And here's Lisa!
I am a temporally-displaced Capricorn who spends a lot of time wondering what other time periods I'd rather have lived in, all the while very much enjoying my wireless internetz and push-of-a-button espresso machine.
2. What got you started writing? What brought you to YA?
I've been writing short fantasy stories for publication since 2002, but it took lots of friendly nudging to get me to attempt a novel-length piece of fiction. Eyes Like Stars wasn't written with YA fiction in mind, but the protagonist is seventeen, and we went with Feiwel & Friends, which is a YA imprint.
Only later did I realize that the majority of my favorite books are shelved in the YA section, classics as well as new releases, and I was thrilled to have found my niche!
Have some jacket copy!
All her world's a stage.
Beatrice Shakespeare Smith is not an actress, yet she lives in a theater.
She's not an orphan, but she has no parents.
She knows every part, but she has no lines of her own.
Welcome to the Théâtre Illuminata, where the characters of every play ever written can be found behind the curtain. They were born to play their parts, and are bound to the Théâtre by The Book--an ancient and magical tome of scripts. Bertie is not one of them, but they are her family--and she is about to lose them all and the only home she has ever known.
4. Do you plot out in advance, or just start writing and see where things go from there?
I really leapt into the deep end the first time around, which would explain the many revisions I did with my lovely editor, Rebecca Davis. With the second book in the series (and a as-yet-uncontracted novel) I tried to outline a lot more. But the trick is to be flexible. Some things change on the fly, and others need to be cut during revisions.
That said, I always have a list of must-keep characters and plot points.
5. Many authors have told me their characters talk to them, and sometimes even have different ideas of where the story should go than the author. Do you hear your characters?
The voices of the four fairies (Peaseblossom, Cobweb, Moth, and Mustardseed) come very naturally to me, because they say all the rude/horrifying/silly things that I usually think, or only say out loud to friends. I've had a number of phone calls with friends that end with one or both of us yelling, "The fairies would totally say that!"
6. Who is your favorite character (of your own)?
Right now I am mightily fond of my boys in ELS: Nate the pirate and Ariel the air elemental from The Tempest. Nate's all muscles and accent, and Ariel has this hypnotic voice plus long silver hair plus the ability to fly.
Full Cast Audio is recording ELS right now, and I would trade a bag of pirate gold to listen to the voice actors do the confrontational scenes between Nate and Ariel!
7. What hobbies do you have when you're not writing?
I love baking bread and making jam (old school Anne of Green Gables hobbies!) plus antique shopping, swing dancing, collecting 78 rpm records, going to
8. If you had not become a writer what would you have done instead?
I have a four-year-old daughter and my husband owns his own business, so I am a full-time mommy and part-time accountant, in addition to the writing. Had I not started writing novels, my house would be cleaner, my garden less weedy, and my office more organized.
9. Where can readers find you online?
Oh, my. Here's The List:
Writerly Homepage: www.lisamantchev.com
Theater Series Homepage: www.theatre-illuminata.com
10. Your turn. What question do you have for readers of Want My YA?
What theatrical character would you like to be for a day? (My answer: Christine, from Phantom of the Opera, just so I could run off with Erik!)
For those of you who are interested, Lisa has just posted an awesome Cake-Wrecking contest on her blog. Go to her blog, follow the directions and you could win an ARC! Check it out:
Thanks again, Lisa, for joining me here at Want My YA. It was great having you here. For everyone reading this, go out and pre-order or reserve your copy of Eyes Like Stars today. :) As for what character I'd want to be..hmm...apparently I need to watch more theatrical productions. Give me some time, I'll comment on it later.