The False Prince was one of my favorite books this year. So, today I’m so excited to share an interview with the author, Jennifer Nielsen, with you.
Sage has often been compared to Eugenides from The Thief series by Megan Whalen Turner. How do you feel about this comparison? In what ways do you think that Sage is different from Gen?
I always consider the comparison of Sage to Eugenides as a major compliment. Megan Whalen Turner is an amazing author, and a legend within her genre.
I definitely understand the comparison, but in my mind, Sage and Eugenides are very different people. Although they have some similarities, Sage operates far more from the hip than Gen, has a slower burn on his temper, and has deeper insecurities. If the two were ever to face off, it would be interesting to watch. Eugenides is probably better with a sword, but Sage might be more tenacious. If they both survived the dual, I think they’d end up as friends. Maybe.
How did you use the tense and point of view to create tension and mystery in The False Prince? How was that important to the story?
The tense and point of view were both choices I thought best served the story. With POV specifically, I thought it was really important to let Sage narrate the story so the reader could be inside his head. But I balanced that with allowing Sage to control the information he doles out to readers.
How important was the setting that you chose for your novel? What type of planning or research, if any, went into developing the world that Sage lives in?
A lot of careful planning went into Farthenwood (the place where Sage lives when the nobleman Conner takes him from the orphanage) because the layout is very important to how the story unfolds. As Sage’s world expands throughout the series, the country of Carthya and surrounding countries will become even more important too.
I actually enjoy research, not only study about medieval times, but also the etymology of words, and the strategies involved in swordplay, horsemanship, and other experiences Sage will have in the sequels. I love to discover an interesting tidbit and try to figure out how to incorporate that into the story.
How has your experience differed with this book from your other novels that you’ve published? Does your experience with The False Prince, particularly its reception, make you nervous or apprehensive about the sequel?
Scholastic has been a top of the line publisher to work with and has done an extraordinary job at every stage of the process in bringing The False Prince to life. It is the greatest of honors to be counted as one of their authors.
It’s been amazing to see the way readers have responded to this book over the last several months, and it’s found an even wider audience than I’d have anticipated. There have been a few incredible moments when I’m certain the world must’ve paused in its rotation, just long enough for me to catch my breath.
Book 2, The Runaway King, will be released next spring. I know there are high expectations for the sequel, but I think this will be a story that readers really enjoy. That said, I’ll definitely be holding my breath as the first reviews start to come back.
What can readers look forward to in the next book in the series?
I hope readers can look forward to being awake far too late at night, dreading the morning alarm, but turning the page to start another chapter because they just can’t put it down.
Oh wait, were you asking for plot details? Okay, yes, at this time I can confirm that in Book 2, there will be a plot, and there will be plenty of details in it. Especially in the middle when there’s not much else going on.