“The entire book started with the single sentence: ‘The fairies flew on wires despite their tendency to get tangled together,’” explains Lisa Mantchev, author of the Théâtre Illuminata series: Eyes Like Stars, Perchance to Dream, and So Silver Bright.
“I can directly relate this to reading Noel Streatfeild’s Ballet Shoes when I was about nine or ten. The Fossil sisters are cast as Peaseblossom and Mustardseed in a stage production, and they have to learn to fly on wires to play the parts. Thus the fairies in question, the ones flying on wires in my head, automatically became the four minor characters from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, with Peaseblossom and Mustardseed joined by Cobweb and Moth.
“Shakespeare doesn’t describe them, but their names suggest they should be diminutive, so they were always tiny in my head. There was something marvelous and irresistible about putting so much junk food-fueled manic energy into creatures so tiny. As I was writing, I realized they arrived with qualities attributed to fey from the Renaissance to the Victorian era. They are, by turns, beneficent and vindictive, gleefully mischievous and malicious. They operate with a childlike single-mindedness that, in another character, would be completely psychotic, especially when it comes to the two things most important to them: food, and Bertie.”
As for whether Lisa’s characters live outside her mind…There’s a brief scuffle and a lot of swearing, then someone taps on a microphone.
MOTH: Is this thing on?
PEASEBLOSSOM: I don’t think Lisa is going to appreciate you boys tying her up and hijacking this interview. Look at her, trying to chew through her gag!
COBWEB: She doesn’t mind us talking on her behalf… we say all the rude stuff she’s always thinking.
What appears here on FairyRoom is only part of the original text of this piece. Peaseblossom goes on to accuse Lisa of cutting huge portions of fairy dialogue, Cobweb claims to be the Voice of Raisin, and Mustardseed pipes up, too…
- Read the rest of this interview with Lisa’s characters and don’t miss the lively Q+A that follows.
- So Silver Bright is book 3 in the Théâtre Illuminata series about Beatrice Shakespeare Smith. Things are never easy for Beatrice. Something’s happened to the Théâtre Illuminata, putting the only home she’s ever known in limbo. Her mother’s sanity is fraying under the strain, her father has vanished and an angry goddess is out for revenge. Bertie is caught between her duties and her dreams, just as her heart is torn between Ariel and Nate. But hope glimmers in a Distant Castle, and if Bertie can put on the performance of her life, maybe she can win the magical boon that may save them all.
- Read an excerpt of the first book in the Théâtre Illuminata series, Eyes Like Stars.
- Collectively, her Théâtre Illuminata series as 6,000 reader ratings and 1000 reader reviews on Goodreads.
- Click on this Eyes Like Stars title to go straight to B+N Nook, click on the cover at right to go straight to Amazon Kindle. To order So Silver Bright, follow the handy icons below to link to these online booksellers
According to Goodreads, when not scribbling, Lisa Mantchev can be found on the beach, up a tree, making jam, or repairing things with her trusty glue gun. Her short fiction has appeared in venues like Clarkesworld, Weird Tales, Fantasy Magazine and Strange Horizons. The Théâtre Illuminata is her first series of novels. Connect with Lisa through her blog.