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September 20, 2006



Wheee! First to post a comment! Good luck with the baby's Shannon! We love you!


Ay-yi-yi. I feel your pain. My four year old stopped taking (voluntary) naps when he was two; the only time he took naps after that was if he fell asleep in the car. But we have a built-in garage, so we just put a baby monitor down there and let him sleep in the car. (That's how I was able finish grad school.)

I'm actually amazed at your output so far, Shannon -- most women I know who write can only produce a book every three years or so; I'm amazed that you've even been attempting to answer e-mail. (Linda Sue Park, for example, just answers snail mail.)

If you can, please keep posting to your blog, however -- it's wonderful to hear updates on your forthcoming work.

Good luck!


Thanks for the explanation, but really, no need to apologize. I can't imagine how busy things must be, but I do agree with Brooke. Please keep the blog updated as much as you can!


Huh-Last time I was the second or third poster. Probably cuz y'all live in a later time zone. Despite all these maternal pressures, please do continue the blog. It is part of what keeps us together and a normal part of human civilization. ANybody who wants to post on my new blog go to www.geocities.yahoo.com/htmlhiker42.

Lauren A.

Awww. That's unfortunate that you can't personally answer emails anymore... it's amazing you were able to personally respond to every email you got from fans who asked for you to write back. It was really kind and (I'm sure others feel this way too) greatly apprieciated that you did that while you could. But I can completely understand why you can't do it anymore... sounds really overwhelming! I don't know if this is just as much work, but, my suggestion is to try putting together a form letter. I got one from Laurie Halso Anderson once, and her time and effort (she signed her name at the bottom) was greatly apprieciated anyway. :)

Lauren A.

OOPS. Meant Laurie Halse Anderson.


Really, it's all right, we understand. Thanks for answering e-mails before, and good luck with the (s) you've added to "kid"!


I am amazed that you answered your e-mails for as long as you did-that's an amazing feat for anyone, author or not, especially an expecting mother of a toddler. You do know that we, your readers, understand you are human at least to some degree and thus do not expect perfection (except in your books lol!) Hopefully you'll still get a chance to interact with your fans in other ways like answering questions with your blog and book signings. Sorry we missed you at the Kings English-my guilty secret is that I have not picked up our signed book yet.


You really dont need to apologise! Wow! Shannon Hale, I look up to you, I don't need to list all the great things I admire, I'll just keep this short. Its amazing how you are keeping all this up. Big congratulations!!


That's alright Shannon! This blog is the perfect thing to have... I check it everyday!!! Thanks for doing all you do, in the past, present and future, and keep the good work coming! Also, take a few deep breaths. It sounds to me (and my experienced yogi ears) that you are, just a tad, stressed. Deep breaths. Good!!!
:o) :o) :o)
P.s. my parents were really happy with me as a younger child. I took naps ALL through kidergarten!

Becky Levine

Good for you. I'm sure it's a hard decision, but how many priorities can you give yourself?

I remember when my son gave up his nap. He was at a daycare/preschool, and he was napping for like 3 hours a day. I was working part-time, but not that much part-time, and I felt like I was pretty much paying for someone to watch him sleep. (Not to mention, they wouldn't wake him up, and then he had a miserable time falling to sleep at night!)

Anyway, I thought, well, heck, I'll bring him home in the afternoons, and if I have that much work, I can get it done while he sleeps here.

I brought him home, and he NEVER NAPPED AGAIN. Of course. Just another of those things, happily, that pushed me into looking at the work I was doing and the dribbles of money I was bringing in and the overall sanity of my life.

One tip, if it helps. Sometimes, they give up this nap, but it's so abrupt they're not really ready to give up all those hours. And they can get REALLY cranky at about 4:00 in the afternoon, when you don't want them to nap, because then you get into that nightmare of them not sleeping at night. Or, anyway, this is what happened to me.

I found the 3:30/4:00 bath to be MAGIC! Something about that enclosed space with warm water and quiet play time just rejuvenated Ian. The rest of the evening went so much better, and he would stay up till "bedtime," and then CRASH.

Good luck!

Jaya Lakshmi

Shannon, I'm glad that you emailed me about my comment in the last blog. Your previous emails to me I will treasure in my Hotmail account.
Enna-Isilee, I'm really sorry about what I said. I didn't intend for it to come out mean, but it did, and I shouldn't have commented on your opinion harshly. In the future I will think before I write.


Good priorities.

Marcus Aurelius

I thought I TOLD you to send Max off to the copper mines... I've seen him hold a banana. Like my dad always said, if you can hold a banana, you can hold a pickaxe.

Nobody listens to me anymore.

And I'm going to keep refering to your daughter as Max's sequel. Unless she turns out to be more popular. Then Max gets to be *her* prequel.



Oh, Shannon, don't send Max off to the copper mines! He is much better suited for office work. After all, the child can read. Come to think of it, you could have him answer your email.

I relate to the overflowing email inbox. I receive several hundred messages a day. Of course, my messages are not from adoring fans. They are from people who want to sell me enhancement drugs (for equipment I don't even posses), to convince me to refinance my mortgage, to give me a tip on a stock that is about to explode, or to sell me a diet pill that will melt away the pounds faster than starvation. Nothing from adoring fans, though.

Oh, gotta go. I just received an urgent email message telling me that I need to update my PayPal account information or my account will be disabled . . .


Laura, don't forget about the money waiting for us in Nigeria. Your e-mail inbox sounds just like ours except we have a teen in the house so we also get a bunch of fowarded messages. If you forward the message from your friend to ___ (fill in the blank) number of other friends within ten minutes then you'll get kissed by your true love within 24 hours. How can anyone resist such an offer? My daughter and I are still trying to decide who gets to read River Secrets first.


Hang it there, Shannon! As long as you keep writing great books, it's okay that you can't anwer your email a lot. Hopefully, you can keep up with the blog, though!


No Problemo!
The fact that you are raising a child, and writing on several different projects as well and have kept it all up until now is amazing!!!
I wish I had the talent of multi-tasking.
We single-taskers are very slow....in some things.
I just hope you'll be able to keep writing!


You're having a girl? Congratulations! Girls are awesome!


Man, I'm just bummed I didn't know you were once in the habit of answering all of your e-mail. I so would have taken advantage of that.
Also, I'm pretty impressed that you managed to keep up with the e-mail-answering for so long! It takes me a week to respond to my friends when they e-mail me, and I only have a couple friends who do. I can't imagine having to respond to fan mail.
Good luck with the new nap-less Max, and with the new little girly when she arrives. I'm unreasonably pleased you are having a girl, considering I've never met you and probably won't have occasion to actually see said wee one...it's still exciting. Babies are fun.


About your new (almost) baby- I know a lot of people have commented on how you should name her Isi, Enna, etc., but I don't think she'll like that a lot when she's older. Just a thought!

Enna Isilee

Shannon your horrible person! How dare you put your son (and daughter) before people you hardly know?!? How dare you!


It is totally cool no apology required!


Since I finally worked up the courage to e-mail Shannon on THE VERY DAY that she posted this announcement, I was going to post something selfish and whiny about the irony of it all!

But after reading all these words of encouragement from you, her adoring fans, I realized how selfish I was being and that if I am a "true fan", I will join your ranks!

I had to choose; my selfish needs OR Shannon's needs and the greater good...it was a tough call and I couldn't decide. In the end I discovered a "win/win clause"; support Shannon in being a devoted mother and amazing writer and my selfish needs will STILL win out because I get MORE GREAT BOOKS to read! I think I like this plan! Go Shannon!

I'm only teasing (sort of) I really do want what is best for you, you deserve it!

Thanks for the great reads! Keep 'em comin'!


It's ok, Shannon - we all understand!! thanks for answering emails for as long as you have!! I emailed you about a year or so ago, and I was AMAZED when less than a few days later I received an email - FROM SHANNON HERSELF!!!! in my inbox!! my mum was also astounded that a writer would PERSONALLY reply to an email!! thanks so much for that!


Just so long as you have enough time to write. :)


Congratulations once again, and is it not strange that this computer, with all its filtering, does not block squeetus, where all we do is noodle about and talk about books and shannon's life?
Perhaps it is the power of the squeetus!!


For one thing, Shannon, I hardly have time to answer my emails and all that's on my agenda is school and, like, bathing and eating. So we won't hold it against you.

Also, I am still in shock! I met Finn today!

Well, it wasn't really Finn. His name is Thomas, he's new at my school, and he's in my US History class. But I swear, in some past life or alternate reality, he is Finn!

His personality, for one thing, is just like Finn's. He also looks like Finn, right down to the hair. And there's something Finn-ish (but not Finnish, or Sweedish) about him.

Sorry. Just felt inclined to share this with my fellow Squeetusers.


Holly, I believe you meant that he was neither Finnish nor Swedish. We squeetusers must help others in times of bad spelling. Especially when we generally use complete sentences, good grammar, etc., instead of the moronic "internet slang" so prevalent in these times. Shannon, would you not agree that real book editors are much fiercer and strict than these slight corrections?


However, I do like your name for us bibliophiles- Squeetusers. It gives me a feeling of unity, all brought together by adoration of Shannon's books.


Lucky. I want to meet a Finn. Or a Geric. Or an Edward. Or Mr. Darcy. Or an Aric. Or at least get my best friend's older brother to talk to me again.


I wasn't going to say anything, but Holly I believe you. I actually go around school and look for guys that look like people in Shannon's books. So far I have found someone who in my mind is Razo. He is not extremely tall, but not extremely short either. Below average really. His hair, it's like Razo's. His eyes, Razo's. Personality? Razo's. And the thing that amazes me the most? He has a gap between his front teeth, that at first irked me quite a bit, but after I started reading River Secrets, I thought it was cool. He is in 3 of my classes. So, I can stare at this amazing coincidence all. 3. Periods.
I think I hear angels singing.
Or it's just a car alarm.


I am an offical Squeetuser? Beause that would be awesome. If I was. That is to say. We should all get badges or something. :o)


All of us regular comment posters are official Squeetusers. However, I am not sure about the badges. How would we mail them everywhere, what is the source of funds, and what difference does it make online? Perhaps there is something we can do about this to make the pack of us different. We could have a website where we could all discuss squeetus and Shannon books, although that is rather redundant, since we are commenters of a blog, which is much like a forum. Please share any other ideas y'all might have. Also, we must ask the author. What do you think, O Shannon, the source of our unity?


Well, maybe there could be a completely new website, and based on Shannon's books, we talk about other books too, and problems with them. Ex.- The classics controversy. And anyone who wants to can post their opinion. (but they have to keep it civil...) Hm, does anyone have the skills to make a website like this? It's possible I could try...

Carl V.

Nothing could be more understandable. You are a busy and thankfully prolific writer and all your fans would much rather have you write books we enjoy than answer our emails. Plus family is just too important.


I, too, was amazed that you answered my emails when I first found your books. I feel your pain, as a mother of three very active children who are no longer napping. My productivity has plummeted each time I added a new child to my life. Realistic expectations are hard for me, but have given me sanity. Some days, especially after baby #2 comes along, the best you can do is get a shower and maybe a sandwich. Also, a good teenage babysitter, is worth his/her weight in gold to give you a few hours here and there to be productive (or just to take a nap). Grandmas are great, too, but are sometimes not as easy to schedule. We'll all survive with the blog. Best wishes with this transition time in your life! We all love you!


Okay, I won't post again off subject, but I JUST FINISHED RIVER SECRETS! It was great Shannon! I loved that you gave Razo's-Own a story! I don't want to give any spoilers, but just one last thing... the ending chapter. Perfect. And I simply love the word the book ended with. It was great.


River Secrets is great. Will there be a person to work with earth? We have had air, fire, and water speakers, so earth is the only one of the four elements to not be mentioned. Also, I can do Hyper Text Markup Language, otherwise known as html. I may not be great, but I am okay, therefore a site may be constructed.


Back on the off-topic conversation...

I can never spell Swedish! What's really stupid is that I just typed an entire essay on European countries, and I used the word "Swedish" about ten times. So maybe I was just tired.

I love the idea of a Shannon Hale/Bayern Books/Books in General forum! I asked my dad (who's a computer whiz) and he suggested Proboards.com.


Anyone who is absolutely in love with Shannon's books is a Squeetuser, even if they've never been online. But we're like "upper class" Squeetusers I suppose.


Anyone who is absolutely in love with Shannon's books is a Squeetuser, even if they've never been online. But we're like "upper class" Squeetusers I suppose.


I disagree, Holly.
Squeetusers are people who use these comment thing as a forum. If you just like the books, that means you are a shannon hale fan. To be a squeetuser you must use this comment function regularly. However, I doubt there are many non-squeetus fans. Squeetus discussion is one thing that fit our archetype of bookish, often bespectacled computer dork.
Shannon, please make a blog entry or at least a post, since we need your permission. You have thankfully not died yet, so all bayern discussion must be given permission by you due to copyright issues.


Also, why did you post the same thing again? Is your internet connection dying?


Remember, I am the one and only Anon, so whether it is upper case or lower case it still me, unlike the seperate Hollies. Or whatever the plural conjugation for "Holly" is.
*ahem*Hehe- sounds like a cult in some sort of fantasy book.*ahem*
*ahem again*


Anon: I suppose you're right. But what about the people who go on Squeetus and read all of Shannon's entries, but don't respond?

Oh well. I'm confused right now, and very hyped up on caffeine, so ignore anything crazy I might say.

And I posted twice because...I don't know! It just happens sometimes. My computer is very old and slow, so maybe that explains it. Or maybe it's the "stayed up until four in the morning watching Napoleon Dynamite and drinking coke" curse. And you wonder why I need the caffeine.

I would say more, but "My lips hurt real bad!"

shannon hale

i have to admit, i call you "squeeters" in my own head. squeetusers is great too, and I pretty much think that anyone who considers her/himself such would automatically be included.

Also, Holly, I think Sweedish should be acceptable spelling. And I'm jealous. I want to hang out with cute Finn. And Razo. And Geric. (also Sileph...but just for a bit...)

There are free places out there where you could start a book discussion forum and not have to maintain a website. Whoever would like to do it, feel free to go to!


After having read everyone else’s comments I don’t feel that there is anything much extra to say. I completely understand you don’t have time to reply to emails and I’m astonished that you ever did find the time to reply what with your writing and toddler demands. I know that not many authors would take that time for their fans.
I’m so glad that I wrote to you in time before you were unable to reply anymore. Thanks so much for the email even though you’ve probably forgotten who I am! You don’t know how much it meant to me to receive an email from my favourite author!
Thanks again and all the very best with the babe. I hope that you’re not an overly exhausted mum!


Thank you for your comments, Shannon. Squeeters is actually probably better, since squeetusers sounds like some sort of plural of squeetus. Humph- im not sure about the Swedish spelling. Sweedish is more phonic, but a bit too sweetish. (hee-hee). You are also correct- we can use Yahoo groups for discussion forums, which is not an independent website just for us. I have also never met anyone like your characters. Perhaps that is because they are unique.


Swedish... maybe like Swedish Fish?

maddie starkebaum

hello shannon. i would like to say good luck with your baby and unborn. sounds like you have your hands full.
you are my all time favorite author. i get your books every year for christmas from my sister and im hooked! i want to be an author too someday and reading your books really helps me. thanks! good luck again

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