Friday, 21 August 2009

Interview: Lisa Mantchev (Eyes Like Stars)

Lisa Mantchev kindly allowed me to ask interview her about Eyes
Like Stars, her debut release. I love this book and if you haven't read it so immediately!

Why blue hair?
Originally Bertie was painting her bedroom set Cobalt Flame, probably because my own bedroom is decorated in shades of cocoa and blue. Then, in revisions, I wanted a way to firmly fix that she was 1) older, and 2) a handful, so I had her dye her hair instead.

Ariel is an airy spirit. Could you explain what it is that an Airy Spirit is and what they can do for those that haven't read ELS yet (silly people)?
All Shakespeare said about Ariel is that it was an "airy spirit" and is consumed with the longing for freedom, because he/she/it is in servitude to Prospero, a magician. The character has several songs, and was the one who guided the tempest to the island. So MY Ariel is a silver-voiced spirit who can control the winds; I also refer to him as an air elemental, because Nate is of the water, and Bertie is of the earth.

You are obviously partial to Ophelia? What do you find so intriguing about this character?
I was thoroughly annoyed by her character in high school, because I just wanted her to punch Hamlet in the stomach. In college, I finally understood how trapped she was by conventions and the time period and her role in life, then I translated that to my Ophelia, trapped by her written part in Shakespeare's play.

What is the most important correlation between your writing as a playwright and as a YA writer?
Characterization. No matter what I'm writing, the characters happen first. Then the costumes. J

Which song lyric summarizes you as an author?
I actually found a song entitled "Eyes Like Stars" by Faulter after we titled the book, and the lyrics are JUST EERIE.

You let it out
When the world collides
The deepest sigh
Then you close your eyes and then
The words come out
And you wanna shout inside
But you hold your tongue
And hope they come out right

The album title is also "Darling Buds of May" which is a Shakespearean sonnet reference. O_O

What do you like most about the YA blogosphere?
The sense of community. Everyone is so incredibly enthusiastic about reading and learning and new authors and favorite authors.

Which novel coming out soon (other than your own) would you highly recommend?
I was actually a beta-reader for Stephanie Burgis's A Most Improper Magick (The Unladylike Adventures of Kat Stephenson, #1) back when she had it titled Kat by Moonlight. Also, ANY of the Word Ninjas' novels...

Thanks Lisa! Tomorrow the faeries from ELS interview moi - anticipate some craziness.

1 comment:

stephanieburgis said...

Thanks so much for the shout-out, Lis! And your Ophelia is one of my very favorite characters - I love that she has such gritty inner strength despite everything.