If you’re looking for a clean, page-turning YA read that is nationally being lauded as ”the next Hunger Games,” check out Jennifer Nielsen’s The False Prince. It’s from Scholastic and it’s a fabulous read–no, not just because I adore her, but because the plot is terrific (some places I had to go back and read what I hadn’t seen before) and the characters engaging (especially Sage, LOVE him). But my favorite is the writing–it’s beautifully rich but spare, not one word too many or too few. The pacing and flow are excellent. By last Saturday, I only had about a half hour left to finish. I couldn’t wait until the kids were asleep that night so I roped my two children into taking my baby for 15 minutes each so I could finish. Success!!
I asked Jennifer if she would share an interesting tidbit on writing the book (as I love to know the backstory on author’s how-I-did-it). Here’s what she shares–enjoy!
“I’d had the idea for THE FALSE PRINCE for a long time, but could never find the right protagonist to carry the weight of the story. One day I was listening to a song by Eddie Vedder (the lead singer of Pearl Jam) called “Guaranteed.” A line in that song says, “I knew all the rules, but the rules did not know me, guaranteed.” And I thought about the idea of a character who knew exactly what game he was playing, but who was quietly changing all the rules of the game. From that line, Sage was born. And I think readers of the book will understand exactly why Sage is the right character to carry this storyline.”
and another fun tidbit..
My first stab at being a serious author was in 6th grade. It was a story about a girl who becomes trapped in her daydreams. Serious schizophrenia, right? As an 11-year-old, I didn’t know that, and merely knew I was at the start of my great career in writing. The story came to a point where the girl was locked in a closet. Since this was eons before Google existed, the only way I could learn how to get her out was to call a locksmith and ask how to pick a lock. Needless to say, he didn’t take me seriously. In fact, he got angry and told me to go tell my mother what I was doing. Frightened, I hung up the phone and ran away. And never wrote another word of that story. It was a long time before I considered writing a serious career option again. By then, I had learned that when we have a dream, it doesn’t matter who laughs at it, or tells us it’s impossible, or even tries to get us in trouble for it – anything is possible if we are willing to reach for it and never stop trying.
Jennifer Nielsen’s website: http://www.jennielsen.com/
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