Part One may be found here.
Both Austenland and A & H tackle romantic fantasies and the nature of romantic comedies, their “grotesque mimicry of actual love (A & H 304).” And when Becky tries to decide whether or not she could actually love Felix romantically, she writes a screenplay with a movie ending. But the novel’s conclusion isn’t a “Hollywood ending.” Did you feel that writing it the way you did was risky?
Oh sure. I knew some readers would be angry, and I was sorry for that, because I knew absolutely that the ending was the right one for this story. I think it goes back to genre–those who expected a certain ending might not be willing to go with me where I wanted to take the story. And this story just might not be a good fit for their sensibilities. That’s okay. I knew (was told) that the book would sell better if I made the Hollywood ending work, but for me that would have made the story pointless and been sheer betrayal of the characters. I try to do right by the characters. Continue reading “Interview with Shannon Hale: The Actor and the Housewife, Pt. Two”
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. Continue reading “Interview with Shannon Hale: The Actor and the Housewife, Pt. One”