Meanwhile, U.S. editor Rachel Mannheimer was impressed with the quick edits Shannon returned in between writing term papers and taking exams.
Even though Shannon was 19 at the time, the same age as her character, she kept a narrative distance that read older than her years.
Mannheimer was also taken in by Shannon's skill with creating a futuristic world on the page, especially as a reader who didn't typically subscribe to fantasy.
"It was fun to be one of the first people to be let into that world, and to be part of figuring out its contours and its rules," Mannheimer said.
The biggest challenge was withholding some details to guide readers without overwhelming them.
Reviews in The Examiner and USA Today criticized "The Bone Season" for dumping too many facts on the reader and deploying so many confusing names. A Telegraph reviewer agreed but added that Shannon "writes so well that you stay interested."
"Even in the first chapter, there is probably too much information thrown at you," Shannon admitted. "I do take this insane pleasure in world-building. I get the world in my head, but I have to make sure everyone else gets it."
Only to grow
"The Bone Season" isn't being marketed as the next young adult must-read, a la "Hunger Games," despite main character Paige Mahoney's youth. The expected audience is broad: young to old, men and women, fantasy and non-fantasy readers.
"We published it the way we know how, as a really special novel," Mannheimer said. "The protagonist may start out at 19, but there are six more books to come. Samantha will mature and her character will, too. Starting out in the adult market, readers can grow with the protagonist and she, as an author, has more room to explore serious themes."
Shannon is relieved now that Warden, one of the main characters, is out in the world. The only surviving character from "Aurora" has been with her for years.
And soon, Warden could come to life on the big screen. The Imaginarium Studios have secured the film rights to the book. Shannon has consultation rights, which she hopes to explore given her deep interest in film.
She is already six chapters into the second book, exploring more of Scion London.
"I think the books will get better and better," Godwin said. "I think there is no stopping this girl and it's incredibly important to her, the writing. All good writers, they like writing best, it's when they are the most themselves. She's obsessive, and that's good."