My Biggest Goal

Posted by on Feb 22, 2013 in Uncategorized | 55 comments


Since becoming published, I’ve kept one big goal close to my heart. It was risky – I’ve always known that it might forever stay out of my reach. And a sort of crazy goal too because I knew I’d always keep reaching.

My editor called me the other day, but I missed her call. She doesn’t often call out of the blue, so I was a bit nervous. And her message was something to the effect of, “I have big news. And it’s so good I don’t want to leave a message. Call me back.”

Any guesses on how fast a person can dial a number after a message like that? Let’s just say, world speed-dial records were broken.

It could’ve been anything. Perhaps a nice mention from an important reviewer? A new market interested in carrying my books? Some awesome destination has invited me to attend an event (and has agreed to pay me in Dove dark chocolate)?


“Jen!” my editor said. She was breathless at the time, which I would love to think is because she was so excited. In reality, she was also leaving work at the time and probably was mid-hustle through the busy New York streets. “How are you?”

Um, freaking out, if I was being honest. What was the news?

“THE FALSE PRINCE made the New York Times Bestseller List!”

Let me pause here, which is appropriate because I’m pretty sure the world paused briefly in its rotation while I soaked that in. THE FALSE PRINCE is on the list. THE LIST! And between loads of laundry, school runs, and half-burned dinners, I wrote that book.


It squeaked in as #14 on the Middle Grade List for the week of March 3rd. Sales were likely boosted by the release of the paperback and anticipation for the release of THE RUNAWAY KING on March 1st.

But more importantly, I know that it was prompted by those of you who have recommended it to others, who have bought copies to distribute as gifts, who have reviewed it online, voted for it to be on lists or for awards, requested it at your library, or walked into the bookstore with no idea of what you wanted to buy, and for some reason chose my book. For all that and more, you have my deepest appreciation.

thank you

And finally, I have to acknowledge the efforts, support, and endless enthusiasm of my fabulous agent, Ammi-Joan Paquette of the Erin Murphy Agency, of my awesome editor, Lisa Sandell, and of the many, many wonderful people at Scholastic who have done more than I can even begin to grasp to spread word about this series.

I’m going to have to set a new writing goal now. Something riskier. Something crazier. And for the moment, something I’ll keep to myself.

My thanks to all of you who made this possible –

Jennifer A. Nielsen                                                                                                                                                          New York Times Bestselling Author



  1. Congratulations. We are proud to know you. We have started calling Jeff, ‘Jen’s husband’.

  2. A huge congrats, Jenn! So excited for you!

  3. Many, many congratulations!

  4. CONGRATULATIONS! And rock on for keeping that dream alive!

  5. Jen, that is FANTASTIC news!!! And so well deserved for your amazing book. Congratulations! I hope you do something wonderful to celebrate!

  6. Congratulations! I don’t have anything that’s witty enough for this occasion. Fantastic news.

  7. How amazing! I got chills reading this because I get what it must feel like. I love your signature to this post. If it were me I’d be walking around using that title everywhere I go. “Hey, honey can you pass the salt to the New York Times Bestselling Author?” “Yes, table for three PLUS a New York Times Bestselling Author.” Of course it must be said with a sly, subtle tone so people don’t realize you’re slipping it in there. They’ll just start fawning all over you without knowing why. 😉 SO happy for you!!

    • So funny, Emily! In my house it’ll be, “Mom, can the New York Times Bestselling Author please finish the laundry already?” And they’re less subtle…

  8. Congrats!! I just read your book this week and could NOT put it down. It was so good and definitely deserves to be a NYT bestseller.

  9. You’re there. This is a title that stays with you forever: NYTimes Bestselling Author. It’s something they’ll put on the cover of your next series. You did it, Jen. You never stopped learning, you made your books great, and you landed in the stars. And we, your friends, will still be cheering you on to the next big thing.

    • Ruth, every time I think I could not love you more….thank you.

  10. Yesssss, Jen!!! I’m so thrilled for you, and for your fabulous book! Congratulations!

  11. Jen – so excited for you! Thanks for giving us your stories and sharing your journey. Can’t wait to see what you are dreaming up next. When will you come back to AZ?

    • Thank you Susan! I’ll actually be in AZ in a couple of weeks. Phoenix first, then Tucson. I’ll post my schedule when I know details, but I’d love to see you there!

  12. Um. I thought you had already hit the list, but maybe that’s just because your books are way up high on Joanne’s list of books that are awesome. So glad it’s now official! CONGRATS to you, Jen!

  13. Congrats! I love The False Prince.

  14. Jen…. Just SO AMAZINGLY HAPPY FOR YOU!!!!! (And of course, Jen’s husband). Enjoy…. Your hard work and dedication have been rewarded! Xo

  15. Jen, it looks like the stars might have aligned for your first trip onto the NYT with the Cybils and the release of THE RUNAWAY KING, but I have no doubt that you’ll be back! Congratulations!

  16. YEA JEN – I have been out plugging it whenever I can – we love False Prince. Congratulations! Jen

  17. Congrats! A Well Deserved Win 😉

  18. You deserve all of the recognition and more that you have received now and later. What a long road, yet a road that some never achieve because they give up too soon . You kept reaching for the sky and found out that it never ends. You are such as inspiration. I have my composition books out here. Pen in hand and I am determined to have my very own book published. I have wanted to do this for a very long time. You have been the one who gave me inspiration to get the papers back out and get busy. Thank you for wonderful books and thank you , also, for giving me and many others the inspiration , or a kick in the butt haha, to get busy!!! God Bless and let pen (pencil) keep moving. :>)

    • I couldn’t have said it better Anne. We all just keep reaching. You’ll get there though. Keep at it!

  19. What brilliant, brilliant news. Given early reviews on RUNAWAY, I imagine this is but the starting point. Congratulations!

  20. So well deserved. One of my fave books of all time!

  21. Imagine my confusion when facebook said my neighbor liked a link with my name on it! Even the same middle initial! I’m definately buying a copy of this book; it will be a great conversation piece when people see it on my coffee tale!

  22. Jennifer,


    What a huge honor. I’m thrilled for you, and can’t wait to read The Runaway King. *throws confetti all around in your honor* 🙂

  23. Congratulations Jennifer,

    It’s funny now that I am reading this blog post and thinking to myself that you “just” made the list? When I first read the book I thought that it was already a New York Bestseller. I definitely loved “The False Prince” and I am looking forward to the release of “The Runaway King” coming out this Friday! It’s been bugging me for a while to think about what’s going to happen in the sequel but I think that the long wait will pay off after I have read it. You are truly one of the many authors I love and I look forward to reading many more books of yours in the future. Maybe even one day you’ll even read my book (when it’s done and if it every get’s published). If you know anyone that could help someone like myself find someone to publish my work then that would be greatly appreciated. Once again, congratulations and God bless! 🙂

    • Thank you so very much, Joseph. I’m glad you enjoyed Book 1 and hope Book 2 will be just as enjoyable for you! I hope you will complete your book and get to send me news one day that you’ve found a publisher for it. That can be a long road, but for those who keep on traveling, success does happen. Good luck!

  24. So excited for you! And so well deserved. Bask in this glory, because you’ve earned it. Cheering for you!

  25. HI!!!
    SO EXCITING!!!!!!

  26. CONGRATS! Your book is fantastic, it deserves it! 🙂

    Can’t wait to read the Run Away King! 🙂 When I first read The False Prince, I didn’t know it was apart of a trilogy. Needless to say, there was some serious rejoicing going on when I found out about the sequel!

    Great job and good luck!

  27. I teach fifth grade and have a middle school age daughter, Taryn. I LOVE The False Prince and, thanks to my recommendation, so does my daughter (she had dibs on it before I took it to school to share with my class). She claimed The Runaway King the day I received it from Scholastic and devoured it before I could even get my hands on it. Now she wants to know when the next book is coming out! You have a gift and a wonderful storyline. She can’t wait for the movie (but I know the book is always better). Taryn says to tell you that you are her new favorite author and she’s going to tell all her friends to read your books. Kids talking about books, what can be better? Congratulations!

    • Thanks Tamara – I’m glad both you and Taryn have enjoyed the books! Book 3 will be out in a week. A long time, I know, but I promise to make it worth the wait. And tell Taryn thank you for recommending my books to others – that is the highest compliment I can receive!

  28. Oh my god I stayed up for 5 hours (literally) one night reading and finishing both books in one night. They were amazing!!!!!!!!!! I’m so glad to here that I read a book by you. YOU are amazing.

    • Thank you, Joseph. I’m sorry you lost sleep but…no I’m not. I’m just really glad you enjoyed the books!

      • When is the next book coming out if I may ask.?

        • Joey, it’ll probably be released next spring. A long time to wait, I know, but it’ll be worth it!

  29. Wow, as a gift, the teacher let us keep a book for the summer, none of them seemed interesting, but this one caught my eye. I chose it and never have I thought I might pick up a book as perfect as this. I got the second book recently and so far love it. Keep up the good work!!!

    • I love this, Chance! I’m glad you found any book you can enjoy so much and am doubly glad it’s one of mine. Thanks for letting me know!

  30. Oh my goodness! I LOVE your books! They have actually inspired me to write my own book though your biography has me a bit worried 🙂

    • Kais – I’m thrilled you’ve decided to write your own book. That is fantastic. But no worries on my biography, or anyone else’s. With all the ups and downs of a writer’s life, every author will build their own unique history.

      • Thanks for the encouragement but just so you know I am about 13-14

        • Age doesn’t matter, only your commitment to your dreams. Because once you figure out what you want most, all you have to do is decide you won’t give up until you turn the dream into reality. Good luck to you!

          • Thank you so much! You have erased any doubt in my mind.

  31. Congratulations! That is an awesome achievement!!! I talked to Jeff the other day at our fishing planning meeting and he said your books were doing great, but the I saw this in the Deseret News. Very cool.


  1. BEST-SELLING UTAH AUTHORS | Jess Smart Smiley: the Internet Version - [...] A. Nielsen wrote on her blog at that being on the list was a goal she had always strived for…

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