West Fargo grad will see her dreams come true at Barnes & Noble book signing March 18

Jenna Miller, a West Fargo High School and Minnesota State University Moorhead grad, will sign copies of her young adult novel "Out of Character."

Jenna Miller.JPG
West Fargo High School grad Jenna Miller will sign copies of her young adult novel "Out of Character" from 1 to 3 p.m. March 18 at Barnes and Noble, Fargo.
Contributed / Chelsea Joy Photography

FARGO — March 18 will be a dream come true for author Jenna Miller when she signs copies of her young adult novel, "Out of Character," at Barnes & Noble.

In an interview with The Forum, Miller described the bookstore as her second home while growing up in West Fargo.

"I was there all the time. I'll admit, I skipped school in high school to go read books at Barnes & Noble," she said. "To have an event there is really special to me."

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"Out of Character" by Jenna Miller.

While this is her first novel published by HarperCollins, Miller said she's been writing most of her life.

She began focusing on novels after a professor at Minnesota State University Moorhead encouraged her to further develop one of her short stories.


She wrote the first draft of "Out of Character" in 2019 during National Novel Writing Month, where writers are encouraged to write 50,000 words during the month of November.

"You can write more or less than that. It's not a paid thing. You don't win anything besides personal kudos," she said.

In 2020, she was selected to participate in Author Mentor Match, a program that pairs un-agented, aspiring writers with mentors to help them with their manuscripts and guide them through the publishing process.

"I did that in 2020 right as the pandemic was kicking off. It was the perfect time to sit home and write," Miller said.

She then began querying agents and secured a contract by January of 2021. Her agent helped her secure a book deal with HarperCollins in late 2021.

"Out of Character" was released Feb. 7. While Miller doesn't have any sale numbers yet, she said she's gotten a great reception and feedback throughout her book tour.

She's also secured a deal for a second novel, expected out sometime next year.

'A love letter to online friendships'

In her bio, Miller is described as writing "Young Adult books about fat, queer, nerdy girls who deserve to be seen and have their voices heard."


"Out of Character" is loosely based on the time Miller spent playing big group role-playing games and the friends she met online.

"It's very much a love letter to online friendships," she said. "Even though the book itself isn't based on any of the role-playing I did or friendships I made, it still has that theme of internet friendships. The 'found family' trope, and building on those relationships online and carrying them into real life."

Set in Minneapolis, where Miller now lives, main character Cass Williams is dealing with a lot. Her mom just left the family for a new life with another man.

"There's a lot of family trauma and having to figure out what family means and reconnecting with a parent who's always been around — her dad — but not in the forefront like her mom was," she explained.

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The book is also about Williams' first relationship, with resident cool girl Taylor Cooper.

As Williams struggles to deal with her real-world relationships, she delves deeper into her secret online role-playing life and develops feelings for her online bestie, Rowan Davies.

"As Cass's lies continue to build, so does her anxiety," reads the book description. "Role playing used to be the one place she could escape to, but this double life and offline-online love triangle have only made things worse. Cass must decide what to do — be honest and risk losing her safe space or keep it a secret and put everything else on the line."

The book has received high praise from other authors.


"Utterly enchanting and fantastically nerdy, 'Out of Character' is full of heart, found family and first love. With friends like these, heartbreak doesn't stand a chance. A lovely debut!" wrote New York Times bestselling author Ashley Poston.

For more information or to follow Miller's work, visit

If you go

What: Jenna Miller book signing
Where: Barnes & Noble, 1201 42nd St. S., Fargo
When: 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, March 18

Angie Wieck is the business editor for The Forum. Email her at
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