by Janine Sobeck, dramaturg
Award winning author Shannon Hale
(Photo credit: Jenn Florence)
Shannon Hale is a native Utah writer who has taken the YA fiction world by storm. From her debut novel Goose Girl, to her popular Ever After High series, to her graphic novels, and more (including her popular adult adult fiction book Austenland – now a major motion picture), Shannon has entertained millions of readers with her wonderful characters and fascinating worlds. Her books have also garnered critical acclaim, landing her on the New York Times best-selling author list and winning many awards (including the prestigious Newbery Honor for Princess Academy).
In honor of BYU’s theatrical adaptation of Princess Academy, I reached out to Shannon to hear a little about about her writing process, what books excite her, and how she feels about seeing her work transformed for the stage. I’m delighted that she took some time out of her busy book tour schedule (the third book in the Princess Academy series was released in March!) to share a bit about her world.
Janine Sobeck: What books were influential to you as a child?
Shannon Hale: In 3rd grade, my favorite book was THE TRUMPET OF THE SWAN. My 4, 5, and 6 grade years were especially fruitful reading years. My favorite authors were Robin McKinley, CS Lewis, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Joan Aiken, Lloyd Alexander, Anne McCaffrey, Patricia McKillip.
JS: Could you describe your writing process?
SH: As a mom, I’ve learned to write whenever I have free time and space. I can’t get too fussy. As long as I have my laptop and no one’s talking to me, I can write. I write every weekday as long as I have a babysitter or my younger kids are in preschool. When the babysitter is sick or school is out, I can’t work. “Writer’s block” is a fancy way of saying “writing can be hard sometimes.” The best way to get past it is to give myself permission to write badly today and just keep writing.
JS: What is your favorite part of having your work adapted to a different medium (such as the theatre)?