Friday, 31 August 2012

...and the winner is

At last! Today I announce the winner of the TLG Blogpalooza and the bag of LOST GIRL goodies. YAY!

Just to remind you, here's what the winner gets

Which is

a signed, annotated copy of THE LOST GIRL
THE LOST GIRL bookmarks
a set of Eva's Post-It notes
stickers with the Mark on them
temporary tattoos of the Mark (maybe)
a Sangu pen
and a little wooden elephant,
all bundled up into that bag.

So I added up all the entries, punched numbers into, and and the winner is


Congratulations, Julianna!

Happy Friday, everyone! And thank you all, again, for all your enthusiasm and support over the last few weeks. I wish I could pick tons of winners.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

It's PUB DAY!!

...I really don't know what else to say. I mean, really. What can I say? I've been waiting for this day for a very long time and now it's finally here. I'm not even going to try putting how I feel into words, it would just be a mess.

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.

THE LOST GIRL is out in stores today. Find out more and read the first chapter here. also has an awesome Browse Inside feature for the book if you want to check that out! You can buy the book online at (click for the links)

Today marks the end of the TLG Blogpalooza and is also the last day you can possibly comment or enter the giveaway. So any entries coming in after tonight won't be counted! The winner will be announced on Friday.

I also need to say a few thank-yous. First to Steve, my long-suffering husband (who would also like me to tell you that he's very handsome and very clever), because he was the first person to ever read THE LOST GIRL, the first one to tell me it was something special, and the one who made me keep writing it when I (almost) gave up. And, of course, because he makes me eat when I forget to. Second, to my agent Melissa Sarver, for believing in the book, and in me, and for being so flippin' awesome at selling it! Third, to my editor Sara Sargent, who read the book and wanted it, who has promised to go to a bookstore and tweet me photos of the book, and who helped me make THE LOST GIRL the best it could possibly be.

And finally, I think I really owe the biggest thank you to all of you. For all the comments, and reviews, and emails, and tweets, and support, and love. You're all fantastic.

Okay. That's the mushy over.


Friday, 24 August 2012

TLG Blogpalooza: Character Interview

It's the final LOST GIRL teaser post! Gosh, the last five weeks have flown by, haven't they? Next week will be release day and the day I announce the winner of the giveaway. Jump in and enter if you haven't already, it's not too late!

A character interview today. I decided to interview Matthew, one of the three Weavers. He wrote the encyclopaedia from this post. This isn't the first time I've tried to interview Matthew, by the way. The last time I did, it didn't go particularly well. Yet, for some reason, I chose to embroil myself in that mess all over again. Hoping, optimistically, that it would yield better results this time.

You'd think I would know better by now.

SANGU: Look, let's just get this over with, shall we? I want to be sleeping and you want to be off doing something clever and mysterious and probably criminal. So we needn't hang about longer than we have to.

MATTHEW: A wee bit snippy, are we? How delightful. I do so enjoy giving up my time for someone who hasn't even brushed her hair.

SANGU: That is not true! My hair is just... unruly. 

MATTHEW *snorts*

SANGU: I need teasers. Give me a teaser. Or two. Please. It's for the blog.

MATTHEW: Eva dies.

SANGU: I said teasers, not spoilers! And certainly not LIES!

MATTHEW: I don't believe in spoilers. I believe in knowledge. I know everything, you see, so I feel other people should at least come close to being similarly equipped. But very well. If you're going to be a tyrant, I will cease to spoil and to lie. Someone dies. Actually, two someones die. Is that good enough for you?

SANGU: Do those things happen because of you?

MATTHEW: Charming. Everything is always my fault, isn't it? No. Neither death is because of me. Well, actually, if we're going to be philosophical about it-

SANGU: We're not. So you can stop right there, Matthew.

MATTHEW: Sir Matthew.

SANGU: Don't start that with me.

MATTHEW: You're a real hoot today, aren't you? About as cheery as Adrian. That baby still keeping you awake at night? You know, you should have taken my advice about how to deal with the little-

SANGU: Yes, I should have. And then you and I would be in prison. Forever.

MATTHEW: You might be. I know people in high places.

SANGU: Keep this up and I'll put you in prison.

MATTHEW: You can't do that, love.

SANGU: I created you. I can do whatever I want.

MATTHEW: And yet it's unacceptable when I use that very same logic on precious Eva?

SANGU *shuts up very quickly*

Yeah. I really, really should have known better. But at least we got one thing out of it, specifically the


Two characters will die.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

TLG Blogpalooza: Thank You for the Music


So, that title. Yeah. I am cringing, if you were wondering. Quoting ABBA in a blog post title has to be my lowest point thus far.

And can you kneel before the king
And say 'I'm clean, I'm clean'?

-Mumford and Sons, 'White Blank Page' 

I've never made a secret of the fact that I need music to write. It's like a magic wand, music: it can set a mood, define a scene, inspire a whole emotion. Sometimes I use instrumental, movie-soundtracky stuff. Sometimes it's a pop song. It varies and THE LOST GIRL's playlist was no exception. Some songs define a character's relationship with someone else (usually Eva with someone else). Some songs fit a character's thoughts at that point in the story. Some songs kind of even tell you what's going on (like the lyrics I used above this paragraph). Well, they do a little. Whatever they do, they all have one thing in common: they helped me shape this book.

I've had the playlist posted on my website for a while now, so that's nothing new. But I'm going to repost it here today because, like Friday's word cloud, it teases.

  1. Francois-Paul Aiche – Chimerical Dream
  2. Michael Jackson – Beat It
  3. Plumb – In My Arms
  4. Coldplay – Fix You
  5. Fleetwood Mac – Go Your Own Way
  6. Florence and the Machine – Rabbit Heart
  7. Snow Patrol featuring Martha Wainwright – Set the Fire to the Third Bar
  8. Madonna – This Used to Be My Playground
  9. Lenka – Trouble is a Friend
  10. AFI – This Time Imperfect
  11. Damien Rice – 9 Crimes
  12. Adele – Set Fire to the Rain
  13. Declan Flynn – Ease My Pain
  14. Death Cab for Cutie – Soul Meets Body
  15. Oasis – Stop Crying Your Heart Out
  16. White Lies – Farewell to the Fairground
  17. Trading Yesterday – For You Only
  18. Jessie J – Nobody’s Perfect
  19. Snow Patrol – Run
  20. Mumford & Sons – White Blank Page
  21. Adele – Someone Like You
If you know any of these songs, you're already one spoiler up! They're arranged in order, to match the book, so it's almost like a story in songs. Oh, they won't give a whole lot away, but they will give you hints about relationships, about the mood, and about what may or may not be happening at that point of the book. Hopefully it'll drive you crazy trying to figure out what each one really means.


“Where are you?” I ask her. “You haven’t really gone, have you? I had this idea that I might be free if you were dead. But I’m not free, you’ve managed to trap me anyway. I’ve got to live your life and be you better than you ever were. Are you laughing? You’ve done it, you’ve died but you’ve stayed. You must be laughing. . . .”

And, just in case you missed it before:  


Friday, 17 August 2012

TLG Blogpalooza: Word Cloud!

I'm going to skip my TEASE OF THE DAY today, because this post is going to be one giant tease. Enter: a word cloud.

Word clouds are, quite simply, awesome. Not only are they fun and pretty, but they've been incredibly useful for me. A word cloud taught me that I use the word just way, way, way too often when I write. I still do, but at least I've caught and removed some of them since.

Most importantly, though, they make an incredibly fun teaser.

Here's one of my favourite scenes from THE LOST GIRL. Full of spoilers, heartbreak and a whole lot of other things, it's also one of the most important moments in the book. And I'm giving it to you now.

In a word cloud.

It's also not too late to start entering to win stuff, so if you haven't had a look at the Blogpalooza page yet, go on over.

Happy Friday, everyone!

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

TLG Blogpalooza: A Little Bit Whimsical?

Happy Tuesday, everyone! I'm very pleased to say that we have over two hundred entries into the giveaway already. Many are multiples, of course, but it's still very cool!

Now onto today's post:

I get asked about the inspirations and influences behind THE LOST GIRL all the time, and I thought it was about time I talked about the latter. I've mentioned FRANKENSTEIN several times, which isn't surprising considering that's the story I stole the bones from and went on to add my own flesh (not literally) to. And, of course, as the book's inspiration, it's certainly influenced it. 

But I'm not going the FRANKENSTEIN route today. Instead, today's teaser is going to be me talking about what you can expect from the book; basically, talking about two people (well, their work) that influenced not what story is, but how it's told.

Tim Burton
I'm going to say this just once and then resist the urge to gush like a fangirl: I love Tim Burton. (I also love Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter too, incidentally, so when you throw the three of them together (as they often are), it's like Christmas for me.) I love (almost) everything he's ever done. And when the first little twiglets of THE LOST GIRL started sprouting in my head, and Eva started talking to me, it was Tim Burton I thought of. 

Think about Edward Scissorhands (which probably owes a great deal to FRANKENSTEIN too!). A sad, lonely boy with scissors instead of hands, created almost from scratch by the man he considers his father? That's creepy, but cool. Whimsical. Eerie without being grisly. And think about Corpse Bride. An awkward young man accidentally marries a sweet dead girl. It's sad, touching, eerie. 

I guess that's what I wanted to create with THE LOST GIRL: something eerie, something sad, something whimsical. (I don't know about how well I succeeded, if at all. That's for you to tell me.)

Daphne du Maurier
I talk about her all the time, so if you're a frequent visitor to the blog, you may well be sick to death of be going on and on about how much I love some of her books. They're full of some of the most beautiful, lyrical, poignant, gorgeous writing I've ever read. I don't think I could never write as wonderfully as that, and truthfully I wouldn't want to copy anyone else's style, but I will say that that's where my love of reading (and writing) beautiful words has come from.

Also, almost all of her books (that I've read) have made me cry. I didn't deliberately set out to make anyone cry when I wrote THE LOST GIRL, but I did want readers to feel the way I felt when I read Frenchman's Creek or The King's General. I wanted them, quite simply, to feel.


No quotes today. Instead, the most beautiful things arrived last week, and we're two weeks from pub day, so I just had to show them off instead! 


Friday, 10 August 2012

TLG Blogpalooza: The Eva Tour

A lot of THE LOST GIRL is pure invention. The Loom doesn't exist (that you know of, anyway). Echoes don't exist (ditto). The characters don't exist (I can't believe I just wrote those words. Egad.) So, you know. Fiction is lies and all that. But some of it, some things, are real.

Months ago, I talked about going up north on holiday, visiting my old university (Lancaster) and taking photos of places that feature in THE LOST GIRL (mostly the Lake District). Well. In today's teaser post, I'm taking you on a tour of the book - well, of some of the real-life places in the book. Ordinary, sometimes lovely places. Places you can actually go to, were you so inclined.

And, even more significantly, something important happens to Eva at/in each of these places. Maybe it changes her life, maybe it's purely emotional, maybe it's a moment that marks a turning point in her relationship with someone else.

Of course, I won't be giving you any details. Just this photo

and me, telling you what those pictures are of.

A coffee shop (in Bangalore. Coffee Day is a popular cafe chain in India)
Lancaster Rail Station (northwest of England)
A lake in the Lake District (again, the northwest of England)
Covent Garden tube station (London. Disclaimer: this one is a real place, but a loose image of a landmark moment in Eva's life. The moment actually happens about half a mile from here.)
Crossword (Bangalore again. It's a chain of bookstores in India.)
Windermere (the town. Again a slightly loose image, because the key moments happen to Eva in more specific places than The Whole Town, but this picture was as close as we were going to get to reality.)

Maybe, when the book is out, I'll have a contest. Match the Picture to the Moment. What do you guys think?

But if you want to win a signed, annotated copy of the book and other fun stuff in the meantime, don't forget to enter here!


'You've always been our monster,' says Adrian. 'Don't ever forget that.'

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

TLG Blogpalooza: Sara's Side of the Story

We've discussed my knack for sad alliteration before, so let's ignore this particular example, shall we? 

Today you're going to want to tune in, blogosphere, because we'll be hearing from Sara Sargent, of Balzer + Bray, who worked as editor on THE LOST GIRL!

I'm so happy to have her here, so thanks for stopping by, Sara!


A Labor of First Love

As an adult, your “firsts” grow fewer and further between. Long gone are those days of first dances, first kisses, first loves. But two years ago, I was given the most precious first in the life of a young editor: my first acquisition.

THE LOST GIRL—then titled Woven—came to me from Melissa Sarver at Elizabeth Kaplan Literary. I read this manuscript in a matter of days, quickly passed it along to my team, and set up a call with Sangu within the week. Back then I was an Editorial Assistant who had only been acquiring for two months when THE LOST GIRL crossed my desk, and it was the only manuscript I’d read that I could see myself editing. I felt about this novel the way I have felt about few novels since: it was beautiful, it was stirring, it was epic and romantic, and I knew I would be heartbroken not to get it. And because there was interest from other editors, that was a very real possibility. Sangu had already wooed me, and now I had to woo her with my incisive editorial insights and the general sparkliness of my personality. Now, I never asked what made Sangu choose me as her editor; I believe it’s one of those industry mysteries better left unsolved. I do remember, with startling clarity, when Melissa called to say that Sangu had decided to publish with Balzer + Bray. I burst into tears. All I could say was “Really?” over and over; surely Melissa questioned her client’s decision in that moment of my utter inarticulateness. But there was no questioning the wonder of what I had just accomplished—not only for my career, but also for the career of this young writer whose life she had just inextricably tangled with mine. Needless to say, the next two days involved a lot of champagne.

We put THE LOST GIRL on our Fall 2012 list, which meant that we had eleven months before the manuscript was due to Copyediting. Over the course of those months, we went back and forth as she sent in revisions, I sent back notes, she sent revised pages, and I sent back more notes. Oh, and somewhere in there, Sangu had a baby. Not to mention that one of my favorite writers, Lauren DeStefano, offered to blurb; I was as excited about that blurb as Sangu was about her newborn child. Sangu and I fell into a kinship inspired by our mutual love of her novel and its story and characters (coughSeancough), but also by the fact that this was new for both of us. I couldn’t wait to see the final cover art or the book’s case or the galleys, and she couldn’t wait for me to show them all to her.

And now here we are. Mere weeks from pub. Just waiting until those buxom bound beauties hit my inbox and, from there, shelves across the country. I’m not sure what I’ll do when I finally hold one in my hands. I imagine that I’ll burst into tears once more, then smile, then perhaps continue to cry. Never again will I have the unique pleasure of seeing my very first book for the very first time, and I don’t intend to waste that moment. It’s the best first in a line of luminous firsts that originated with Eva and Sangu’s desire to tell her story. I don’t know what the future holds for many things in my life, but I do know that this book will forever occupy a place of immense joy, and for that, I wish it everything as it goes off into the world.


*sniffs* Okay, so maybe her post made me a teeny bit teary. DON'T JUDGE ME. I'm only human. Follow Sara on Twitter (@Sara_Sargent) for more awesomeness.

Now please excuse me while I go stop a baby from eating a phone charger...


The first chapter of THE LOST GIRL is up on my website! Click over for the teaser. 

Friday, 3 August 2012

TLG Blogpalooza: The Imaginary Cast

So, this post was originally supposed to be me answering the fun hypothetical: if someone made a LOST GIRL movie and asked me who to cast (I know it ain't happening, but this is imaginary, remember!), who would I pick?

...only I have absolutely no idea who I'd cast in over half the parts. Like, nothing. I suppose, ideally, I'd want a complete unknown playing Eva/Amarra, Nikhil (Amarra's brother), Sasha (Amarra's sister), Ray (Amarra's boyfriend), Lekha (who is awesome), and pretty much a whole lot of other people. So, given I've got virtually nothing, I'm abandoning the imaginary cast idea and am, instead, making Team Buttons!

(If you're confused, my Team Buttons are pretty much your way of proclaiming eternal love for the face on the button. I've had a lot of emails and Twitter messages declaring the sender's love for certain characters, so here's my way of thanking you for that. No, they're not prize pieces of art. I have no doubt other people could make far better buttons, but it's the thought that counts, right?)

Team Sean

Currently the reigning favourite. And after months of thinking there was no one in the world I would pick to play Sean, I FOUND HIM!

That's Jeremy Irvine, of War Horse (the movie) fame. Granted, he may already be a tad old for the part, but this is imaginary. Also he shares a name with my son, and I don't come across many Jeremys, so I think it's meant to be. (And I can't be sure, but I think he even has Sean's green eyes.)

Team Ray

A reader called him '[her] hottie Hamlet' in an email, which made me laugh for practically a whole day, so while Ray isn't (yet) as popular as Sean, I thought he deserved his own button.

You may have noticed he's distinctly lacking a face. He has no face because I don't know who I'd cast! But feel free to adopt the button and add a face of your choosing!

And a surprise favourite:

Team Matthew

He's not young and romantic. He's not even one of the good guys. But he's had his fair share of admiration. I'm fairly certain my editor Sara, anyway, would demand to be president of Matthew's fan club if such a thing existed.

YES! Another Jeremy! Is this magic or what? (That's the totally amazing Jeremy Irons, if you didn't already recognize him.)

So read the book, pick your favourite, and take a button, any button...

(Boys: sorry. I realize this is a very girl-centric post. I promise this will be THE ONLY ONE!)


One of the book's most important characters never actually appears on the page.

PS. A massive, ginormous thank you to all of you for the LOST GIRL-related comments, tweets, emails and support. It's been amazing and I can't begin to tell you how much I appreciate it! Don't stop now, though: you still want to win stuff, don't you?