This interview begins with a massive drumroll because joining me for today’s One Interview is the massively popular and super talented Samantha Shannon. You’re like, Whaaaat? I KNOW! Her fantasy series, which began with THE BONE SEASON and continues with THE MIME ORDER – out in paperback today! – is getting her critical acclaim, onto many bestseller lists, and into the hearts of readers.
Hi Samantha, thanks so very, very much for joining me. So, THE MIME ORDER is the second in a seven part series. I can’t imagine how hard that is to even contemplate as a writer. What’s the one thing you are loving about writing such a long series?
Glad to be here! It is hard to contemplate sometimes, but writing this series is a wonderful experience, and I feel very lucky that Bloomsbury is letting me write seven books – it means I can visit multiple countries and follow the characters over a number of years.
And what’s the one thing about series writing that’s been a challenge so far?
Knowing how much to reveal and how early.
Has fantasy always been your one true love?
Since I was little, yes. I’ve always been drawn to fantasy, sci-fi, speculative fiction in general – anything that gives rich opportunity for worldbuilding.
There is fire! Oh no! Which one character from THE MIME ORDER would you save?
This is horrible. Warden! But then – no, it’s got to be Paige, or I’ll have no way to tell the rest of the story.
Ok, you get to save one more character! Choose!
Warden! Or Jaxon. Can I sacrifice myself for one of them?
What’s the one physical thing you need in your life to be able to write well?
My computer. I’d love to be able to write with pen and paper, and occasionally I do – I would write by hand if I absolutely had to – but I have a very tidy approach to writing; I like my 3cm by 3cm margins, my double-spacing, my 12pt font. My handwriting wouldn’t satisfy that criteria. I also have a dragon figurine my little brother got me recently, which has become my mascot.
And the one immaterial thing that makes writing easier?
And the one big distraction when you’re trying to get words onto paper?
Ok, you’re on a desert island (probably not for the first time). You can bring one of each of these things.
One book: Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. It’s the kind of book that reminds you of beauty and life and art, even in solitude and without the convenience of civilisation.
One album: No Ghostless Place – Raised by Swans
One TV series: Game of Thrones
One luxury item: An umbrella – every Brit needs one. This is on the condition that I already have books and a laptop and a notebook and a limitless supply of pens.
One person: One of my best friends. I can’t choose which one. I’d have to pick a name out of a hat.
Access to one website: Twitter
And finally, why is THE MIME ORDER important to you? Give us as many reasons as you like!
As I’ve said in my acknowledgements, it’s my love song to London. I’ve always been a Londoner, and The Mime Order, dark and brutal though it is, is an expression of everything I feel towards my city. It’s also a book in which Paige, who went through so much hardship in The Bone Season, begins to take control of her life in a way she never realised she could before her imprisonment. Her eyes have been opened to the depth of the corruption in her world, and now she has to try and change it – only to discover that it’s harder than she ever could have anticipated.
Thanks so much for your time, Samantha. I can’t wait until Book III comes out. When is that?
Bloomsbury hasn’t scheduled it yet, but it should be next year. Thanks for having me!
The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon is published by Bloomsbury in paperback and eBook on 2nd July, £7.99