Name  Scott Carpenter

Age 45

Where are you from  Kokomo, IN

A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc  

I’m married with four inherited kids. I’m a wage slave for Chrysler, but being forced to work nights, which I HATE, has inspired to finally get to serious work on a very marketable series of books.


Fiona: Tell us your latest news?

I’m working on a trilogy that sits nicely in the YA market. I’m looking for the Harry Potter demographic, where adults will like the books just as much as the kids. I’m having a total blast writing this.

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

At the end of 2001 my band was not doing much of anything. In order to use my creativity in a meaningful way I decided to try my hand at writing. I consider myself a musician who writes much more strongly than a writer who plays music. That seems to be changing, though.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I’ve thought of this a lot, and there are a lot of answers I could give, but I think it was really when I first held a printed copy of Mr. Undesirable in my hands. That made it more real.

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

Mr. Undesirable came from watching an episode of The X-Files in which a mythological Asian monster enforced the feng shui of this gated community. It opens with a guy coming home and seeing his neighbor painting the guy’s mailbox back to the uniform color it was “supposed” to be. That introductory scene made me turn to the friends I was watching with and say, “Can you imagine what would happen if I lived in a neighborhood like that?” The story of Lenny Kapowski – foulmouthed, dirt poor, porn addicted, binge drinking malcontent – began to form. Lenny wins $158 million on the lottery and moves into a wealthy, snobbish gated community, solely to get revenge on the people who treated him badly when he was poor.

Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?

I have been trying to write in different voices and different styles. I really enjoy writing in first person and using conversational language, but I go with whatever feels right for the specific work.

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

My current project is called The Bad Fairy. A little girl is in trouble and her family has an ancient pact with the fae, so they go to them for help. The fae are in serious trouble at the time and the only fairy they can spare is a less than noble one who is coerced into fulfilling the fae’s part of the bargain.

Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Each of the three books will address a level of growth in the main character. The first book is the discovery of inner strength.

Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?

The characters are based on my stepkids and nieces and nephews when they were much younger. That part is realistic, down to their personalities. Everything else is extremely fantastical.

Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

Not at all. Not this time.

Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?

Sick Puppy by Carl Hiaasen was the first book I read that was funny. I always thought I’d write horror. Christopher Moore mentors writers on his website and he helped me with the mechanics of plotting a novel.

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

I just finished Revival by Stephen King. I’m deciding what to read next. If comic books count I’m reading the graphic novel collections of The Walking Dead.

Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

Since our last interview I’ve gotten into Joe Hill. I really enjoyed Horns, Heart Shaped Box, and his anthology 20th Century Ghosts.

Fiona: What are your current projects?

I’ve been working on a lot of different things over the last few years, making small amounts of progress on many fronts. I’ve decided to concentrate on the Bad Fairy and the two following books in the trilogy before I do anything else.

Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.

It’s still the reading public. I am always amazed when I get fan mail. Or when I see someone carrying one of my books in public. Especially the people who are brave enough to carry a copy of Picking On Retards.

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

Maybe now that I’ve committed to writing less obnoxious things.

Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

The last novel I wrote, Angel’s Blood, hasn’t been released. I submitted it, but requested it back. I want to punch it up. Make it not only better, but meaner. I felt like I was pulling punches in it and I don’t want to do that.

Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

I used to write short slasher movie style stories in middle school. I had a whole slew of deranged killers murdering all my school friends in a variety of sick and twisted ways. They loved them. I often got requests from people for me to kill them as gruesomely as possible in my next story. That was many years before Columbine. That sort of thing would not fly today.

Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?

It’s not ready to the point where I’m comfortable with that yet. But I will include, at the end of this interview, a piece of flash fiction I wrote. It was submitted to a website called MicroHorror, but I haven’t heard if they’re going to use it yet, so you’ll have the early exclusive. I hit their limit of 666 words on the nose.

Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Not swearing. This kids book would be MUCH funnier with some swearing!

Besides avoiding swearing in this kids book I enjoy the challenge of trying to use the exact right words in the most creative way to entertain. I sweat the lyrical flow of the prose. Sometimes I don’t know if it makes a difference to anyone, but it does to me.

Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

Christopher Moore is a definite favorite. He has the perfect timing and delivery for written comedy. That is much harder to do than it initially seems.

Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?

I haven’t yet, but I want to visit the Daniel Boone National Forest in Kentucky. It’s the inspiration for where key parts of this trilogy will take place.

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

I designed Mr. Undesirable, my wife Lisa designed Picking On Retards, and Hellfire’s art department designed the cover for Angel’s Blood. The first two are intentionally simple. I love that Mr. Undesirable is a comedy with a black cover.  Picking On Retards is lime green varsity letters on a royal purple background. I’m holding out for a publisher on the new books, so they’ll take care of that if I get that far.

Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?

Time. Real life has a very inconsiderate way of stealing important time from a vibrant fantasy life.

Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

Don’t take writing for a young audience for granted. They are very savvy and will know if you’re phoning it in. I threw out an original draft of The Bad Fairy because it was too tame. I’m working harder on this book than I have on anything else in my life.

Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?

Try to read as much as you write. Reading informs writing.

Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

As always, thank you! It makes my day every time I find out someone has enjoyed my work.

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

Mike Mulligan and His Steamshovel

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

I laugh at some horrible things. I have a brutal sense of humor. I’m not much of a crier. I cried when my mom died last month, but other than that I just don’t have it in me.

Fiona: Is there one person past or present you would meet and why?

The Farrelly Brothers. I’d like to get them to make my first two books into movies. They can do pretty harsh adult comedy, but with a lot of heart. Mr. U and Picking On Retards both need that kind of hand.

Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?

Niedermeyer – dead! Dean Wormer – dead!

I just like Animal House.

Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?

I’ve been playing roleplaying games for over 20 years with the same group of friends.

Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?

I don’t miss The Walking Dead. I like Grimm. Game of Thrones.

Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music

Pepper steak/black/hard rock, heavy metal

Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?

 I’ve been a musician since I was sixteen. My band made the Grammy ballot in 2006, narrowly missing a nomination. I still intend to make music. Now how rigorously I pursue it at this point is another thing. My fifteen year old son is my bass player. I’m enjoying playing with him and helping shape another generation of players.

Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?

I generally just Facebook to stay in contact. I have pages for Mr. Undesirable and Picking On Retards (called Book With No Name on FB because they pulled the original page.) I also published a political novella on Facebook called The Last Days Of Mr. Right. It was written in three days of pure disgust following the fiasco that put Bush in office the first time.


Here’s my flash fiction, Pets”

I buried Spot in the corner of the backyard where the wooden privacy fence met the garage. Wrapped in a blanket and placed gently in the shallow grave he lay beside Bella, who lay beside Spike, who lay beside Princess. My own personal pet cemetery.
As pets go, Spot lasted a long time. Almost four years, to the day. I tearfully remembered the first time I saw him, walking in front of my house, not a care in the world, just enjoying the cool October afternoon, playing in the fallen maple leaves that covered my lawn. I tried to coax him into the house with food, but he wasn’t having any of that, his eyes so damning, so suspicious. He skittered away nervously as I stepped closer, but with a calm demeanor and soothing words I tried to set him at ease. I could still sense his fear, though, and he was about to bolt when I grabbed him and picked him up. He fought as hard as his little body could muster, but I finally got him inside. He was mine.

To give him a chance to acclimate to his new home I put him in Bella’s old crate at the foot of the basement stairs. He whined and cried, trying to get out. The crate, all wire with one door on the front, was a little bigger than he needed, since Bella had grown so much over her short time with me. Still he managed to get the cage door open, so I found a small padlock and slapped it on. Eventually his plaintive cries dwindled away to resigned whimpers.

I sat back and looked at him, huddled fearfully in the cage under the baleful stare of the bare light bulb. I had to name him. Picking a name must be tailored to each pet. You can’t just come up with a name and then find a pet to hang it on. That’s not right. You have to see them first. He was white with a small brown oval spot on his left side, just below his ribcage. Simple as that. He was Spot.

At first he had refused to eat. He refused to play with any of Bella’s old toys. He just cowered in the corner of the wire crate, eyeing me like I was some kind of monster. Of course, Bella was the same way when I first got her. She wouldn’t eat at all for the first five days. I finally had to force her. She came around, though.

I loved her.

Eventually, she loved me.

I knew Spot would, too.

It’s always the same. We bring them into our homes; take care of their every need, think of them as family. We give ourselves completely over to them, knowing all the while that they aren’t long for this world.
Spot was very easy to train. Once I came home and found that he had messed in his cage. I swatted him with a rolled up a newspaper, rubbed his nose in it, and took him out into the backyard on a leash. After that, we had no problems.

I never saw it coming, the day he attacked me. I was reaching into the crate to get him out and he bit me, sinking his teeth to the bone of my left hand. With my right hand I broke his neck. It was instinct. I couldn’t help it.

It took some time before I was ready for a new pet, but then the day came where the memories were more happy than not, and I started looking again. That’s the toughest part. They’re all so cute and you want to take them all home with you. I couldn’t decide. They just looked so adorable filing out of the school that day.

I thought it best that I wait, though. The right pet would find me. They’d come right to my door if I were patient.

Halloween was just around the corner.

Scott Carpenter, 2015