EYES LIKE STARS sparkles with life and chaotic energy. It’s not just the considerable pluck of Beatrice (Bertie), or the manic hilarity of the four fairies from A Midsummer’s Night Dream, or the dangerous swagger of possible love interest Ariel (from The Tempest) – every player, no matter how small makes their mark on this ambitious production.
However, it is this same whirlwind of characters and set changes that has the tendency to overwhelm the main narrative thread. It was because of this hubbub that I had trouble finding an emotional anchor, which is something I really missed. All in all, it's not enough to propel me into a standing ovation, but it does earn a round of appreciative applause nonetheless.
I will give a standing ovation to Author Lisa Mantchev who stopped by to answer some of my questions today. Welcome Lisa!
Bertie is a fun character. Which characters from other YA novels do you think she’d be friends with? Have a crush on? Why?
She'd probably best get along with wild-and-imaginative characters like Flora Segunda (from the novels by Ysabeau Wilce) and Peter Pan, and the Wonderland creatures. I'm pretty sure she'd think Dodge (Beddor's The Looking Glass Wars) would be hawtsauce, because he's utterly fearless and good to have on your side in a fight.
Have you read your entire Complete Works of Shakespeare? What is your favorite comedy? Tragedy? History? Sonnet?
I have GLARING holes in my Shakespearean knowledge... I studied a lot of his plays in college, others I read only once and don't remember very well. Lots--especially the histories--that I didn't have to read at all, so I never did.
Favorite comedy: Tie between A Midsummer Night's Dream and Much Ado About Nothing.
Favorite tragedy: For all the mocking I did in Eyes Like Stars, I really do love Hamlet.
Sonnet: Have to go for #18... Shall I compare thee to a Summer's day.
What minor Shakespeare character do you think should get his or her own spin-off play (a la Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead)? What might the plotline be?
Other than the four fairies from Midsummer? *G* I think the Nurse character from Romeo & Juliet could rip out a fabulous story of all the behind-the-scenes dirt, a la The Nanny Diaries.
Before you sold The Théâtre Illuminata series, you published a lot of short stories (in speculative fiction – one of my favorite genres). Where can we find them? Who are a few of your all-time favorite short story writers?
I have a listing of all my short fiction (some of which is available online) at my authorly website.
For short stories, I love Neil Gaiman, Charles de Lint... really, all the same authors whose novels I love! And Margaret Atwood has an utterly fabulous short piece told from Gertrude from Hamlet's point of view.
What are the last three books you read and how did you discover each?
I'm in the middle of an ARC of Beautiful Creatures, by fellow Word Ninjas authors Kami Garcia and Margie Stohl. I just finished Frank Beddor's The Looking Glass Wars, which I believe I tripped over on Goodreads. Before that, I'm pretty sure it was The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, which I received from his publicist, because I covered his tour event in Seattle for Weird Tales magazine.
Also be sure to check out http://www.theatre-illuminata.com/ for more about the series.