Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Sangu Mandanna Author Interview

Book Nerd Interview

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 now lives in England with her husband and son.

Social Media

Was there a defining moment during your youth when you realized you wanted to be a writer?

I don’t think there was ever one moment. Writing is what I’ve always wanted to do, as long as I can remember. I wrote my first short story when I was four, so the dream goes pretty far back!

What’s one thing that readers would be surprised to find out about you?

When I’m writing a book, I change the font about sixteen times. If a word doesn’t look right on the page, I have to change it (or change the font). It’s horribly obsessive compulsive. My husband thinks I’m crazy.

What was the greatest thing you learned at school?

I was very lucky at school because I had a lot of great English Lit teachers. I always loved reading, but they taught me how to look at books differently.

What is the best piece of advice you ever received from another author?

This isn’t strictly advice, but it was the best thing I was ever told about writing: that it doesn’t matter if a dozen people hate your book, as long as just one person loves it. Even, and especially, if that person is you. Because that’s the person you’re really writing for.

Can you tell us when you started The Lost Girl, how that came about?

It all began in 2009. It was the end of my second year of university, I was rereading Frankenstein for a British Romanticism module, and I became obsessed with the idea of writing a story from the monster’s point of view. A few months, lots of inspiration, and several discarded beginnings later, I started hearing Eva’s voice telling me her story, and I knew that was the one I really wanted to write. I began writing that in September. It took me about five months to finish a full first draft (I always edit a lot along the way) and then another two to do more rounds of edits, by which time I had just graduated from university.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating Eva?

How tough she really is, I suppose. I kind of knew what she was like when I started writing about her, of course. I knew her voice and her thoughts and the way she felt about things. But it wasn’t until I got deeper into the story that I realized just how tough and resilient she is. She’s no fainting, crumpling maiden. I love that about her.

You have the chance to give one piece of advice to your teen readers. What would it be?

Whatever you want to do with your life, or whatever you dream of becoming, you can. I’ve always wanted to write books. And now I write books. But for a very long time, when I got rejection after rejection, I thought that would never happen. But it did. So no matter what it is you dream of, I don’t think anything is out of your reach.

If you could introduce Eva to any character from another book, who would it be and why?

I’d introduce her to Voldemort. I think she’d have some choice words for him.

When asked, what’s the one question you always answer with a lie?

When my mother says “Sangu, I’m curious. Was it you or your brother who broke my beautiful blue vase twelve years ago?”, I always, always say “it was Sid”.

What’s your most missed memory?

When I was quite little, I used to only ever write stories on the computer at my aunt’s office. She was a lawyer, a very busy lawyer, and yet there I was, day after day, lurking at her desk and demanding food and totally stealing her computer away from her. And she let me. I would very much love to be able to do that again.

What's the worst summer job you've ever had?

I’m going to have to give you the most boring answer ever: I’ve only ever had two actual ‘summer’ jobs (working backstage at a theatre and on a school musical) and I really liked both of them.

When was the last time you cried?

Three days ago. I was watching Marley & Me. I’ve watched it about five times, but I cry every time.

Most horrifying dream you have ever had?

I was a potato! I’m not kidding. I was a potato and I was going to be cooked in the pot. It was the weirdest thing ever, but completely horrifying at the time.

Where can readers stalk you?

Almost anywhere! Email will usually get the fastest reply, but I also have a website,, a blog, a Facebook page, and I’m on Twitter too (@SanguMandanna). Of the latter places, I tend to be most active on Twitter.

Eva’s life is not her own. She is a creation, an abomination—an echo. Made by the Weavers as a copy of someone else, she is expected to replace a girl named Amarra, her “other”, if she ever died. Eva studies 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 fifteen years of studying never prepared her for this.

Now she must abandon everything 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.

Sangu Mandanna’s The Lost Girl is a gripping tale about Eva, an echo, whose purpose in life is to replace Amarra when she dies. Stationed in Northern England, Eva’s whole life has been learning every aspect of Amarra’s life. When Amarra ends up in a tragic car accident, Eva is sent to do exactly what she has been preparing for. Not all goes through smoothly as Eva has to adjust to her new life and facing new dangers she has never experienced.

The plot build-up in this book is absolutely wonderful. The concept is not new but Sangu manages to mix in her own twists to make an excellent read. Equipped with Sangu’s excellent writing style, the book tells an incredible story that deals with real-life issues. The amazing characters that readers will run into are simply memorable and extraordinary.

From beginning to end, readers are taken into an emotional ride. Sangu delivers very powerful and descriptive words that provide readers with a crystal clear image of her fantastic world. With surprises lurking at every turn of the page, The Lost Girl is a read that will not disappoint. The story is mesmerizing that readers are immediately pulled in feeling no desire of being let out.

You can purchase The Lost Girl at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you Sangu for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a copy of The Lost Girl by Sangu Mandanna.
a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. i'm sorry but where is the giveaway?

  2. Can't see the rafflecopter either :|

  3. Sorry about that Everyone! It's here now! :)

  4. thats a tough one, i honestly dont remember. i dont like physical displays of affection so yup its been a long time lol
    thanks for the giveaway :)

  5. My sister. We were running from the car in the rain to the grocery store, and I almost slipped on the pavement, but she saved me by grabbing my hand! What a nice sister!

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  6. Err... I don't exactly remember. I don't like to hold hands, lol.

  7. I think my grandma :-?... Yeah, grandma was the last person who hold my hand :D. Thank you for the giveway!

  8. probably my sister´s boyfriend was the last person who hold my hand :D
    Thank you for great interview and giveaway :)

  9. Ummmm.....I have no idea but its most likely my best friend

  10. umm...I think my sister.. maybe.

  11. My sister ^_^ Thank you for the giveaway

  12. I help in a kindergarden near my house, so the last ones who held my hands where a couple of kids when we where all going in a bee line to wash our hands for lunch. Lol! (ileana-rafflecopter)

  13. Last person to hold my hand would be my niece. :) Thanks for an awesome giveaway!

  14. My little sister.

    Thanks for the giveaway~! ♥

  15. My niece.. :) Thanks for the giveaway!

  16. Damn it! I don't remember... it's been a while!

  17. My husband. Thanks for the awesome giveaway!!

  18. My mom, thank you for the giveaway!
    Demitra Giote

  19. My nephew. Thanks for the giveaway!

  20. My neighbour's dog. He loves to put his paw in my hand :D

  21. My friend in Vermont that I won't see again for another year. </3

  22. my little nephew.
    Thanks for the giveaway!

  23. I'm sure it was my husband. Thanks for the chance to win!

  24. My sister!

    TY for the giveaway

    Megan McDade

  25. my kids! thanks for the giveaway!

  26. My daughter, we had a discussion when she came home from her second day of high school and she had some problems with some sophmores (and she is freshman).
    Thanks :)

  27. One of my friends during some horror movie :)

  28. My little sister :D

    -Enna P.

  29. Last person to hold my hand was my little sister while we were discussing the epicness of the book she is currently reading :)

  30. My little brother ^-^

  31. This comment has been removed by the author.

  32. I don't remember!!!

    I think my sister...but I don't really like people touching me.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  33. I don't remember, I think maybe one of my sisters.

    Thanks for the giveaway.

    Nazish @ Nazish Reads

  34. OH, wow... my life is sad...
    I don't remember :/

  35. dog. lol. im a sad person. jkjk. my niece walked me across the winn dixie parking lot. I wish the last person to hold my hand was a sexy guy, but hey, we can't all be that lucky. lol

  36. My hubby, we always have a cuddle when he gets in from work and then we hold hands and chat about our day, Thankyou for a wonderful giveaway x x

  37. It was my son, he had a hard day at school so on the drive home we held hands ;0)

  38. The last person to hold my hand was my sister

  39. Hmm I think it was my little brother or my grandmother. I saw her last night and she was so happy to see me. As for my brother I was holding his hand when we were crossing the street.