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#BOOKREVIEW: The Bone Season (Author Interview, Flash Fiction, Nail Art)

I’m postponing my #WriteMotivation Update post until Friday in lieu of  The Bone Season Blog Tour. If you don’t know what #WriteMotivation is, well, we are a small group of writers (growing more each month) that loves to chuck positive messages, cookies and Dinos, and cheer their fellow author on in both good and bad times. Stop by our Twitter Hashtag, or even join our Google Plus Community. The more the merrier.

I hope you enjoy the blog tour. The book was amazing!

Here’s my one girly pleasure! Hope you like the nail art. 😛 (Click the pictures to see more detail)

The Bone Season Nail Art The Bone Season Nail Art
The Bone Season Nail Art The Bone Season Nail Art

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I wanted to share with you my first piece of fanfic I’ve ever done. I’m not sure I even did “fanfic” right. It’s not about any character in the book. The location is not stated. Nothing about my piece can be found in The Bone Season. Maybe this was the beginning of Scion. Before 2059.
I combined this prompt with this book and wrote the following and won 2nd place in the little contest 🙂

I hope you enjoy it:

Clairvoyance is shunned, segregated, banned. Those who have it, hide it. Some enter the underground syndicate. Others, well…here’s a story about one of those “others”.

Mind Share
by Jamie Dement

Cracks in the cement captivated me as I walked along the street on my way home. Step on a crack, break your mother’s back. A game I played as a child, when she was alive, when I was innocent. Now, I make sure I step on every single one of them.

From the outside, our house looked like any other home. A two-story cottage, quaint with its white picket fence. It even had a porch swing. Hedge roses split our property from our neighbors. Everything perfectly trimmed. Neat and clean.

Outward appearances can be so deceiving.

Dad’s home. His car was in the driveway, too lazy to pull it in the garage like normal people. At least that gave me a heads up before I walked in the door. I know what to expect. What’s coming.

I dreaded it.

I took a deep breath before I pushed the kitchen door open. He sat at the table, bent over so only the top of his bald head beamed at me. He didn’t move, even when the screen door bounced shut. Its taught spring always brought it closed harder than it should. Like slamming a gavel down on my sentencing.

I stood, frozen, contemplating my next move.

No matter what, Mom always said, just get to your room. He stops then.

But he never stopped. She’s proof of that.

Ever since we buried her, it hasn’t stopped. He hasn’t stopped. I come home. He’s either there or not. But somehow, it still happens. If it’s not first thing through the door, it’s later when I sneak down to get something to eat. Yeah, sure he doesn’t follow me into my bedroom. But it’s getting there that’s the struggle. Either way, it’s never ending.

I pulled the strap on my backpack tighter, trying to make myself as thin as possible so I could squeeze past without touching him. Touching triggered everything. There wasn’t much room between him and the fridge but I could manage. So long as he didn’t move.

His burly hands gripped the edge of the table so hard his knuckles were white. I stood as tall as my five foot self could and held my breath as I walked by. He didn’t raise his head but a low moan came from deep within his chest. I felt it more than heard it. I knew what it meant. My heart pounded against my ribs, demanding to be released from its prison.

His hand twitched.

My feet tangled as I tried to run passed him, up the stairs to my room, to safety. But it was too late.

His hand grasped my wrist and everything went white.

I drifted alone on a gentle breeze. Catching the updrafts. Swirling in the downdrafts. Floating on a cushion of nothingness. The sky was crystal blue, clear as the waters of Paradise. So peaceful.

But it wouldn’t last. It never did.

“Hello, darlin’,” said Dad.

So it begins again.

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The Bone Season

The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I won a signed ARC copy from Tor. At first, it was highly intimidating. The size, the maps, the flowcharts, the glossary! Yes, the glossary!

I started reading the first few chapters and felt very overwhelmed with the language. It used old street/gangster slang combined with made-up slang. In the beginning it made my head spin! I nearly stopped reading because of it. The glossary helped, yes. But having to reference it made it daunting, to say the least. But I got used to it, eventually. I still had to reference certain words, even towards the end, just to be sure I was correct. This did throw off the pacing, in my opinion.

Shannon’s world building is in-depth, sucking you into the London underground, but drawing an alternative reality, one in which requires all the maps at the beginning in order to keep straight. I’ve always loved alternate history, and Shannon does well with this aspect. Yes, it’s in the future, but the history is different. Set in England 2059, which really isn’t all that distant, the past history of the nation/world is marginally different, but still incorporates certain historical points and people that we can relate to, so we are not too removed from the story.

But the story…

The story drew me in. The conflict, the emotion, the action. All of it left me craving more with each turn of the page. Getting inside Paige’s head, Shannon’s first person POV, was definitely worth it. She knows how to instill the necessary emotion in Paige and the reader, while keeping everyone else at a safe distance.

Despite the complexity of the world and the language, I definitely would recommend giving this book a try. See for yourself.

For me, I can’t wait to read more.

View all my reviews

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In honor of her release, we are having a blog hop to celebrate. I thought it would be fun to join in and I hope to spread the word around for everyone. I had the pleasure to interview Samantha Shannon. It is definitely interesting to get some real feedback from authors. This was fun! Hope you enjoy it as much as I have.

Without further ado….

Here’s Samantha Shannon:

1) Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? When did you start writing? Anything or anyone influence you? Or have you always known?
I’m from West London, England. I started writing at about thirteen and wrote my first novel from the ages of fifteen and eighteen. Before that I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do – I always said I wanted to be a vet (no idea why, I’m terrible at the sciences) – but my mum tells me I used to write little stories when I was about nine, so I guess the urge to write was always there – I just didn’t fully recognise it until I got older. I’m the first writer in my family, to my knowledge.

2) What do you do when you are not writing?
Mostly I read – apart from write, it’s my favourite thing to do. I love going to the cinema, too. I specialised in Principles of Film Criticism at university, which has given me a real appreciation for good films.

3) How did you choose the genre you write in?
I’ve always been drawn to fantasy – you can break all the rules. The dystopian element was inspired by Margaret Atwood. I read her book The Handmaid’s Tale just before I started university and fell in love with it. Characters in a dystopia are in extremis, and that allows you to see a side of them that you wouldn’t be see if they were in, say, a kitchen sink drama, which is pure realism. The Bone Season really mashes up multiple genres – I just wrote the story I wanted to write, even if that meant veering away from ‘genre etiquette’.

4) Where do you get your ideas? Do they come at you as an image that you have to expand? Do they come as a problem you have to solve? or the other way around?
I started writing The Bone Season after completing an internship at David Godwin Associates (DGA), a literary agency in Seven Dials, a small district in London. While I was there, I had a vivid image of a girl having the same day at work as me, but she happened to be clairvoyant. There are a few shops selling crystal balls and tarot cards in Seven Dials, which I suspect is where the image originated from. I started building the world after that, creating the Seven Orders of clairvoyance and the basic foundations of Scion. Paige’s voice was really what drove the story – I built the details of the world around her.

5) Do you ever experience writer’s block? What do you do to curb it?
If I get writer’s block I usually go for a walk to clear my head. I have to get away from the manuscript for a while. When I come back, I’ll feel refreshed and ready to get back to work.

6) Plotter or pantser? Can you go into a little bit of your methods?
I use what I call the ‘flesh-and-bones’ structure: I know the skeleton of each plot, and all the major joints, but I let the characters write themselves to some extent. I think it takes the fun out of writing if you have every tiny detail planned.

7) Have you written a book you love that you have not been able to get published yet? Or was Bone Season your first? Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?
I wrote a sci-fi romance novel called Aurora before The Bone Season. It was rejected by ten agents and remains unpublished. Now I read it back to myself, I can see why! It wasn’t particularly unique and the writing was terrible. It was much easier to get The Bone Season published. I sent it to the agent I’d done an internship with and he took it on very quickly. I was lucky.

8) I loved the interaction between Paige and Warden from the very beginning. What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?
I think my favourite part was when Paige enters the butterfly’s dreamscape in Chapter 16. I loved imagining what it might be like inside a butterfly’s mind. It’s one of my great pleasures to write dialogue between Warden and Paige, so I’m glad to hear you enjoyed it!

9) I rediscovered my dream almost 3 years ago. Sold a few short stories, but the novel is unbelievably scary. Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?
Always be open to constructive criticism. You need to be fairly thick-skinned in this industry! More importantly, don’t give up at the first hurdle.

The Bone Season by Samantha ShannonFUNZIES:

10) Are you a person who makes their bed in the morning, or do you not see much point? (not much point really, between my immediate family and my cats, no one else will see it.)
I do make it. I still live with my parents, and my mum blows a fuse if my bed isn’t made.

11) Star Trek, Star Wars, or Doctor Who? Or a mash-up of all 3? (I’d love to see a mash-up! throw in some Monte Python while you’re at it!)
I’m ashamed to say I’ve never seen Doctor Who! I like both Star Wars and Star Trek, although I can’t call myself an expert in the latter as I’ve only seen the 2009 film. I love Spock.

12) cats or dogs?
I prefer dogs, generally. I’ve had quite weird pets in my life. I used to have a tarantula and now have a tortoise.

13) favorite flavor of caffeine?
Oh, coffee, absolutely. I’m a cliché like that.

Follow Samantha on Twitter, @say_shannon, visit her blog, samanthashannon.co.uk and join The Bone Season Facebook page.

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I hope you enjoyed this post. Please let me know what I could have done different/better. I’ll never stop learning.

LadyJai

3 Comments

  1. Ping from THE MIME ORDER (Book 2 of The Bone Season Series) Blog Tour – Review & Giveaway | Be Positive in Life and Writing:

    […] received it. I had never heard of it before. But once I dived in, I could barely come up for air. Because I took part in last year’s blog tour for The Bone Season, I was offered the opportunity to receive an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) in order to participate […]

  2. Comment by Angela Brown:

    Your story was just mind blowing. I’d probably be biased in thinking you should have gotten first place. So much power in every word. Your word choice was economical and precise. I really loved it.

    • Comment by LadyJai:

      Thanks so much! So glad you enjoyed it! I do love hearing what people think! Friends and strangers alike. So go ahead, share hehe

      Oh, and if it’s your kind of book, read the book too! 😀

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