Samantha Shannon Interview & Giveaway

Series: The Bone Season #1
Publication Date: August 20, 2013
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Reading Level: Young Adult
Pages: 466

With BEA just around the corner, I am having flashbacks of how huge this title was last year. I'm remembering insane lines for the galley drops in order to nab this one. I got one of the last copies they had! Nuts. This is why I am so excited to have the opportunity to interview author Samantha Shannon! She truly is an inspiration to young aspiring writers everywhere.

If you are in the NYC area, don't forget to check out her reading and signing tomorrow, May 10th, at the 92Y!

~*~Samantha Shannon's Interview~*~

Let's break the ice...

Spring or Summer? Spring
Coke or Pepsi? Pepsi
Cats or Dogs? Dogs
Rain or Shine? Rain
Converse or Heels? Heels
Candy or Chocolate? Chocolate

And now...for the real deal.

You sold your seven book series deal when you were 19. As a 19 year old myself, I can’t imagine finding the time to actually write a book, let alone plan out a series. Do you have any advice specifically for young, aspiring writers?

I was 19 when I wrote it and 20 when I sold it to Bloomsbury. I must admit I find it quite hard to give advice, as there's no "one size fits all" when it comes to writing -- it's such a personal thing. Trust your gut instinct first; don't listen to too much feedback. Don't let anyone tell you that you're writing is too experimental or unusual, or that your way of writing is "wrong". Write the story you want to write.

I know that you were in your dorm room when you found out your series sold, so I have to ask how you celebrated? If I were in your shoes there would have definitely been some embarrassing dancing around the room.

I just sat there and stared into space for a good while, as I just couldn't believe what had happened. Then I started crying and laughing and called my mum.

Can you share your writing process? How much research and time goes into every book?

It really depends in the book. It took me about six months to write the first draft of 'The Bone Season', but longer to edit it. The first one needed a fair amount of research, as I had to design the world and the Seven Orders of Clairvoyance system. For that, I looked at nineteenth-century Spiritualism and mediumship, classical impressions of augury and soothsaying, and modern parapsychology. 

Where did you get your inspiration for this series, but book one specifically?

I was working in London in the district of Seven Dials in Covent Garden in 2011. There are a few stores in the area that sell crystal balls and tarot cards and offer psychic readings, and I came up with the idea of a society of clairvoyants living in London. Then I had an image of a girl having the same day at work that I was having, but she happened to be clairvoyant. I combined that with a previous idea I'd had about supernatural creatures controlling Oxford, and 'The Bone Season' was born.

What attracted you to the sci-fi/fantasy genre instead of any other genre?

Those genres provide the best opportunities for worldbuilding, which is the part of writing I most enjoy.

Can we see any aspects of you or people you know in Paige or any of the other characters? I love it when an author can work themselves into their own stories!

There are definitely bits and pieces of me in the story, but I'd rather not say where exactly, as I think that would detract from the reading experience.

What is one way you overcome writers block? This is a series issue for me!

Step away from the manuscript and do something else. Imagine that you've been in a long relationship with it and you're now taking a mutually agreed break. When you get back together, you'll fall in love all over again. 

Is there anything that you can share with us about book two? (no spoilers of course (; ) 

It's set in Scion London and focuses on the clairvoyant underworld. Paige is trying to rally the syndicate against Scion and the Rephaim, but it's much more of a challenge than she expected. She has no resources, Scion is hunting her, and she finds herself having to make tough choices to survive.

Film rights for THE BONE SEASON were optioned a while ago, so I have to ask…If you had to cast your characters in a movie, who would you want to play them?

I have no idea who could play Warden and Paige. I have such a clear picture of them in my head, it's hard to match that to any real actors.

Thank you so much for stopping by, Samantha. I really enjoyed doing this interview!

I'm Samantha Shannon: dreamer, migraineur and author of The Bone Season, the first in a projected series of seven fantasy novels. I was born in Hammersmith, London in 1991. From 2010 – 2013 I studied English Language and Literature at St Anne's College, Oxford, specialising in Principles of Film Criticism and Emily Dickinson. I'm now working on the second book in the Bone Season series, The Mime Order (out 21 October 2014).

I'm a fan of old music, gramophones, silent film, good coffee, and real books. I have four siblings, four parents, and a male tortoise named Lily-Beth, some of whom live with me in west London. The Bone Season is my first published novel.
You can learn more about Samantha through her blog found here!


The lovely folks at Bloomsbury have graciously provided several prizes for a giveaway! Three different winners from the United States will have an opportunity to win a copy of The Bone Season. Please follow the rules because I do check entries and I don't want to have to disqualify anyone for cheating!

The giveaway ends on the last day of May.

Winners will have 48 hours to respond to my e-mail before a new winner is chosen.

Good luck! <3

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. This looks and sounds awesome!!! Thanks for sharing :)

  2. Great interview! Shannon is I think the first writer who I've heard saying to ignore feedback/not pay attention to it very much. Interesting. It does make sense, though, perhaps especially when writers are starting on their new projects.
    I always love learning more about authors of books I've read and enjoyed. Though I must admit that hearing about these super young writers who sold books makes me all panicked like what am I doing with my life haha.
    Thanks for posting this interview and the giveaway!

  3. I've wanted to read this for awhile and love the title and synopsis! Thanks!

  4. I remember when this series first came out. It was getting a lot of hype and I figured I'd let it cool down and read some reviews before I purchased a copy of myself. I forgot to and life got busy. I've heard a lot of good things about it and happy I stumbled upon your giveaway. Thanks for the chance!

  5. I've been dying to read Bone Season since long before it released, but after failing to snag an ARC I've been waiting for the paperback - it's just too heavy a book for me not to be crushed under the hardcover. XP It sounds like such an epic read though, I'm sure this series will be right up my alley. Awesome interview, and thanks for the giveaway! :)