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April 12, 2009



The whole point in writing is taking chances, says my teacher. I agree 100%, and I say go for it! A little change is good, and we all need to step out of the old genres we've been reading so much. (fairy-tales and such.) Who knows? Maybe we'll become some of the greatest si-fi lovers in America (Canada, Russia, England, Mexico, etc.) because of you!
Enjoy writing, and I'm sure we'll enjoy your most daring books yet as we have the others books! (:



Don't worry, Shannon; we'll read all your "risky" tales, and proudly say like a mom who's child just got an award, "That's my baby! She's doing what she wants to, not what others want her to!" :) We love you Shannon, so just write your heart out and we'll still gobble up your books.


Just like there is a market for fantasy novels and chick lit, there is a market for sci-fi. You might let some closed minded fans down, but you will make new ones and you might help some old ones to discover the joys of sci-fi. If your heart isn't in the writing then it won't be a joy to read, you should write what you want.
I know personally, I read all genres and I will read anything you write.


I truly cannot wait for your science fiction trilogy. I think that it will be awesome! Can't wait for more news about it!


I don't usually read sci-fi, but I'll read yours. I hope that isn't some sort of pressure. But I have faith in your writing, because you are certainly one of my favorite authors. I love, love love love The Goose Girl, Enna Burning, River Secret, Princess Academy, and A Book of a Thousand Days. I will love Forest Born. And I hope I love your upcoming trilogy. But even if I don't I'll keep checking Squeetus and buying other books you sell. Write what fascinates you, like you said. And don't listen to people who tell you to play it safe and write a story that isn't calling to be written.

And I can't wait for Forest Born :)


Shannon, your books are all fantastic and beautiful, and I am very hopeful about this sci-fi trilogy. While I don't read a lot of sci-fi, I read Star Wars paperbacks like some people read Harlequins - something escapist and enjoyable - and I find it hard to find quality sci-fi. I love Orson Scott Card though, and I think he does a great job of mixing a good story with a believable alternate reality. That, to me, is the hardest part of sci-fi: the invention of an new universe, how you want your space-travel and your ray-guns and your biological engineering or what not to work. I think it's ambitious and something you should be encouraged in, not criticized for! Best of luck!


Way to go!!!!!

I love sci-fi but something that is a problem with the genre is the lack of female writers. It's so great that you are going to become part of this field, it makes me SO EXCITED!!!!!!!

I'm sure this trilogy will have what we all love so much about your books: beautiful writing and well-drawn, realistic characters.


Never write to someone else's expectations! You posted a while ago about staying authentic and readers not reading something if they didn't like it but being kind about it. I'm glad you're not going to change for anyone. You are definitely not a brand, you are just an awesome writer.
Does that mean you're NOT going to write a fifth Bayern book? I'm still waiting for Finn's story.

Melissa (Book Nut)

Not that you need an ego boost or anything, but I read The Actor and the Housewife (review forthcoming in May), and I thoroughly enjoyed it. No, it's not chick-lit, and no, it's not really what I expected, but I really, really, really liked it. Immensely. And, yes, I'll read your sci-fi, too. :)


I've read two of your books and I'm working on a third. And then I'll read another, and another, and another. I love your fairy-tale retellings, but, more than that, you've proven to me that you can tell a story. I'll read your adult fiction and I'll read your sci-fi because you're a great writer and worth following. Your true readers will stick with you. Write away girl!

Mrs. Mordecai

I like sci-fi. :)


I say good for you! I write for the fun of it, and as you say, since you are blessed to not be the sole income earner for your family, be as daring as you dare! I find books most interesting when the author was clearly interested in it and loved the subject and characters.

I look forward to the new series. I don't care how different the genre may be. I still think we'll be able to taste the Shannon Hale taste that we all love, even if it's in another language.

Billie k Cox

We need more writers like you. It is so enjoyable to read your tales. I am excited to see your new stuff, because it was important to you. Your story is that, your story. Thanks for enlightening the rest of us with your creativity. Write on!


Ooh, a trilogy!! That sounds fun--I haven't read sci-fi since I don't know when.

I kind of lose faith in writers when they simply write to a genre. I read your books (several of which have actually taken me off of my normal reading road) because of the fresh characters, the style to your writing, and the insane way your plots somehow work out in the end, leaving me with this 'wow, how did that happen? awesome!' feeling. To speak quite candidly, if you did become a genre writer or *gasp* a safe writer, I don't know if I'd even like your books anymore. I think what you're doing takes guts and courage. ROCK ON, SHANNON!!! :D


I am one of the ones that won your ARC of "The Actor & the Housewife" (the one that studies Dostoevsky). I just finished reading it last night, and I have to say, it was not at all what I was expecting. I recently and seemingly suddenly lost my father to cancer, and the illness stuff felt really close to home. But, for all that, it was a beautiful book. My favorite thing about your writing, the reason you keep me coming back, is the way you're able to put words together in such subtle and powerful ways. "The Actor & the Housewife" was both tragic and humorous and you were able to bring out both of those elements extremely well just by shifting your writing slightly. I don't care what genre you write in. I'll read your sci fi stuff, just as I read your Austen fan tribute and your princess-y books. Anyway, you should write what you like to write. If you end up writing in the same genres over and over and you don't want to, your writing will suffer, and that would be very sad indeed!


I love this post. I have so much appreciation for people who do what their heart is telling them to choose instead of what the world is telling them would be best. I know there is a comfortable spot in the world for science fiction by Shannon Hale :)

L.T. Elliot

I tip my hat to you, Shannon. "To thine own self be true." In the end, that's what you must be and that's what you must do.
Best of luck! I'm sure you'll do great!


WOW! That is actually really, really cool! I like sci-fi, and I can't WAIT to see what story is badgering you now. :)

Becky N.

As long as your stories are coming from the heart, I don't think you can go wrong. I've loved every single thing you've written so far - I don't expect your newest additions to be any disappointment at all. I'll heartily eat up a sci-fi trilogy... it's right up my alley. ;)

Keep on clicking away! In your pajamas! That's so envy-worthy. :)


Here's what I think. Sci-Fi is AMAZING though it's hard to find good sci-fi so good luck and i will be reading your trilidgy through better or worse! and if ur feeling unsure read "The Road not Taken" by Robert Frost.
another thought:
u worte thise list of things that were safe
"1. a sequel to princess academy
2. a fifth Bayern book
3. another fairy tale retelling like book of a thousand days"
I think u should defintly do all this once ur sci-fi is over! the more u write of what ever though i'll be happy with! good luck!


I've been thinking about this subject a lot lately, actually. I don't think just because you have one book published allows you to never let your writing grow. You are a writer first, author second. You have to let your writing grow and develop, change and become what it needs to. I've noticed that several authors whose first books I LOVED have changed their styles somewhat. Some drastically. And I don't always love their new books. But, a good reader won't look at an author as a brand, they'll look at each individual book, expecting it to be wonderful, yes, but not expecting it to be "just like the last one." Which is why authors like Robin McKinley continue to amaze me with the incredible way their writing grows and changes. Not all her books are like Beauty. In fact, most have them have strayed far away from that. Yet I still enjoy her books and her writing, because it's changing and growing as she as a writer, a person, changes and growing.

I think I'm talking in circles now. I hope you got what I meant, though.

Enna Isilee

Shannon, every day you inspire me to be a better person. I felt tears in my eyes as I read this post. You inspire self-respect, creativity, and freedom. Thank you. Thank you for thinking outside the box. Thank you for letting people know that it's okay to try new things. Thank you for not being afraid to say what you think. And thank you for being an inspiration to me.

Miss Erin

This is (one of the reasons) why you are my hero.

Emma H.

A Sci-fi trilogy sounds great! I think everyone should have a little change in their life. Good books can be hard to come by lately, and yours are the ones that I can always rely on, so keep writing! I know the books will be amazing.


You rule, Shannon. I will read anything you write!

Mindi J.

I can't wait for the 'housewife' book! I think it makes you a better author to try different things! I, too, would read anything you write! You are brave and you should be proud!


I am SO excited now. Sci-Fi trilogy? AWESOME! And I am DYING to get my hands on The Actor and the Housewife. I read all genres, though. I think it's wonderful that you have so many types of stories in your head. Like Joss Whedon. He wrote vampire shows (Buffy, Angel), then a western space opera thing (Firefly), and now Dollhouse. He's a genius. YOU'RE a genius.

I am just like this with my stories, too. I've had ideas for horse stories, historical, fantasy, contemporary romances, including teen "school stories" and the like. Zombies, tragedies, comedies, and always romance. Lots of different romance ideas. My favorite. ^_^

I'm writing a sci-fi, but I have a paranormal/fantasy kind of thing going on right now, too. Genres are there to categorize, not to limit and restrict what an author can write about. You chase your stories, Shannon. I'm with you until death do we part. And then we'll just start a writer's group in Heaven once we're all resurrected and stuff. XD I just hope I make it there with you...


Who cares! Write what you want to. I liked Austenland, and Princess Academy. The great thing about your books is that they are all different. How many prolific authors can say that!


Shame on you people who are so closed minded! Shannon, you write whatever your heart desires. A Sci-Fi trilogy sounds very refreshing.

When you're done writing the series, a Bayern book or second Princess Academy sounds just as exciting. All of these unwritten or being written books all sound equally tempting


But a savvy marketing exec would know that your readers would be excited about your books, no matter what genre they're in. And I think that's one of the fantastic things about being a YA writer--your fans don't care about being in a box or a particular section of Barnes & Noble. They just want good stories and awesome characters, whether they're in Bayern or outer space or in Colin Firth's house. (Hmmm...)


And this is why I like you.
You ARE a person, a writer, and not a brand, no matter how successful what you've done before. You won't be pigeon-holed, and because you're "big" enough to be brave like this, you give hope to those of us who are probably going to always be safely midlist to do the same.

Kudos to you, and blessings on it!


What's really interesting is that the authors who took it safe, stayed with the genre that sold are authors I have no desire to read anymore because all the stories sound the same and so many were released so close together - they have no appeal. I will always pick an author who ventures out, breaks the mold and tries something new over the one who is safe.

Sarah Miller

Good girl.

I'll be waiting in line for whatever you do next.

Marcus Aurelius

This better be like Star Wars, or so help me...

Oh! And not those stupid first three movies, or so help me...

And by "first three movies" I mean the last three movies.

Y'know, the ones with that guy with the ears?

Y'know the ones? With the guy?

It just better be like Star Wars is all I'm sayin'.

Or so help me...


shannon, all of your books are wonderful!! and taking risks is what makes you a writer, you never know who will like what you write and who won't.
I think you should go ahead and do it, because even though not all the fans like sci-fi, there are a lot of people that do, and would enjoy reading it.
I personally like all the books that have a good plot (and are not full of blood and guts).
go for it!


I'm sure people went "Hmmm...an adult book?" when you published Austenland and its one of my favorites. Your quality and your characters are what makes your book fantastic. I'm not really a graphic novel person and I even liked Rapunzel's Revenge, so I think your abilities will shine through whatever genre you choose.


Heyy, move with where the pen takes you. I've been branching out to a bit of scifi lately anyway! And I totally trust you, as much as I love fairy tales, it's about great writing, fun characters, and awesome story lines.
You can do it!!!


Does anyone know where I can read a overview or summary or synopsis (whatever you want to call it) of The Actor and the Housewife??


Hey Shannon,
I just wanted to say that we love your writing! It isn't neccesarily the books you write but the way you write them.

I will give you an example: I've read the twilight series just like every other girl and loved them. But when Host came out, I wouldn't read it because it sounded wierd and nothing like Twilight. I saw it in the library the other day and decided what the heck, I will try to read it. I was totally surpirised. It is totally different from Stephenie's other works, but it is still her voice we read. It will be the smae with you. No matter what you write, we will read your voice and that is what we have come to love so much!!!

P.S. - Details please on your sci-fi series. I am dying to know!


Pishaw! This is EXACTLY what I like about you. You're not a slave to genre, you're a slave to a good story. That's how I am as a reader too. I don't care what KIND of story it is, as long as it's good. We all know that's what we'll get from you. THAT'S your brand: a good story.


That is actually so cool! I love everything you write and I think you are amazing to try different things! Good job! I can't wait to hear more about this book!


Woot! Go Shannon!! I was so excited to hear about your sci-fi trilogy. I will read ANYTHING you write, and there's only a few authors I will do that for. And to all those people who told you they won't read it, well, I say they should just go away. :)

Shannon, you rock, and I cannot wait to read this trilogy!!


Oh I love SciFi!!! Who cares what others think? I certainly don't. Though there are times when I probably should, but that's another story. Whatever you write, I'll read it. You're a great author, I can't see how any of your books could be bad.


I definitely have to admit that I'm not a big fan of sci-fi, but if it's written by Shannon Hale, then I'll read it.

I sort of felt like you didn't want to write this last Bayern book sometimes, like you wanted to move on. I want you to write what you want to write.


I think it is a way to increase your fan base. I am not your typical reader (read: adult, male) but I have read and enjoyed everything you have put out. Rapunzel, not quite as much, but my daughter loved it. Perhaps with a sci fi book you can pick up more boy readers, ones that were not brave enough to read about princesses.


If Avi can write in whatever genre he wants, why not Shannon Hale? Go for it!

Katie Rose

As it so happens, I love fairy tale re-tellings, fantasy stories, adventures about jane austen obsessed fans, AND sci fi. And I'm really really excited about these books you're writing. Sure, you're taking risks, not following the mold. But, I think it will pay off, in some way. I'm glad you're writing them.
I've been thinking a lot lately about types of writers, and quite honestly, I have a lot more respect for writers who don't stick to what the public demands but still write amazing fiction. I love those authors who write book after book after book of the same series and type of story. But quite honestly, they start sounding the same after a while and I'll pick up the next book going, "really? another? Well, I guess I'll read it--or maybe later."
I am soooo excited about your sci fi trilogy!


The writers who write like they are a brand and don't feel called to explore new things quickly lose my respect and the respect of my writer/reader friends. You write the story that's in you and even if it doesn't turn out to be one of your best-loved works, it will be an adventure for you and your readers. Go for it, girl!

Shannon B.

I am excited! This will be new and exciting. Although your other books are wonderful I'm sure your new works will be refreshing. Don't be discouraged-go with your heart!


I have a tendency to become bored as well. I have faith that you can pull of any genre, and will continue to read your work as long as you keep printing it. :)

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