Interview with Samantha Shannon + Giveaway!

The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon was one of my favorite fantasy books from last year. It's the first in a seven book series that follows Paige, a 19 year old heroine who is a clairvoyant in a futuristic society where clairvoyance is illegal. She's captured by the government and sent to a penal colony, the ruined city of Oxford where she meets the Rephaim. Specifically a Rephaite keeper named Warden. (See my full, gushing review here!)

There's a lot of buzz around this series and the author Samantha Shannon. It's debuted on bestseller lists and film rights were recently optioned. And if you're in the NYC area, she's going to be doing a reading at the 92nd Street Y this Saturday, May 10th. (If you can go, you definitely should!)

I'm so excited to have this opportunity to interview her for the blog today!

Copyright Mark Pringle

Thank you so much for stopping by the blog today! I first picked up The Bone Season at BEA last year and even then there was already a lot of (much-deserved!) buzz around your book. Since then The Bone Season has been on bestseller lists and the film rights have been optioned. It’s an incredible achievement for a debut author! What has the past year been like for you? What were your expectations?

It's been a real rollercoaster -- I certainly wasn't expecting it to debut at #7 on the New York Times bestseller list in its first week. I've been able to meet lots of new people and travel all over the world while promoting the book. I feel very fortunate to be writing as a full-time job.

The Bone Season was one of my favorite books from last year and one of the things that impressed me most was the level of detail with the characters and the world-building. It was so, so creative and imaginative! How did you come up with the story? Or what was your inspiration for it? 

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.

I am so excited for The Mime Order, the second book in your series. I can’t wait to catch up with Paige and Warden and see where the series takes them next. Is there anything you can tell us about The Mime Order? 

It's set in Scion London in the same year as 'The Bone Season' and focuses on the clairvoyant crime syndicate. Paige is trying to rally the syndicate against Scion and the Rephaim, but it's riddled with corruption and violence. She finds herself having to make some difficult choices to survive.

So, I mentioned earlier that film rights to The Bone Season were acquired. Have there been any updates? Talks about casting? I’ve been trying to picture an actress or actor to play Paige and Warden and no one immediate comes to mind! Is there anyone you picture to play your characters? 

I'm afraid we're nowhere near casting yet, and even if we were, I'd be stuck on 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. The time frame for getting the film to the screen, provided we don't run into any major obstacles, will be about three years. The latest news is that we've secured a double Oscar-nominated screenwriter, whose name should be announced next week.

I think your series blends a number of genres so well together - dystopian, paranormal and fantasy. Which happen to be genres I love! These were the kinds of books I’ve always gravitated towards even as a kid. What were some of your favorite fantasy/dystopian/paranormal books while growing up?

The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia, Harry Potter and Isaac Asimov's robot stories were some of my favourites.

I'm going to make the last question a fun one - what's something you're really loving right now? It could be a book, song, movie or a dessert. Anything! 

I'm really into an indie music project called Raised by Swans. Wonderful music for writing.


Thank you Samantha for stopping by the blog and answering my questions! 

So, in addition to the interview and in honor of the recent paperback release of THE BONE SEASON -- I'm hosting a giveaway thanks to the lovely people at Bloomsbury!

1. Contest is US only.
2. Publisher provided the prize for the winner and will be the ones to mail prize pack out.
3. Once contacted, the winner will have 48 hours to respond with their mailing address. Failure to do so will mean the prize is forfeit, and a new winner will be chosen.
4. Contest ends May 23, 2014.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

To follow Samantha Shannon: Twitter | Blog | Website


  1. I haven't read The Bone Season yet but I have a copy sitting on my bookshelf from the library! ;__; I really hope to get to it soon because I've been really interested in really well detailed fantasy books since I read The Diviners in March!

    Lovely interview! I didn't know the book had sold movie rights! Definitely need to get on top of the series now! Thank you both for the giveaway!

  2. Woo! I love Samantha, and think she's one of the most brilliant writers I've read. The creativity and imagination that went into The Bone Season was top notch. I'm certainly looking forward to reading The Mime Order!


with love,