How to pronounce Shannon Hale: shan-non hale (rhymes with rail)
New York Times best selling author Shannon Hale started writing books at age ten and never stopped, eventually earning an MFA in Creative Writing. After nineteen years of writing and dozens of rejections, she published The Goose Girl, the first book in her award-winning Books of Bayern series. She has two standalone books for young readers - Book of a Thousand Days, a Cybils award winner; and Princess Academy, a Newbery Honor Book. Her books for the adult crowd are Austenland (soon to be a major motion picture), Midnight in Austenland, and The Actor and the Housewife. With her husband Dean, Shannon wrote two graphic novels: Rapunzel's Revenge, winner of the Pacific Northwest Young Readers Choice Award; and its acclaimed sequel, Calamity Jack. Shannon's next book is the Princess Academy sequel, Palace of Stone, in bookstores August 2012. She spends her days as a full-time mom to four young children near Salt Lake City, Utah.
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Matthew: My guest today is Shannon Hale, New York Times bestselling author of Princess Academy, which received the Newbery Honor. She's also written the Bayern series, starting with The Goose Girl, which received the Josette Frank Award and made the American Library Association Top Ten Books for Young Adults list. Thanks for being on the show today, Shannon.
Shannon: Well, thank you.
Matthew: Let's first talk about Princess Academy. Congratulations on getting the Newbery Honor award, by the way.
Shannon: Thanks, that just never gets old. No matter who I explain it too. It's the gift that keeps on giving, that's for sure.
Matthew: I know! I'm sure it's just one of those things you are just ecstatic about.
Shannon: Yeah, it still doesn't feel real, honestly, three and a half years later.
Matthew: Well, tell us a little bit about Princess Academy.
Shannon: Princess Academy is a story about a girl who lives in a very small village on top of a mountain. It's a fantasy book, so it's a sort of a long ago, far away, type...
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