Today we have Jennifer Nielsen stopping by the blog! Welcome Jennifer!
About the Author: Jennifer lives at the base of a very tall mountain in Northern Utah with her husband, three children, and a naughty puppy. She loves the smell of rainy days, hot chocolate, and old books, preferably all at once. She is a former speech teacher, theater director, and enjoyed a brief but disastrous career as a door-to-door pollster. In her spare time, Jennifer tends to panic, wondering what she has forgotten to do that has allowed her any spare time.
Could you give us the one sentence pitch of your book?
The Ascendance Trilogy is the story of a young king in a battle for his life, for those he loves, and to save his kingdom.
Why middle grade?
Middle grade is about as mature as I ever got.
Generally speaking, which comes first: the world, the characters, or the plot?
Every book develops in a unique way. In The Ascendance Trilogy, Sage came first, and the plot followed. But other things I’ve written have developed in entirely different ways. There are so many types of inspiration. The trick is just to recognize it when it comes, in whatever form it comes.
They are always coming out with new editions of board games. If your book could be a special edition of any board game, which would you choose?
Hmm, fun question! The obvious choice would be Risk, since that pretty much sums of the themes of all three books. But I think a fair case could also be made for turning Chutes and Ladders into an Ascendance board game, just because the characters go through so many ups and downs in the books, and often at the worst possible times.
I love that – I love both ideas. What is your favorite middle grade read?
Oh, that’s way too hard of a question! There are so many middle grade books I love. Madeleine L’Engle’s A WRINKLE IN TIME was a very important book to me when growing up, and I still love it. I’m also a big fan of ONE FOR THE MURPHYS by Lynda Mullaly Hunt, and absolutely loved the thief story of LOOT, which Jude Watson will release on June 24. As different as all three of these books are, they are proof that great writing isn’t about genre, it’s about creating characters that speak to the reader. All of these books spoke magnificently to me.
What is next for you?
Book One of the Praetor War series begins with MARK OF THE THIEF, and releases early next year. It tells the story of a runaway slave, some stolen magic, and a battle to control the fall of the Roman Empire. I love Nic, the main character, and I think readers who enjoyed The Ascendance Trilogy are going to love these books too!
Thanks Jennifer for stopping by! I have to say, I cannot wait to wait for MARK OF THE THIEF.
About THE FALSE PRINCE: THE FALSE PRINCE is the thrilling first book in a brand-new trilogy filled with danger and deceit and hidden identities that will have readers rushing breathlessly to the end.
In a discontent kingdom, civil war is brewing. To unify the divided people, Conner, a nobleman of the court, devises a cunning plan to find an impersonator of the king’s long-lost son and install him as a puppet prince. Four orphans are recruited to compete for the role, including a defiant boy named Sage. Sage knows that Conner’s motives are more than questionable, yet his life balances on a sword’s point — he must be chosen to play the prince or he will certainly be killed. But Sage’s rivals have their own agendas as well.
As Sage moves from a rundown orphanage to Conner’s sumptuous palace, layer upon layer of treachery and deceit unfold, until finally, a truth is revealed that, in the end, may very well prove more dangerous than all of the lies taken together.
An extraordinary adventure filled with danger and action, lies and deadly truths that will have readers clinging to the edge of their seats.