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July 03, 2012



Yes, okay, now I want to fast forward to next summer. Darn you, Shannon, for telling us that!

(Bless you for doing it, though, because I'm really excited to read your Bayern notes.)

Merry Michelle

I hope this isn't too personal a question, but with all these re-writes and all the time it takes to get a book out--how do you get paid? I mean, do you see a return only when a book is published and live on air until then or do they pay you as you go?


Do you think you relate to Miri at all?


How did you come up with the idea for the book?

I had forgotten in the about five years since I last read Princess Academy just how much I don't like certain characters. Like Olana. I felt the urge to stick my tongue out at her when she appeared in chapter 3.


One of the many things I love about the story is the relationship between Miri and Peder, which we first see in the first few chapters. Was that relationship always part of the story? Also now I can't wait for The Goose Girl Book club!


Totally fan-girling freaking out about the thought of The Goose Girl book club!! Eeeeeeee!!!!

Was your relationship with your father much like Miri's? His love for her resonates on p. 33, but it just shows how powerful self-doubt is.

Off topic: Any idea when Austenland will be released and if it'll be available in major theaters?

Katie Rose

Did you do very much research in your first draft or did you just write and then research? Or did you need to research? How do you know what needs research for a fiction book and where do you find it? Sorry for the numerous questions. I've been facing writers block recently in part due to a fear of not knowing enough and finding the idea of research daunting.

Jaya Lakshmi

One of my big problems is establishing the world that the character's in. Did Princess Academy ever confuse the reader with where it was set?


oh please oh please oh please do Goose Girl next year! Princess Academy is my favorite of yours, and I was so thrilled to have another excuse to pick it up and read it again this summer. The Books of Bayern come second only to Princess Academy, and I would love to read it with you next year :)

Laura Mills

The Goose Girl is turning ten next year?! I am so looking forward to next summer's book club! By the way, In my summer creative writing club we were asked to share a short excerpt from our favorite book. I read from The Goose Girl, when the aunt tells Ani the story of the three languages. That part gets me every time-all I have to do is read it and I'm caught up in the story all over again. I just want to say thank you, thank you for writing such amazing books. You are an inspiration to so many, and I just hope that one day, in my own way, I can be as good a writer (and person) as you are! But for now, I'll just keep writing and reading your blog :)

Ashley R.

I really hope you do The Goose Girl next year! That is one of-if not- my favorite books. Love it! :)


I saw in your writing section on your website that you base people on animals, and I was curious if Peder was based on a goat because I remember in the book you mentioned that Peder carved a goat and the smile looke like his.
I was also wondering if you used a real life event or some kind of model for the relationship between Peder and Miri.
I guess these aren't really Ch.2 and Ch.3 realated,but these questions poped up as I was reading Ch.1 today( I was a day late).
Plus, I totally love Peder =D
Ps. Sorry this was so long


Just one chapter a day is not possible. I'm halfway through the book.


I just love your descriptions of characters, events, places...pretty much everything in all of your books. You are amazing when it comes to painting a picture with words. I've often wondered when reading PA if you did research on stone cuttung, working in a quarry and stone in general to write this book?


I think it's funny. Princess Academy was the only book of yours I had not read yet. When I found out about this, I thought it was a great way to finally get around to it: read a chapter a day, then read your thoughts on it, and then I would have plenty of time to read whatever other books on my life. Except last night when I began reading chapter 4 in preparation for the next blog, I just kept reading. I had another book I had already started, to read between daily chapters, but Princess Academy just got too good to put down after one chapter. And now I am 20 pages to finishing. Ah well, I always was one to read ahead in class. Just like Miri, I suppose.


My question is, what part of Miri's story came to you first? And how much (if any) of that first kernel of an idea actually made it all the way through to the final draft?


You have such a good memory, Shannon! It was 6 years ago, 2006, because I remember River Secrets wasn't out yet and I was really excited for it to be released. I remember you were surprised that people showed up to a stock signing. :) Such good memories.


I read Princess Academy several times to learn about character arcs (and because it's a wonderful book!)

If you still have your outlines or notes for a chapter, it would be neat to see how they compare to what you eventually wrote.

Stephanie Beales

I recently saw a produciton of Princess Academy. It was very cute :) they left a lot of the best parts out i thought, but i still enjoyed myself. The funny thing was that they pronounced almost every single name differently than i had thought to. Like for Peder, they said Pader. and for Katar they said Cater. and for Esa they said Essa. Very interesting!

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