Meet the author: Lisa Mantchev

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Author website/social media: (links to everything else on that page)When you were my age, did you like to read?  

I loved to read so much when I was younger that if I got into trouble, my mom grounded me FROM BOOKS. Seriously, I remember it being like torture, so I tried to never get into trouble. I would read in the car, in the bathtub, and in the closet (for privacy… I have a younger sister who used to be a pain in my backside.) I used to spend hours sitting on the floors of the library and our local bookstore, too.

What was your favorite story? My first “favorite” book was BALLET SHOES by Noel Streatfeild. Then I read all her other novels, and other old-fashioned favorites like SECRET GARDEN, A LITTLE PRINCESS, MARY POPPINS, and such. I liked books set in England, especially if they included boarding schools and theatre. As a grown-up, I got to revisit that when the HARRY POTTER series came out!
How do you get your ideas? My ideas come from everywhere… from conversations with my kids to the pictures I see on Pinterest to memes that are posted on Facebook. Basically, my mind is always open for a story seed to be planted.
Is it hard to write a book? Yes! It takes a lot of time and concentration and determination and focus to write and revise a novel. The picture books are easier, because they are shorter, but they still take concentration and attention to detail, because you have to make each word count.
Do you have a favorite among the books you have written/illustrated? That is like picking a favorite kid. I don’t think I’m allowed. *whispers* The tiny elephant book is my favorite right now.
What author do you really like right now? I am reading Terry Pratchett’s Tiffany Aching series. I love all of his Discworld books. He is very good at being very funny, but all the jokes are smart jokes. Also, he made me realize it was all right to write humor in my own books.
What advice do you have for a kid who wants to be an author? READ, READ, READ. WRITE, WRITE, WRITE. You have to treat it like a job where you are the boss. You answer to yourself by setting challenges and meeting deadlines. Also, there are conventions where you can go and listen to authors speak about all sorts of things, so start going to those as early as possible. Meeting other authors is an important thing we call “networking.” Knowing people in the industry is always a good thing.

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