre Illuminata is a building made out of food. What would you make it out of?

LM: Gingerbread!

Me: Since the Players are "alive", would they exist in the same state (i.e. as Players) at other theatres or is it just the magic of Theatre Illuminata?

LM: That's a great question! I only ever imagined them living like that in one theater, bound to The Book (The Complete Works of the Stage.) Though the idea of multiple Ariels has its appeal. *L*

Me: Why did you choose Shakespeare’s plays? Did you do any research or did the fairies tell you all there was to know in Shakespeare’s universe?

LM: I seem to land on Shakespeare when I make big project decisions... when I needed to pick a college thesis project, I chose Shakespeare, too! With Eyes Like Stars, I picked characters with whom I felt reasonably familiar, and then, because they were acting outside their written parts, the only research I did was to look up appropriate quotes.

Me: What’s your favourite scene in any of his plays?

LM: Oh, Beatrice and Benedick's scene in Much Ado About Nothing... the one with "Against my will I am sent to bid you come in to dinner." *hee* That one STILL cracks me up. As an alternate, I pick the "I'll see thee hanged on Sunday first" scene in Taming of the Shrew.

Me: When is Eyes Like Stars set?

LM: It doesn't have a specific time period, actually. The theatre itself has art nouveau architecture, but characters are from all time periods (Shakespearean, Victorian in the case of Mrs. Edith, and modern for Bertie.)

Me: Are you planning a playlist to accompany Eyes Like Stars? Can you recommend us some songs we can listen to get us in the mood while reading it? (MoMaM's note: Not that I need anything else to get in the mood, but there’s gotta be something to fill that gap while waiting for book 2!)

LM: The only two mandatory songs are "Eyes Like Stars" by Faulter and "The Assassin's Tango" from the Mr. & Mrs. Smith soundtrack.

Me: Give us three "Good to Know" facts about you.

LM: (1) Do not bring me decaf when I ask you for regular (2) If it comes down to the manuscript or the housekeeping, the manuscript always wins. (3) But if it comes down to the manuscript or the kidlet, the writing has to wait.

Me: Tell us a sekrit (or more!) about Eyes Like Stars that no one else knows yet.

LM: Oh, that's a tricky one... I've done a lot of interviews, but I don't think I've talked about the Story Of Bertie's Corset. When I attended WorldCon in Anaheim, 2006, I was still drafting the book. I bought my very first corset--black with silver flowers--in the Dealer's Room. My friend Jenna Waterford is the one who purchased the cotton pin-striped one. When I got back from the convention and needed to dress Bertie for her business meeting, into the pin-striped corset she went!

Me: What else can we expect from Bertie and company?

LM: Mayhem and dessert. Always. (Maharani of Mayhem and Mysteries's note: Sounds perfect to me!)

Me: What would you like to say to aspiring writers who are reading this interview and wondering if they can keep creating, if they are good enough, if their voices and visions matter enough to share?

LM: Dear writers: it's not your job to decide if it's good enough, or if it matters. It's your job to create, to make it as shiny as you can, to be passionate about it, and to FINISH the project. The rest is truly out of your hands.

Me: Complete this sentence: “If fairies ruled the world ...”

LM: Everything would be very sparkly, not just the vampires.

For more about Lisa Mantchev and her Theatre Illuminata series visit http://theatre-illuminata.com/

Maharani of Mayhem and Mysteries


Lexie said...

XD I think I might have just gotten a sugar high from reading the interview! but what fun Liyana! And Lisa I think you're giving away the best way to bribe you...

ibeeeg said...

Loved the interview.
loved the good to know you facts.
and the playlist question.

Anonymous said...

Cute, cute, cute! Love it!

Teddyree said...

I thought that was a fantastic, fun interview Liyana, really enjoyed getting to know a bit more about Lisa Mantchev & Eyes Like Stars, she comes across as very friendly, a bit of a character!
Eyes Like Stars is on my wishlist :-)