Thursday, December 23, 2010

Author Interview: Lisa Mangum

Lisa Mangum has loved and worked with books ever since elementary school, when she volunteered at the school library during recess. Her frist paying job was shelving books at the Sandy Library. She worked for  five years at Waldenbooks while she attended the University of Utah, graduating with honors with a degree in English. An avid reader of all genres, she has worked in the publishing department for Deseret Book  since 1997. Besides books, Lisa loves movies, sunsets, spending time with her family, trips to Disneyland, and vanilla ice cream topped with fresh raspberries. She lives in Taylorsville with her husband, Tracy.
Hello dear readers! Lisa Mangum has graciously offered to do an interview on the blog. Without further ado, here's Lisa!First off, thanks for joining us!
Q: How did you come up with the idea for The Hourglass Door series?
A: As a junior in college, I took a class at the University of Utah that focused on Dante’s Divine Comedy. The class turned out to be one of the best classes I ever took at college—and one of my favorites. At the end of Paradiso, there is a beautiful passage that I fell in love with—Dante’s final prayer to his true love, Beatrice. And so when I first thought about writing a YA love story, I immediately thought of Dante and Beatrice. I drew a lot of inspiration from the classics—Dante, Shakespeare, Virgil—as well as from some of my favorite poets, including W. H. Auden.
      I also thought about the fantasy element to the story and time travel seemed like a natural fit. After all, who better to build a working time machine than Leonardo da Vinci?

Q: If you could choose any character in your book to bring to life, who would you choose?
A: I like all the characters in my book, but I have a special place in my heart for Leo. I like his quite strength and his loyalty and dedication. His scenes were a lot of fun to write and I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know him better.
Q: You live in the state of the greatest snow on earth, do you ski/snowboard?
A: Actually, no, I don’t ski or snowboard. I’m horribly uncoordinated and the idea of sliding down a mountainside of snow is a little scary. I like watching sports (especially football) much more than I like participating in them.

Q: What are some of your favorite books?
A: Oh, the list is so long! I adore epic fantasy so high on my list of favorite authors are Tad Williams and George R. R. Martin. I also enjoy books by Margaret Atwood and Toni Morrison. I am thrilled to see the recent success of Matched by Ally Condie (not only is the book amazing, but Ally is a good friend of mine).

Q: Do you have a playlist to The Hourglass Door? If so, what are some of the songs on it?
A: I listen to a lot of music when I write, and after I finished writing Hourglass Door, I pulled together some of my favorite songs that I either listened to a lot while writing or that reminded me of the story. I call it my “Zero Hour Mix”:
“The River” by Live
“11:59” by Doubledrive
“Born for This” by Paramore
“Get Ready” by Live
“Time after Time” by Cassandra Wilson
“Bliss” by Alice Peacock
“Bravado” by Rush
“Now Is the Time” by Damone
“Blue on Black” by Kenny Wayne Shepherd
“Times Like These” by Foo Fighters
“Helpless” by Geoff Tate
“Lovers in a Dangerous Time” by Barenaked Ladies
“Winners and Losers” by Social Distortion
“Time Stand Still” by Rush
“When the Time Comes” by Magni
“Save Me” by Juke Kartel
“See a Little Light” by Bob Mould
“Dante’s Prayer” by Loreena McKennitt
Q: Where’s your favorite place?
A: Well, I do love visiting Disneyland with my husband. (We have been at least once a year for the last eleven years.) But I also like seeing movies in the theater. And I really enjoy curling up on the couch to read a book—or write one.

Q: Who’s your favorite character in any YA book?
A: Tough question—there are so many to choose from. I have to admit I have a special spot for Neville Longbottom from the Harry Potter series. I like to imagine that he was the actual hero of the story (he could have been; Dumbledore said it could have been either Harry or Neville). And after all, Neville did almost all the same things Harry did—learning magic, fighting for Dumbledore, resisting evil—and he got to wield the Gryffindor sword at the final battle of Hogwarts. And yet, Neville managed to become a hero almost without any of the extra help that Harry had. I think there is something noble and brave about that.

Q: The third book in your series, The Forgotten Locket, is coming out next year, anything you'd like to tell the readers about the book?
A: Forgotten Locket was the hardest of the three books to write and I’m pretty proud of how it turned out. I think my readers will be surprised by a few things. I know I was surprised by some of my characters during the course of writing the book.

Lisa: Thanks for the opportunity to be interviewed for your blog. 
Lisa Mangum
Me: And thank you for letting me interview you!


  1. Lisa Mangum is SO brilliant! I met her in SLC this past summer and interviewed her, and I just love her books. Great interview, Danna...her playlist answer is awesome!

  2. @Melissa I know! I love her books and we live in the same state:) I met her a month ago in SLC and she was super nice.

  3. Amazing interview, Danna, and thank you, Lisa for answering her questions! I read The Hourglass Door a couple of weeks ago and really loved it. The spin on Leonardo da Vinci was great, and can't wait to get my hands on a copy of The Golden Spiral and The Forgotten Locket when it comes out. :3 (Oh, and awesome playlist by the way. I have more than a few of those songs on my iPod!)


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