Monday, November 19, 2012

Beach Chat with Sally Carpenter

When it’s mai tai time with a favorite author, I will tag along with today’s guest! I bet a few of you faithful readers will too!   

Today’s beach chat is with:  Sally Carpenter

Recommend a beach read: Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy—light, funny and mostly harmless. Decades ago one of my brothers gave this to me for a Christmas present. I eventually bought and read the next three books in the series.

Most cherished beach memory: I grew up in the Midwest, which doesn’t have beaches except along the shoreline of Chicago and Michigan. I finally saw beaches when I moved to the Los Angeles area. My best memory would be a day trip I took with a church group to see the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit in San Diego. After viewing the exhibit we had dinner at a restaurant right on the shore. The restaurant had large windows facing the ocean and we could see the boats sailing into the harbor and the seagulls flying.

On author, living or dead, with whom you’d like to sip Mai Tais with on Waikiki Beach: Mildred Wirt Benson, who wrote the first Nancy Drew books. In 1927 she was the first woman to graduate from the Iowa School of Journalism. During the day she worked as a journalist at a newspaper in Ohio and at night she banged out juvenile mysteries on a manual typewriter. She wrote dozens of other books, not just Nancy Drew.

Worst non-writing job you ever had: At an amusement park north of Los Angeles. On my first day, I was put behind the guest relations desk where the park visitors came with questions and complaints (plenty of those). I was given zero training and no information, not even ticket prices. When I balked, I was told, “The best way to learn the job is to do it.” So every time a guest asked me a question, I had to chase down another employee to give me the answer. The so-called supervisors did nothing but sit in a back room, eating and talking with their friends. Also, the company scheduled me to work on shifts and days I had said I didn’t want to work. Then I was scheduled to work six days straight, one day off, and then six more days. The supervisors had plenty of days off. I quit after two weeks.
         A few years later, I received a notice in the mail that some former employees of this park had filed a class-action lawsuit for unpaid overtime hours or some such and I was eligible to join in the suit. I did so and received a small payment. Apparently the company’s bad management practices caught up with them.

Favorite quote or saying: And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him (Romans 8:28).

Song that you dance to (when no one is watching): “Get Dancin’” by Disco Tex and the Sex-O-Lettes.  (and as an added bonus today you can not only dance along with Sally, but also the Soul Train Dancers!)

Three of your favorite things: My cats, my friends and my computer because that’s where I write.

Two secret vices: If I told you, they wouldn’t be secret, would they?

One pet peeve:  Bad drivers, especially tailgaters and idiots who blow through stop signs when I have the right-of-way.

About Sally: 
          Sally Carpenter is native Hoosier now living in Moorpark, 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. “Star Collector” was produced 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’s now employed at a community newspaper.
          The Baffled Beatlemaniac (Oak Tree Press) is the first book in the Sandy Fairfax Teen Idol series. Beatlemaniac was a finalist for the 2012 Eureka! Award for best first mystery novel. Sally’s working on the second book, The Sinister Sitcom Caper.
She’s a member of Sisters in Crime/Los Angeles chapter and “mom” to two black cats.          Contact her at Facebook or
          The Baffled Beatlemaniac Caper is available in print, Kindle and Nook at and 

No comments: