The Ugly Stepsister Strikes Back Blog Tour Interview & Giveaway

Author Sariah Wilson

Sariah Wilson has never jumped out of an airplane, never climbed Mt. Everest, and is not a former CIA operative. She has, however, been madly, passionately in love with her soulmate and is a fervent believer in happily ever afters—which is why she writes romance. The Ugly Stepsister Strikes Back is her fourth happily ever after novel. She grew up in southern California, graduated from Brigham Young University (go Cougars!) with a semi-useless degree in history, and is the oldest of nine (yes, nine) children. She currently lives with the aforementioned soulmate and their four children in Utah, along with three tiger barb fish, a cat named Tiger, and a recently departed hamster that is buried in the backyard (and has nothing at all to do with tigers).

If you could travel in a Time Machine would you go back to the past or into the future?
Definitely the past, no question.  Visiting the future would be cool and all and I’d probably be amazed by the inventions or change (or maybe not, I’ve seen/read a lot of sci-fi stuff), but I would love, love, love to go back in time, especially to Regency England.
What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast?

Doughnuts.  But since I can’t eat my favorite thing for breakfast, I usually have scrambled egg whites, tomatoes and whole grain, low-carb toast. 

Pet Peeves?
I have so very many.  I’m like a crotchety old man.  But my two worst are kids talking back to me (and my oldest has Oppositional Defiance Disorder, so this is something I have to deal with on a daily basis not only from him, but from my younger kids who watch and imitate), and people on the road who drive like they’re more special/important than everyone else.
What inspired you to want to become a writer?

I’ve found that I’m different than most of my other author friends in that I didn’t want to be a writer when I grew up.  I always did really well in my English classes, and I’d always loved to read, but I’d never felt that pull.  When my oldest son was diagnosed with autism at three years old, I spent a lot of time on my knees because the therapies that he would need were not covered by insurance and were literally out of our reach financially.  I asked what I could be doing to help him, and the impression I got was that I should write.  Totally out of left field.  A few days later a local reporter was at our house doing a story on my son (we had a fundraiser), and I had sent them a press release about it.  She asked me if I was a writer, because she thought the release was well done.  I remember thinking, “Okay, I got it. Message received.”  And that’s when I started writing.

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
I was invited to do a book signing in PalmyraNew York during a festival.  I flew up alone and the first day had been totally miserable as we’d been put outside in the back right next to the air conditioner – which was blowing out hot air, on top of all the heat and humidity.  Since we didn’t have set times to be at the store, I slept in a little the next day before going over.  When I got there, the bookstore manager told me that two teen girls had come inside and saw that I was signing and went nuts.  They asked when I would be there, and had hung around for as long as they could until their parents forced them to leave.  But they left their cell number, the manager called them, and they came back just to meet me.  They were giddy and we took pictures and I signed all their books.  They were such fans, and it was the absolute neatest, most rewarding experience I think any author can ever have – to meet in person someone who just loves your books.

If you could jump in to a book and live in that world, which would it be?

Given my answer to the time travel question – Pride & Prejudice.  But only if I got to be Elizabeth

Is there a song you could list as the theme song for your book or any of your characters?
I don’t know if there’s a theme song, but I pretty much only listened to teen pop stars while writing this book because I wanted to be in that headspace.  I listened to The Wanted – “Lightning” for the romantic Jake/Mattie moments and “Warzone” for the emotionally hard ones.  I also loved listening to the Cary Brothers version of “If You Were Here” for the last scene in the book.

What’s one piece of advice you would give aspiring authors?
“There’s a word for a writer who never gives up…published.”  J.A. Konrath

If you could be one of the Greek Gods, which would it be and why?
Athena.  She’s always been my favorite goddess, and I love that she’s the goddess of wisdom and just never seemed to have as much drama or issues as the rest of her family.
If a movie was made about your life, who would you want to play the lead role and why?

Lauren Graham.  Just because we have almost the same coloring (different eye color) and I adore her as an actress. Gilmore Girls, up until they jumped the shark, was one of my all-time favorite shows.

If you could have a signed copy of any novel what would it be and why?
I think you’re going to sense a theme here, but it would be an autographed copy of Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice.

You have won one million dollars what is the first thing that you would buy?

I should probably say something interesting like a white tiger or purple kangaroo, but unfortunately, I would put in a sprinkler system and grass at my house.  My HOA is running out of patience.

What do you do in your free time?

What is this free time you speak of?  😉  When I do get a moment, I love to read, watch TV and movies, I love to cross-stitch and I really enjoy baking, although I’m not very good at the decorating part of it yet.

If someone wrote a book about your life, what would the title be?

”This Is Harder Than It Looks.”

How do you go about revising/editing?

I’m always amazed by those writers who just write the whole book out and then go back five, ten, twenty times through the entire thing and keep revising over and over and over again.  I guess I do the same thing, but on a smaller scale.  I write a chapter out, and then I go back over the chapter multiple times until it’s perfect.  So when I’m done writing my book, I’m done writing my book.  My “first draft” is the version I give to my editor and beta readers, and it’s pretty much just like the final copy with some tweaking here and there. 

How do you come up with the characters names/personalities?
Mattie, like Athena, sprang fully formed from my imagination.  She had this horrible name – Matilda – that she just hated, and her personality was already in place, including her love of John Hughes films.  So I knew Jake’s name would be Jake Ryan (like in Sixteen Candles), and I chose Kingston because he’s the prince of the story.  I wanted him to seem unlikable at first, but sympathetic as you got to understand his family situation.  He’s a bit idealized – handsome, charming, smooth, smart, but that’s part of what makes him fun.  Ella’s name is pretty obvious – and I loved the idea of this girl that you’d just want to hate because she’s so perfect, but she is really a good person and has her own flaws and faults.  Mattie’s last name is Lowe because of the debate scene near the end of the book – which is something that actually happened in real life when I was helping my best friend Angela run for student council against a guy whose last name was Lo, and our mascot was also the eagle. 
What book do you love that doesn’t get a lot of hype?
Maybe it does get a lot of hype, and I just don’t know about it, but Lisa T. Bergren’s “River of Time” series is one I just adore.  I had a time travel of my own in mind, but thanks to those books, I’ll probably make the heroine a teenager just because I loved the reaction of a teen to medieval times.  And although it’s not a book, I am forever plugging the movie “Mad About Mambo.”  I LOVE that movie.

Fanfiction – Love it or Hate it? Have your ever written it?There was a time when I devoured it.  I loved alternate timelines and reading about things that happened offstage.  I don’t read much of it these days, though.  I did write it myself, a very elaborate and long fanfic that I loved and other people seemed to enjoy – and it definitely helped me believe that I really could be a writer.
What is your view on self publishing?
I am so, so glad to be writing in this revolutionary time – when authors now have real choices and say over their work and their rights and their money.  I had stopped writing for a long time because of the demands of motherhood, but as things leveled back out, I just didn’t feel inspired anymore.  I didn’t want to work that hard for that long for something that I had so little control over.  When I found out about the indie publishing option, it was like the world opened up for me again, and Mattie’s story came to me pretty much in one night – I stayed up all night writing everything down.  I’m excited to be writing again, and for the chance to write what I want to write, instead of what some random editor or agent thinks I should write.
Do your friends or enemies ever find themselves in your books?

Heck yes.  I’m constantly thinking, “That’s going in a book.”  Some of Mattie’s funnier lines are from my youngest sister (who just turned 21).  And there’s nothing quite like writing out a villain based on someone awful in real life and them getting their just desserts in your story.

Do your characters really talk to you?

They don’t talk to me or with so much as at me.  I don’t carry on conversations with them, but I have certainly heard their dialogue and the scene descriptions in my head, and it is literally all I can do to put pen to paper fast enough to try and capture everything they’re saying.  It doesn’t happen all that often, but when it does, it is pure magic.

Are you for or against books being made into movies?

One hundred percent for.  I love watching the movies – although I had to learn my lesson with Jurassic Park, which was soooo different from the book that I found myself upset most of the movie, especially when they missed what I thought were some of the most important plot points.  So now I just try to enjoy the movie for what it is – but I have noticed a shift in Hollywood to make sure that the movie follows the book very, very closely.  Although sometimes the deviation is nice – I absolutely adore the movie version of Possession by A.S. Byatt, but could only get through a fourth of the novel before I had to put it down because it was so boring to me (same with The Notebook.)

This or That
TV or Movies?
Both.  I’m totally addicted to both.
Hot or Cold?
Hot water, cold weather.
Black or White?
Night owl, or early bird?
Neither at this point – but have been both at different times in my life.
Print or Ebook?
Ebooks all the way!  But I do still love print books too.
Chocolate or Vanilla? 
Regular or Diet? 
Coke or Pepsi? 
Neither.  Blech.
Horror or Romance?
Action or Drama? 
Action.  Don’t care for dramas unless they’re romances as well (and HEA romances, not people dying of consumption romances).
Pizza or Pasta? 
Skittles or M&Ms? 
M&Ms, especially peanut butter ones!
Sweet or Salty? 
Summer or Winter? 
City or Country? 
Harry Potter or Twilight? 
Um, a thousand times over, Harry Potter.
Gum or Breath Mints? 
Breath mints.
Spontaneity or Planning Ahead? 
Plan ahead!
PC or Mac? 
Beach or Pool? 
Shoes or Sandals? 
Sandals.  Although they are very difficult to find in my shoe size.
Cats or Dog? 
Apples or 
Cause or Effect? 
Heads or Tails? 
Facebook or Twitter? 
Truth or Dare? 
Text or Talk? 
Introvert or Extrovert? 
The most introverted introvert who ever introverted.

Tour Schedule

The Ugly Stepsister Strikes Back by Sariah Wilson 

Everyone knows how all those fairy tales go. The princess gets beautiful, nabs her prince, falls instantly in love, lives happily ever after and leaves her evil stepsisters in the dust.

But what happens when you’re the ugly stepsister and your obnoxiously perfect—read pretty, smart, and, worst of all, sickeningly nice—stepsister is dating the charming, tall, devastatingly handsome guy you’ve had a thing for since you were nine years old?

Quirky, artistic and snarky Mattie Lowe does not lead a charmed life. Her mother is constantly belittling her on Skype. Mercedes, the school mean girl, has made it her personal mission to torment Mattie. But worst of all? Her stepsister Ella is the most beautiful, popular girl in school and is dating Mattie’s secret longtime crush, Jake Kingston.

Tired of being left out and done with waiting for her own stupid fairy godmother to show up, Mattie decides to change her life. She’ll start by running for senior class president against wildly popular Jake.

Ella can keep her Prince Annoying. Mattie’s going to rule the school.

And no one, not even a cute and suddenly flirty Jake, is going to stop her.



“My top pick of 2012 YA… This book is just. plain. fun.”

~Jordan McCollum, author of Saints & Spies and I, Spy
“Sariah Wilson’s new book, The Ugly Stepsister Strikes Back, is hilarious…What follows is a story of fun and romance with some good non-preachy life lessons thrown in.  The voice in the main character, Mattie, makes the whole thing.  I thought it was definitely a book I’d recommend to anyone with teenagers or who just want to read a good teen romance.”
~Julie Coulter Bellon, author of All Fall Down and All’s Fair
“Sariah [Wilson] has written one of the funniest stories I’ve read in such a long, long time. I literally couldn’t put it down. Yes, my poor Kindle’s battery died and I was attached to a short power cord, contorted in a very uncomfortable position while I read to the end…. Sariah Wilson captured the back-biting, insecure, hormone-driven, clique-riddled high school atmosphere so perfectly you’d think she never grew up. I dare you not to laugh as you read this witty and oh, so, romantic story.”
~Debra Erfert of Windows into Writing
“Sariah Wilson writes like the best of/most popular YA teen fiction/teen romance authors – Sarah Dessen, Jennifer Echols, Susanne Collins, Cassandra Clare.  She sucks you in and never lets you go.  I finished the ~194 novel in one night because I just couldn’t go to sleep without knowing the ending!  I hope that Sariah comes out with more novels, I know I’ll be re-reading this one all the time!  She’s extremely talented and needs to be talked about.  I highly recommend The Ugly Stepsister Strikes Back! to anyone (over the age of 12) who wants a YA novel that’s a real modern-day fairy tale.”

~Hilary at Novel d’Tales
“This was such an entertaining story! I shouldn’t have started reading it so late in the evening, because I didn’t want to put it down to go to sleep…This is a book I can see myself reading several times. It’s a fast, clean read with great characters, and I highly recommend it.”
~Andrea of Literary Time Out
The book is wonderful.  It’s quirky and fun.  The story makes you laugh and you fall in love with the characters right from the beginning…This is a well-written book.  It is one that will make you smile and sigh as you remember your first love.  And it has a moral…be yourself, believe in yourself and maybe, just maybe, your fairytale will come true.  Pick up this book.”
~Ana of The Book Hookup

Tour Giveaway
$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 3/10/13

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Blog Tour Schedule

February 18th
Book Blast

February 19th
I Am A Reader, Not A Writer – Interview
Gamila’s Book Review – Review
Pink Fluffy Hearts – Spotlight
Wordpainting Unlimited – Review
Another Step to Follow – Review & Interview
Doing Dewey – Review

February 20th
Getting Your Read On – Review
Book Readers – Interview
Margay Leah Justice – Review
Book Flame – Spotlight
Read This Instead – Review

February 21st
Hott Books – Review
Mom With A Kindle – Interview
Frankie’s Blooding’s Bookshelf – Tens List
Indie Author How-to – Spotlight
Peace from Pieces – Interview

February 22nd
The Book Mark Blog – Review
GeoLibrarian – Review
Dates Books – Tens List
Why Not? Because I Said So! – Review
My Book A Day – Review
Sarah Balance – Tens List

February 23rd
Cuzinlogic – Interview
Karey White – Review
Sher A Hart: Writing Art – Spotlight
Kaisy Daisy’s Corner – Review
Magical Manuscripts – Review

February 24th
Read It All Book Reviews – Review
Pieces of Whimsy – Spotlight
WTF Are You Reading? – Review
Blood, Sweat and Books – Review & Interview

February 25th
Oh, The Books You’ll Read – Review
Emi Gayle – Interview
Sab the Book Reader – Review
Jessie’s Book Place – Spotlight
The Bunny’s Review – Tens List

February 26th
Book Haven Extraordinaire – Review & Guest Post
MK McClintock – Tens List
Deal Sharing Aunt – Review
Fire & Ice – Review
Literary Winner – Review

February 27th
Monica’s Musing – Review
FanGirl Hostess – Tens List
Book Lover and Procrastinator – Review
Classy Me – Spotlight
Deborah’s Books – Review & Tens List

February 28th
My Devotional Thoughts – Review & Tens List
Bookworm Lisa – Review
Literary Time Out – Interview
DoodleBugs Reviews – Review
Books, Books, The Magical Fruit – Spotlight

March 1st
The Eclectic Review – Review
Prosperine Craving Books – Spotlight
Living, Learning and Loving Life – Review
Fall Into Books – Spotlight
Simple Wyrdings – Review

March 2nd
Witchmags Boekenplank – Review
Books Are Magic – Review & Tens List
Brooke Blogs – Review
Going Crazy!! Wanna Go??!! – Review

March 3rd
Author T.L. Clarke – Spotlight
Storeybook Reviews – Review
Laurie’s Thoughts & Reviews – Review & Character Interview
Froze8’s Blog – Tens List
A Backward’s Story – Review