Today, we have an awesome interview with author Samantha Shannon of The Bone Season.
Jess teamed up with Christine at The Bookish Daydreamer to ask the questions - though Christine gets most of the credit for asking the smart, probing questions! - and we hope you enjoy the interview!
Q&A with Samantha Shannon
Author of The Bone Season
1. Your debut novel, THE BONE SEASON, is part of a seven book series. Can you give a short little summary of what the series is going to be about?
I don't want to give too much away, but . . . expect things to escalate. A lot.
2. Knowing that you do have to write seven books in the series, do you already have an idea of how the series will come to an end? Do you have a plan laid out for each book already?
I use what I call the ‘flesh-and-bones’ structure: I know the key points in every book and what I want to achieve in each one, but I let the characters write themselves to some extent – they flesh out the story. I think it takes the fun out of writing if you have every tiny detail planned. I know how the last book will end, yes.
3. What’s one trait that you share with Paige? And what’s one of Paige’s traits that you hope readers will especially identify with?
We both really love coffee. And we're both quite tall. And we both have an Irish surname, although Paige is actually Irish while I'm not. Other than that, Paige is nothing like me -- I live vicariously through her. I hope readers will identify with Paige's strong sense of right and wrong, but also with her vulnerability. She comes across as self-assured and even a bit cocky, but under all the bravado is someone who isn't quite sure of her place in the world.
4. A significant number of history’s greatest writers have come from Britain. From your own perspective and experiences as a writer, what do you think it is about Britain that inspires such great writing?
I think it's probably its history. Britain has been around for a while, so there are lots of periods to choose from when writing literature about it: the chivalry and swordplay of the Middle Ages, Shakespeare's world of swords and pens, all the powder and wigs and weirdness of the 18th century and the new discoveries and steam power of the Victorian era -- and then there are the cities, which seem to hold a lot of that history in their walls. Walking around cities in Britain is incredibly inspiring, particularly places like Oxford and York, which boast some really beautiful old architecture. You can really imagine what it might have been like to walk around York in medieval times, for instance. I feel very lucky to have lived in London all my life -- it's been shaped by so many different people. It was a place in London, Seven Dials, that set off the first spark ofThe Bone Season.
5. If you could travel the world, or any literary world, where would you want to go?
Real world: Asia. Anywhere in Asia. I've been invited to India next year, which I'm incredibly excited about. In terms of literary worlds, I'd love to hang out in Laini Taylor's Daughter of Smoke and Bone for a few days so I could make tonnes of wishes, or the alternative Oxford of His Dark Materials, which I've just started reading. I love the idea of dæmons.
6. Name a fun fact about yourself that not many people know!
I have a pet tortoise called Lily-Beth, who is in fact a male tortoise, but we didn't know that when we bought him. The name just stuck.
7. Do you have any other hobbies besides reading and writing?
Not many! I'm fairly book-orientated. I do love seeing films, though -- one of my special subjects at university was Principles of Film Criticism. I got the chance to see lots of Classical Hollywood films and properly analyse them, which was great fun. Silent films are wonderful.
8. If you had the opportunity to wine and dine with one of your characters, whom would you choose?
Warden, absolutely. I'd love to pick his brain about life, the universe and everything. Although Jaxon would be a hilarious dinner companion after a few glasses of wine.
What an awesome interview from Shannon, right? Special thanks to Shannon for being game and for Christine for partnering with me + coming up with all of the super clever questions!
About the author:
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.