Finalist Spotlight

Jennifer Nielsen

Jennifer Nielsen is the New York Times bestselling author of the Ascendance series, and other fantasy and historical titles. She lives in Northern Utah with her family.

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Jennifer Nielsen on her Whitney Award Finalist novel,

The Captive Kingdom

What was the inspiration for your Whitney Awards finalist novel?

I had always said that if Sage, the main character, ever returned to my imagination, I would listen. One day he was there, and it turns out, he was bored. I asked if he was ready to get into more trouble, and he said, “Definitely.” So I answered!.

What was the tipping point that turned this novel from “just an idea” to a project you HAD to complete?

Some ideas may come and go, but others lock into my mind, interrupting my thoughts to insist I put them on paper. THE CAPTIVE KINGDOM was one of those times.

 How did this book evolve into the final story? Did it end up the way you thought it would, or did the plot or characters change along the way?

The first few chapters of this book did go through several changes. At first, the story began with a fox hunt gone awry, but it was too much trouble from there to get all the way to a ship, so I just skipped all that and started on the ship!

Who is your favorite secondary character, and why?

I love Mott, and we get a lot of insight into his background in this book, which is a part of the story I have literally waited years to tell, because it is so tragic and beautiful.

If your book was made into a movie, which scene would you want to be a background extra in?

About midway through the story, there is a trial. I would love to be there for the trial. But if I’m being honest, I’d be glad to be part of any scene.