Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Interview with Lisa Mantchev + GIVEAWAY = AWESOMESAUCE

When I first started mingling with some of the YA authors on the interwebs (through Goodreads at first, then Facebook and Twitter), Eyes Like Stars author Lisa Mantchev was one of the first authors that took time out of her day to answer my never ending (and often stupid) questions about the writing/publishing process (and anything else I could think of). I thought it only appropriate that she the first author I interview for my blog! Let's get started:

Me:Where did you grow up? What was your childhood/high school years like?
Lisa: I grew up in Ukiah, California, a small town about two hours north of San Francisco that's famous for the Fetzer and Parducci wineries, pears, and the band AFI. I have very fond memories of my childhood, and in retrospect, high school wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it was!

Me: Favorite book as a child?
Lisa: Ballet Shoes, by Noel Streatfeild (and the entire Shoes series.)

Me: Favorite recently read book?
Lisa: Flora's Dare, by Ysabeau Wilce. It's the sequel to Flora Segunda, and I really love Ysabeau's world and wordplay.

Me: What are some of the previous jobs you've had?
Lisa: In high school, I worked at a country-western clothing store. In college, I worked summers at a mineral springs resort, as a would-you-like-take-a-survey girl at Blockbuster, and I tutored English SAT prep. Then after graduation, I taught English and theater at a bilingual private elementary school.

Me: If writing (and anything to do with theater) weren't a possibility, what profession do you think you would have chosen?
Lisa: I would most likely still be teaching... I really loved being around the kids.

Me: How much research do you do before (or during) you write a book?
Lisa: A LOT. I can lose days in research.

Me: What will you work on (besides edits) now that the third installment of Theater Illuminata is finished?
Lisa: I am actually revising the first in a retrofuturist NeoVictorian series (steampunk!) and I actually have a spin-off idea for the theater books, should readers prove interested in reading more set in that world.

Me: Any pets?
Lisa: Right now, we have three dogs, two outside cats, a lionhead rabbit, and a very silly goldfish.

Me: If you could spend a day with any fictional character, who would it be?
Lisa: Howl, from Diana Wynne Jones's Howl's Moving Castle.

Me: If I were to open your fridge, what would I find in there?
Lisa: The bottom shelf always has lowfat milk, multiple kinds of juice, and chicken and brown rice (for the dog with allergies). Veggies and fruits in the bottom drawers, condiments in the door. Organic brown eggs. Homemade yogurt. And a single leftover slice of chocolate ganache cake leftover from my husband's birthday.

Me: Any particularly embarrassing moments?
Lisa: I don't think I've ever been so mortified as the day I sat in some guacamole at a Cinco de Mayo festival. I was in fourth grade, and the boy I liked pointed out the mark on the back of my shorts!

Me: What's your writing style like? Do you outline extensively?
Lisa: Writing style tends toward the surreal, I think. And I do outline extensively, but I also fly by the seat of my pants, shifting and rewriting the outline as necessary as I write.

You can go to Lisa's website to find out more information about her books, read her FAQ's, and find out bounds of more information.

To thank Lisa for taking time out of her busy schedule for me, I'm giving away an ARC of the second book in the Theater Illuminata series, Perchance to Dream!

Contest Rules:
* Simply leave a comment on this post (WITH YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS!) to be entered! While I'd love for you to follow my blog or follow me on Twitter, I want you to follow me because you think I'm cool, not because I'm having a contest. :)

* Contest ends in two weeks on March 23rd, Midnight CST.

* I will pick a number using a random number generator.

* If you're picked, I will email you giving you the good news. If you do not respond to my email within 48 hours, I will have to pick another winner.

* This contest is international! Anyone can enter.

THE CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED! Thanks to all who entered!

Lisa, thank you again for all you have done (and continue to do) for me. I can't tell you how much you've influenced me over the past year or so. *major hugs* Now get to spreading the word, faithful blog followers! You have TWO WEEKS! :D


  1. Please, Count me in. I am already a follower over twitter :) and going to follow you over here :) ...

    PrincessNeveReviews (at) Gmail (dot) Com

  2. That was an awesome interview Stephanie! Congrats on your first! And I follow you on here and on twitter too because you ARE cool!! =)


  3. I want to win this! xD Please include me in the giveaway! :D


  4. *nearly faints* please enter me, Stephanie!!


    PS I really like that question you asked about "if you could spend a day with any fictional character..." That was a creative one! Can't wait to read more of your interviews :D

  5. I would love to be included. And I already follow you too!

    Thanks for the chance!

    bacchus76 at myself dot com

  6. yay for your first interview. got some fun tidbits here. gotta check out Ysabeau's wordplay mentioned. love books with such. i just love the magical feel of the covers for this series.
    vvb32 at yahoo.com

  7. Great interview!


  8. Oh I would love to enter and now I can start following as well!!


  9. I follow you on Twitter because you're fabulous. I didn't realize I wasn't following your blog but I just fixed that issue ;)


  10. Oooohhh...that interview was fun! (And the questions weren't lame :D)

    Thanks for hosting a giveaway!


    nonierakiran (at) gmail (dot) com

  11. Isn't Lisa one of the most friendly authors on Twitter?
    I can't wait to read Perchance to Dream!!!


  12. I feel so silly for being excited that Lisa likes Howl and would like to spend a day with him. Howl's Moving Castle is the book I read when nothing is making me happy because Howl has never failed to undepress me.

  13. well, I feel like and idiot. I always forget to post my email.

    hilly_wa at yahoo dot com

  14. Great interview! I'm so excited for PD's release!! I agree, LIsa is one of the fun authors to chat with on Twitter.


  15. I forgot to add that I've been following you on Twitter under both MM's and my personal account, as well as your blog. :)

  16. Fun interview! Love learning about people through their refrigerators. :) Congrats to Lisa Mantchev on her writing success!

  17. Awesome interview stephenie! :)

    I've been following your blog for quite a while now. Great choice of Arc to giveaway!


  18. This is fantastic! Great interview! I'd love to be entered in the contest, please?!
    I've been following you on Twitter and now I'm on your follower list on your blog.


  19. Great interview! I just adore Lisa's covers, they are gorgeous! =D Thanks for this giveaway!

    kate.readthisbook [at] gmail [dot] com

  20. We already know your are cool - Twitter knows this as well. What I didn't know is that you have a "random number generator". Must hear about this soon.

    Count me in!

    ~Jen Big<3

  21. YAY!! Looks great, I'm in!!


  22. I follow you on everything, Steph ;-)

    *crosses fingers I win*

  23. Of course I think you're cool, which is why I'm already a follower :)

    withsprinklezontop (at) gmail (dot)com

  24. Ohhh please enter me! I follow on Twitter!~!
    @pasiveagressiva I retweeted your contest.
    I follow Lisa as well.. :O)
    Lifkdasux at aol dot com

  25. I already follow you on here and on twitter :) your tweets crack me up sometimes :) i would love to be in this contest.


  26. Steph, please enter me!
    I started following you just now (silly me), and because I do think you're awesome, not because of this contest :P Took me a while to find your blog!

    ella_press AT live.com.ar

  27. I'd love to be entered.

    jpetroroy at gmail dot com

  28. Pick me (crossing fingers) cariblogs[at]gmail[dot] com

  29. I'm in love with the covers for the series there just breath taking please enter me


  30. WOW! I love Lisa Manchev, she's super nice! I also CAN'T THANK YOU ENOUGH for having this contest in what I think is an appropriate way. I rarely enter blog contests when following is a requirement *clicks "follow me on twitter" button, follows*


    *crosses fingers, toes, arms, legs, eyes, commences trying to write*

  31. Would loveee to read that book!!!!!


  32. Wonderful interview! :) I must know where Bertie & Ariel's adventures lead them & what Sedna has done with Nate! Can't wait to read Perchance to Dream! Also, could that cover illustration be any more beautiful? I am in love with it!!

    I follow your blog & twitter. And I share your love for Joss Whedon & John Green, as well as several of your fictional crushes (Gilbert Blythe, Peeta, Po, Simon). :)


  33. Please enter me .I would love to read the book :)Thanks for making it international .

    I love the Shoe Series books too :)

    shwetasbookjournal AT gmail DOT com

  34. Loved your blog!!!
    Am crossing my fingers to win this beautiful book!!!


  35. The book looks amazing; I especially like the cover. :3 Good luck to everyone!
    arianna (at) pixelpupppy (dot) net

  36. Fantastic interview! Nice blog, by the way :)


  37. I loved the interview!

    Thanks for the giveaway!


  38. I would love to win this one. Count me in, please!


  39. @MrsMegC contacted me via Twitter saying she wasn't able to comment on my blog via her BlackBerry and doesn't have reliable internet, but would like to be entered. So this is Meg's entry. :)

  40. Holy mackerel!!! This is fantastic! I just finished Eyes Like Stars this morning!!! I thought it was fabulous and can't wait to read more!!!! (wow, enough with the exclamation marks already, geez!) I'd love to win this book! Thanks for the opportunity, Steph! And I follow you because I like you, not because of contests, silly! :D You're the best!


  41. OOO i thought i already entered, but it doesn't look like i did!

    kristinrae023 at gmail dot com

  42. The contest is now closed! Thanks to all who entered!