On this page I’ve included a bunch of questions I’m often asked. Yours might already be here! If not, you can always get in touch.
QUESTIONS ABOUT ME
How do you pronounce your name?
The Sang in Sangu is pronounced sung. And if you’re going to be super accurate, Mandanna is Mun-the-na, but to be honest, I (and a lot of people) mostly pronounce it so that it rhymes with bandanna. So there you go.
How long have you been writing? When did you know this was what you wanted to do with your life?
I’ve been writing forever. I wrote my first story at the age of four, though I don’t think I intended to make a lifelong career out of it; truthfully, I think I was more interested in being a ballerina or actress back then. Fact: my spine is so weird I can’t even bend down and touch my toes so ballet was out. Another fact: I grew up with the theatre but can’t act so, alas, taking to the professional stage might not have been wise. So writing it was.
I do remember the first time I consciously thought of Being an Author. I was nine. I’d written a story about a brave and intrepid heroine named Sangu who saves a group of kidnapped girls while on a seaside holiday. I printed it off the computer, stapled the pages together and stuck a photograph of myself on the back to make it look like a book. I guess that’s when I knew This Was It.
How did you get your agent?
I tell the whole story of how I signed with my first agent here. (Warning: it’s not brief. I don’t do brief. I have a lot of trouble with brief.)
I also tell the story of how I signed with my current agent here.
How did you get published? How long did it take?
The short version: I did it the old-fashioned way. There was a lot of hard work, a LOT of rejection, and I had a big fat stubborn head that wouldn’t quit. I went to school, went to university, tried different jobs to make some money – but right through it all, I wrote and tried submitting what I wrote. I tried with several different stories, most of which will never (thankfully) see the light of day. I researched agents and publishers in two different countries, I researched how to query and how to format a manuscript, I did a lot of rewriting and editing, and I kept sending letters out. Eventually I wrote the right story, and the right agent loved it, and the right editor bought it.
For the longer version, click here.
QUESTIONS ABOUT THE LOST GIRL
How did you come up with the idea for THE LOST GIRL?
A mixture of Frankenstein and Tim Burton and a hot afternoon in Bangalore. The thought of making a person from scratch is both creepy and kind of appealing to me. And once the idea of stitching a human being together took hold, it wouldn’t go away. A girl started taking shape in my head. Smokily, foggily, at first. Then she stopped being smoke and became real. She was a copy of somebody else. She loved the wrong people. She was angry and sad and lovely and I wanted to write about her.
What’s with all the different titles?
If you’ve read my blog posts, I understand your confusion. When I first wrote and submitted my book to agents, it was called ECHOES. I signed with my agent Melissa with that title. Melissa then told me there was a recent YA book with the same title and maybe it would be better to change it. After some brainstorming, she hit on WOVEN and we submitted to publishers with that title. That’s when Sara, my editor at Balzer + Bray, bought the book. A while later, though, it was felt that WOVEN wasn’t quite right and, with Frankenstein firmly in mind, I picked a phrase out of the book’s epigraph and so it became A TORRENT OF LIGHT. That stuck for months, until Sara started pitching the book to their Sales team, who pointed out that maybe the title didn’t say enough about the book. At which point, as I understand it, Sara and the rest of her editorial team put their heads together and thought of THE LOST GIRL. Sara asked me about it. I said yay. So THE LOST GIRL it became. Panic over. Exhale.
Is there going to be a sequel?
Nope. Sorry! I did have sequels planned, but they didn’t work out.
[SPOILER!] What’s with the ending? What happened at the end of the book?
Many of you have loved the ambiguity of the ending of the book. Many of you have hated it. To be perfectly honest, I didn’t intend it to be so ambiguous and final. My intention was to end the book in a way that felt right for the story, but the problem there was that the story wasn’t over. I wanted to have some closure and loose ends tied off, just in case the book never got its sequels, but also couldn’t tie everything off because that wasn’t how the story wanted to go. I was walking a very fine and awkward line. So that’s why the book ends the way it does. If I could go back and change it, I’m not sure what I’d do. And what happens after? Totally up to you. You decide what Eva did next.
Do you have some kind of press kit with official photos and stuff?