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Author signs lucrative book deal with Harry Potter publishers
A STUDENT from Ruislip is being hailed as the next big literary phenomenon after signing a six-figure, three-book deal with the publishers of Harry Potter.
The first in a series of seven fantasy books written by Samantha Shannon, a former pupil at Bishop Ramsey CE School, will be published by book giants Bloomsbury next year.
Ms Shannon, 20, wrote her first novel - rejected by publishers - while studying for her GCSEs at the school in Hume Way.
This week she praised Bishop Ramsey for nurturing her talent and said she had high regards for one teacher in particular.
The Oxford University undergraduate said: "All the English department were excellent, but I have particularly fond memories of Frances Smith, who taught me English during my first few years at secondary school.
"She sadly died in December 2008 and I was given an English Literature award named after her the year I left."
On hearing news of their alumni's mammoth book deal, Bishop Ramsey issued a statement of congratulations,
They said: "Samantha was a gifted and talented student who wrote like an adult throughout her school life and always wished to become an author."
The series that so excited one of the world's biggest publishing companies is The Bone Season, which describes a dystopian future set in 2059.
"The Bone Season came to me during my first year of university," Ms Shannon said of her creation.
"I've always been fascinated by the supernatural. Reading John Donne's poetry, I thought up the idea of there being a sort of 'spirit trade' in a world populated by clairvoyants.
"This came together with my love for dystopia, inspired by Orwell's 1984 and Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale. Early in the writing of The Bone Season, I realised it was a big story to tell, but I know exactly what will happen to [main character] Paige and how it will all end."
Bloomsbury describe the book as "a startling combination of a unique literary voice, a fully conceived, terrifying parallel world and a narrative pace that grips like a vice".
The London firm also said Ms Shannon was "extraordinarily talented" and that The Bone Season would "challenge the worldwide bestseller list domination of Stephanie Meyer's Twilight series".
The first book will be published on September 12, 2013, after the author graduates.
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