TODAY   |  August 20, 2013

Meet TODAY Book Club’s first author: She’s 21

TODAY’s Natalie Morales introduces the first author in the TODAY Book Club: Samantha Shannon. The 21-year-old recent graduate of Oxford University, whose first novel is titled “The Bone Season,” could be the next J.K. Rowling, some predict. She says it’s a “dream come true.”

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> with an exciting new chapter, so to speak, for today, the start of our own book club .

>> we're excited about this. we'll have something for everyone whether you're a fan of the classics or looking for the next big thing.

>> this is a brand new experience for book lovers. you'll have the opportunity to directly connect and interact with us and our featured author via a google hang out moderated by one of them.

>> are you ready to kick it off?

>> yes.

>> here's our first pick for the "today" show book club . it is the bone season. this is a different book experience. just out today. it's book one in a series about a courageous young woman fighting for freedom against a repressive futuristic society. does it sound familiar? well, hunger games fans, this one maybe for you. i sat down with samantha shannon at oxford university where much of the book's action takes place. and a 21-year-old with a six figure book deal and talk of a movie, this has all been a dream.

>> she's more than meets the eye. meet samantha shannon . two weeks ago she graduated from oxford university . this week she is debuting her novel, the first of seven books from the same publisher behind another series you may have heard of.

>> you're a wizard harry.

>> so of course there have been a lot of comparisons already that you perhaps maybe the next j.k. rowling . what do you say about that?

>> i admire her. i don't think we should be looking for a next someone. i'd rather be the next samantha shannon .

>> what does it take to be the next samantha shannon ? an early start. she began writing stories at age 13 .

>> most teenagers are going out with friends and hanging out and playing video games . but you were writing.

>> yeah, pretty much. i would be writing pretty much all day.

>> her self-described addiction to writer caused her mother to worry she wasn't getting out enough but shannon was determined. at 17 she sent her first manufacture to 10 agents. 10 rejections came back.

>> it was pretty heartbreaking at the time.

>> still one of those agents, david godwin saw promise and hired shannon as an intern.

>> i think it shows intelligence that she can address what was wrong from the book and learn from it and then turn it into something extraordinary.

>> little did he know shannon was already hard at work on her next book inspired by godwin's own offices in the heart of the seven tiles district of london.

>> there's a lot of shops around there that felt like taro cards and crystal balls and stuff.

>> the bone season think action adventure but the action is all in the mind. the year is 2059 . a repressive government called scion. our young heroin is a hunted processing a special power to enter people's minds. paige commits a crime that lands her in a colony in oxford where she forms an alliance with her captive. a man that could lead her to her freedom or downfall. the book was sent to the editor and chief.

>> i literally had to read to the very, very end -- when that happens to you, which happens once every ten years, you know you have to run after it and do everything you can to get it.

>> she immediately bought the book, along with the next two in the series for 6 figures.

>> when you were that kid of 13 years old writing your short stories did you ever invision that you would be living your dream?

>> i guess i hoped for it. i didn't ever imagine it would be quite as amazing as this. so i do feel like it's a dream come true .

>> a dream that keeps getting better. the film rights have mr. been sold to imaginarium. he is gollum from lord of the rings .

>> we picked your first to be our first today show book club book.

>> awesome. wow, thank you so much. that's -- wow. i never imagined it would ever get to that kind of level.

>> samantha shannon , remember that name. she is a remarkable young talent with a bright future ahead of her. she is front page of the usa today life section already. as you read the book, if you do have any questions i'll have a google hang out with samantha next month. log on to today show .com for more details and all of you guys are fans and are getting books.

>> so you're going to assign homework?

>> you must read and you have a month to digest.

>> how did you get hooked up with this book?

>> i discovered her reading an article on her while i was in london.