Books: the goose girl
  How it started

As an MFA candidate at the University of Montana, Shannon spent two years steeped in the short story. She loved the short story form and the raw, honed perfection of literary fiction, but found herself wanting to add fantastic elements to everything she wrote (much to the despair of some of her professors). There was another graduate student there who had the same interests, and they spent secret hours talking about their favorite authors and exchanging books.

Over the summer break in 1999, Shannon and her fantasy-loving friend challenged each other to write a book before the semester began. (Haóit took much longer than we expected.) She was geared up to write but didnít know where to begin. Taking inspiration from the wonderful Robin McKinley and her first book BEAUTY, Shannon decide to write a novel from her favorite fairy tale, "The Goose Girl."

In her own words: "When I was a kid, my sisters and I spent many hours with my momís mammoth book of fairytales. 'Cinderella' was the initial favorite on the basis of ball gowns. (There were 3 ball gowns in this version, plus a wedding dress! Pure little girl bliss.) But despite lack of fancy gowns, 'The Goose Girl,' by the Brothers Grimm, soon moved into the lead. We were completely captivated by the story alone. Even though it was my favorite, its strangeness and brevity always left me wanting more. Why did the princess let her lady-in-waiting steal her identity? How did she learn to command the wind? And what about the prince? I thought the story fairly begged to be written into a longer work. I'm thrilled that now, some three years later, it is."

"I love fantasy. I love all those possibilities, and the cultural profundity of the tale, and the kind of book you canít put down. I think reading fantasy, for all ages, has gained a new acceptance and popularity. I wanted the goose girl to be a book that both non-fantasy readers could pick up and not feel alienated because they didnít know the world of the genre, and one that fantasy readers could enjoy by encountering both the familiar and the new."

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