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 …
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
For me, the process of writing is a book is not a template I can whip out and follow when it suits me. I wish it was! I wish I had a successful template, but unfortunately writing a book for me is usually difficult, traumatic, frustrating, and a lot of fun. I think a detailed plan would take some of that fun away. And then I’d just be left with the trauma.
That said, there are certain things I do, certain ways in which I tend to write a book, that often crop up in almost every project I start work on. So if I were to create a template out of that, it would look something like this:
1. Be struck by idea
2. Think obsessively about idea
3. Start writing idea, just to see whether it’s a goer once the words are on the page (Cry if not. Feel smug and triumphant if it is.)
4. Characters take shape
5. Characters’ personalities, circumstances and conflicts start to make story clearer
6. Think obsessively about idea in shower
7. Pay a lot in water bills
8. Write a lot more
9. Feel stuck, feel like everything on the page is total and complete *insert horribly inappropriate word here* and that the story is meh.
10. Ignore book for a few weeks
11. Suddenly discover a new inspiration, encounter a brainwave, or otherwise have a totally improbable lightbulb moment
12. Continue to write book
13. Book takes unexpected turn. Oh, well…
14. Finish book
15. Apologize profusely to husband, baby, and everyone else for kind of forgetting about them for the last *insert length of writing process here*
Obviously, in an ideal world, every idea would get past the treacherous try-it-out-on-the-page test at step 3, and in an ideal world I’d also like to skip steps 7, 9 and 10 altogether…
(And maybe 15 too, because I don’t want to ignore my loved ones and I don’t want to have to apologize profusely and fling my pride to the winds, but the muse is a fickle thing!)
(No, Step 15 is at least partly a joke. I don’t actually forget everyone. Maybe for an hour, or two. Maybe sometimes my husband has come home, said hello, kissed the top of my head, and started watching telly and an hour later I’ve turned around and said “STEVE! HI! Why didn’t you say you were home?” Maybe. I’m neither confirming nor denying this. But I’d never abandon the rest of my life for the entire length of the process of writing a book!)
…but, alas, this process is far from ideal.
On the other hand, it does kind of work for me.