Thursday, February 07, 2008

A Bit More About River Secrets Author Shannon Hale

Recently I came across this article about the tour that Shannon Hale is currently on to promote the release of her newest book, Book of a Thousand Days. It is a joint tour with author Libba Bray. They sound like a fun pair. A few excerpts from the article:

. . . A defining feature of the tour, by all reports, was the entirely unscripted nature of the authors’ interactive presentations. Both have backgrounds in theater and Hale has done improv, so it stands to reason that booksellers refer to their school and store appearances as “performances.” The two regularly shot questions at each other, ranging from “Why are you so foxy?” to “When did you know you wanted to become a writer?” Hale says she prefers to be spontaneous while addressing young readers and “once I met Libba I suspected that she’d be game for it, which was terrific. We weren’t afraid of making utter fools of ourselves, so that helped. We mixed it up each time. Our goal was to keep each other laughing and that kept everything fresh. . . . ”

Part of their act—another ad lib component—includes singing, or as Bray explains, “a loose interpretation of singing” in which words and notes can easily get lost. The songsters’ debut was at a San Francisco school, when they found themselves with a piano and microphones and, Bray says, “We began fooling around and making complete idiots of ourselves. For some unknown reason, we suddenly began singing ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart.’ ” Off-key or not, their rendition was a hit and became their signature signoff at events, sometimes with kids from the audience joining in as backup dancers. . . .

Libba Bray, by the way, has also written some excellent books. I'm currently listening to the audiobook of the third title in her trilogy: A Great and Terrible Beauty, Rebel Angels, and The Sweet Far Thing. They're set in a Victorian era boarding school in England, so they're not traditional swords and sorcery fantasy, but I can't put them down. Highly recommended.

Hale's website

Bray's website


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