Today we sit down for a chat with Noelle McNabb from author Sally Carpenter’s new Psychedelic Spy Mystery Series.
What was your life like before your author started pulling your strings?
I play the Winter Witch in the Candy Cane Capers, a silly musical show at the Country Christmas Family Fun Park, a holiday theme park in Yuletide, Indiana. When school is in session, the park is only open weekends, so in those months I work part time at the Groovy Vinyl Record Store. I spend time with my family and friends and teach tricks to my cat, Ceebee. He’s very smart but a glutton.
What’s the one trait you like most about yourself?
I’m smart and flexible. That comes from being an actress. Improv helped me to think on my feet. I have a good memory, learn things quickly (like lines) and remember faces.
What do you like least about yourself?
That I’m twenty-five years old and still stuck in my boring hometown. Even though the year is 1967, the older generation acts like it’s 1950. What a drag. I’m saving money so I can move to Hollywood and be a big star, but some days I wonder if I’ll never make it.
What is the strangest thing your author has had you do or had happen to you?
She got me involved with a super-secret spy organization called SIAMESE (Special Intelligence Apparatus for Midwest Enemy Surveillance and Espionage). Those cats are so far under the radar, nobody knows about them—and they like it that way. One of their couriers almost died on my front porch, and next thing I know, I’m running around at night in the weirdest places, looking for missing microdots.
Do you argue with your author? If so, what do you argue about?
So far we haven’t argued much. My author is much like me. She and I are both tall, are former Girl Scouts, love cats, go to church, and watch too much TV. We both grew up in small, rural Midwest hometowns. When she was my age, she, too, wanted to go to Hollywood and be an actress with her own TV series. Years later she finally made it to L.A., but instead of acting she wrote mystery novels about an amateur sleuth who once had his own TV series.
What is your greatest fear?
That in my spy work I’ll die in some faraway place and my family will never know what happened to me and I’ll be buried in a strange place in an unmarked pauper’s grave.
What makes you happy?
When I do something that makes my parents proud of me. They were pleased when I made honor roll and dean’s list in school. They’ve always gone to the plays I’ve been in. They were impressed when I found the killer of the young man who showed up on my doorstep.
If you could rewrite a part of your story, what would it be? Why?
I want to brag about the work I do for SIAMESE, but I must keep it a secret, which drives me crazy. When I was away for a couple of days on spy work, Mom wondered where I went and I had to lie to her. I hated doing that. One of my good friends is a reporter for the Yuletide Herald newspaper and he’s been snooping around. Someday he’s going to find out about SIAMESE. I can’t tell him, either.
Of the other characters in your book, which one bugs you the most? Why?
Gus E. Monty, one of the many dopey boys I grew up with in school. He sells insurance. His parents are bugging him to get married, and since I’m one of the few old maids left in town—most girls in Yuletide get married when they leave high school—he’s always pestering me to go out with him. Ugh. I’d rather be caught by an enemy agent than to date that creep.
Of the other characters in your book, which one would you love to trade places with? Why?
I like who I am, but the person I admire most is Destiny King, the SIAMESE agent I work with. She’s a beautiful black woman, very sharp and good at what she does. She’s a black belt martial artist and can pack a punch when we’re in a fix. At first, she didn’t seem to like me, but now we make a good team. But she won’t talk about her personal life. Because of her job she doesn’t get close to people. I’d like to know more about her.
Tell us a little something about your author. Where can readers find her website/blog?
I’ve mentioned a little about her already. She lives in Southern California and works full time at a community newspaper. She has a cat that is a mouser like Ceebee. She’s written four books in the Sandy Fairfax Teen Idol series, three short stories published in anthologies and a chapter for the “Chasing the Codex” group novel. To atone for killing people on paper, she also pens a newspaper faith column. She posts once a month at the Ladies of Mystery blog. Her website is http://sandyfairfaxauthor.com.
What's next for you?
A guru comes to town, preaching about love and peace and meditation. His hippie followers arrive as well, which doesn’t set well with the old folks. One of the hippies dies of a drug overdose, but I don’t think it was accidental. And my boss at SIAMESE thinks the guru has something up his sleeve besides his hairy arm—perhaps a scheme that might involve my dad’s work at the electronics plant.
A Psychedelic Spy Mystery, Book One
The Cold War gets cozy in this retro-cozy spy caper set in 1967, a year of music, miniskirts—and murder! Actress Noelle McNabb works at the Country Christmas Family Fun Park in Yuletide, Indiana, but she longs for the bright lights of Hollywood. Real-life drama comes her way when a stranger with a fatal gunshot wound stumbles across her doorstep. When she attempts to finds the man’s murderer, Noelle encounters a super-secret spy agency, SIAMESE (Special Intelligence Apparatus for Midwest Enemy Surveillance and Espionage). SIAMESE recruits Noelle on a quest to find missing microdots under the guidance of a street-wise agent, Destiny King. As Noelle goes undercover in a cheesy nightclub and faces the enemy in late-night chases, she uncovers family secrets and finds her moral values put to the test. Along with her pet cat, Ceebee, and the kooky residents of Yuletide, Noelle discovers it takes a village to catch a killer.