Shannon Hale's 'secret' project yields 'Palace of Stone'

Published: Friday, Aug. 17 2012 3:00 p.m. MDT

"Palace of Stone" is only one of many projects Hale has been working one, along with being a mother of four, including a set of twins that are a year and a half old.

"It was hard to give myself permission to get a baby sitter," Hale said. It was after she had published seven books that she finally decided to do so for about 15 hours a week. Her oldest two children are 8 and 5 years old.

"I'm a better mom and the house is a happier house if I can focus on my project and can have time to myself," Hale said. "It's sweet, sweet chaos."

There is her current book project, "Fireteam" (the one she was supposed to be writing when she wrote "Palace of Stone”), which is a sci-fi superhero novel. Then she and her husband are planning to collaborate on an illustrated "princess in black" series that is a princess superhero story based on their 5-year-old's love of princesses. There could possibly be another Princess Academy book based on a question that came up in an earlier story.

"Austenland," one of three books she didn't write for children or young adults, is being made into a movie. She helped collaborate on the script and went to England for the filming. A release date hasn't been set, but Hale has seen a rough cut of it.

"We just wanted it to be swoon-worthy and funny at the same time," and it accomplishes that for her, Hale said.

She has authored a broad range of books from the Princess Academy and Books of Bayern series to the Calamity Jack graphic novels and her romantic comedies. There has even been a murder mystery.

"It's not a good idea career-wise, because (my books) are in different places in a bookstore," Hale said.

But it's too boring for her to stick to just one genre.

"I have to make myself smart enough to write a book," Hale said. "It has to completely captivate me."

And then it takes time to write.

"It's very important to know that all writers struggle," Hale said of the dozen or so drafts she goes through when writing a book. "Every book is a challenge."

If you go ...

What: Shannon Hale book signings

When: Tuesday, Aug. 21, 7 p.m.

Where: The King's English, 1511 S. 1500 East, Salt Lake City

Web: kingsenglish.com

Note: Book signing tickets will be distributed on a first-come-first-serve basis when the doors open at 6:30 p.m.

Also ...

When: Friday, Aug. 24, 5:30-7 p.m.

Where: Deseret Book, 45 W. South Temple, Salt Lake City

Web: www.deseretbook.com

Also ...

When: Saturday, Aug. 25, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Where: Deseret Book, 135 N. 545 West, West Bountiful

Web: www.deseretbook.com

Also ...

When: Saturday, Aug. 25, 2-3:30 p.m.

Where: Deseret Book, Fort Union, 1110 Fort Union Blvd., Midvale

Web: www.deseretbook.com

Also ...

When: Saturday, Aug. 25, 5:30-7 p.m.

Where: Deseret Book, University Village, 1076 S. 750 East, Orem

Web: www.deseretbook.com

Also ...

When: Tuesday, Sept. 18, 7-8:30 p.m.

Where: Barnes and Noble, University Crossings Plaza, 300 E. 1300 South, Orem

Web: barnesandnoble.com

'Palace of Stone' book trailer

"Palace of Stone" is the sequel to "Princess Academy" by Shannon Hale.

Email: rappleye@desnews.com

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