We were able to join in on a visit she made to my former favorite school, Spitalny Elementary. With a computer set up in their library and our computer set up on in our classroom library, we enjoyed a opportunity of a lifetime!
During our hour-long visit, Jennifer Nielsen told us all about how she came up with the ideas that are now bestselling books, that she has to edit and revise her books multiple times over and over, that we should never throw an idea for a story away, always end a story instead of dropping it, and to not be discouraged by rejection. All authors experience rejections and that should never deter a writer. In fact, she received so many rejection letters that Jennifer said she could wallpaper the school library with all of them. And for you Hunger Games fans, her Ascendance trilogy covers were designed by the same illustrator!
Here is a quick synopsis (from Goodreads) to describe The False Prince:
"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."
Our two favorite parts from the visit were when she read us a an excerpt from The False Prince and when she asked us to share some of our questions! Even though we couldn't be in the library with her, Skype helped us feel like we were right there in front of her.
Thank you so much to Ms. Spangenberg (a personal friend of mine) and Spitalny for letting us join in the fun and giving us a chance to meet Jennifer Nielsen! It's not every day you get to meet an author and especially one as nice as Jennifer.