Shannon Hale is the author of several young adult novels—including Enna Burning (reviewed here), the Newbery Award winner The Princess Academy, and, most recently, Forest Born. She has also published two adult novels, Austenland and The Actor and the Housewife. The latter provoked strong responses among Shannon’s readers, and no wonder. It’s a bold work likely to twang nerves, even for those who like it. I reviewed it for AMV here. As part of my impulse to explore and enjoy The Actor and the Housewife until sated, I invited Shannon to an AMV interview. She graciously—and prodigiously—answered several questions in this two-part interview.
What artistic works have inspired you?
That’s a big question. I was raised on fairy tales, C.S. Lewis, Lloyd Alexander, Joan Aiken, etc. High school and college was mostly the “classics,” then grad school was literary fiction (living authors do exist!). After selling The Goose Girl, I discovered YA lit, and that makes up 50% of my reading material now. And then there’s music, movies, plays, visual art…hard for me to dissect it, but it all gets into my brain.