“New JK Rowling” tells how mum almost crushed book dreams

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A WRITER dubbed the new JK Rowling has revealed how her mother almost scuppered her rise to literary stardom.

Samantha Shannon, 20, has just landed a six figure book dealwith the Harry Potter author’s publishers Bloomsbury.

But she revealed that her mother tried to force her outside to play while she was busy writing her first novel.

Samantha’s work has been compared to that of JK Rowling

Like Rowling, Samantha’s story is set to span seven book sand both protagonists escape from one world to another.

In Rowling’s adventures, which have sold more than 400million copies across the globe, Harry Potter escapes his cruel aunt and uncleto study magic at Hogwarts School of Witch craft and Wizardry.

Samantha’s heroine, 19-year-old Paige, is a clairvoyant who flees from the criminal underworld.

The Bone Season also draws inspiration from dystopian classics, such as The Handmaid’s Tale and A Clockwork Orange, and the work of 16th century metaphysical poet John Donne.

The publishers hope the work can rival the popularity of teen literature such as Twilight.

But if Samantha’s mum had her way the books might never have been written.

Samantha said: “Mum was always worried that is was stuck in my bedroom at home writing and becoming too tired and not getting out and about.”

She wrote her first novel, Aurora, while still at school and the piece was rejected by several publishers, but one encouraged her to try again.

Samantha said: “I was gutted for months but mum was quite relieved.”

Amazed

But undeterred she set about writing The Bone Season, working mainly from her room at St Anne’s College, Oxford.

She said: “I told virtually nobody until very recently – certainly not my family or even close friends.”

A chance meeting with prize-winning novelist Ali Smith spurred her to send her manuscript to literary agent David Godwin.

Mr Godwin said: “I got the book on a Friday, read it over the weekend and found the story utterly riveting and bursting with narrative force. On Monday I was on the phone to Samantha asking her to come into the
office.”

Smantha got the call while studying Hamlet for her English degree. She said: “I was completely amazed and overwhelmed.”

And Bloomsbury’s editor-in-chief, Alexandra Pringle, snapped up the book almost as soon as she had finished reading it.

She said: “Samantha is just fizzing with ideas. The book is an utterly consuming adventure and we are committed to the seven.”

The deal will see Samantha produce two sequels. She said: “They are either in my head or in notebooks.”

 

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