Today here at The Enchanted Inkpot, we are thrilled to welcome one of our own, the fabulous Jennifer Nielsen, here to celebrate the release of The Shadow Throne, the third and final book in her The False Prince series.
PJHoover: This is book three, The Shadow Throne! It’s such an exciting book and trilogy. I’m curious how much your vision for the trilogy changed as you wrote books two and three. Did you stick to a carefully laid out plan or did things change along the way.
JenN: Thanks for the interview, Tricia, and for the kind words. The vision for this series has stayed pretty consistent throughout the writing process. It was first offered to Scholastic as a standalone book, but when they indicated they wanted a trilogy, I was beyond thrilled, since I always knew the entire story I wanted to tell.
PJHoover: Just a small follow up to above . . . What sorts of things did you wish you could have changed in The False Prince and The Runaway King as you wrote The Shadow Throne?
JenN: Not much, actually. There are always details and tweaks that nag at every author, but I felt like the characters led this story, and that this is the way things were always supposed to unfold. I do think that writing is an ongoing learning process. With each book I understand myself better, and hopefully I will always continue to grow as a writer.
PJHoover: When it comes to marketing, what do you think makes the biggest difference in whether a book is successful?
JenN: One of the best pieces of advice I ever got was to “write the next book.” Because the reality is, once it goes to final draft, most of what happens to our books afterward is out of our control. All of the big things – reviews and awards and lists and buzz – those are bigger than any one person. So we stay visible on social media and in public appearances and try to spread the word however we can. But none of that is a guarantee of success, and in fact, I think sometimes those things can just be a lot of busywork and distraction.
The best thing we can do for our fans is to deliver the next book. And if we focus on making it the best it can possibly be, then they will tell others about it and bring new readers to us.
PJHoover: What is next? WIPs? Future publications? Please tell all!
JenN: So many exciting things! Next spring I will release the first book in a brand new trilogy called Praetor War, which takes place in Ancient Rome with an escaped Roman slave, some stolen magic, and a battle to control the fall of the Roman Empire. It’ll have many of the same elements that readers have loved about The Ascendance Trilogy, but with the added fun of magic folded into the grandeur of that ancient empire.
Just for fun:
PJHoover: There are tons of books out there. Tons! What are five awesome reasons why The False Prince series should be the series for kids to read?
JenN: Hmm, only five? Here goes:
1 – See it before it becomes a movie (er, if it becomes a movie. Fingers crossed!)
2 – You will love the hero, Sage, though you’ll never be sure whether to laugh at him, smack him, or hug him.
3 – To find out why Sage would ever say these words: “Until the moment I spit on their king, I probably had looked pretty humble.”
4 – The third book is finally out! So if you were waiting until you could read all the books at once, this is your time!
5 – Because you could win a million dollars! (Disclaimer: No, you won’t.)
PJHoover: If the apocalypse came, would you still find a way to write? If yes, then how and why?
JenN: Well, not on the actual day of the apocalypse. But the next day…well, maybe, and with ashes and stone if necessary because for me, writing isn’t really a choice. I’d start a new trend in futuristic books: Utopians.
PJHoover: Finish this sentence, and tell us why. Writing is a lot like….
JenN: …a new love. At first you think about them all the time and can’t wait to be with them. As you get to know them, you see their flaws and wonder how it’s going to work. Maybe you even flirt with others, just in case it fails. But as you go on, you find yourself increasingly committed to this new love, and determined to fix the flaws and see it through. Also, especially with writing, breaking up really stinks.
PJHoover: Mummy vs. Bigfoot... Who would win and why?
JenN: Oh, Bigfoot, easily. Mummies aren’t scary. One unwrapping, and Bigfoot could crush whatever’s left inside.
PJHoover: Please share your favorite inspirational thought with my readers!
JenN: I always believe in keeping one’s dreams as big as possible. So a favorite quote for me comes from Oprah Winfrey, who said, “Create the highest, grandest vision for your life, because you become what you believe.”
P. J. Hoover is the author of the dystopia/mythology YA book, SOLSTICE (Tor Teen, June 2013), the upcoming Egyptian mythology MG book, TUT: THE STORY OF MY IMMORTAL LIFE (Tor Children's, September 2014), and the middle-grade SFF series, THE FORGOTTEN WORLDS BOOKS (CBAY, 2008-2010). You can read more about her and her books on P. J.'s website or blog.