Would you be curious to hear how masters of their craft build vivid worlds alongside their characters? Or how to overcome the pressures of getting your work published? We dive into it all with Samantha Shannon!
Samantha is the New York Times and Sunday Times bestselling author of The Bone Season series. Film and TV rights have been acquired by Imaginarium Studios and her work has been translated into twenty-six languages. Her upcoming novel, The Priory of the Orange Tree, is her fourth novel and her first outside of The Bone Season series and will be released on February 26th.
In our conversation, we discuss her commitment to writing at a young age and overcoming fears through writing. She shares her research process, how she approaches world building, and how to best manage writing goals. She also shares a snapshot of her upcoming novel, The Priory of the Orange Tree and answers some great listener questions.
Books and resources:
Star Wars created by George Lucas
Xena: Warrior Princess created by Sam Raimi, John Schulian, and Robert Tapert
Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
Dragonheart directed by Rob L. Cohen
Dragon Rider by Cornelia Funke
The Worst Witch Series by Jill Murphy
The video game Tomb Raider
The Handmaid’s Tale written by Margaret Atwood
Check out Samantha’s blog A Book From the Begining!
Saint George and the Dragon by Margaret Hodges
The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
The Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook 2019 published by Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Self-Editing for Fiction Writers: How to Edit Yourself into Print by Renni Browne and Dave King
A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmer
The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
Shadowscent: The Darkest Bloom by P M Freestone
State of Sorrow by Melinda Salisbury
The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton
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Check out these highlights:
- Samantha tells the story of how she fell in love with storytelling and pursued a writing career at a young age (4:20)
- We learn what inspires Samantha to craft honest representations of women and relationships in her novels (16:00)
- She shares a defining and heartbreaking moment in her career when she decided to stop pursuing publication of a novel and what she learned from it (20:30)
- How to recognize when you’ve edited the love and passion out of your story (22:25)
- Samantha talks about her experience interning with a literary agent that helped her understand why obtaining representation can be so challenging (24:35)
- How Samantha used her fear of clairvoyance to spark inspiration and creative energy for The Bone Season series (27:23)
- She talks about the media pressure she experienced as a young, debut author and how she coped with that pressure (38:00)
- The importance of taking care of your mind and your soul as a writer and tips to cope with anxiety (45:05)
- We get a snapshot of Samantha’s upcoming novel, The Priory of the Orange Tree and the inspiration behind it (55:30)
- She breaks down her writing process and schedule (1:01:20)
- How juggling multiple projects could boost your creative energy and help you push past writer’s block (1:4:40)
- She also answers a few of our listener’s questions:
- “I would love to know more about her research process and how she plans her world-building?” (1:08:26)
- “As a UK author, I’d love to know her process navigating a US dominating market. Is there a strong difference in UK lit?” (1:18:24)
- “As someone who is facing the second of two surgeries early this year, I wonder how you handle life with your writing career when something major happens? Are there any tips you might have to push through? Of course there must be resting as well, but this is about how you handle coming back from something while still taking care of yourself and your family?” (1:20:40)
“I’ve always believed that you shouldn’t just have to present perfect characters and relationships in books.”
“I believe that after a while you can edit the love out of something.”
“Whatever you write is experience and it feeds into you growing as a writer.”
“A world never functions until there’s a character in it.”
Say “Hi” to Samantha
Learn more about “The Priory of the Orange Tree“
An ancient enemy awakens.
The House of Berethnet has ruled Inys for a thousand years. Still unwed, Queen Sabran the Ninth must conceive a daughter to protect her realm from destruction – but assassins are getting closer to her door.
Ead Duryan is an outsider at court. Though she has risen to the position of lady-in-waiting, she is loyal to a hidden society of mages. Ead keeps a watchful eye on Sabran, secretly protecting her with forbidden magic.
Across the dark sea, Tané has trained to be a dragonrider since she was a child, but is forced to make a choice that could see her life unravel.
Meanwhile, the divided East and West refuse to parley, and forces of chaos are rising from their sleep.