Lisa Mantchev began writing when she was a wee young thing, banging out stories on an ancient typewriter when she was still in elementary school. She began publishing short fiction in 2002, selling stories to Weird Tales, Clarkesworld, Fantasy Magazine and many more. She sold her Théâtre Illuminata series to Feiwel & Friends in 2007. The first book in the series, the glittering debut novel Eyes Like Stars, is scheduled to hit stores this weekend (although I hear rumors that copies have already found their way to eager readers all over the country.) We’re just thrilled to be able to introduce her to all of you – please welcome Lisa Mantchev!
“It’s all about the costuming.”
It really is. Just about everything I write, but most especially the Théâtre Illuminata series, is inspired by shiny bits: jewelry pieces and YouTube parodies and Cirque du Soleil performances and snippets of other books I’ve read. Gaiman and Carroll and Streatfeild and de Lint and McKillip and Pratchett. Arranging the words like dominoes, we borrow tiles from a million places, and who knows how many other patterns we may set up by tipping the first one over?
I have to say that, by far, my favorite part of this entire process has been the art of others… Jason Chan‘s haunting cover art, friends who have painted their versions of Bertie and sent them to me, the photographer who took her friend (dressed as Peaseblossom) out for cupcakes and ice cream and documented the excursion. People have written “The Théâtre Illuminata” on their skin with Sharpie pens, colored bits of their hair blue, applied wild eye make-up, twirled fire batons, uploaded videos of themselves singing… and it adds a layer of meaning to my own work to see others playing so gleefully.
It, in turn, inspires me to get back to the keyboard. To get the revisions done. To make the scene shinier. And to remember the costuming.