The year is 2059. Nineteen-year-old Paige Mahoney is working in the criminal underworld of Scion London, based at Seven Dials, employed by a man named Jaxon Hall. Her job: to scout for information by breaking into people's minds. For Paige is a dreamwalker, a clairvoyant and, in the world of Scion, she commits treason simply by breathing.
It is raining the day her life changes for ever. Attacked, drugged and kidnapped, Paige is transported to Oxford – a city kept secret for two hundred years, controlled by a powerful, otherworldly race. Paige is assigned to Warden, a Rephaite with mysterious motives. He is her master. Her trainer. Her natural enemy. But if Paige wants to regain her freedom she must allow herself to be nurtured in this prison where she is meant to die.
The Bone Season introduces a compelling heroine and 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.
Samantha Shannon was born in west London in 1991. She started writing at the age of fifteen. Between 2010 and 2013 she studied English Language and Literature at St Anne's College, Oxford. In 2012 the Women of the Future Awards shortlisted her for The Young Star Award. The Bone Season is her first novel and has been sold in twenty-one countries.
The Bone Season
Author: Samantha Shannon
Question: What inspired the story of The Bone Season?
Samantha Shannon: I did an internship in July 2011 in a district of London called Seven Dials and there are a lot of stores in that area that sell tarot cards and crystal balls and offer psychic readings and that is where I got the seed of the idea of having a clairvoyant society.
Question: The Bone Season is the first book in a seven part series; can you tell us about the next book in the series? Have you got the next six books all planned?
Samantha Shannon: I can't say too much about the next book in the series, as I want it to be a surprise but the book will mainly be set in London and that's all I'm allowed to say about it!
I have a skeletal idea of a plan for the next five books; I don't like it to be too planned because I think it takes the fun out of writing if you know exactly what's going to happen. I know the important points that I want achieve, in each book and I know how it ends.
Question: What was the best thing about creating the character of Paige?
Samantha Shannon: I love Paige and she was my first attempt of writing in first person properly and she had this amazing voice which demanded to be written as it was engaging. Her character developed around her engaging voice and I think she turned into a really good character as she is vulnerable and strong, at the same time. Paige really refuses to submit in her captive when she is imprisoned and it's great to be able to write someone with that much exterior.
Question: Can you talk us through your writing process?
Samantha Shannon: It all depends, sometimes it is helpful to say 'I'm going to write a chunk of this today" but at the same time, I don't think you should force yourself to write because it will show in the writing if you've forced it out, it will be strained. You should always enjoy writing, as much as you can and then you can feel that enthusiasm, in the writing.
Question: The Bone Season film will begin production shortly, which actors do you see, in your head, for Paige?
Samantha Shannon: Not for the main characters oddly enough, not for Warden and Paige, I struggle with them because in my head I have a particular image of what they look like which is quite difficult to match to any Hollywood type although I would love the English actor, Benedict Cumberbatch to play Jaxon Hall who is Paige's boss.
I have consultation rights with the film which means I will be involved in all aspects of the film but I'm not going to force myself into everything, I also won't write the script because I'm not a script writer and I think I'd rather leave that to someone who is a professional script writer. I really want to be involved in the casting.
Interview by Brooke Hunter