Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Secret DMS Files of Fairday Morrow by Jess Haight & Stephanie Robinson: Interview & Excerpt

YA Fantasy Adventure
Mat and Word Art design by Jumpstart Designs, Mirror from DigiScraps,Notebook and Camera from Clker

Fairday Morrow is less than happy about moving to the quiet, country town of Ashpot, not to mention, utterly cheerless at the prospect of living in the crumbling, creepy old manor known as Begonia House.

Nevertheless, that's exactly where she's headed.

Strange music coming from behind a padlocked door leads Fairday up a spiral staircase and into a secret room, where and ancient mirror, a brass key, and a strange picture of a red-haired lady are the first in a series of clues that will take Fairday and her friends in the Detective Mystery Squad, more commonly known as the DMS, on an amazing adventure that will challenge them in ways they never thought possible.

As the investigation gears up, it becomes plainly obvious to Fairday that the danger is deadly serious. With a little help, which is found in some very odd places, the twisting tale

begins to unfurl. Will the DMS be able to piece together the puzzle before it's too late?

Goodreads  |  Blog  

Chapter Twelve: The DMS Reunited

The daylight began to fade, painting the sky with long pinkish, purple streaks of color. Fairday's bedroom was hazy with the last dusty beams shining through the grimy velvet draped window. As she closed the door and switched on the overhead lamp, shadows shifted eerily over the poorly plastered walls. Lizzy flung her overnight bag in the corner, and then sat eagerly down on the bed; listening with rapt attention to Fairday's unbelievable recount of the incident involving Margo going through the old mirror. Fairday left out the part about the be-jeweled high-heeled sneaker, intending to present that incredible item when the time was right.
"It was just so crazy! I mean, how did Margo get into that mirror? And, where on Earth does it go? What do you think? Anyone else would think I was mental, right?" Fairday shot off these last questions to Lizzy, and then finally took a breath.
"Well," Lizzy said, her forehead wrinkled up in contemplative thought as she tapped her chin, "if you say it happened, it did. I’m not sure how, but I know we’ll figure it out. I think it's time to check out all the stuff you found. Maybe that will give us some answers, or at least point us in the right direction." She pulled her DMS pack off of her shoulders, swung it around, and laid it on her lap. Within moments, all of her detective tools were sprawled out on the bed next to her. There was the digital camera, the binoculars and headlamp, her brother's multi-tool key chain, and something else Fairday noticed. A pair of used tweezers lay next to Lizzy's hand.
"Very useful," Lizzy explained, taking note of Fairday's quizzical expression. "Belonged to my mom. She used them for eyebrow plucking and was going to toss them. But, I rescued them from becoming trash. They are great for picking up small things. I can't believe we didn't already have a pair. It seems so obvious. Duh, right?" She screwed up her face into a funny expression, grasped the tweezers, and pinched the air with them a few times. Fairday smirked.
"Okay then, let's get on with it." Fairday took a deep breath; whole heartedly agreeing with the suggestion to start the case by carefully examining all of the clues she had collected. Last night she had put them all into her bag, so that she could show them to Lizzy like a magician pulling a rabbit out of a hat. Her black notepad sat on the dresser already flipped to the correct page; the pen at the ready to record any ingenious thoughts that might pop into their heads. In the center of the room, Fairday stood with her DMS pack at her feet, feeling like an actor on stage preparing for opening night. Bending down, she unzipped it, thankful that Lizzy was finally here and the pieces of the puzzle would soon be organized into some ...

How did you start your writing career?

Jessica: I have always loved stories, for as long as I can remember. I would say after I got over the devastation that I was probably not going to be an astronaut (terrible at math) becoming a writer was the only other thing there was for me to be.
I started looking for a literary agent for my children’s story, Ruby Begonia and the High-Heeled Sneakers about five years ago. Since the story has transformed into the middle grade book, The Secret DMS Files of Fairday Morrow, the pursuit has become much more involved.
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 Jessica asked me to co-author The Secret DMS Files of Fairday Morrow with her I have been actively pursuing my dreams of being a writer.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned while writing your books?

Jessica: I learned a lot about myself and about discipline in writing. I am sort of a free-form writer, and it is 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.
What is your favorite meal?

Jessica: Hamburger, med rare, slice of tomato, mayo, ketchup (preferably from Denmo’s in Southbury, CT) with a side of onion rings and a root beer or cream soda.

Stephanie:  Hmmm... This is a tough one.  Pizza is one of my favorite foods (specifically Ernie’s or Pepe’s from New Haven, CT).  My favorite meal would either be pizza or chicken cordon blue, with a side of mashed potatoes, and broccoli. YUM! 
You just won a huge lottery what is the first thing you'll buy?

Jessica: A horse.

Stephanie: After I took care of all my bills and helped out my family and friends, I would love to travel, so I guess it would be plane tickets to some fabulous place : )
Tell us about a favorite character from a book.
Jessica: Morpheus & Death from the Sandman series. Neil Gaiman twists his stories and  characters into the fabric of myth and folklore, bringing them to life in a new way. I think that The Sandman is wonderfully original.

Stephanie: Harry Potter. I loved seeing the magical world through his voice. I had a connection to his story, and felt like I was right there with him every step of the way.
Where do you dream of traveling to and why?
Jessica: For some odd reason, the Dead Sea. Also, I would love to visit a really secretive island paradise someplace in the Pacific- maybe the Cook Islands.

Stephanie: I love to travel and have driven across the United States 3 times. I have seen all but 4 of the states- but hope to one day have seen all 50.  I have travelled out of the country as well, but not to very many places. I would LOVE to get to spend time visiting every country and checking out all that this amazing planet has to offer. My dream is to travel to as many places as possible.  Next up I would love to visit Italy, France, or Sweden.


Jessica: Jessica is a quintessential New Englander, harboring a desperate need to be near the ocean and a personal desire to experience the four seasons every year. Now at the age of 38, she lives in New Fairfield, CT with her wonderful boyfriend, James, her dog, Jack, and her cat, Bill. 

Stephanie: Stephanie is a 5th grade teacher and currently lives with her husband in a quiet town in Connecticut, though not as quaint as Ashpot. When she isn't working, she spends her time writing, reading, and traveling.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Savannah Chase said...

What a lovely interview. It is so nice to meet you both.

Suz said...

Great review! This books looks like a fun read and I would love to win it!

Suz Reads in Rafflecopter

Lizzy Mackerville said...

Thanks Savannah and Suz- So nice to meet both of you. We are so excited to be here with you on Laurie's Paranormal Thoughts and Reviews! :) ~Stephanie

Mel said...

I so love these ladies, they are fantastic! And I'd love to read the book! Great interview!! New follower here!

Laurie said...

Thanks Mel!! :) Appreciate the follow!

bookspersonally said...

Neat to learn more about you both! (We spent a few years in New Haven... Pepe's pizza- YUM!!!!!)

Trey said...

I really like the excerpt- I can picture it so clearly in my mind. This sounds like a fun book and I liked learning about the authors. I am now following this blog.

Laurie said...

Awesome Trey.....and thanks for the follow!

x) Ruty said...

Thnks for hosting an international giveaway!
I'd love to read sth of this autor!

intensev5 said...

Thanks for the chance to win.

Lizzy Mackerville said...

@Mel- Thanks for your support! :)

@Books Personally- How cool that you lived in New Haven for a while (I lived there during college). Pepe's is delicious! My husband I love to eat there.

Trey- I am so happy that you liked the excerpt and that you could picture it!

@Ruty- Thanks for entering. So glad you would enjoy reading the book!

@intensev5- Good luck! :)

A BIG thank you to Laurie for featuring us. You have such an amazing and interesting blog!


Kimberly Lim said...

Thanks for the giveaway...
More power to your blog

Sarah Elizabeth said...

'Begonia House' - sounds lovely! Shame it isn't really!

Gale Nelson said...

Sounds great!!! Love to have it. Thanks for the great giveaway. Gale

Fairday Morrow said...

@Kimberly Lim- You are welcome! Good luck!

@Sarah Elizabeth- Glad you like the name of the house. I think it is has a nice ring to it, too. :)

@Gale- Thanks! Best of luck!


Steph said...

Thanks for the giveaway! This book sounds awesome! :)

Helen said...

I would love the chance to read this

Fairday Morrow said...

Steph and Helen- Thanks for stopping by and entering the giveaway. So happy to hear your thoughts!

❤ Stephanie said...

Oooh I've had my eye on this one and am so eager to read it!!! Thank you so much for the giveaway — here's my chance :)

thestephanieloves AT gmail DOT com

Lisa Richards/alterlisa said...

I've had this one on my wishlist since I first saw the cover and read the blurb. Thanks for the giveaway!

Fairday Morrow said...

Lisa and Stephanie- We are so excited that you want to read The Secret DMS Files of Fairday Morrow! Best of luck. :)

~Jess and Stephanie