Samantha Shannon answers burning questions about the next Bone Season novel. Plus, the cover! -- EXCLUSIVE

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Tons of readers became fans of Samantha Shannon’s debut novel The Bone Season, and luckily for them, it was the first in a seven-part series. At the outset of book two, entitled The Mime Order, Paige Mahoney is public enemy number one of the Scion, and the clairvoyant community is in total disarray. Take a look at the cover, revealed exclusively on EW.com, and read on as Shannon teases the next installment.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Tell us a little bit about what this new cover symbolizes.
SAMANTHA SHANNON: I can’t say a great deal about the combination of images without spoiling the plot, but both the moth and the flower both appear in the first book, so you should have some idea of what they mean.

Did the immediate success of the first novel surprise you at all?
Absolutely. I definitely wasn’t expecting it to become a New York Times best-seller in its first week.

I know you’ve outlined the whole series, but did you find yourself diverging from the plan when you were actually writing the second installment?
Almost immediately. The major events I planned have still happened, but lots more have been added or changed. As with the first book, Paige sometimes pulled against me and forged her own path.

Do you feel like you got some of the world-building out of the way in the first book so now you have freedom to really dive into the plot?
Yes. Most of the foundations were laid in The Bone Season, so I don’t need to explain how the “magic system” works. I was also able to focus more closely on exploring the Scion Citadel of London, where Paige lives with her gang. I wasn’t able to stay there long in the first book.

Does the second book plunge into even darker territory?
It does, yes.

I know you can’t give us any specifics, but will there be some devastating deaths?
Depends what you mean by “devastating” . . .

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