Interview with Samantha Shannon, Author of THE BONE SEASON

If you follow me on Twitter, you’ll know how much I enjoyed THE BONE SEASON. If you don’t follow me, know this: I really, really liked it. And while I’ll be reviewing it next month as part of the blog tour, I just had to feature the awesome author, Samantha Shannon, before then. So read on for a quick Q&A!

IceyBooks: Many novels are inspired by one sentence or question, was there one that sparked THE BONE SEASON?

Samantha Shannon: It was a single word: clairvoyant.

IceyBooks: Do you have a favorite line that was removed from the original draft of THE BONE SEASON?

Samantha Shannon: There’s no specific line, but weird story: in the original draft, Paige took a bizarre number of baths. Considering she’s in a prison city, she shouldn’t really be chilling out in a hot bath every few chapters. I wrote the first draft in a few months and hardly read it back to myself before sending it out to my agent — I didn’t expect it to be picked up so quickly — so I just didn’t notice how many baths she was having. My editors immediately put ‘baths?’ on the manuscript in red. It was like a tic. I had to commit some serious bathicide after that. (I did leave one bath in there for old time’s sake. With, er, a logical reason behind it.)

IceyBooks: Tell us a little bit about your journey to signing with your agent.

Samantha Shannon It’s quite a long story. It started when I did an internship at David Godwin Associates (DGA) in July 2011. David had read my manuscript for my first novel, Aurora, and turned it down, but he’d given me some feedback on it. I asked him if he might have any spaces available for an internship, and I was fortunate that at the time he was in need of someone to help out in the office. I was mostly helping out with foreign rights and dealing with requests for author events. I got the idea for The Bone Season during my two weeks there — DGA is based in Seven Dials, which gave me a really strong setting. There are a few shops in the district that sell tarot cards, crystal balls and so on. After a few days I had a sudden image of a girl having the same day at work as I was having — but she happened to be clairvoyant. I started designing clairvoyant types straight away and had a synopsis done by the time the internship was finished. After I’d finished writing the book, I showed the first chapter to a visiting professor at my college, who recommended sending the manuscript to an agent. I sent it to David in 2012, hoping he might be able to recommend someone who might be interested. I was very surprised — and thrilled — when he wanted to represent the book himself.

IceyBooks: I noticed that the most of the Rephaim are named stars – is there a reason why?

Samantha Shannon Yes. It will be explained later, but you might be able to guess. There’s a hint of it in Book 1.

IceyBooks: Give us one:
-Movie you can’t wait to see:
Samantha Shannon:  Pacific Rim

IceyBooks: Snacks you’re craving right now:
Samantha Shannon:  Sugar snap peas

IceyBooks: Books you can’t wait to read:
Samantha Shannon:  Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor

Samantha Shannon was born and raised in West London. She recently finished her degree in English Language and Literature at St Anne’s College, Oxford, where she specialised in Emily Dickinson and Principles of Film Criticism.

In 2012 she signed a book deal with Bloomsbury Publishing to publish the first three books in a seven-book series, beginning with ‘The Bone Season’. Film rights to the novel were optioned by Andy Serkis’s London-based production company, The Imaginarium Studios, in November 2012.

Find Samantha on: Goodreads | Website | Twitter
Add THE BONE SEASON to Goodreads


The Bone Season (The Bone Season, #1) 

It is the year 2059. Several major world cities are under the control of a security force called Scion. Paige Mahoney works in the criminal underworld of Scion London, part of a secret cell known as the Seven Seals. The work she does is unusual: scouting for information by breaking into others’ minds. Paige is a dreamwalker, a rare kind of clairvoyant, and in this world, the voyants commit treason simply by breathing.

But when Paige is captured and arrested, she encounters a power more sinister even than Scion. The voyant prison is a separate city—Oxford, erased from the map two centuries ago and now controlled by a powerful, otherworldly race. These creatures, the Rephaim, value the voyants highly—as soldiers in their army.

Paige is assigned to a Rephaite keeper, Warden, who will be in charge of her care and training. He is her master. Her natural enemy. But if she wants to regain her freedom, Paige will have to learn something of his mind and his own mysterious motives.

The Bone Season introduces a compelling heroine—a young woman learning to harness her powers in a world where everything has been taken from her. It also introduces an extraordinary young writer, with huge ambition and a teeming imagination. Samantha Shannon has created a bold new reality in this riveting debut.


Hafsah Faizal is a YA author, designer, and blogger. Her designs have graced the sites of New York Times bestselling authors, bloggers, and more. She resides in Texas, with her family.



  1. Reply

    Christa @ More Than Just Magic

    August 12, 2013

    I am super curious about this book! Especially since she’s so young and there’s going to be so many in the series! Great interview.

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    August 12, 2013

    I love anything with clairvoyants, and I’ve really loved this cover since I first saw it! Can’t wait to read this one (and look out for where the bath scene fits in). :)

  3. Reply

    Rachel O'Laughlin

    August 12, 2013

    !!!!! Just added to my TBR. Futuristic clairvoyants? Yes, please. And did I read that right…a seven book series?! Totally my kind of thing. Also, great interview! Looking forward to your review next month as well.

  4. Reply

    Jennifer from YA Book Nerd

    August 12, 2013

    I’ve been hearing a lot about this book – great interview!

  5. Reply


    August 12, 2013

    I will now only be looking for the bath scene–so funny! Can’t wait to read this story. It sounds captivating!

  6. Reply

    Rachel @ Unforgettable Books

    August 12, 2013

    Its nice seeing how internships can help create connections that help in the book selling process. Nice interview! Very enjoyable. Love baths, so nice one was kept!

  7. Reply

    Jamie Grey

    August 12, 2013

    This sounds amazing! And I love the cover! I’m so going to have to check this out now! Thanks for the fun interview.

  8. Reply

    Braiden @ Book Probe

    August 12, 2013

    The Rephs are named after stars? HOW DID I MOT NOTICE THIS? :(

    And that’s a pretty impressive agent story – one where contacts really do help.

    Nice sweet interview :)

  9. Reply

    Mandi Kaye

    August 12, 2013

    I keep seeing this title pop up everywhere, but I didn’t really know what it was about. Now I *really* want to read it! Great interview!

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    Sara (of The Page Sage)

    August 12, 2013

    Samantha Shannon just gained about a hundred points for being a Daughter of Smoke and Bone fan. :) It’s so cool that just one word inspired a whole series!

  11. Reply

    Mary @ BookSwarm

    August 13, 2013

    DEFINITELY enjoyed this book and can’t wait to see where it goes — there’s so much future potential in this series, I want to read book 2 right now! I think a lot of writers have something that they unconsciously write into stories (like baths) only to have to remove it later. But it makes for a good interview answer!

  12. Reply

    Claire @ Bitches With Books

    August 15, 2013

    I loved this interview, I’ve wanted to read this book for some time and to read about the genesis of the book and get a feel for the author is amazing. So happy you did this!

  13. Reply


    August 15, 2013

    I’m really looking forward to this book, so I LOVED reading this interview! Thanks for posting :)