Friday, December 5, 2014

COVER REVEAL! The Journey of a Story...

COVER REVEAL FOR
THE SECRET FILES OF FAIRDAY MORROW
 
The Secret Files of Fairday Morrow hits bookstores everywhere in December 2015, and it's been quite an adventure! We could never have imagined the twists and turns on the journey to publication. 

As a thank you to our fabulous readers, we're hosting a giveaway for a first edition signed hardcover copy of The Secret Files of Fairday Morrow. Winner to be announced April 15th

Today, Stephanie Robinson and Jessica Haight are here to give you the inside scoop on the story behind the story!


“How did you write a book together?” A question often asked of authors who decide to collaborate on writing a story. The underlying truth of what they are really asking is, “How did you manage to not end up hating each other during the process?” The answer to this is simple, it’s not about the ego; it’s about the book. We decided this first.

Jess & Stephanie signing contracts with Delacorte Press 

When we sat down to write The Secret Files of Fairday Morrow, we committed to this concept and made a pact with each other that we would set our feelings to the side in order to produce the best story that we could. After we agreed to this, the words flowed easily and the story began to take shape. As it moved along, the writing came naturally. It shifted, bent, dissolved, exploded, and then mushroomed into something spectacular. 




Why did you decide to co-author this work?
Stephanie and Jess circa 1999

Jess: I have always enjoyed talking about books with Stephanie. We have been friends for a long time, so when I wanted to turn my children’s poem into a middle grade book, it seemed natural to ask her if she wanted to write it with me. 

Stephanie: I have always loved writing and have written many short stories and poems. When Jess asked me to co-author a book with her, I decided it was the perfect chance to begin working on one of my dreams.
Stephanie and Jess presenting at Flanders Elementary School in Southington, CT
One amazing realization about co-author collaboration is that you have a whole other brain working towards the same goal. Both of us have our strengths and weaknesses. What one lacks, the other makes up for. Sometimes, one of us would be working on a chapter and have a vision of what it should be, but just not getting it out right. The other would read it and see it in a different light, change the words, and restructure the sentence or chapter. In a way, this was very satisfying, like fitting the right piece into a puzzle.
Stephanie reading an excerpt of The Secret Files of Fairday Morrow to students 
What was one of the most surprising things you learned while writing your book?

Jessica: I learned a lot about myself and about discipline in writing. I am sort of a free-form writer, and it's absolutely essential to keep everything in tune and orderly to progress. Stephanie is the master of organization, so I am very lucky to have her as my co-author. Most of the time, instructions and lists sound to me like the adults in Charlie Brown, whoh, whoh, whoh. However, after working on this with my awesome writing partner, I embrace the list. : )

Stephanie:  I have been surprised by the amount of time Jessica and I spend discussing Fairday and her friends and coming up with ideas. Most of our conversations now center around our writing and blog. I never knew how much fun it would be to write a book with someone else who shares my same vision and makes work fun. Also, I have been pleasantly surprised to find support for my book in places I never expected. Thanks to all of our supporters. 


There were times when we threw away whole chapters and started over. This was somewhat painful, but we both knew it had to be done and accepted it. We wanted it to be right; we wanted it to be what we knew in our hearts it could be. And so, swallowing our pride became a common occurrence, which was easier and easier to digest as the story progressed. Now when we receive criticism from ourselves or other readers, we both embrace it and think of it as an opportunity to improve our story.



Our writing process wouldn’t have been as smooth without Google Docs. Using this online format allowed us to post a chapter or two at a time that we could work on together. What an amazing tool! Being able to make changes to our book from any location opened up our world of writing and our story was written in Poland, Yellowstone, from our town libraries, and the comforts of our own homes. We entered contests, kept up with local writers' conferences, and attended book fairs, keeping an eye on the latest book buzz and honing our craft. We've met some amazing authors and illustrators, and made great connections with the people all over the world. 
Unicorn Writers' Conference 2011 
What inspired you to pursue a writing career?

Little Jess


Jessica: For as long as I can remember, I have always loved stories. I have a certain taste for rhyme, and I enjoy word play. After recovering from the devastation that I was probably not going to be an astronaut (terrible at math), it felt natural to want to pursue writing. I also love to draw, and my inspiration comes from illustrators like Edward Gorey and Barbara McClintock




Little Stephanie
Stephanie:
Since I was a little girl, I have loved reading and creating stories. When I was younger, I thought I would be a teacher during the year and spend the summer writing books (yes, that is plural). I obviously didn’t understand how much time teaching and writing would actually take. Ever since Jess asked me to co-author The Secret Files of Fairday
Morrow, I have been actively pursuing my dreams of being a writer.

Is co-authoring for everyone? Probably not, but for those who do embark on this wondrous journey, remember to set a common goal, work with someone you can be honest with, and keep your eye on the prize- a well-written book!  
From Left: Rachael Dugas (Agent/ Talcott Notch Literary), Jessica Haight, Stephanie Robinson, Krista Vitola (Editor/ Delacorte/ Random House)
To add a little more mystery, we've put together a puzzle that will unveil another illustration, along with a few secrets over this upcoming year, so stay tuned!

Subscribe to our monthly newsletter, and be the first to find out when the next piece of the puzzle will be revealed. 
Enter the book giveaway for your chance to win a first edition signed hardcover copy of The Secret Files of Fairday Morrow.

WINNER TO BE ANNOUNCED APRIL 15th!
We appreciate everyone who helps to spread the news. :)

"I loved the opening chapters of The Secret Files of Fairday Morrow, and was immediately captivated by the characters. The writing is great and very accessible. I'm sure children and young adults will love it." Jenny Nimmo, Author of Midnight for Charlie Bone


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80 comments:

  1. Huge congrats! You ladies are absolutely awesome. I couldn't be happier for you.

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    1. Hi Kelly, Thanks so much! Stephanie and I appreciate your kind words and support. :) ~ Jess & Stephanie

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  2. So much greatness in this post from the beautiful cover to your interview responses :) For some reason I thought it was coming out 2014, not 2015. I think the mixup was wishful thinking! Never the less, early congrats!!

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    1. HI Jennifer, Thanks so much for stopping by! It's a long journey, but completely amazing to embark upon. We appreciate your support. :) ~ Jess & Stephanie

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  3. So nice to put faces to your blog; Yabbie Dabby Do! be well. agman

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    1. Hi Terence, Thanks for stopping by! It's always a pleasure to hear from you. :) ~ Jess & Stephanie

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  4. Big congrats indeed, damn a year is a long arse wait though. Awesome cover.

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    1. Hi Pat, It's been a long time to get to this point, so a year feels like it will whip by! Thanks for stopping by to check out the cover. :) ~Jess & Stephanie

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  5. You two are awesome together - it was a match made in heaven! I'd love to work with another writer, but I'm afraid we'd end up disagreeing. You're lucky you obviously chose each other well. Your cover is incredible, and I'm so happy for you!!!! :)

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    1. Hi Lexa, It's funny because we work together like we used to waitress together! Thank you for stopping by to check out the cover. It's always great to hear from you! ~ Jess & Stephanie

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  6. Loved reading more about you two working together! I love seeing such fantastic collaborations. And your cover--superb!! Congrats to you both!!

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    1. Hi Meradeth, Thank you so much! Stephanie and I really appreciate your support. :) ~ Jess & Stephanie

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  7. I loved your story! It's a perfect sort of fairy tale with a very happy ending!

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    1. Hi Patty, Thank you! ~ Jess & Stephanie

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  8. Congratulations - it sounds as if this collaboration was good for both of you. And productive. And will be good for us readers as well.
    The good thing about swallowing pride? No calories.

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    1. Hi Elephant's Child, Lol- true! Thank you for stopping by to check out the cover. We enjoy working together, and it's always an adventure! ~ Jess & Stephanie

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  9. How COOL! I'm adding it to today's blog to send people over!!!

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    1. Hi Stephanie, THANK YOU SO MUCH for adding the cover to your blog. We can't thank you enough. :) ~ Jess & Stephanie

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  10. Thanks for sharing your story and I love the cover!

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    1. Hi Kimbacaffeniate, Thank you so much! We appreciate you stopping by to check out the cover of the book. :) ~ Jess & Stephanie

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  11. What a great post. You sound as though you're having lots of fun writing this story together. So looking forward to reading the book. Thanks for letting us see how you work.

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    1. Hi Beverly, It's been a blast! It was interesting to put this post together, as we've been on quite a journey, and summing it up was fascinating! Thanks for stopping by. It's always a pleasure to hear from you. :) ~ Jess & Stephanie

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  12. It has been such a fulfilling journey for you two, and for us ~ your blog followers and readers. The new cover is exciting, the colours and fonts just pop up beautifully. I'll stay out of this giveaway so more will have a chance to win and read it, and buy a few e-copies when the book is released!

    Congratulations on the WD honorable mention, too!

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    1. Hi Claudine, Thank you! Your critique of the story was key in helping us to craft the book into what it is now. We really appreciate your support, and it's always lovely to hear from you! ~ Jess & Stephanie

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  13. the cover is deliciously cute <--- trust me, that makes sense! congrats, ladies!

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    1. Hi Tammy, Thank you so much! ~ Jess & Stephanie

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  14. Well done! Just looked up your book on Goodreads and it looks very good. Thank you for the international giveaway.

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    1. Hi Sue, Thank you for checking out the book and popping over to see the cover. We appreciate it! ~ Jess & Stephanie

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  15. Hi Jess and Stephanie .. how lovely to read, but also to see as great friends you can write and create together ... I love the illustrations too ..

    Good luck - the storyline sounds fun ... cheers Hilary

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    1. Hi Hilary, Thanks for your kind words and for stopping by! We appreciate it. :) ~ Jess & Stephanie

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    1. Hi Vanessa, Thank you! ~ Jess & Stephanie

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  17. Congratulations! That cover is perfectly adorable and how fun it must be to work together! Best wishes for a GREAT launch!

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    1. Hi marciastrykowski, Thank you! It's a great cover, we couldn't be happier with Roman Muradov's illustrations. :) ~ Jess & Stephanie

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  18. Congratulations! Great post on how you worked together on the book. Wishing you the best - you deserve it.

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    1. Hi Janet, Thank you! We appreciate your support. :) ~ Jess & Stephanie

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  19. So terrifically exciting!!!! Sounds like an awesome read and what cool illustrations!

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    1. Hi Catherine, Thank you! We are very excited!!! Roman Muradov did an amazing job on the illustrations. Great to hear from you. :) ~ Jess & Stephanie

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  20. I'm so happy for you girls! The cover looks AMAZING!!! :D
    All your hard work is going to pay off! I'm so happy that even if you had to throw away whole chapters you didn't hate each other at the end of this and that you had a lot of fun. You have a passion and love for writing with each other and that's what matters. Your pictures as little girls are adorable by the way.

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    1. Hi Adriana, Thank you so much! We are very happy with the cover. It's been quite an adventure, and even better that we get to chat with lovely people, such as yourself. Thank you for all of your support- we really appreciate it, and it's always a pleasure to hear from you! ~ Jess & Stephanie

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  21. Congratulations on your cover release! And I am always amazed when I hear about how people co-author books. I suppose it's a little like making revisions with an editor, but even then, I'm still doing all the writing. It's hard for me to imagine giving that over to someone else ... (although I have sometimes thought it would be fun to co-write something with my daughters.)

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    1. Hi Dianne, Thank you! It's exciting writing with someone else, but it has to be someone you can be open and honest with- and argue with without having it be a big deal! Good luck with your writing! ~ Jess & Stephanie

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    1. Hi TexWisGirl, Thank you for stopping by to check out the cover release! :) ~ Jess & Stephanie

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  23. Congratulations to both of you...what a wonderful journey! I love the cover.

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    1. Hi Anna Maria, Thank you for stopping by! We appreciate it. :) ~ Jess & Stephanie

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  24. Congratulations ladies! That cover looks fabulous. Can't wait to see it on bookstore shelves. Thanks for sharing your creativity and your journey!

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    1. Hi Gina, Thank you! We're very excited about the illustrations, and we can't wait to see the book on shelves either! Great to hear from you. :) ~ Jess & Stephanie

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  25. I love this post and is fun and lovely know more about you!
    Love the little Jess picture!
    And love the book too!

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    1. Hi Gloria. Thanks so much for stopping by to share your thoughts. We really appreciate it! ~ Jess & Stephanie

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  26. I like the cover :) very nice for a kids books

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    1. Hi Blodeuedd, Thank you! ~ Jess & Stephanie

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  27. Love the cover! I'm always impressed and amazed by authors who co-write a book together. It definitely has it challenges. Lots of them.

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    1. Hi Stina, Thank you so much for stopping by! It does have its challenges, but the rewards are many! We always have fun plotting together. :) ~ Jess & Stephanie

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  28. That's so awesome! Congratulations. :D

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    1. Hi Carrie, Thank you so much for stopping by! ~ Jess & Stephanie

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  29. Huge congrats. I can't wait for the release. I loved reading about the two of you.

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    1. Hi Medeia, Thank you! We can't wait either. Always a pleasure to hear from you. :) ~ Jess & Stephanie

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  30. Congratulations! The cover looks great.

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    1. Hi Armchair Squid, Thank you! ~ Jess & Stephanie

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  31. Beautiful cover- thanks for the fun interview/giveaway. :)

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    1. Hi Shooting Starts Mag, Thank you for stopping by! We appreciate it. :) ~ Jess & Stephanie

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  32. Congratulations to both of you! I am excited for you two. What a fun and interesting journey. I enjoying hearing about how it works for you. It can be a challenge collaborating on a big project (sort of like sharing an apartment with someone - you want to still like them when it is over!). A friend and I have been working on an historical novel and are thinking along the same lines. It's a fun adventure. Wishing you both all the best!

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    1. Hi Karen- Thanks so much for your comment How wonderful to hear you are working on a HF novel with a friend. It works well if you both think along the same lines! Wishing you and your friend the best and happy writing together. :) ~Stephanie and Jess

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  33. Aww, congratulations! That is actually a nicely looking book! And charming, it seems. Hopefully, I'll get to read it sometime. ^^

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    1. Lola- Thanks! We loved hearing your comments about the cover and hope you get to read it when it is out. :) ~Stephanie and Jess

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  34. Yippie! And congratulations! I love the cover. Just love it!

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    1. TBM- Thanks for making us smile! :) Yeah! ~Stephanie and Jess

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  35. CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I love the cover and the behind the scenes story. :)

    Akoss

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    1. Akoss- So glad to hear you love the cover and the behind the scenes story. Thanks so much for stopping by. :) ~Stephanie and Jess

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  36. I love the cover, it's simple, but cute.

    lol yeah it would be hard to write a book with someone else. I'm glad it didn't turn into a real murder mystery.

    It would be nice having two brains, that way only one had writers block at a time. I agree, writing is so like puzzling!

    I think that's the most important thing, that you had fun writing together!

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    1. Molly- Thanks for stopping by. Glad you like the cover! Lol- definitely a good thing that the joint writing went well. Two brains is SO helpful! We love that you also think writing is like a puzzle. We have a ton of fun writing together. :_ ~Stephanie and Jess

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  37. Love this cover! I'm so excited for you guys and I love the story behind your collaboration. Congratulations!

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    1. Sherrie- Thanks so much for your enthusiastic comment. :) We are so happy you like the cover and enjoyed the post! ~Jess and Stephanie

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  38. Applause. Applause. Applause. I love the cover!

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    1. Lee- Thank you, thank you! We are so excited that you love the cover too! :) ~Stephanie and Jess

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  39. Yea!!! Doing the happy dance with you! Clink, clink. (That's champagne classes.)

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    1. Bish- Clink, clink back! We are so happy to have you doing the happy dance with us! :) ~Jess and Stephanie

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  40. Congrats. Great cover. I think it will attract a lot of readers!

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    1. Hi Margo- Thanks so much! Glad to hear you love the cover! :) ~Jess and Stephanie

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Thank you for stopping by and commenting. We love to hear your thoughts! Fairday's Blog is no longer accepting awards. We appreciate all the nominations that we have received and are honored to have been mentioned! Happy Reading!

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