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!
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.
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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.