Friday, April 25, 2014

Interview with Sangu Mandanna, Author of The Lost Girl

Today, I'd like to welcome the amazing Sangu Mandanna, author of The Lost Gitl, to the blog! Her book is a favorite of mine, and I'm so glad the author was able to do a Q & A!

Sangu MandannaThe Lost Girl

1. How did you come up with the idea for The Lost Girl?
When I was in my second year at university, we read Frankenstein and though I'd read it years before, rereading it again made me look at it in a whole new light and made me feel almost obsessed with the idea of telling a story from the Creature's point of view. Eva began to take shape in my head, a kind of modern Creature figure, all lonely and angry, and THE LOST GIRL just evolved from there.

2. Which character did you enjoy writing about the most?
Being in Eva's head meant she was probably my favourite, but I have to say I always loved - loved! - writing scenes with Lekha or Mina Ma or Matthew in them. Lekha's funny and kind and came to life so easily and vividly to me, Mina Ma was so fierce and ruthless and loving and it made me so happy to give Eva someone like her, and Matthew was just complete and absolute fun to write. Nothing thrills me more than writing a character whose motivations aren't clear, sometimes not even to me. And his withering sarcasm certainly helped.

3. Do you have any favorite YA novels?
Oh, so many! A few I'll mention off the top of my head: Franny Billingsley's Chime, Sarah Rees Brennan's Lynburn Legacy series, Maggie Stiefvater's The Scorpio Races, Lucy Christopher's Stolen and Malorie Blackman's Noughts and Crosses. And all the Harry Potter books. I also recently read and really liked Red Rising by Pierce Brown.

4. Only because I am cruel: If you found out you had an Echo, what would you do?

I think I'd react more like Amarra does than Nikhil, who is selfless in a way I could never be; I'd be like Amarra, angry and frustrated and determined to make sure no one took over my life after I was gone.

5. Do you see any of yourself in any of the characters? (if you are anything like Sean, can we be best friends?)
I don't think I'm very much like Sean, alas! I do love him, though. And I think there's a little bit of me in all my characters, just because I'm writing them, but they do each feel very much like their own person to me. I have to say, though, that Lekha and Matthew often say the kinds of outrageous things I often do - or would like to!

6. Any advice for aspiring authors?

Don't write unless you simply can't not write. Publishing is hard, slow and most of us aren't overnight success stories. So don't do it because of a trend, or because you think it's easy, or because you want to make some quick money. Do it because you absolutely have to, because you'd write even if no one wanted to read what you're writing. That's what will make you keep writing even when you burn out, or when you're busy, or when it seems like all you're getting is rejection; that's what will make it so worth it.

7. Would you be able to share with us any news on your upcoming project(s)?

I don't have an official title or release date for you, but I do have a book due to come out late this year or early next. It's unofficial title, which will probably change, is GREY. I very much hope readers will love it as much as I loved writing it. It's a darkish fantasy about family, love and madness. About a girl hunting for her mother's stolen memories and who accidentally becomes a symbol of hope to a frightened city.

And random stuff!

8. Favorite band/singer?
You know, I'm really weird with music. I don't often have a favourite singer or band as a whole; I tend to love individual songs and never buy whole albums! A couple of my favourite songs at the moment are "Losing Your Memory" by Ryan Star (I wrote pretty much all of GREY listening to this) and most of the Frozen soundtrack!

9. Favorite movie?
So many! The Lion King, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, Juno, oh the list would go on. These are just the ones I can think of right now!

10. Your OTP?
Oooh! I can't decide! Harry/Hermione from the Harry Potter books or Doctor/Rose from Doctor Who...? Both?

Thanks Sangu for giving such wonderful answers!

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