A Book Is Born
How To Ditch Your Fairy was inspired by my friends Ron Serdiuk and Stephen Gamble. We were driving around the Sunshine Coast (in Queensland in Australia). It’s a very busy beach holiday area and there’s crazy amounts of traffic in many of the towns. Every time we needed a parking spot, if Stephen was driving we’d get one, but if it was anyone else we were out of luck. Ron declared that Stephen had a parking fairy, which got me thinking about what other kinds of fairies there could be and what it would be like if you had a fairy you didn’t want.
Those ideas percolated in my back brain and didn’t pop up until very early one morning when I’d gotten up in a desperate attempt to meet my deadline for Magic Lessons later that day. I sat down to write about Reason Cansino and what poured out instead was Charlie complaining about her parking fairy.
When Scott, my husband, came down for breakfast, I proudly announced that I had more than 4,000 words. “That’s great,” he said. “You will be able to get the book done in time!”
“Um,” I admitted. “I accidentally started a new novel . . . ”
I truly had meant to sit down and write more of Magic Lessons, but HTDYF snuck up on me, insisting that I start on it. That was at the beginning of 2005. Between my work on Magic Lessons, Daughters of Earth and Magic’s Child I didn’t get a chance to finish the first draft of HTDYF until January 2007.
For ages I called it the Fairy novel. Or on my blog: the great Australian feminist young adult Elvis mangosteen monkey knife-fighting cricket fairy novel. (If you read the novel carefully you’ll find that every single one of those items is included.) Then it became The Ultimate Fairy Book which I was rather fond of. Sadly though that title was too confusing, people couldn’t be sure whether it was fiction or non-fiction. There folllowed much title despair before Libba Bray stepped in and named my book How To Ditch Your Fairy and all was well.
Thank you, Libba!