MORGAN, Utah (ABC 4 News) - Utah authors are gaining a reputation in the United States and across the world.
One is reaching new heights in her career.
Jennifer A. Nielsen lifted off from the Salt Lake International Airport Tuesday afternoon for a seven city book signing tour spanning from Toronto to San Francisco.
Scholastic Press released the first book in Nielsen's Ascendance Trilogy The False Prince last year.
It released the second book The False Prince Monday. R.L. Stein who writes the Goosebumps books tweeted praise on Nielsen's trilogy.
Nielsen lives east of Ogden in a quite little place called Morgan. This wife and mother is becoming a powerhouse of sorts earning the 14th spot on the New York Times best seller list for children's books.
"To finally reach it. It was like reaching the top of Everest because it was this huge thing I always wanted-- so I screamed. I might have cried," Nielsen confessed.
Her writing career began in the sixth grade. Her first manuscript is stained with hot chocolate and doodles.
Today her fan base is larger. Scholastic, who also printed The Hunger Games trilogy, printed over 200,000 copies of The False Prince.
Nielsen says the inspiration for this trilogy came from an unusual place.
"The False Prince came from a song Eddie Vedder who is lead singer for Pearl Jam. He did a solo album for a movie "Into the Wild" and there's a song on the album called "Gaurenteed" and there's a line that says, 'I knew all the rules, but the rules did not know me', and I thought this is the hero," Nielsen said.
ABC 4's Noah Bond asked, "Can you tell me, who inspired your main character Sage?"
Nielsen responded, "I did have a student once. I used to be a high school teacher (at Bountiful High School) and I had a student in debate who was just this brilliant kid and he was a student body officer and handsome and a thief," Nielsen replied.
The New York Times calls The False Prince, "A page turner".
The LA Times calls it, "A swashbuckling original story".
Jennifer Nielson is just one of many Utah authors gaining national and world renown attention.
Read below to learn about other Utah authors who are impacting the world with their books.
Jennifer A. Nielsen lives at the base of a very tall mountain in Northern Utah with her husband, three children, and a naughty puppy. She loves the smell of rainy days, hot chocolate, and old books, preferably all at once. She is a former speech teacher, theater director, and enjoyed a brief but disastrous career as a door-to-door pollster. In her spare time, Jennifer tends to panic, wondering what she has forgotten to do that has allowed her any spare time, according to goodreads.
Richard Paul Evans graduated from Cottonwood High School in Salt Lake City. He graduated with a B.A. degree from the University of Utah in 1984. While working as an advertising executive he wrote a Christmas story for his children. Unable to find a publisher or an agent, he self-published the work in 1993 as a paperback novella entitled The Christmas Box. He distributed it to book stores in his community. The book became a local bestseller, prompting Evans to publish the book nationally, according to Wikipedia.
Even as a child, Emily Wing Smith had overly thick eyebrows, a passion for writing, and a tendency toward attending odd schools. So it wasn't much of a surprise when she graduated first with a BA in English from Brigham Young University, and later with an MFA in Writing for Children from Vermont College. It's also no real shocker that she spends too much money on eyebrow waxing. Emily lives with her husband in Salt Lake City, where she writes, bakes chocolate chip cookies, and occasionally substitutes at her old high school (which hasn't gotten any less odd), according to emilywingsmith.com.
Lisa Mangum is an American writer who currently lives in Taylorsville, Utah with her husband Tracy. Her first novel was The Hourglass Door, about time travel and romance. The 2010 sequel was called The Golden Spiral. There is a third novel in the series called, The Forgotten Locket, according to Wikipedia.
James Smith Dashner (born November 26, 1972 in Georgia, U.S.A), is an American author of many children's fantasy series and adult books, including The 13th Reality series and the Jimmy Fincher Saga. James Dashner was born in Georgia and attended Brigham Young University. Dashner currently lives in South Jordan City, Utah and is married with four children. according to Wikipedia.
Sara Zarr is an American writer. She was raised in San Francisco, and now lives in Salt Lake City, Utah with her husband. Her first novel, Story of a Girl, was a 2007 National Book Award finalist, according to Wikipedia.
Brandon Mull is an American writer who is best known as the author of the Fablehaven fantasy series, which is a New York Times' bestseller. Mull has also written The Candy Shop War. Because many young readers are interested in his books, Brandon crosses the country talking to students, with the message that "imagination can take you places, according to Wikipedia.
Matthew J. Kirby is an American author. His debut novel, The Clockwork Three, is a children's historical fiction set in the late 18th to early 19th centuries. It was inspired by a newspaper article Kirby came across in history class in college. Kirby was born in Ohio Utah, and had to move to four other states because his father was in the Navy. He majored in history at Utah State University and then earned degrees in school psychology. He currently lives in Salt Lake City, Utah with his wife, Azure, acccording to Wikipedia.
Jessica Day George (born October 11, 1976) is an American author, who currently lives in Utah. She received the 2007 Whitney Award for Best Book by a New Author for Dragon Slippers. Her books and current published series include the Princess and Dragon Slipper series and the stand-alone books Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow, and Tuesdays at the Castle. Many of her stories are adaptations of classic fairy tales, and have received positive reviews from Kirkus Reviews, Booklist Online, and others, according to Wikipedia.
Shannon Hale is the author of ten novels, including the best-selling Newbery Honor book Princess Academy, the "Books of Bayern" series, two adult novels, and two graphic novels that she and her husband co-wrote. They live with their four children in South Jordan, Utah. Before writing professionally, she wrote while pursuing acting in television, stage and improv comedy, as well as studying in Mexico and the United Kingdom. She spent a year and a half as an unpaid missionary in Paraguay, then returned to the United States to earn her bachelor's degree in English from the University of Utah and a master's in creative writing from the University of Montana, according to Wikipedia.
This is not a complete list of successful authors in Utah. Feel free to add the name(s) and information about your favorite author(s) who live in the Beehive State.