Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Fantastic Fiction: The Fidelity Files by Jessica Brody

The Fidelity Files by Jessica Brody

One word: Wow! I just finished The Fidelity Files by Jessica Brody and I loved it. LOVED it!

The Fidelity Files is the story of a beautiful L.A. woman who goes undercover as a “fidelity inspector,” hired by suspicious wives and girlfriends to test the faithfulness of the men in their lives. Not unlike a modern-day, female “superhero,” Jennifer Hunter is on a quest to rid the world of infidelity, one cheater at a time…until her secret alter-ego begins to cause problems in her everyday life.



I am incredibly jealous that I wasn't clever enough to think up this premise. The Fidelity Files would make a fantastic television series. Lucky for me (and you), Jessica agreed to guest blog...

The Fidelity Files
by Jessica Brody

When I tell people that I wrote a novel about a woman who tests men’s loyalty for a living, I usually get one of two reactions. The women will often smile somewhat mischievously and say things like “Ooh, that’s fun.” Or sometimes even, “I would totally hire someone like that!” While the men just look absolutely terrified. Some will even ask, with an nervous expression on their face, “Is this fiction?” As if they’re just making sure they’re not in any imminent danger. It’s actually quite comical. But the first question I’m always asked after these reactions is “How did you come up with that idea?” People usually want to know where the concept came from. So after Maggie so graciously asked me to guest blog on her site, I decided to use the time (and cyber space) to answer that question.

Although I’d like to say that my inspiration for writing this book was based on the fact that I used to be a fidelity inspector myself—that women used to hire me to test whether or not their husbands would cheat on them—unfortunately, my life is not quite that exciting. Or I guess, “fortunately” for my parents and my boyfriend. But I will say that The Fidelity Files, despite its “fiction” classification, was inspired by a very non-fiction, and very pertinent subject matter: infidelity.

There have been several instances in my past, and I think others can probably relate, in which I found myself a witness to other people’s infidelity. Whether it be friends’, co-workers’ or just casual acquaintances’. But in all of these situations, I was always plagued with the tormenting dilemma of whether or not to keep my mouth shut…because everyone else was doing just that.

The most prominent of these experiences was when I used to work in a corporate environment and attended a lot of happy hour and other after-work functions with some of my married or attached colleagues and co-workers. During those events, I observed a lot of inappropriate behavior as alcohol began to cloud people’s judgments. And I always secretly wished that someone would tell the “conveniently” absent significant others about what their husbands/wives/boyfriends/ girlfriends/fiancés really did while attending these “obligatory” and supposedly “uneventful” work functions. Because I knew that if I were the one being cheated on, I would want to know. But I was never able to actually do it. I was brave enough to think it…but not exactly brave enough to go knocking on people’s doors with bad news. You know what people tend to do to “the messenger.”

So in order to deal with the frustration I was feeling about my own lack of courage, I came up with the idea to create a character whose job and purpose in life was to do exactly what I couldn’t bring myself to do. To reveal the truth to anyone who wanted to know. To knock on all the doors that I never had the courage to knock on. An invincible superhero-esque woman whose quest is to fight against the evils of infidelity. But of course, she soon finds out…she’s not as invincible as she once thought.

So I set out to write The Fidelity Files. And in doing so I hoped to explore some of the common fears about infidelity that I think all of us experience in our lives on at least some level. But at the same time, I also wanted to offer a message of hope despite of those fears. Because if someone who makes their living as a fidelity inspector can believe in love after everything she’s seen, it shouldn’t be that hard for the rest of us.

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