Author Of The Week: Chat with Jennifer Donnelly (Stepsister), Plus Giveaway! ~ (US Only)
Welcome to our weekly special feature post, Author Of The Week!!
Each week we will be interviewing a different YA author and highlighting their upcoming release!
We will also be hosting a giveaway of the book we are highlighting!!
Introducing Jennifer Donnelly, YABC's Author of the Week!!
Jennifer Donnelly is a New York Times bestselling author of twelve novels including Stepsister, Beauty and the Beast: Lost in a Book, the Waterfire Saga, The Tea Rose series, and A Northern Light. Her work has garnered many awards, among them a Carnegie Medal, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, a Michael L. Printz Honor, a Green Earth Book Award, an Indies Choice Best Young Adult Book award, and has been named to many notable book lists. She lives in New York’s Hudson Valley.
Don’t Just Fracture the Fairy Tale. Shatter It.
Isabelle should be blissfully happy—she’s about to win the handsome prince. Except Isabelle isn’t the beautiful girl who lost the glass slipper and captured the prince’s heart. She’s the ugly stepsister who cut off her toes to fit into Cinderella’s shoe…which is now filling with blood.
Isabelle tried to fit it. She cut away pieces of herself in order to become pretty. Sweet. More like Cinderella. But that only made her mean, jealous, and hollow. Now she has a chance to alter her destiny and prove what ugly stepsisters have always known: It takes more than heartache to break a girl.
~ Author Chat ~
YABC: What gave you the inspiration to write this book?
All too often, we believe what others tell us what we are. We let their words define us and direct us. I wrote STEPSISTER to give readers a way to start defining beauty for themselves, and, most important of all, a way to find beauty in themselves.
YABC: Who is your favorite character in the book?
I can’t choose just one – I really love them all! I love heartbroken Isabelle; her smart, witty, STEM-girl sister, Octavia; stubborn Hugo; stubborn Martin; crush-worthy Felix and of course, the beguiling Marquis de la Chance
YABC: Which came first, the title or the novel?
Oddly, they both came to me at the same time. Which has never happened before.
YABC: Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you've learned as a writer from then to now?
I’ve learned to never, ever wait for the muse to show up. Sit down, start working and she’ll come. If you’re working on a novel, the most important thing is to get that first draft finished. The work only gets good as you move through the second, third, fourth drafts. But you can’t do that until you get the sprawly, messy, cringy first draft down.
YABC: What do you like most about the cover of the book?
I love how the art suggests the shattering of the old assumptions we carry about the Cinderella fairytale. The book doesn’t accept the dismissal of Cinderella’s stepsisters as ugly. It asks why they became that way. What made them jealous and mean? There’s a backstory there. There are reasons – some we know about, and one that we don’t!
YABC: Which was the most difficult or emotional scene to narrate?
There were so many! I don’t want to give things away, but one major one was when Isabelle comes to the rescue of an old friend. It’s a high-stakes moment, life or death, actually. And it’s a turning point for her. Let me tell you, it’s tough to type through tears!
YABC: Which part of the writing process do you enjoy more: Drafting or Revising?
Actually, my favorite part is when I first get the idea, and the blood’s rushing, the neurons are sparking, and my heart is thumping. It’s a magical, anything-is-possible time, before all the problems of plot and structure and pacing set in. I live for it.
YABC: What would you say is your superpower?
Eating Skinny Pop. I eat more of it than any human being should. I get the giant salt and black pepper bags and carry them around like Linus with his blanket.
YABC: Is there an organization or cause that is close to your heart?
The Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, one of the worlds’ leading independent environmental research organizations. Cary provides rigorous science needed to solve environmental problems. Nature inspires and informs my work. Mattie would not be who she is without having grown up in the majestic Adirondacks. The oceans, seas and freshwaters are not only settings, but characters in my Waterfire Saga. Protecting the planet, and the amazing wildlife that we share it with, is the Cary’s mission. Check them out at www.caryinstitute.org
By: Jennifer Donnelly
Release Date: May 14th, 2019
One winner will receive a signed hardcover of Stepsister (Jennifer Donnelly) ~ (US Only)
*Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway*
I am so excited for this one! I love retellings, and I love this author. And then that cover is so beautiful! Thanks for the chance!
I heard about this one a while ago and I've been wanting to read it for a while! I'm so excited, winning this would be great!
This cover...this book!!!!! Ahhhhh OMGosh its soooo amazing! I am in love with the cover and I love how Jennifer Donnelly did Beauty and the Beast...I am so eager to read her adaptation of this seemingly darker Cinderella spin off! It sounds amazing!!
The cover is so dark, yet eye-catching. This retelling of Cinderella from the step-sister's POV sounds unique and intriguing.
Woah, I’m drawn in based on the cover alone! The shattered glass heel; the red, red pooling of blood; the one-word title ‘Stepsister’... all set up the reader to see the Cinderella story through a new and unflinching lens.
The synopsis reinforces that we’ll see this ‘familiar’ fairytale through new eyes - through the eyes of ugly stepsister Isabelle.
I can’t wait to follow Isabelle’s story and to learn what SHE learns about beauty, and identity, and finding (or not finding) happily-ever-after.