Monday, November 19, 2012

Celebrating Debutantes: Author Sangu Mandanna (Interview + Giveaway)

Welcome to Celebrating Debutantes 2012 week two!

I would like to thank everyone who supported the past featured authors, Jodi Meadows and Katie McGarry. This week, I will be featuring three more awesome debut authors of 2012!

For now, let's welcome the author of The Lost Girl...

Author Sangu Mandanna

"To those of you who have read my book, and loved it (or haven't loved it, but who picked it up and read it in the first place), thank you. Your support and love and enthusiasm is just so incredible. I love your emails, and tweets, and I just want you to know that I still feel astonished that my book is the one you're writing to me about. And to those of you who haven't read my book and are reading this interview, thank you too. I hope you'll read The Lost Girl, because I may be biased but I do think it's kind of awesome, but it's okay if you don't - I think it's amazing that you're willing to read anything I have to say!"

- SANGU MANDANNA, debut author of 2012

How was the feeling of being a published author, at last?

It was tremendously exciting on the actual day of publication - but the funny thing is, right after that, I just went back to feeling completely like my old self and not really like a published author at all! It was kind of like 'YAY! Now I have to go clean the house, and finish this chapter, and wait am I really published?' But I also live in the UK, and The Lost Girl hasn't yet released here, so I haven't actually seen or touched my book on an actual bookstore shelf yet. Maybe when I do, this will really sink in.

Are you interested in writing with different genre or audience?

To be honest, I've always loved children's fiction and I've always written about protagonists who are fairly young, but I never consciously set out to write YA. I would definitely write in a different genre or for a different audience, but only if I had an idea that suited a different genre or audience. I don't think I'd ever sit down and think okay, I want to write a thriller for adults, so let me try and come up with something there... for me the book always comes first and so far, my books have always, coincidentally, been YA.

Do you read reviews about your book?

Some of them, yes. Sometimes readers will tweet a review link @me or they'll send me a link to their review via email. I always read those. And I so appreciate them! There's nothing lovelier than someone sending you a link to a review because they loved your book so much. But I don't read general reviews on Google or Goodreads or Amazon. I don't object to negative reviews at all - I think that, unless someone is trying to be deliberately hurtful or to personally attack somebody else, everyone should be allowed to have and share their own opinions. I know that some people just won't like my book and I completely get that. But I feel that reviews of my book are written for other readers and potential readers, not for me, so unless someone actually sends me a link or asks me to take a look, I don't read them.

Who is the character on your book who has the most response from your readers?

Gosh, I'm not sure! I think it's a tie between Eva, who readers seem to love as a narrator and protagonist, and Sean, who readers seem to want to marry, and Matthew, who provokes a wide variety of reactions ranging from curiosity to fascination to I'd like to marry him too.

Which stresses you more: writing/finishing your book, looking for a publisher/getting your book published, or seeing negative feedback from the readers?

I think writing and the process of publication are equally stressful in parts. Writing and finishing a book can be exhilarating and wonderful, but it can also be emotionally draining and frustrating at the same time. And publishing a book can be disheartening (rejections hurt!) and the actual process, as exciting as it is, can also be as frustrating as writing the book in the first place because publishing is a slow industry (and I'm impatient) and sometimes you feel like you're never going to get things right. So in comparison, as upsetting as they can sometimes be, negative reviews aren't very stressful at all!

Author you dream to work with?

I think I'd be terrible at a collaboration, but I would never say no to Neil Gaiman or JK Rowling. They're such fantastic authors.

Fave character from a book (not yours)?

Hermione from the Harry Potter books. I love her.

What's the recent thing that made you cry?

I reread The Time Traveler's Wife recently. There was much sobbing.

When's your birthday?
14 May 1988.

Fave movie?

This changes depending on my mood, so right now it's Disney's Beauty and the Beast. My baby son and I sometimes watch the 'Tale as Old as Time' scene on loop. And I really, really want a library like the Beast's. With sliding ladders!

(Sidenote: Me, too! :D)

How did you celebrate the publishing of your book? :)

My husband and I went out to dinner at one of our favourite restaurants. So it was very low-key, but I loved it.


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 baby son. Find her online at

Stalk her more!
Facebook * Twitter * Blog

Sangu's debut book:

The Lost Girl
by Sangu Mandanna

Date published: August 28, 2012 by Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins

Summary (Goodreads):

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.


“Mandanna’s debut novel is lovely and at times heartbreaking .... A thoughtful study of both a girl’s search for her identity and the human reaction to death.”

“THE LOST GIRL was the most honest portrait of grief and loss that I’ve read in a long time. Filled with heartache, love, and things that would stir Mary Shelley’s ghost, this is a story not to be missed.”

“The breathtakingly complex character development is set against a sinister, Frankensteinian underworld that promises plenty of philosophically fraught conflict and intricate backstory. [A] compelling meditation on the nature of humanity, consciousness, and self-ownership.”

“[An] absorbing novel .... The story is moving without being sentimental, and Eva’s attempts to evade her captors provide action that will broaden the book’s appeal to both sexes.”



- one lucky winner will win: signed bookmarks and a signed sketch of Eva's Mark!!!
- guess what? It's open INTERNATIONALLY! (Please thank Sangu for that. :)
- the winning entry will be CHECKED. So please be honest in entering each one of them--you never know, it might be the winning entry.
- if the winner has not responded within 48 hours, another winner will be picked.
- all personal details will be kept privately and deleted after.
- Sangu and I are not responsible for any lost or damaged package.
- ends December 5th

* Thank you so much Sangu for droppin' by today! I would also like to thank her for donating a wonderful swag for the giveaway!

Have you read The Lost Girl? What are your thoughts about it? Or are you like me, who hasn't-read-it-yet-but-dying-to-and-will-hopefully-read-soon? Either way, don't forget to leave your thoughts on the comments below! :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Sorry I haven't been able to stop by sooner, Michelle! Thanks so much for having me here :-)

  2. Sorry I haven't been able to stop by sooner, Michelle! Thanks so much for having me here :-)

  3. Congrats to SM for getting her story out to everyone.

  4. I totally can't WAIT to read this one– it sounds so good! Thanks for the amazing giveaway :D

  5. Oh my, I really want to read this book. ''The Lost Girl'' really caught my attention<3

  6. The Lost Girl has been on my TBR list for a long time and I' love to read it!Thanks for this awesome giveaway! :)

  7. I've been dying to read The Lost Girl before it even came out, and I'm happy that I come across it at goodreads! best wishes for Sangu!

  8. This is an absolutely wonderful giveaway and the book sounds fantastic! I can't wait to read it!! :D (Angie Edwards)

  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

  10. Sounds great! Thanks for the giveaway:)

  11. Thanks for the giveaway.I like the idea of the book and I'd be very happy if I get the chance to read it.

  12. This book sounds so good, I've been wanting to read it for a while now.

  13. I really want to read this book! I've been looking out for this one for a long time now and I can't wait to meet the characters especially those whom most wants to marry. LOL! Thanks for the giveaway! :)

  14. I want to read this book! *_*


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