Friday, June 14, 2013

{Author Interview} Sangu Mandanna, Author of The Lost Girl

 photo SanguMadanna_zpsc8d084b9.jpg
Hi everyone! Today I am pleased and honored to have the wonderful Sangu Madanna on the blog today!
Everyone give a warm welcome to the author of The Lost Girl!
We got one awesome interview ahead so read on! :D

~The Author:
Sangu Mandanna was four years old when she was chased by an elephant and wrote her first story about it and decided that this was what she wanted to do with her life. Seventeen years later, she read Frankenstein. It sent her into a writing frenzy that became The Lost Girl, a novel about death and love and the tie that binds the two together. Sangu lives in Norwich, England with her husband and baby son. Find Sangu online at or on Twitter (@SanguMandanna).

~The Interview:
1. The Lost Girl, your Young Adult debut, came out in 2012. Are you currently working on something else? If so, what can you tell us about it? 
I can't say very much at the moment, particularly because this isn't an official Book yet, but I'm working on a darkish fantasy about a girl who turns vigilante when her mother's memories are stolen. It's full of love and heartbreak and cool things like clockwork horses and skyships (at least I think they're cool!) and I've really loved working on it. 
2. How often do you write? 
Depends on how you define 'writing'! I don't sit down at my Macbook and write or edit every single day. Most days, yes, and usually in several chunks of one to four hours. But there are some days when that doesn't happen. Then there's the other stuff I do. I make notes, scribble things down, type ideas into my phone... and that happens every day. And if I very loosely equate 'writing' with all the scenes and stories that run through my head, I do that ALL THE TIME. 
3. How has today's culture affected your writing? 
Oooh neat question! I'm trying to think about that... I think our culture is fairly fixated on putting off death, so to speak, and prolonging life (everything from anti-aging creams to medical discoveries seems to be geared towards us living as long as we possibly can) and that idea certainly played into THE LOST GIRL. Fear of death and loss is a huge theme there. The question of mental health is also something I write about, especially in the book I'm working on now; there's still something of a stigma attached to mental health (or the lack thereof) and 'madness' is something I've always wanted to explore in my stories. But I would also say that while these cultural things have had an effect on my writing, the story always comes first and these themes come second. I don't think I've ever gone into a book with a fixed idea that I must explore some kind of issue. 
4. How might have The Lost Girl differed if it had been written 100 or so years ago? Why? 
You know, I have no idea! Apart from obvious superficial differences (vocabulary, contemporary settings, pop culture references, etc) I'm not sure it would have been very different. Human beings have always loved and have always been afraid of dying and losing their loved ones, so that core theme would not have changed. Also, given the book is inspired by FRANKENSTEIN (which was written more than 100 years ago) I reckon Eva and the question of 'monsters' would have remained. I do wonder, though, if maybe Eva would have been Evan i.e. a boy. 100 years ago, a female protagonist like Eva might not have gone down so well. 
5. What have been some of your favorite 2013 debuts? 
Oh that's hard! I've read and loved so many books this year, but don't often know whether they're debuts or not. A couple I can think of are IN THE SHADOW OF BLACKBIRDS by Cat Winters (loved that one so much!) and IF HE HAD BEEN WITH ME by Laura Nowlin (I think that's a debut?) 
6. You are a tribute for the Hunger Games. What is your chance of surviving and how do you go about it? 
I would love to believe that I would be all tough and gritty and get through it without a hitch, but I believe the odds of that would be slim. I can't STAND the idea of children being hurt, so I'd have a tough time taking out the younger ones and would probably falter long enough to be killed. I do have some decent survival skills, though, so I think my best bet would be to hide out and go unnoticed as long as possible. Maybe that way, I'd make it to the very end and then the one who has killed all the others would have to come deal with me and I'd turn into a raging Valkyrie and win... 
7. What do you think is the most important thing today to understand as a teen? 
That nothing is impossible. I remember being quite unsure about a lot of things when I was a teenager. I remember thinking that a lot of things were out of my reach or unlikely or impossible. It wasn't true. All the things I wanted as a teen - to be an author, to fall in love, to live somewhere beautiful, to be happy - were entirely possible. I know that now. They're real and true. I just had to hope and try. I think it's important to remember that. Anything is possible. 
8. If you could have put any character into The Lost Girl from any book who would it be and why? 
Jem Finch from To Kill A Mockingbird. I don't really know why! I just love him so much.

~The Book(s):
The Lost Girl
Release Date: August 28, 2012
by, Balzer + Bray
Eva's life is not her own. She is a creation, an abomination—an echo. She was made by the Weavers as a copy of someone else, expected to replace a girl named Amarra, her "other," if she ever died. Eva spends every day studying that girl from far away, learning what Amarra does, what she eats, what it's like to kiss her boyfriend, Ray. So when Amarra is killed in a car crash, Eva should be ready.

But sixteen years of studying never prepared her for this.

Now she must abandon everything and everyone she's ever known—the guardians who raised her, the boy she's forbidden to love—to move to India and convince the world that Amarra is still alive.

What Eva finds is a grief-stricken family; parents unsure how to handle this echo they thought they wanted; and Ray, who knew every detail, every contour of Amarra. And when Eva is unexpectedly dealt a fatal blow that will change her existence forever, she is forced to choose: Stay and live out her years as a copy or leave and risk it all for the freedom to be an original. To be Eva.

From debut novelist Sangu Mandanna comes the dazzling story of a girl who was always told what she had to be—until she found the strength to decide for herself.{Goodreads}

Wasn't that interview just great!? I absolutely loved Q&A #'s 1, 3,4,5,6,7...haha well ALL of them!
Sangu has a way of thinking right!!? Ah! I just loved her being on the blog!
If you haven't checked out her debut, The Lost Girl, do so! I've heard its absolutely amazing! 
(yes I have yet to read it is on my very soon TBR!!!) ;D

Thanks for stopping by!
Hope you enjoyed this interview! :)
Have a wonderful day!

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