Picture drawn by Maggie Stiefvater, 2009. Header made by S.F. Robertson, 2010.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Three Year Blogoversary- Lisa Mantchev Interview

I'd like to welcome Lisa Mantchev, author of Eyes Like Stars and Perchance to Dream, both of which are part of the Theatre Illuminata trilogy. She stopped by to answer some questions for me!

1) How do you handle bad reviews?

I've gotten to the point where I try really hard not to read them. I've turned off Google Alerts (which I studied religiously when Eyes Like Stars came out!) and try not to go hunting for them on places like Amazon or Goodreads.

Still, the occasional one grabs me by the eyeballs, and my mantra is twofold:

"This person was not my target audience" immediately followed by a lot of internal name calling and nose-thumbing. *G*

2) What are your criteria for finding bloggers to send review copies to?

With Eyes Like Stars, I didn't so much as find bloggers as I put out the word that I was open to ARC requests and then filtered through those who responded. Mostly what I want to see is that the blogger has an established blog or website with at least a month or two of regular updates, writes thoughtful reviews in a timely fashion, that they are professional and courteous in their dealings with me and with others, and that they read YA fantasy.

3) How did you find my blog, as well as any others you frequent?

I almost always find new bloggers through other authors and bloggers... those Roll Calls in the sidebars of most sites come in very handy! Other times, I am approached via Facebook or Twitter or my website by people hoping to review the novels.

4) Do you have any advice for bloggers writing reviews?

All opinions are welcome as long as they are grounded. Nothing tweaks my nose more than a review that says "Meh, I don't know why I didn't like this." In my mind, it's part of the reviewer's job to be analytical, to take the time to really think about why something worked or didn't work or why they couldn't connect with a given book. Similarly, squee-reviews (squeeviews? *might have coined a new phrase there) do nothing for me either, unless you can justify the squee.

5) Have you had a particularly memorable/meaningful review sent your way? What was it, and how did it make you feel?

I think I still cling to my Kirkus review for Eyes Like Stars... it was a starred one, and came in fairly early, so it was like a security blanket every time someone didn't care for the book. I could just sit in the corner, rocking, thumb in my piehole, clutching my review-blankey thinking, "Well, KIRKUS liked it, and Kirkus doesn't like anyone!" *G*

I'm wondering if every author has a review-blankey... they should hand them out at conferences! Also, I've done WAY too many squeeviews (I really like that word, Lisa!) in my reviewing history. Anyway, on to the contest, I've got a copy of A Conspiracy of Kings by Megan Whalen Turner. To enter, leave a comment on this post with your thoughts on Lisa's answers or what's got you excited for A Conspiracy of Kings. The contest will be open until June 30th at 11:59 PM and is for North American residents only.


  1. Oh, silly me, I forgot my email address! astewart305(at)rogers.com

  2. Great interview! I loved all your answers! As an amateur blogger and reviewer, I try to be as fair as I can of the books I do review. If I didn't like something I say so and why and I try to end the review on a positive note. When I am looking for a new book to read, I secretly read a couple of the "poor" or "bad" reviews before I read the positive ones. And once I have finished the book, most times I find myself saying: "What were they talking about? Did they even read the same great book that I just did?" It's weird I know, but I have found so many great books this way! It's like they find the one negative thing and nit-pick it to death so that their entire review isn't objective at all to the rest of the book! Ok, I'll stop babbling now! I recently purchased both of Lisa's books, and I can't wait to get started!

  3. That is a great interview! I LOVE Lisa's books. The way her books flow almost like a play and the language is beautiful. I am eagerly awaiting the last book in her trilogy :)

  4. Oh, I loved Eyes Like Stars. So glad Lisa reaches out to bloggers.

  5. Great interview. I had the pleasure of reading and reviewing an ARC of Eyes Like Stars and loved it so I am not surprised everyone else did too!