Shannon’s mother says she was a storyteller from birth, jabbering endlessly in nonsensical baby-talk. Once she could speak, she made up stories and bribed younger siblings to perform them in mini-plays until, thankfully, an elementary school teacher introduced her to the wonder of written fiction. At age 10, she began to write books, mostly fantasy stories where she was the heroine.
She continued to write secretly for years while pursuing acting in television, stage, and improv comedy and a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Utah. Shannon was finally forced out of the writers’ closet when she received her Masters in Creative Writing from the University of Montana.
A few years and many rejections later, she published her first book, The Goose Girl, an ALA Teens’ Top Ten and Josette Frank Award winner. Enna Burning, River Secrets, and Forest Born. continue the award-winning Books of Bayern series. Princess Academy is a Newbery Honor winner and a New York Times best seller. Book of a Thousand Days received a Cybils award and was featured on many best of the year lists. Austenland, a romantic comedy, spawned an upcoming movie starring Keri Russell as well as a companion novel, Midnight in Austenland. Her third book for adults, The Actor and the Housewife, was the City Weekly readers’ choice winner for best novel of the year. She and her husband Dean co-wrote the graphic novels Rapunzel’s Revenge, an Al Roker’s Book Club for Kids selection, and its sequel, Utah Book Award winner Calamity Jack.
Shannon’s next book will be Princess Academy’s sequel, Palace of Stone (August 2012). She makes her home near Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, with her super-human husband, their four young children, and their pet, a small plastic pig.
Date Recorded: 8/21/2012
Podcast of the interview Download: