The Notorious Noel Caper (Sandy Fairfax Teen Idol Mysteries)
by Sally Carpenter
It is my pleasure to welcome Sally Carpenter
back to Escape With Dollycas today!
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I was born and raised in a rural town in southwest Indiana. I lived in the Midwest until 2000 when I moved to Southern California. I have a master’s degree in theater, a Master of Divinity, and a black belt in tae kwon do. I’ve worked a variety of jobs but now I’m with a community newspaper.
What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
Depends on the book. On my newest book, The Notorious Noel Caper, my library was closed due to the pandemic, so I had to settle for a little bit of online research. But since this is part of a series, I had already done the research on the main character. My main character, Sandy Fairfax, is a former 1970s-era teen idol. To get in his mindset, I had read many autobiographies of real-life teen idols. I was/am a Monkees fan and I got into the record collecting and concert-going. I had worked at a movie studio so I knew about Sandy’s “workplace” and a bit about how Hollywood operated.
Do you ever suffer from Writer’s Block?
More like writer’s procrastination. I work a day job, so in the evenings it’s sometimes hard to get motivated to sit back at the computer and write. But once I get started and get in the groove, I can zip along. Also, it’s a challenge to put the plot together. I start with certain scenes in mind, but then I have to link them together with more scenes, and sometimes it’s a chore to think up those.
What advice do you have for someone who would like to become a published writer?
Start with the basics: learn good grammar and spelling, learn how to proofread (publishers will throw away your work if page 1 is full of typos), the rules of plotting and character development, the format of the genre you’re writing in, and know when to take advice and when to leave it. You can find a zillion online classes on “how to write” and sometimes you’ll find contradictory advice. Some authors say put in a lot of description; others say don’t bother. Some say have the body appear in chapter 1 always; others say it can come later. Write what you feel is right, but be willing to revise if a publisher says to change it.
When you are not writing what do you like to do?
Read, of course, although often this is “research” for the next book. I have a cat, which can be a handful. I love to watch old movies and TV shows.
How has the COVID pandemic affected you and your writing?
Actually, it was great. I was already pretty much a homebody. Writing fiction was a great way to get my mind off the world’s problems. In 2020 I finished one novel, revised three older books into clean reads, and started a novel that I finished this year. I also organized my paper files and cleaned out my book collection for library donations. The biggest benefit is working from home for my day job. That’s saving me an hour of commute time every day (which I can spend in writing!), and reducing the stress of driving in heavy traffic. Since my two series are set in 1967 and 1993, I don’t need to mention the pandemic in the storylines.
If you could travel anywhere in the world where would you go and why?
The Vatican and the Holy Land. This would help to strengthen my faith.
What is next on the horizon for you?
I’ve started work on the next Sandy Fairfax book. The setting is the Highland Games, so I’ve been boning up on all things Scottish. Sandy looks great in a kilt with the family tartan. After that, I’d like to wrap up my Psychedelic Spy series with a third book and then possibly start a new series before returning to another Sandy book. Who knows? So many ideas, so little time.
Thank you so much for visiting today!
Now Keep reading to find out about Sally’s Christmas Caper.
About The Notorious Noel Caper
The Notorious Noel Caper (Sandy Fairfax Teen Idol Mysteries)
5th in Series
Publisher : Cozy Cat Press (August 18, 2021)
Paperback : 235 pages
ISBN-10 : 1952579317
ISBN-13 : 978-1952579318
Digital ASIN : B09CN1W7V1
It’s Christmastime in Tinsel Town, and there’s plenty of ho-ho-homicide at the soon-to-open Santa’s Magic theme park, where bodies are dropping like snowflakes. Former pop star Sandy Fairfax has a killer job—he’s the emcee for the televised Miss North Pole beauty contest–er, scholarship pageant. But will the beautiful contestants make his girlfriend jealous? Or will she join him in his sleuthing? The deadly Christmas season begins at a celebrity bowling tournament when a pinsetter plops down a body instead of the pins. Throw in surfing Santas, a seductive executive’s wife, a sleazy tabloid editor, an egotistical movie rival and a gift-wrapped death trap, and it’s the most wonderful time of the year.
About Sally Carpenter
Sally Carpenter is a native Hoosier living in Southern California.
She has a master’s degree in theater from Indiana State University. While in school, her plays “Star Collector” and “Common Ground” were finalists in the American College Theater Festival One-Act Playwrighting Competition. “Common Ground” also earned a college creative writing award. “Star Collector” was produced in New York City and served as the inspiration for her Sandy Fairfax series.
Sally also has a Master of Divinity and a black belt in tae kwon do.
She’s worked as an actress, college writing instructor, jail chaplain and tour guide/page for Paramount Pictures.
Her first book, The Baffled Beatlemaniac Caper, was a 2012 Eureka! Award finalist for best first mystery novel. She has published five books in the Sandy Fairfax Teen Idol series and two books the Psychedelic Spy series, Flower Power Fatality and Hippie Haven Homicide.
She penned chapter three of the group mystery Chasing the Codex.
She has short stories in three anthologies: “Dark Nights at the Deluxe Drive-in” in Last Exit to Murder; and “Faster Than a Speeding Bullet” in Plan B: Omnibus as well as a Sandy Fairfax adventure, “The Puzzling Puppet Show Caper,” in Cozy Cat Shorts.
Social media links:
Purchase Link – Amazon
The Rest of the Series
November 8 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
November 8 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
November 9 – Here’s How It Happened – SPOTLIGHT
November 10 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
November 10 – Literary Gold – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
November 11 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
November 11 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
November 12 – I Read What You Write – REVIEW, GUEST POST
November 13 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
November 14 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
November 15 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author – SPOTLIGHT
November 15 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – GUEST POST
November 16 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
November 16 – Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic – SPOTLIGHT
November 17 – BookishKelly2020 – SPOTLIGHT
November 17 – fundinmental – SPOTLIGHT
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