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Guest Author - Shannon Hale

Shannon Hale is the New York Times best-selling author of seven young adult novels, including multiple award winner The Goose Girl and Newbery Honor book Princess Academy. Shannon also wrote the hit graphic novels Rapunzel’s Revenge and Calamity Jack with husband Dean Hale. They live with their four small children near Salt Lake City, Utah USA.

How much of your own personality comes out in your characters? Is there one in your latest book that you relate to?

All my characters must have pieces of me since they all came from my head, though I've never based a character on myself. Miri from PRINCESS ACADEMY is probably the closest, though I'm not as awesome as she is.

Have you always enjoyed writing or was it something you developed later on in life?

I was making up stories before I knew how to write and I would act them out with friends in mini-plays. At age 10 I declared I wanted to be a writer and started four books that year. I still haven't finished those ones.

What inspired you to write ‘The storybook of Legends’?

My publisher came to me with the fantastic idea from Mattel: a boarding school where the children of famous fairytales go to school and prepare to relive their parents' stories. As soon as they told me the concept, I knew I'd have a blast writing it. This is the first book I've written in someone else's world instead of making up the story myself. It was a terrifically fun challenge.

What is the best and worst part of being a published writer?

The best is that publication allows me to keep writing new books. The worst is that once I became published, the business stuff started taking a lot of my time, giving me less time to write!

What advice would you give to a young author?

Read. Read everything, not just the genre you write in. And write at least 15 minutes every day. Some days you'll have longer, but you need to devote at least 15 minutes to keep honing your skills and working those brain muscles. It takes lots and lots of time devoted to writing to master your craft.

Do you have a certain place or time in order to write?

I'm a mom of four small children, so I write whenever I get a child-free moment. I usually write in my room with my door closed when the babysitter is here, so I'm on hand for emergencies but otherwise don't get interrupted.

What are your plans/hopes for the future in your career?

I hope I get to keep telling stories for the rest of my life. I like to write in lots of different genres (fairy tale, fantasy, science fiction, comedy, mystery, romance) and lots of different forms (novel, graphic novel, screenplay, illustrated chapter book) for lots of different ages (young children, tweens, teens, adults). I love trying something new.