Friday, April 9, 2010

Interview with Ida Mae Babbit

Usually I do an interview with book authors, but this time I thought it might be fun to do one with the main character in the story, and Tristi Pinkston was gracious enough to turn the limelight over to Ida Mae, the person Secret Sisters is all about (well, along with Arlette, Tansy, and Ren--we can't forget Ren).

Ida Mae, tell us a bit about yourself. How long have you lived in Omni? When did you become a Relief Society President, and what fun things have you been able to do in that capacity? (That is, normal RS types of things, not the fun adventures you discuss in your book.)

I have lived in Omni my entire married life. My husband, Henry, was a turkey farmer. I don’t know if you knew this, but Omni is the turkey capital of Utah. Folks down in Ephraim think they have the corner on the turkey market, but I think that’s because they advertise more than we do. Anyway, we came here as newlyweds, and I raised my children in the home where I still live.

I’ve been the Relief Society president for about six months, and I’ll admit, it’s been an adjustment. I’ve always been the kind who believed that if you want something done right, you should do it yourself, and delegating and working as a team is new to me. I’m sure I’ll adjust, in time.

As a Relief Society president, I’m on hand at all the births and deaths and everything in between. I would say that the most fun thing to do is visit the home where a new baby has been born. The least fun was helping Sally Eisenhower clean her bathroom after the sewage system broke down.

That does sound pretty awful! Definitely not as cool as cooing over a new baby. Now, I know a Wendy's sandwich wrapper played an important part of this story. If you had to select a favorite Wendy's sandwich, which would it be?

My very favorite is the Homestyle Chicken Fillet, with everything on it, extra onion and pickle. If you want to order that in a combo, it’s a #7. I’m also quite taken with the bacon and blue burger they’ve had on the menu recently, but that’s a limited time sandwich and I’m not sure how long it’s going to be around. And we don’t have a Wendy’s in Omni, so it’s hard for me to keep track.

I understand. We are, alas, Wendy's deficient in my hometown too. No wonder that was such an important clue! What were the three most important sleuthing lessons you picked up in this adventure?

1. Wear dark clothing, and whatever you do, don’t wear those silly sneakers with the flashing lights in the soles.

2. Carry a protein bar in your purse. You never know how long your stake-out will last, and you need to be in good shape, ready to tackle the miscreants at a moment’s notice.

3. Avoid sneezing at all costs. Pinch your nose, your nose bridge, or press a finger to your upper lip.


All very good advice. Especially the protein bar--A long boring stake-out is bound to seem all the longer if you're hungry. I understand you're conducting a sock drive right now. Tell us about it.

Well, it’s not really my sock drive – it’s Arlette’s, but since she won’t be here until 3:00 to pick me up so we can go decorate the church for the “Hooray! It’s Finally Spring!” party, I’ll tell you in her stead. She collects yarn all throughout the year, mostly donated by ladies who are cleaning out their closets, and she knits them into socks to give to the homeless shelter. She had the idea to encourage people to donate socks to their local shelters, or you can bring them to any one of Tristi Pinkston’s book signings and she’ll make the delivery. You can just buy socks, if you don’t happen to knit. You can read all about it in Arlette’s own words at our blog.

That's a great service Arlette does! And I understand people can read all about it on your Secret Sister's blog. Have you had other exciting mysteries to solve? Which one are you going to share with us next?

We have stumbled onto a few other mysteries. I do wish to make it very clear that these mysteries find us – we don’t necessarily go looking for trouble. I believe the next episode will be released in August, under the title, “Ida Mae Rides Again.” Really, it’s very flattering to have one’s own name as the title of a book.

How cool for you! I've never had my name in a book title. I have to ask, because I know you love treats as much as I do: What is your favorite kind of cake to serve at Relief Society events?

Well, my favorite kind and the kind we tend to serve aren’t always the same. I prefer German chocolate, but Arlette says it’s not safe to serve that, because we don’t know how many of the sisters wear dentures, and coconut is hard on dentures, and it’s not like we can ask the sisters to tell us who has real teeth and who doesn’t. Then Tansy had the idea of asking Ren to rig the door frame with a denture detector, like a metal detector, only for teeth. He was about to do it, too, but Arlette found out, and for once, she and I agree on something. So we generally serve regular chocolate cakes and white cakes. Pretty boring, if you ask me.

And do you prefer you cake with tea (herbal, of course), punch, or milk?

When we serve it at Relief Society, we generally have water. We are on a budget, you know. At home, I like my cake with milk. Truth be told, I prefer cookies to cake, but when you need a treat, you really can’t go wrong with nearly anything you pick.

Well, as long as you wouldn't turn a yummy piece of cake away, I guess I can't quibble over your preference of cookies. They are rather portable. And baked--it's hard to go wrong with most any baked good. Thanks for stopping by my blog today. Good luck with getting your story out, and with future editions of the Secret Sisters adventures.

Anyone who would like to read more about these terrific ladies, be sure to check out the blog Ida Mae, Arlette, and Tansy write, and you can also follow Ida Mae on Twitter as well.

2 comments:

Nichole Giles said...

So much fun. It's good to get to know you better, Ida Mae!

And Heather, I gave you an award on my blog today. Fun stuff! Thanks for making me smile.

L.T. Elliot said...

It's awesome how much personality there still is in this interview. Ida Mae was a treat to learn more about and her adventures are really fun!