Interview with Sangu Mandanna, author of THE LOST GIRL

Today in the Wild Worlds feature week, I got to talk with Sangu Mandanna, author of the new dystopian/paranomal novel THE LOST GIRL, coming out on August 28th, 2012!

Synopsis from 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.


THE LOST GIRL sounds like a really unique concept! In it, Eva is an “echo” of a girl named Amarra and will take her place if Amarra ever died. Can you tell us a little bit more about Eva’s story? Does she get to live a normal life or is she entirely Amarra’s shadow?
SM: Eva was created solely to replace Amarra so, no, she doesn’t get to live a normal life. She has to do everything Amarra does, or, if that isn’t possible, learn every detail of it instead. She’s not allowed to love anyone Amarra does not, she’s not allowed to be anything Amarra is not. Of course, in practice, this isn’t always the case. These are the Weavers’ laws and Eva has a tendency to break the Weavers’ laws.

So the Weavers made her a copy of a person. Who are the Weavers and how did they come into so much power?
SM: Ah. Well, you’ll learn more about the Weavers in the book, but a brief history: for almost two hundred years there has been a Weaver stitching human life at the Loom, making copies of lost loved ones. They started out as a secret, a mysterious thing in the dark, and, over time, have come more and more into public consciousness. And, unsurprisingly, they terrify a lot of people. In Eva’s time there are three Weavers. Adrian, Matthew and Elsa. I guess they’re so powerful because they wield so much control over life and death. They’ve learned to do something no one else can. They can create human life out of nothing. That means they have a lot of enemies, but it also means a lot of powerful people see the sense in keeping on their good side.

Are there many other “echoes” like Eva?
SM: Eva asks Matthew this question in the book and he tells her “hundreds”. That, as he specifies, is only the number of echoes he, Adrian and Elsa have personally created and who are still alive; it doesn’t take into account all the echoes stitched over time.

I read in your bio that you grew up in Bangalore and now live in the UK. Do we see a lot of these two influences in THE LOST GIRL?
SM: I think so, yes. A lot of people have asked me if I chose these two settings to make a point, or because I know them so well, and I have to admit it’s neither of those things. I chose them because they felt right for the story and because they felt different from the places I usually read about in YA. When you boil the story down, though, it’s not really about either of those influences: it’s about a fierce, brave and incredibly stubborn girl.

It seems like writing has been a passion of yours all your life! Were you always interested in writing along the lines of science-fiction/fantasy?
SM: I’ve never really thought about it before but, looking back now, I can’t actually think of more than one or two stories I’ve ever written that didn’t have a touch of the fantastical to them. I’ve always loved reading stories with a bit of the eerie, or magical, or strange in them. And I love fairy tales. So I think writing sci fi/fantasy came naturally to me.

And now a little less serious, and a little more fun – Quick Bookish Q&A!

Where is your favorite place to read/write?
SM: Read: in bed. Or curled up in an armchair. Write: at my desk. I love making notes by hand, sprawled out all over the place, but I most enjoy writing actual pages at my desk on the laptop.

Are there any authors you’re dying to meet?
SM: I would love to meet JK Rowling. The Harry Potter books easily rank in my top ten favourites ever! Or Neil Gaiman. I love his work and he seems like he’d be so much fun to talk to.

What’s the best book you’ve ever read?
SM: That’s really hard to answer, because I have so many favourite books. So I’m just going to pick one at random: Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma.

Who’s your biggest literary crush?
SM: Heathcliff? Or Harry Potter, maybe? Or Sirius Black? You know, I have  a lot of these too…

Who’s your favorite literary villain?
SM: Melisandre from Jacqueline Carey’s Kushiel’s Legacy books. I absolutely hate her – and this is why I think she’s amazing – but I always understood her too. She was never all black and white, never totally evil. 

Romance or Sci-fi?
SM: Can’t I have both? Because I think those two work so well together.

SM: Paperback! There is something irresistible about a really creased and worn spine.

Here are some links to hook you up with some more info about Sangu Mandanna and THE LOST GIRL!

Keep your eyes peeled for THE LOST GIRL, coming out on August 28th, 2012!

Want to WIN a copy of THE LOST GIRL? Click on the link below to enter to win a signed copy and bookmarks!


Hi, I'm Brittany!
Hi, I'm Brittany!

I'm an avid reader, candle-maker, and audiobook lover! Here you'll find book reviews, fun blog posts, and my other loves of photography & craft beer!

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10 thoughts on “Interview with Sangu Mandanna, author of THE LOST GIRL

  1. Vyki

    Sounds like it will be a great book! For some reason the cover kind of creeps me out since she doesn’t have a face, lol, but it is still a great cover!

  2. Briana

    This sounds really interesting! I think my looming question is why echos exist. It sounds as if Amarra’s family wanted one for her? So you can commission an echo or something?

  3. Violette

    Thanks so much for this giveaway! I’ve been extremely interested in this book since I first heard about it. It was nice to get a little background on it. 🙂

  4. Candice

    Sounds like an awesome book! I love concepts that have characters who aren’t their own person and them becoming their own person. Great sounding book and great interview!


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