Meli Dez lives her life authentically and wanted to write a book with the same genuine feel.
Dez, an eight-year resident of Manhasset and mother of three, took a “momcation” with her best friend and co-author Jules Morse to Montreal about four years ago, and the experience changed their lives.
“We weren’t worrying about wiping anyone’s mouth or getting anyone a drink,” Dez said. “We only had to worry about ourselves, and that was eye-opening.”
When the pair returned home, Dez and Morse, who lives in Manhattan, took notes with the plan to write a novel about their experiences. Within months, however, Dez was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre syndrome and was soon unable to drive or even leave the house and required months of physical therapy to recover.
“That really changed me forever,” Dez said. “When I finally came out of that funk and made a full recovery, Jules looked at me and said ‘it’s time to write that book.'”
“Disco Fried,” the new novel by Dez and Morse, was released in September and, though a work of fiction, closely mirrors the experiences of the pair from their trip years ago. Dez said she wanted to write a book that was relevant to all women unlike many women’s fiction novels today that focus around very fictionalized characters.
The book is available now on Amazon.
In the novel, Mina Barron is recovering from Guillain-Barre syndrome and her best friend, Jill Stone, convinces her it is time for a girls’ trip to Montreal. The characters contemplate the state of their marriages, the world of flirtation and infidelity.
“Women do not talk about these things. They do their everyday grind, volunteer for the PTA, get in their nice cars, they go to their nice homes, and I think a lot of women hide behind a façade and aren’t really expressing the things they’re struggling with,” Dez said. “I think this book allows the women who need an outlet to feel they have camaraderie.”
“It is not good social form for women to get together at their book clubs or ladies’ lunch and start talking about infidelity,” Dez said. “People are not going to do that, and I feel like that’s sad. We live in a world today where women should feel comfortable talking about their weaknesses with each other.”
Dez said many women have reached out to her through social media since the book’s release to say how connected they are to these characters and how some of them have been inspired to be more honest with their husbands and friends about their feelings.
“There are a lot of women who won’t take a ‘momcation’ because they don’t want their husbands to take a vacation because they don’t trust them,” Dez said. “The book is touching a nerve on so many levels for many different kinds of people.”