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        Shannon Hale

        As a child, Shannon Hale began writing books, mostly fantasy stories where she was the heroine. As an adult, her re-tellings and riffs on fairy tales, reach a new generation of kids less familiar with these classic stories. Watch the interview, view the interview transcript, read a short biography on Shannon Hale, or see a selected list of her children's books.

        http://www.AdLit/authors/Hale/33986

        No Cat, No Bicycle

        As a middle child, Shannon Hale often felt isolated and she used stories and games to connect with her siblings. Hale describes the how she interacted with her older and younger siblings, how she sought out the family cat for companionship, and how she started writing books at age 10.

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        Mona Lisa Maybe

        Shannon Hale read for her first audience and decided to be an author way back in fourth grade. In this video, Hale describes how her elementary teachers supported and encouraged her creativity, and remembers how the her first audience at a PTA meeting reacted to her story of 'Mona Lisa Maybe.'

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        Becoming a Writer

        Shannon Hale describes the point at which she decided to get her MFA in writing and how others weren't always supportive of her choice. Hale goes on to explain her view that rejection isn't absolute, but the universe getting you to the right place.

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        Cinematic Imagination

        Shannon Hale describes how her experience in the theater influences her character development and the structure of her stories. In her story of 'Rapunzel's Revenge,' both Hale and the book's illustrator have backgrounds in theater, making that book feel like a play unfolding in front of the reader.

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        Meeting the Readers

        Shannon Hale enjoys a dialogue with her readers, especially pointed questions and criticism from teens who already identify themselves as writers. Hale believes that reading is a collaborative exercise between the writer and the reader.

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        Writing for Young People

        Shannon Hale describes the difference between writing for adults and writing for children, noting how part of the difference is the age of the protagonist and how the story of the protagonist speaks to similar age and life experiences by the reader.

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        Fairy Tale Story Starters

        To help kids overcome their reluctance to write, Shannon Hale suggests kids pick a known fairy tale but change the setting, thus unleashing many new ideas and becoming a new story.

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        Bite-size Stories

        According to Shannon Hale, fairy tales have bite-sized versions of great story elements, including bite-sized romance, danger, exploration, adventure, and coming home again. In this video, Hale describes her interest in fairy tales from two points.

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        "Rapunzel's Revenge"

        Hale and her husband combined their love of fairy tales and superhero comic books to create a graphic novel about Rapunzel. She says writing a graphic novel is similar to writing a screenplay--the dialog and description come first and then the illustrator creates images based on the writing.

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        "Goose Girl" and Beyond

        When Shannon Hale writes, she doesn't think about whether a book is going to be a series, but focuses on the story in front of her. She realizes that readers get attached to characters and want to know more, and experiences this herself. For example, "Goose Girl" spawned three spin-off books.

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        An Exquisite Corpse

        'Exquisite Corpse' was a game where a folded piece of paper was passed around to complete a collaborative drawing. Each artist was assigned to draw a part of a body, but the couldn't see the other parts already drawn. In the end, the paper was unfolded to reveal the collaborative effort.

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        The Writing Life

        Shannon Hale sets daily goals and works around her children’s schedules to push through and finish her manuscripts. In this video, Hale describes her weekly writing schedule and how she works from loose outlines to first drafts to finalizing the commas.

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        The First of Many Drafts

        Shannon Hale describes how language is the most satisfying part of writing - when something comes out just right. Hale shares how her first draft is just a skeleton of the action in a story and how characters come later as they react to the events.

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        The Editorial Eye

        Shannon Hale considers her editor the caretaker of her stories, someone who provides feedback on characters and story lines, and helps get the book into the world. Hale describes the editorial process and an editor's role in writing a book.

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        Reading from "Princess Academy"

        Shannon Hale reads from Princess Academy, her Newbery Honor book about overcoming hardship. In this early excerpt, 14 year old Miri awakens and tries to go to work at the quarry with her father, but her father says she is not to come with him.

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