Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Donne

I'm done! Done with Finals. Done with university. Done with Donne.


So I've finally come to the end of my time at Oxford. I'm staying here for another month, until the end of term, but there's no more work to do for my degree. I can't believe how quickly the end has come. It's a wonderful feeling to be sitting here blogging, with no more exams ahead of me – although after being in education for most of my life, it's a bit strange not to have an "exam target" of some kind. As a kid you work towards your SATs; as a teen you're aiming for GCSEs and A-Level; late teens and early twenties, you're working on your degree – but for me, it's definitely time to go now. I've run out of study steam. I'll miss being immersed in the beautiful old books I've been able to discover here, but there comes a point when you can just do one too many exams. It's been a wonderful few years, and I feel very fortunate to have had them. 

Summer begins now. I'm going to give myself a few days to just come down from the exam cloud, read a few books – real, exciting books, completely unrelated to exams! – and hang around in the sun, but I'm going to start refining my plans for the second book in the Bone Season series tomorrow evening. I've yet to give Book 2 a title; I suggested one to Alexa, but as her response was "might be too weird", I may need to amend it. I'm incredibly excited about being able to write again; I've been on a very long sabbatical to concentrate on Finals, which has caused a long, unpleasant withdrawal. Not writing makes me a little bit insane. I have my usual flesh-and-bones structure laid out for Book 2: I know what's going to happen in the beginning, middle and end, but I'll be letting Paige guide me through the rest. I had 50,000 words done, but I've decided to scrap them and start again – it feels like such a long time since I worked on them in the summer, and as they were written during the editing stage of The Bone Season, there are lots of little inconsistencies. I need to shake off the dust and get back into Scion mode. My approximate deadline for the first draft is December, so I have a lot of work to do. 


I'm also overwhelmed that The Bone Season has finally got its first readers, and I'm getting my first reviews. This is possibly the most terrifying part of being a d├ębut author: waiting to see if readers are going to like your work, knowing that some of them won't, and accepting that as part of the process of being published. Thank you so much to those of you who have left reviews on Goodreads or your personal sites.


Next Thursday I'll be getting ready to fly to New York for BookExpo America 2013. Apart from the Winter Institute, which was solely for trade, this is my first really big public event with The Bone Season. I'm looking forward to meeting lots of bloggers and booksellers, particularly the ones I've already 'met' on Twitter. If you're attending BEA and want to say hi, please do! Here are the events either myself or the book will be attending. 




FRIDAY 31 MAY

10:00: Downtown stage. I won't be at this event, but Bloomsbury USA editor-in-chief Nancy Miller will be on the Fiction Mini Buzz Panel to talk about The Bone Season


11:30 – 12:30: Twitter chat. I'll be answering questions live from the Kobo booth (Booth #1067); tweet your questions to #KoboBEA13. 


2:30 – 3 pm: I'll be signing gallies on Autographing Table 22.

SATURDAY 1 JUNE 

11 – 11:30: Midtown stage. “New Adult Crossover: From YA to adult and back again”. I'll be talking on a panel with Sarah J. Maas, author of the Throne of Glass series, about crossover between adult and young adult books. We'll be joined by our lovely editors, Rachel Mannheimer and Michelle Nagler. 


12 – 12:20: Live online video chat with ShinDig Events (Booth #2135). Sarah J. Maas and I will be talking about our books and about writing fantasy.  




Also, some Big News for tomorrow: at 11AM (EST), Entertainment Weekly will release the official book trailer for The Bone Season. I don't want to spoil it, but the creative team behind it, Tailored Media, have done an amazing job. I was worried about a live-action trailer, thinking it might damage the milieu, but I think it works brilliantly and still allows the reader to imagine their own settings and characters. Keep an eye out and let me know what you think!

I'll be updating again from this Sunday, as usual. Great to be back!

14 comments:

  1. Really looking forward to seeing the trailer tomorrow! I finished TBS today and really enjoyed it. ;)

    Also, hope you have a great time at BEA. I so wish I could see your panel with Sarah J. Maas!

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    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed it! And I'm sure I will. Bit nervous about doing my first panel...

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  2. Hey Samantha, it's been a while!

    Glad to hear that you're done with both university and finals (tippity-top grades, right?) Good luck with the Book Expo too.

    As for TBS developments...that little counter is almost under 90 days...can't wait until August. Looking forward to having the book trailer tide me over until then. I like Scion as the series name, but I've heard a few other ones bandied about (the Clairvoyant Chronicles, for example.) I'm sure you'll eventually get the right series title in place.

    Here's something else I thought I'd bring to your attention regarding the book. Maybe a little over a month ago I ran across the first chapter of TBS, "The Curse." Led to quite a few re-reads, but when I went to look for it a couple weeks ago, I couldn't find it. Has it been removed from the Internet? Wasn't sure if it was a leak or whatever, but I thought I'd run it by you and see...

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    1. Hey Tyler! How are you?

      Haha, I highly doubt I'll get top grades. I've never been a 1st candidate. I'm hoping for a 2:1 – all depends on whether my revision technique worked...

      The series name thing is quite funny. I wanted to call it 'Seven Dials', but it's a registered trademark, so I just thought I'd go with 'The Bone Season' – but I do really like 'Scion'. Maybe it can be the unofficial-but-approved series name. Not too keen on 'The Clairvoyant Chronicles'.

      The first chapter wasn't a leak, no – it was an authorised preview (from the uncorrected manuscript) by Stylist magazine. You can access the PDF here: http://www.stylist.co.uk/books/the-bone-season-by-samantha-shannon

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    2. Ha, had to look up what the 2:1 meant, it's a completely different grading system across the Atlantic. But, it sounds like you're doing really well though, be proud!

      Thanks for the link. No idea why I was having such trouble finding it again...oh well, in a few more months it won't matter - I'll have the real (and full!) book in my hands.

      I also looked at the Bone Season book trailer. Very very cool stuff going on there. Must be surreal for you to see Paige come to life on the screen. About Paige's accent, though, is there any significance to her being Irish? Maybe you just wanted to give her a different background, but I know that relations between you guys and the Irish haven't always been the best so I was wondering if that factored in somehow.

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    3. It is pretty surreal. I love that you never see her face properly; still lets the reader formulate their own picture of her. And yes, Irish-English relations are a big part of Paige's story and the history of Scion. I visited Ireland in early 2012 and was hugely inspired.

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  3. Congratulations on surviving your finals! :) The sneak peeks of your book trailer look AMAZING. I can't wait to see it.

    There's only 89 days left until the release date. You've cracked the 100 day mark :).

    When do they hold university graduations in the UK? At the end of term? I bet you'll miss being surrounded by all that history!

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    1. Thank you! And I graduate around 15 August, if I remember correctly. I will miss Oxford a lot.

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  4. Congratulations on finishing exams and getting to the end of your degree!

    You're so brave to be scrapping the 50k words you've written on Bone Season 2. I'm about to embark on a monumental re-write of my WIP that also involves scrapping a lot of hard earned pages, so it's nice to know someone else out there is prepared to do whatever it takes to craft a better story.

    How many drafts did it take to get Bone Season 1 up to scratch? I'm on my 5th (hopefully final) draft and wondering if I'm being a bit ridiculous?

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    1. Thank you! And it was a big decision, but in the end I knew I could do a lot better.

      I think the original manuscript went through maybe 3-4 drafts? Then a LOT more when I was working with Alexa. Maybe 3 structural edits and another 3 general ones. 5 sounds pretty good.

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  5. ahhh now I'm curious to know what "might be to weird" is!
    And you should do an ARC giveaway on your blog and on goodreads since I'm verrrry curious and excited to read your book ;D

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    1. I'm sure there will be another giveaway before August :)

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  6. Samantha, this has been my favorite post of yours yet. Thanks for it. Your inner monologue is wonderful.

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    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed it – I was worried I was going to be a rusty blogger after my sabbatical!

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