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.
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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. Find her online at www.sangumandanna.com
--The Twitter version: tell us about your book in 140 characters or less.
Weavers stitch copies of people, echoes, to replace their originals when they die. The book is about Eva who wants not to have to be her original anymore. (I know, that's more than 140 characters, but I couldn't shorten it any more!)
--How did you get the idea for the story?
I reread Frankenstein at university and found myself really fascinated by the idea of a story from the monster's point of view. I played around with it for ages, find inspiration in things like Tim Burton movies and Daphne du Maurier novels, until Eva took shape. Suddenly all I could hear was her voice telling her story, so I had to write it.
--Which character would you most/least like to have dinner with?
You mean which of my characters, right, as opposed to, say, Dumbledore, who I would definitely want to have dinner with? I want to say Eva, but no, on the whole I think I'd most like to have dinner with Matthew, one of the Weavers. He's so odd and obscure and maddening. I'd least like to have dinner with a character called Sam, because he's just an absolute idiot.
--Do you have any other works in progress? Any teasers or release dates?
I'm working on a Romeo and Juliet-type love story with a large helping of steampunk and revolution thrown in. No release dates or anything like that yet, but I'm very much loving writing it!
--What book(s) is your book’s “cousin”? (Similar set-up or style)
Frankenstein, definitely, because of the set-up. But that's more of a grandmother than a cousin, I guess.
--What are some of your favorite books? Do you still have much time to read?
I have too many to even try to list here, but a few are: Tabitha Suzuma's Forbidden, The Hunger Games trilogy, Anthony Horowitz's The House of Silk, the original Sherlock Holmes short stories, Lauren DeStefano's Wither, anything Harry Potter-related. And yes! I have a book coming out, am writing other things, and have a seven-month old baby... but I ALWAYS have time to read.
--If a fairy godmother told you could be put into the world of your favorite book for 24 hours, which book would you pick and why?
Any of the Harry Potter books. I want Butterbeer, and to go to Hogwarts (I'd be in Gryffindor, obviously), and to do real magic, and to try and woo Harry away from Ginny, who I've never liked (sorry, Ginny).
--Do you need anything to write (music, coffee, etc)? Are there any songs on your playlist- songs that inspired you or that were playing while you wrote?
Music, usually. It always helps me find the right mood for a scene. A really tidy desk. Something to drink, though it doesn't have to be coffee, it's more likely to be fruit tea, or hot chocolate, or Pepsi Max. And I did have a playlist for THE LOST GIRL, though it would take up too much room to try and list every song, so you can have a peek at the whole thing here if you want to.
--If you could have any superpower what would you choose?
Invisibility, I think. Or the ability to read minds. I'm such a snoop, so being able to secretly spy on people would be fun.
--Besides writing, what do you like to do in your free time?
Reading, watching Grey's Anatomy, hanging out with my husband, going out to dinner. Though I do spend a lot of my time with my baby, so that's probably the thing I like doing best (except when he's driving me mental, in which case reading and Grey's Anatomy top the list).
--What is one thing you would tell your 15 year old self?
To stop sending that horrible manuscript out to publishers. Please. No, seriously, I'd tell her not to feel so disheartened every time she gets a rejection, because they are all going to lead her to a big fat YES! in just a few years' time.
--Is there anything else you want to add or say to your readers?
Just thank you: so many people have sent me enthusiastic tweets and emails about wanting to read THE LOST GIRL, or having read it, and I really can't begin to tell you how much that means to me.
Lightning round: this or that?
Vanilla or chocolate? Chocolate
Edward or Jacob? Edward. Easy.
Hockey or soccer? Soccer (only we call it football in the UK)
Ebook or paper? Paper
Salty or sweet? Both?
Beach or mountains? Beach
Phone call or email? Depends who it's with? But I guess phone call.
Early bird or night owl? Night owl! Totally.
Dog or cat? ...dog. No, cat. No, dog.
Messy or neat? Neat
Ninjas or pirates? Pirates
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