Giveaways Inspirations and Influences YA Appreciation Month

Young Adult Appreciation Month: Lisa Mantchev on Young Adult novels (and a giveaway)

Lisa Mantchev is a YA debut author, writer of the recently published Eyes Like Stars – an absolutely fabulous, fun book which became one of Ana’s favorite reads this year (reviewed here). We invited Lisa to write a guest post for our YA Appreciation Month and she came up with something….different.

Ladies and Gentlemen, please welcome Lisa Mantchev and part of the cast of Eyes Like Stars (and of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream), the fairies Moth, Cobweb, Peaseblossom and Mustardseed:


(LISA sits down at the desk in Bertie’s Bedroom Set,, boots up her trusty laptop, and cracks her knuckles.)

MOTH: (Interrupting) Whatcha doin’?

(LISA jumps, nearly upsetting the cappuccino she just procured from the Patisserie Set. The rest of the fairies flit in to land atop the keyboard. MUSTARDSEED jumps repeatedly up and down atop the “Q” key, while PEASEBLOSSOM attempts to delete the extra letters.)

LISA: I’m going to write a guest blog for The Book Smugglers Young Adult Appreciation Month–

COBWEB: I appreciate YA. I appreciate it lots.

MOTH: Oh, really. (Giving him a shove) You don’t even know what YA is.

COBWEB: (Returning the shove and adding a kick to the shins) I do! We have tons of YA stuff in the theater.

MOTH: (Folding his arms) I am not YA, just because I am a fairy.

COBWEB: Not you. (Careening Stage Left and jabbing a finger at The Book.) Look in The Complete Works of the Stage. Lots of young adult material either started as plays or was produced onstage.


MUSTARDSEED: Mary Poppins.

COBWEB: Alice in Wonderland.

MOTH: Why does so much of it end up as musicals and pantomimes?

LISA: Because young audience members like singing. And jazz hands. And spirit fingers.

PEASEBLOSSOM: You really should have included more musical numbers in your novel.

LISA: Bertie was of the opinion that one musical number was one musical number too many. Where is she, anyway?

PEASEBLOSSOM: She pilfered some Wicked Green dye from the Wardrobe Department and locked herself in the Ladies’ Chorus loo.

MOTH: (He hops about for a moment, trying to vocalize his next question.) So is children’s theater mostly turn-of-the-century British material? Pip pip, cheerio!

LISA: (With a laugh.) Not just that. The Stinky Cheese Man is newer–

MUSTARDSEED: Oh, I like him!

LISA: –and tons of innovative stuff gets done with puppetry. Plus quite a lot of Neil Gaiman’s work has been produced recently, like Wolves in the Walls.

COBWEB: But why kid’s books? Why not big dreary novels?

LISA: (Leaning one elbow on Bertie’s desk and trying to pretend she doesn’t have a cupcake sequestered in the jewelry box for safekeeping.) Because of the level of imagination involved. It’s great fun to costume and build sets for imaginary lands and fantastic creatures…

MUSTARDSEED: Plus that’s what has lots of Box Office draw. (He pauses and sniffs the air.) Does anyone else smell chocolate?

(Three other fairies’ noses sniff the air.)

LISA: (Trying to distract them) The classics, too, though. Don’t you think that most of Shakespeare’s stuff can be done for kids?

MOTH: Why not? Well, maybe not the blood-and-guts bits, but Taming of the Shrew is actually way more tame than some of the Punch & Judy shows that were around a few years back.

COBWEB: I dunno when children got so precious that would couldn’t show them a good beheading. (Disdainful noise.)

PEASEBLOSSOM: And fairies are not all happy jam sandwiches, either. We are mean and vicious, I tell you!

LISA: It’s hard to take you seriously when you’re covered in that much glitter.

PEASEBLOSSOM: (Looking down) Oh, dear.

LISA: I like that children’s theater isn’t just limited to the stage. When I was teaching English, I used drama a lot in the classrooms… very effective for young students and reluctant readers when you trade books for scripts. That’s called Reader’s Theater, and it can be used for classic novels, multicultural projects, and historical studies.

MOTH: Oh-hoo, look who sounds all knowledgeable and stuff. (Jabs at her with a toothpick) I swear I smell chocolate–

MUSTARDSEED: So what would it take to bring Eyes Like Stars to the stage, you think? Besides four people small enough to play us?

LISA: A big budget and a visionary creative team, I think. Plus figuring out how to flood the auditorium without doing any actual water damage. (She laughs.) The great thing is how much YA material out there today would make spectacular plays. Instead of producing Alice in Wonderland, maybe a theater company should consider The Looking Glass Wars. Some of the realistic young adult novels published in the last few years would do really well as stage plays.

COBWEB: Lots of strong character work going on in those sorts of books, that’s for certain.

MOTH: (Managing to wrest open the jewelry box.) Hey, there’s a cupcake in here!!!

(When the others rush to investigate, LISA slams the lid closed and adds a strip of duct tape as insurance.)

LISA: You surely aren’t your mama’s pixie-dust fae. In the stage version of ELS, you four will be played by evil, sugar-high hummingbirds.


Lisa Mantchev grew up in the small Northern California town of Ukiah and can pinpoint her first forays into fiction to the short stories she thumped out on an ancient typewriter. She now makes her home on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington state with her husband Angel, her daughter Amélie, and four hairy miscreant dogs. When not scribbling, she can be found on the beach, up a tree, making jam or repairing things with her trusty glue gun. Eyes Like Stars (Feiwel & Friends) is her debut novel, and the first in the Théâtre Illuminata trilogy.

A big cheerio to Lisa and Cobweb, Peaseblossom, Mustardseed and Moth (you could have left a cupcake for me, though).

Giveaway details:

We have one copy of Eyes Like Stars to giveaway. The contest is open to anyone, and will run until Saturday August 1st 11:59pm (PST). To enter, simply leave a comment here. Good luck!

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  • Kate
    July 31, 2009 at 12:31 pm

    This was so much fun to read!! Thank you to Book Smugglers for having Lisa on. And Lisa, I love your sense of humor and your love of cupcakes. I am dying to read your book.


  • Melanie
    July 31, 2009 at 12:33 pm

    That was great! Glad you were able to distract them from your cupcake, Lisa. 🙂

  • YA Book Realm
    July 31, 2009 at 12:39 pm

    I would love to read Eyes Like Stars! I hope the book is just as great as this interview of sorts. hehe 😆

  • Juliana Dias
    July 31, 2009 at 12:41 pm

    Loved the little story :mrgreen:
    please sign me in, juiceb0xx at dot com

  • Courtney
    July 31, 2009 at 12:54 pm

    Lol that was definatly entertaining to read! Sounds like a great read!

  • Lusty Reader
    July 31, 2009 at 12:54 pm

    my toothfairy’s name was Peaseblossom. she signed all her notes to me that way. sigh, i had no idea back then how cool my Mom/toothfairy was!

    please enter me for a copy!

  • CupK8
    July 31, 2009 at 1:09 pm

    haha! Thanks for the giggles, Lisa!

    I’m really looking forward to reading ELS, and not just because I’m a theatre major! 😉

  • Ethansdad
    July 31, 2009 at 1:10 pm

    Ever since this blog first began talking about this book, I’ve been interested in reading it.

  • Tynga
    July 31, 2009 at 1:11 pm

    Please sign me in! I heard so many good things about the book i really wanna read it =)

  • Donna S
    July 31, 2009 at 1:17 pm

    Great interview. I would love the chance to read Eyes Like Stars its sounds wonderful. Please include me.

    bacchus76 at myself dot com

  • Sarah
    July 31, 2009 at 1:19 pm

    awww the story was lovely to read. Please add me to the draw.

  • Raina
    July 31, 2009 at 1:30 pm

    it would be fun to win this one

  • Sue
    July 31, 2009 at 1:32 pm

    I’d love to have this. Thanks for the giveaway~

    smickelson1993 at yahoo dot com

  • Elyane
    July 31, 2009 at 1:33 pm

    Great post. Please count me in.

  • Susan
    July 31, 2009 at 1:38 pm

    I keep entering to win all over the web and haven’t managed to snag a copy yet…maybe my library will buy it soon…

  • RachaelfromNJ
    July 31, 2009 at 1:40 pm

    This book sounds SOOOOO good and I love the cover! Please enter me as I’d LOVE to win it!

  • Jennifer K.
    July 31, 2009 at 1:42 pm

    This book sounds really interesting.

  • elaing8
    July 31, 2009 at 1:57 pm

    Great post

    I’d love to win this book,I’ve heard its a fantastic book.

  • Adrienne E
    July 31, 2009 at 1:59 pm

    That was AMAZING! Lisa’s has this awesome perspective on the world, I love how it came out in this blog and in the book. Speaking of which, I would love to own a copy of my own(had to put in that plug)

  • Teresa W.
    July 31, 2009 at 2:01 pm

    I’ve been hearing alot about this one, sounds good!

  • Margay
    July 31, 2009 at 2:01 pm

    This book is steadily climbing to the top of my must read pile. I would love a chance to win it!

  • Erin
    July 31, 2009 at 2:08 pm

    Funny post. Now I’m very interested in reading the book. Count me in!

  • Biki
    July 31, 2009 at 2:45 pm

    This looks really interesting! Please count me in. 🙂

  • Sab H.
    July 31, 2009 at 2:58 pm

    Lisa is so awesome! Enter me please!

  • sarac
    July 31, 2009 at 3:16 pm

    Looks like a great book! Would love to read it.

  • Andrea
    July 31, 2009 at 3:19 pm

    Another book I would love to read!

    belle2211 at yahoo dot com

  • Kimberly B.
    July 31, 2009 at 3:24 pm

    This book sounds just amazing, and I love the fairies already!

  • JenP
    July 31, 2009 at 3:26 pm

    I’d love a copy. I’ve been looking forward to reading this!

  • Erica
    July 31, 2009 at 3:28 pm

    Wow. Great interview! Fairies make everything better 🙂 Eyes like Stars sounds simply amazing!

  • I Heart Book Gossip
    July 31, 2009 at 3:31 pm

    Please count me in. I would love to win this book.

    cindyc725 at gmail dot com

  • Mishel
    July 31, 2009 at 3:31 pm

    Lol that was such a cute little interview =)

    I’d so adore a copy of Lisa’s book!

    Thanks for the chance ladies.

    mishtakes AT gmail DOT com

  • Samantha
    July 31, 2009 at 3:31 pm

    Already on the TBR pile… Thanks Lisa! 😀

  • Beth
    July 31, 2009 at 3:46 pm

    This looks awesome! Please enter me!

  • danielle
    July 31, 2009 at 4:39 pm

    me, please!

  • Celia
    July 31, 2009 at 5:21 pm

    Hilarious! Thanks for the entertainment! Also, please put my name in the hat for the book…I’m dying for a copy!


  • Jenni C.
    July 31, 2009 at 5:21 pm

    This book looks soooo good! I love the cover too, it’s absolutly gorgeous. I’d love to win a copy!

    jennilovevirgo AT aol DOT com


  • Ginny
    July 31, 2009 at 5:21 pm

    Ooh…this book sounds so awesome! Please enter me!


  • SueFitz
    July 31, 2009 at 6:28 pm

    I started reading this book and can’t wait to finish! Please enter me into the drawing. Thanks! 😛

  • Collette
    July 31, 2009 at 7:11 pm

    Besides all these great reviews being dangerous to my pocketbook, I think I’m going to have to stop looking at the covers. This one is gorgeous and makes me want blue hair. As I’m 45, I’d probably end up looking like one of those blue-haired old ladies instead of like the cover. Danger! 😉

  • Roxy
    July 31, 2009 at 7:31 pm

    Count me in. I’ve been wanting to read this since I saw the review here.

  • Jacqueline C.
    July 31, 2009 at 7:56 pm

    I’ve been wanting to read this one for a while

  • Virginia Hendricks
    July 31, 2009 at 8:52 pm

    This book sounds awesome and I can’t wait to read it!

  • Susan S.
    July 31, 2009 at 9:04 pm

    Lisa the post was really cute:-) I love all things fairy and the cover art for “Eyes Like Stars” is enchanting! Here’s to your continued success & many happy writings.

  • Sharon K
    July 31, 2009 at 9:12 pm

    Thank you for being here Lisa, Cobweb, Moth, Mustardseed and Peasebloosom,
    I can’t wait to read your story!

  • Tiah
    July 31, 2009 at 9:54 pm

    This was so cute!

  • Lori T
    July 31, 2009 at 10:36 pm

    Great interview! I would love to read Eyes Like Stars.

    Have a great weekend.

  • Karen
    July 31, 2009 at 11:50 pm

    Great interview. Please add me to the draw :).

    karen at weatherwax dot co dot uk

  • Becky
    August 1, 2009 at 2:25 am

    I’ve seen this one about and would love to read it. Thank for the giveaway!

  • Vorvolaka
    August 1, 2009 at 3:13 am

    Me please!

  • Raelena
    August 1, 2009 at 3:26 am

    count me in please!
    throuthehaze at gmail dot com

  • RKCharron
    August 1, 2009 at 5:12 am

    Thanks for having Lisa here.
    That was a very fun interview.
    I’m looking forward to reading this book.
    All the best,

  • Dottie
    August 1, 2009 at 6:06 am

    I have so been looking forward to this book!

    Please enter me!

    Dottie 🙂

  • bunnyb
    August 1, 2009 at 7:24 am

    Cupcake? Yum! 🙂
    I’d love to win this — Thanks!

  • Vildea
    August 1, 2009 at 7:52 am

    I feel like such a leech asking for a book (even if it is a giveaway) before making a proper comment. Oh well, I’ll live 🙂 I’d love to win it, I managed to forget to add it to my cart before I confirmed my order at amazon 😛

  • Sara M
    August 1, 2009 at 9:44 am

    I’d love to win!

  • Veronica Franco
    August 1, 2009 at 1:28 pm

    Hope I win :mrgreen:
    I love fairy stories

  • Kate A
    August 1, 2009 at 2:54 pm

    Great interview! I’m looking forward to reading this 😀

  • Michelle M
    August 1, 2009 at 5:36 pm

    I so love the cover on this one. It seems like such a wonderful story that I would totally love to get my hands on it! Thanks

  • Llehn
    August 1, 2009 at 7:52 pm

    I would really, really love to read this book!

  • Alex
    August 1, 2009 at 8:17 pm

    Huh. Commentpost!fail? *sadface*

    Nonetheless, this was an awesome interview. The format was deliciously different.

  • grace
    August 1, 2009 at 8:46 pm

    please enter me!

  • bridget3420
    August 1, 2009 at 9:14 pm

    Count me in:)

  • Renee
    August 1, 2009 at 11:09 pm

    OK, I can’t believe I made it in under the wire! I’m really excited about this book, and I loved the imaginative post. 🙂

  • Wanda
    August 2, 2009 at 12:20 pm

    I would love to read Eyes Like Stars!

  • Shawna Lewis
    August 2, 2009 at 2:40 pm

    Thanks so much for this chance to win :o) count me in my Dear!!!
    Shawna Lewis

  • Acacia McMurtrey
    August 2, 2009 at 2:42 pm

    Put me in to the winning pile Thanks for the chance to win this book I want it BAD!! ;o)

    Acacia McMurtrey

  • Blair W Lewis
    August 2, 2009 at 2:43 pm

    Blair Lewis

    I would love a chance to win this book thanks. Blair

  • Shawna Phillips
    August 2, 2009 at 2:44 pm

    Shawna Lewis

    I want in on this contest thanks so much!!!!!!

  • hodgepodgespv
    August 2, 2009 at 5:02 pm

    this is the month of my birth and this book would be a wonderful gift to help me celebrate! so please enter me 🙄 o, i am not rolling my eyes at you…i am batting my eyelashes a! you. 😉

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