Welcome to Get to Know a YA Author, where we…get to know a YA author! Although in this case, we’re getting to know an author/editor, as we’re celebrating the release of Sangu Mandanna’s anthology Color Outside the Lines, a collection of stories about interracial couples! (Though you may also know her from her critically acclaimed debut, The Lost Girl, or, more recently, her sci-fi take on the Mahabrahata, A Spark of White Fire!
Sangu Mandanna was four years old when an elephant chased her down a forest road and she decided to write her first story about it. Seventeen years and many, many manuscripts later, she signed her first book deal. Sangu now lives in Norwich, a city in the east of England, with her husband and kids.
Describe your new release in 5 words.
Powerful, diverse, sweet, funny, real.
This is a YA book blog, so tell us 3 YAs you recommend!
I recently read and loved Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim, which is a beautiful novel inspired by East Asian folklore and has a swoony romance to boot. I love Elana K. Arnold’s Damsel because it’s all about a girl reclaiming what was stolen from her. And no matter how many years go by, I’ll always recommend Courtney Summers’ This Is Not a Test because it’s a brilliant apocalyptic zombie story that isn’t really about the zombies at all.
What do you do when you’re not reading or writing?
Hang out with my kids, watch TV and tweet about politics. One of those things is less fun than the other two!
What’s your dream book tour city/stop?
I’d love to do a tour event in NYC!
If you got to retell any story as a YA novel, what would it be and why?
All my published novels so far have been retellings (or close to it), but there are a ton of other stories I’d love to retell in some way. Like Austen’s Persuasion. I’m a sucker for the whole “estranged and bitter for years, only to reunite unexpectedly and discover they’re still in love” romantic dynamic!
What’s your favorite way to reward yourself for publishing a book?
Oooh it’s got to be going out to my favourite restaurant in the city.
What are you working on now?
I’m drafting Book 3 of the Celestial Trilogy, editing a middle grade fantasy, and outlining a story about dragons!
Color Outside the Lines is available now.
Sangu Mandanna was four years old when an elephant chased her down a forest road and she decided to write her first story about it. Seventeen years and many, many manuscripts later, she signed her first book deal. Sangu now lives in Norwich, a city in the east of England, with her husband and kids. She is the editor of the Color Outside the Lines anthology, and author of The Lost Girl and A Spark of White Fire.