Interview with Author, Sangu Mandanna!

Tuesday, 6 August 2013
So I've interviewed the lovely Sangu Mandanna. How amazing is that?! Her debut novel, The Lost Girl (you can find my review HERE), is one of my absolute favourites so I advise - after you read this interview and leave a delicious comment - you go buy it! It's a real one-off read! Anyways. Hope you enjoy the Q&A! :D

To begin with, can you tell us a little about yourself and your book?

I'm 25, obsessed with reading and Doctor Who, and spend my days dividing nonexistent time between writing, making things up in my head, and running around after my toddler. Sometimes I tell people I'm a stunt motorcyclist just to see the looks on their faces. The Lost Girl is my first book and it's about death and love and how far we'd go to keep the people we love. It's about a world where it's possible to make copies of the people you've lost, only those echoes aren't perfect and one of them - specifically my main character Eva - is determined to be more than just a copy.

What made you want to [partly] set your book in India? Were there any specific reasons?

I don't think it was something I thought about; the book just was partly set there. It was like it was already decided. I don't often have as much control over my stories and characters as I'd like! But I'm also sure part of it was the fact that I grew up in India and know Bangalore so well.

If you could jump inside your book, what would be the first thing you'd do and why?

I'd go to the Loom and look inside all the rooms and try to spy on the Weavers at work. So much of the Loom is a mystery to Eva and so much of it is a mystery to me still; I also love the idea of literally stitching a person into life, so I would love to be able to watch Matthew or Adrian or Elsa do that (given the choice between the three, I'd probably pick Matthew. I'm sure he has his own quirks and methods and I bet he chatters nonstop while he works, so it'd be intriguing and hilarious...)

Did you encounter any struggles while writing The Lost Girl? How did you overcome them?

I remember there was a point, round about Chapter 5, that I stopped writing it altogether. It was like my enthusiasm for it just died. I don't know why, but I suspect it had to do with feeling burned out. I'm very manic when I work - or I used to be before my son was born and I had free time, anyway! - and used to write anywhere between an hour to twelve hours a day and stay up all night and sleep in the afternoons and that kind of thing. That kind of process means it's easy to get exhausted and burned out. In the end it was just time away that fixed it; six weeks later, I went back to the book and never looked back! I think that's how I always overcome writing problems or struggles: it seems to work best. Taking a break and getting some perspective really brings the enthusiasm back and also gives you room to come up with new ideas.

Quick, an alien has barged into your house! Which fictional character will you bring to life to protect you?

Oh, without question it would be the Doctor from Doctor Who. Who else? Alien expert: check. Suitably badass when the situation calls for it: check. Funny and sexy to boot: check.

A YA book genie has granted you 3 wishes! What do you wish for in YA literacy?

1. More Harry Potter books. 2. [WARNING: Harry Potter SPOILER!] That Sirius Black never died. [SPOILER OVER!] 3. To be able to snap my fingers and have any book, whether it's published yet or not, in my hands instantly.

Finally, can you tell us about any books you're currently working on?

I'm currently working on a book I call GREY. It's a fantasy, steampunk-esque, about a girl who turns vigilante and gradually becomes a hero and a symbol of hope to a city. It's bleak and romantic and tragic and thrilling (I hope, anyway!) and working on it has been incredibly hard but also brilliant!


Toffee or Caramel? Caramel
Blue or Pink? Blue (though I do have a soft spot for pink tech: my iPad has a hot pink cover and my stylus is pink and it's so pretty!)
Dogs or Cats? Oooeeer can't choose! Maybe dogs?
Dystopian or Contemporary? Contemporary right now, but I have phases and if you'd asked me last year it would have been dystopian!
Keyboard or Notebook? Keyboard for drafts, notebook for scribbles and notes.

Oh how I'd love to visit India! It looks like such a beautiful county - really rich in culture! *gazes off dreamily* I'd also love to visit the Loom! See what's going on in there! And more Harry Potter books?! YES PLEASE! The book you're currently working on sounds AMAZING! Thank you so much for letting me interview you - I love your answers!

Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo


  1. Aw, Sangu is so lovely! I was lucky enough to interview her on Booked Up! a while ago and really enjoyed it. The Lost Girl is a truly special novel. :)

    Your questions are brilliant, and I especially liked question 5. I think Doctor Who is a great choice - I'd pick David Tennant because I just love him.

    India really is a gorgeous place and I really, desperately want to visit there someday. Everything is just so colourful and I think The Lost Girl had fantastic description of India to really paint that stunning picture in your head.

    Thank you so much for sharing this interview with us, Rachel! And thank you to Sangu for the wonderful answers! :D

    P.S. Yay for caramel! Haha ;)

  2. Like Jessica, we read and interviewed her book together when I received it and I just loved her book, it was so unique and different that I highly recommend the book. Sangu herself was such a great author to interview as well! David Tennant is my all time favourite Doctor, thats a given. Great interview, Rachel. :)

  3. Sorry I'm late to this, Rachel, but: thanks so much for having me here! Your questions were such fun to answer :-)

    And Jessica and Emma, David Tennant is my favourite Doctor too!


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