About Lisa


Lisa Mantchev is a temporally displaced Capricorn who casts her spells from an ancient tree in the Pacific Northwest. When not scribbling, she is by turns an earth elemental, theater nerd, artist, and domestic goddess. She shares her office with eight vintage typewriters and her abode with her husband, two children, three upstairs cats, and three downstairs dogs.

She is best known as the author of the award-winning picture book STRICTLY NO ELEPHANTS, which has now been translated into fourteen languages and has over a quarter of a million copies in print.

Her first young adult fantasy trilogy The Théâtre Illuminata includes the Andre Norton and Mythopoeic awards-nominated EYES LIKE STARS. Her steampunk young adult novel TICKER was a Kindle #1 Bestseller.

Lisa’s short fiction has also appeared in venues like Faerie Magazine, Clarkesworld, Weird Tales, Fantasy Magazine, and Strange Horizons.


I started writing short stories in the first grade and stored them in a pink and purple unicorn Trapper Keeper. About the same time I started writing, I also started performing in community theater. I was seven the first time we dyed my hair black for a community college musical, and the combination of writing, theater, and hair-color fundamentally altered my brain chemistry. By the time I hit high school, I’d performed in more than a dozen productions. Then I wrote, directed, and produced my own children’s play at the local community theater when I was sixteen. That won me two scholarships to University of CA, Irvine, where I continued to study theater and playwriting. After graduation, I taught English at a French-American elementary school, started their Drama After School Program, and continued to write short stories. The summer of 2006, a friend dared me to write a novel, so I did. Originally titled SCRIMSHAW, it was published as EYES LIKE STARS.

I work with words every day, be it drafting, revising, making editorial changes, copyediting, page proofing, or daydreaming the next project. At any given time, I have three files open and a dozen ideas floating around in my noggin. When the children were little, I’d get up at five o’clock to work. Thankfully, I don’t have to do that anymore, but the rule still stands that if you come between me and my coffee, you might lose a finger.

“The Writer Lady” artwork by Céline Chapus of Purple Top Hat. Visit her at her website.