Book Shower – The Baffled Beatlemaniac Caper by Sally Carpenter

23 Jan

Oak Tree Press

The Book Stork Has Arrived for Sally Carpenter!

Introducing the first book in the Sandy Fairfax Teen Idol Mystery series! A 38-year-old former teen idol attempting a comeback finds himself knee deep in crazed fans and dead bodies while making a guest appearance at a Beatles fan convention.

Amateur Sleuth/Humorous Cozy

Buy this Book! Print or Kindle

Congratulations to author Sally Carpenter on her book, The Baffled Beatlemaniac Caper, which was launched in September, 2011.

Sally, have a glass of virtual champagne and tell us about your new arrival!

What happens to teen idols when they grow up? My new mystery series follows former ’70’s teen idol Sandy Fairfax, now 38 years old, as he attempts a comeback, reconnects with his estranged family, an unwittingly solves crimes.

What did you feed your muse during the book’s development?

Since the story is set at a Beatle’s fan convention, I played my old Beatles records, watched the movies and read various Beatles biographies that I own. Nothing like having fun while doing research. I also read autobiographies of six real-life teen idols. Those books proved invaluable in creating my protagonist.

Did you experience any complications during the growth of this book?

This was the first mystery I’d written, so I was learning as I went along. After the first draft I shuffled around some of the plot elements, as some of the exciting events didn’t happen until late in the book.

At the end of the first draft I introduced some new characters. I moved them earlier in the book and increased their roles.

While writing the first draft I was going to reveal the killer late night Sunday (the story takes place over a weekend). But when I reached Sunday afternoon, I realized I had no more suspects for the protagonist to talk to and nothing more for him to do for several hours until Sunday night! I couldn’t have him sit around or take a nap for that time and slow down the pace. So I threw in a complication at that point, which helped the story tremendously, and the killer was revealed earlier in a tension-packed scene.

The first couple of chapters had too much backstory that dragged down the pace, so while revising I interspersed the backstory throughout several chapters and deleted the ‘info dump’.

What is your favorite feature of this book (i.e. character, setting, plot, etc.) and why?

I had a blast putting in the numerous Beatles references from the music, movies and real life (John Lennon’s own tragic murder). The chapter headers are all Beatles song titles. Of course I put in the so-called ‘Beatles death clues’ (album covers with visual ‘clues’ that proved Paul had died in an auto accident). The references are explained, so someone not as savvy on Beatle lore can still follow along. I sneak in song lyrics among the dialogue as an inside joke for fans.

Describe the perfect reader for this book.

Beatle fans, naturally. But I also think of the book as ‘Hardy Boys for grownups’. The perfect reader likes a challenging mystery — plenty of suspects in the story — likes to laugh, enjoys ‘cliffhangers’ at the end of the chapters, and likes to meet interesting, well-rounded characters that she hasn’t seen before as well as a fascinating protagonist worth rooting for.

Are you expecting any more books (wink, wink)?

Sandy’s next adventure is The Sinister Sitcom Caper. He’s a guest star on the fall season’s lowest-rated TV show that’s on the brink of cancellation. On the first day of rehearsal, one of the actors drops dead at Sandy’s feet. He investigates the death with the help of a dwarf and an animal actor while learning lines, dealing with an ex-girlfriend and ex-wife, and saving the studio lot from a developer. What a guy! And could romance be in the air?

Thanks Sally! We wish you much joy (and lots of sales!)

Sally Carpenter is a native Hoosier now living in Southern California. She has a master’s degree in theater from Indiana State University. While in school two of 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. The plays received staged readings and productions in New York City.

Carpenter also has a master’s degree in theology and a black belt in tae kwon do.  She’s worked a variety of jobs including actress, freelance writer, college writing instructor, theater critic, jail chaplain and tour guide/page for a major movie studio. She now works at a community newspaper.

She’s a member of Sisters in Crime/Los Angeles Chapter.

You can contact the author at scwriter@earthlink.net.


8 Responses to “Book Shower – The Baffled Beatlemaniac Caper by Sally Carpenter”

  1. Marja McGraw January 23, 2012 at 4:20 pm #

    Your interviews are so interesting and fun that I’m sure the book has got to be the same thing. I keep saying I’m going to order it, and I’d better do it now. Sounds like I’m missing a good read.

  2. Patricia Gligor January 23, 2012 at 5:18 pm #

    I’ve always been a Beatles fan. I played their 45 records and albums so much that I’m sure I wore new grooves in them. Paul McCartney was the love of my teenage years and I taped posters of him all over my room.
    Reading “The Baffled Beatlemaniac Caper” brought back a lot of wonderful memories. Thanks, Sally!

  3. Dac Crossley January 23, 2012 at 6:00 pm #

    Not a big Beatles fan myself – I work with real beetles at times – but I thoroughly enjoyed Sally’s book. It’s a romp that could pass as young adult or not. I’m waiting for the next adventure of Sandy Fairfax. I feel a kinship, somehow…

  4. Theresa Varela January 23, 2012 at 8:14 pm #

    Sally, I am two-thirds through this wacky caper and Sandy is one great protagonist. I must admit my heart belongs to Bunny! I hope I get to see her again too.

    • Sally Carpenter January 25, 2012 at 3:14 pm #

      Bunny will definately be back in the next book, although in a smaller capacity, as well as most of the other books. She follows her idol where ever he goes.
      Sally Carpenter

  5. Augie Hicks January 24, 2012 at 3:20 am #

    Sally great haring for you and Sandy. I see the Book Shower knows a good read. Good luck on your next issue of the life of Sandy Fairfax Teen Idol. Augie

  6. Eileen Obser January 25, 2012 at 11:09 pm #

    Great interview, Sally. You’re a wonderful self-promoter! I’m a Beetles fan (have you sent copies to Paul and Ringo?) and know I’ll enjoy reading your book.

  7. sunnyfrazier January 26, 2012 at 5:23 pm #

    I’m a George Harrison fan since 1964. Loved his eyebrows and spirituality. What does a pre-teen know of spirituality? Still. . . .

    I have on CD the film Martin Scorsesi did on George. Plus, I bought the pricey Life magazine special that was put out at the same time.

    Once a Beatlemaniac, always a Beatlemaniac.

Talk to me ;)

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