Thanks to Claudine from Carry Us Off Books for tagging us in a fun Meme about The Secret DMS Files of Fairday Morrow. This week, we have been on the topic of other people's stories, so it is fun to share a little about our book with you. Here's a bit of the story behind our story. ~ Jess & Stephanie
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What is the name of your book?
The Secret DMS Files of Fairday Morrow
Where did your idea for the book come from?
Jess: The story originated in a creepy house when I was just a kid. It all began at my grandparents’ house in Ridgefield, CT. Even my dad will swear that when we were in the house, you could hear someone walking around upstairs when everyone that was supposed to be there was downstairs. My grandfather used to tell me that it was Ruby Begonia in her high-heeled sneakers. I can remember sneaking around the house, trying to catch a glimpse of her. My own imagination glammed up the shoes and developed the story around her. Initially, I wrote a rhyming children’s poem entitled, Ruby Begonia and the High-Heeled Sneakers. That story continued to evolve, and I decided to turn it into a chapter book. I asked my best friend and book buddy, Stephanie, to co-author it with me, and the rest is history!
Stephanie: After Jess asked me to work with her on changing her poem into a story the ideas began emerging from all over the place. We would meet, talk, brainstorm, and dissect each other’s ideas. Each time one of us shared something we would spark new ideas in the other person. Some of the elements of Fairday’s story have appeared in my dreams and others that have happened in my everyday life. For a short period of time I lived in a house that dated back to the 1700s. It was a house filled with mystery, hidden passages, and local lore. It wasn’t just like the Begonia House, but it did give me a lot to think about and got my mind whirring!
In what genre would you classify your book?
This is tricky- it could fall under mystery or fantasy.
If you had to pick actors to play your characters in a movie rendition of your book, who would you choose?
This is a tough question! Possibly Susan Sarandon as Ruby Begonia : )
Give us a one-sentence synopsis of your book.
Fairday Morrow and the Detective Mystery Squad piece together odd clues that they find in a spooky, old manor known as the Begonia House.
Is your book already published/ represented?
Our book isn’t published yet. We decided to pursue the traditional route for publishing The Secret DMS Files of Fairday Morrow. Although we both love writing, we work other jobs to pay our bills. We understand that self-publishing and marketing for yourself is a full-time job and, at the moment, we don’t feel we have the time to devote to publishing ourselves. We are lucky enough to be working with a wonderful agent, Rachael Dugas from Talcott Notch Literary and hopefully we will find an editor to publish our book. We are keeping our fingers crossed!
How long did it take you to write your book?
It took us about 9 months to write the book, and we spent time editing along the way. Before the book was completed, parts of it were read to two 5th grade classrooms and they provided feedback which we used to make changes to the story. Once the book was done we spent more time revising. We have probably edited and revised the story over 100 times to get to the version we are at now.
What other books within your genre would you compare it to? Or, readers of which books would enjoy yours?
The Secret DMS Files of Fairday Morrrow is Coraline meets Nancy Drew. Kids that like a story with fantasy elements and mystery intertwined will enjoy our book. Other books to compare it to would be The Spiderwick Chronicles by Holly Black and Tony DeTerlizzi and The Books of Elsewhere by Jacqueline West.
Which authors inspired you to write this book?
Jess: I loved the Ramona series by Beverly Cleary- and Ellen Tibets was one of my absolute favorite stories. I also really enjoyed fairy tales, preferably Grimms. And, oddly enough, books about space and astronomy.
Stephanie: I started out in first grade as a struggling reader. I couldn’t wait to read, and once I got the hang of it I couldn’t get enough! I devoured books growing up and would find an author I liked and read everything I could by them. The authors that stand out the most to me are Beverly Cleary, Judy Blume, and Roald Dahl. I loved fairy tales and Shel Silverstein poems. I read every Nancy Drew book and the Little House series. I wanted to be Nancy and Half-Pint!
Tell us anything that may pique our interest in your book: