Who's There? began many years ago under a different title and enjoyed a reading at the then Atlanta New Play Project. Later, my agent at the time, encouraged me to put the play in novel format. When the challenge as to how to begin the manuscript became frustrating, I found a competition for "best opening lines," and submitted the following: "Seemed harmless at first for Momma to keep Bunk's amputated leg in the freezer."
"Don't read this book out in public. You will embarrass yourself laughing."
--Author and Storyteller Josie Bailey
Who's There by Sandra Jones Cropsey is a delightful read, filled with unique and charming characters that will win your hearts. Set on a chicken farm in a small Southern town, the story presents the reader with the mystery surrounding the father of the family, of how he lost contact with reality, but retained the love of his wife and children, only to return and embrace them again, whole and complete, filling in the pieces of the puzzle.
Sandra Jones Cropsey writes with style and humor, delicately weaving the intricacies of the tale into a beautifully written story. It reminds me of Olive Ann Burns and Cold Sassy Tree and is as good a read as you will likely find anywhere.
A SOUTHERN STYLE CELEBRATION OF THE GROTESQUE
A Review of Sandra Jones Cropsey, Who's There ? (Denver, CO: Outskirts Press, 2008)ISBN: 978-1-4327-0197-0 $16.95 221 pp Reviewer: Forrest W. Schultz
Although not intended as such, the comment made by Flannery O'Connor and quoted on the rear jacket of the book under review here might make it appear that Southerners have a corner on writing about the grotesque. That is certainly not the case because what could be more grotesque than Herman Melville's Captain Ahab or the many grotesque characters in the novels of Stephen King? However, there is a distinctively Southern style of writing about the grotesque. A good example of this is found in Sandra Jones Cropsey's Who's There? which can be said to actually "celebrate" the grotesque. There have been many novels about wacky people in rural Southern towns, but this one really takes the cake!! The things that are done and said by Cropsey's characters are so bizarre that it is nothing short of amazing that she is able to make them believable.
Poet Kori Moore has applauded Cropsey's "imaginative use of the English language" which enabled her to portray quirky characters that are also "completely real and altogether enjoyable and delightful". Her fellow Georgia author Bill Copeland compares her book to Olive Ann Burns's Cold Sassy Tree. He says that Cropsey "writes with style and humor, delicately weaving the intricacies of the tale into a beautifully written story". For this reason it is not surprising that Who's There? was a finalist last year in two different contests: The Book Of The Year Award of Foreward Magazine and the Georgia Author Of The Year Award (presented by the GA Writers Association); and is an entrant in the Colorado Independent Publisher's Association's EVVY Awards contest.
An all-important element in the "Southern style" of writing about the grotesque is the humor which suffuses virtually all the dialogue and action and description in the story. Who's There? is as much a comedy as it is a novel about the grotesque. In fact the grotesque and the humorous are so powerful in this story, beginning with the very first sentence, that they detract our attention from the fact that it is also a mystery. It is not until the very end of the story that the focus is upon the mystery and its solution and the resulting redemption. The great power of the humor and the grotesque in this book can also smother the important, deeper meaning of the story as one of waiting and looking for answers. In fact, Cropsey herself has said that the real point of the story is this spiritual quest which is finally satisfied in the denouement.
Cropsey, who has a baccalaureate degree in theatre, originally wrote Who's There? as a play, and there is at this time at least one theatrical organization that has expressed interest in performing it. There is a burgeoning arts scene in the metropolitan Atlanta area, including the Southside counties (where Cropsey lives), so it is quite possible that we might see its debut performance at a venue somewhere around here. If that does happen, be sure to go and see it. In the meantime, get a copy of Cropsey's book and enjoy her humorous Southern style celebration of the grotesque!
Discounts are available to book clubs and on purchases of multiple copies.
Who's There? was produced as a play by the Main Street Players in 2010 and received standing ovations each night. Presently it is being considered for production as a film.
Received GAP grant in 2009 to produce as a play.
In 2008, Who's There was:
Nominated for EVVY award.
Finalist for "Book of the Year" award.
Finalist for "Georgia Author of the Year" award.
1998 – 10-minute play Who’s There? produced at Emory University in conjunct-
tion w/ Southeast Playwright’s Project & Alliance Theatre interns.
1983 – represented Callanwolde & T.H.E. Southern Poets Theatre at Atlanta
New Play Project under title Fowl Play.
“Seemed harmless at first for Momma to keep Bunk’s amputated leg in the freezer.” A comedy in which a dysfunctional family, who live on a chicken farm in the rural south, look for life, love, and Jesus through memorial services for Bunk’s amputated leg. Somewhere between Kesselring’s Arsenic and Old Lace and Beckett’s Waiting for Godot, Momma, Sister, and Ivylee, with the help of Bunk and Meter Reader, find purpose for their lives.
Shy, clumsy and the brunt of much teasing, Tinker, a young elf, is passed along from job-to-job until he becomes mechanic of the Village Express. When the reindeer come down with chicken pox, Santa turns to Tinker to find another means to deliver the toys. A story about belief—belief in ourselves, belief in each other, belief in something greater than ourselves.
Please see below information about the CD version that aired as a radio drama in 2008.
Whether you feel as though you don't fit it or whether you are taunted and teased or even if sometimes it seems like you just cannot get it right. . . Tinker's Christmas is about overcoming all the "no, you can'ts" that sometimes come up in life.
Deep discounts for multiple copies.
In addition to story and radio drama formats, Tinker's Christmas is in both play and screenplay format.
Received a GAP grant to produce Tinker's Christmas as a radio drama,
which aired in 2008.
Suggested reading by "Character Counts" program in 2004.
Shy, clumsy and the brunt of much teasing, Tinker,
is passed along from job-to-job until he becomes
chief mechanic of the Village Express. When the reindeer develop chicken pox, Santa turns to Tinker to find another means to deliver the toys. A story about
belief—belief in ourselves, belief in each other, belief
in something greater than ourselves.
Through a Grassroots Arts Program grant, Tinker’s Christmas was recorded as a radio drama and as such was a finalist in ForeWord Magazine’s “Book of the Year Awards.” Tinker’s Christmas was also selected as suggested reading by the “Character Counts”
program in that it met four of the six points of developing character.
Since Santa had asked Father Chris to determine where Tinker's talents would be most helpful, Father Chris created various projects for the two of them.
When Pixie returned, a brightly blushing Tinker was sprawled across the floor in front of the fireplace with his leggings hanging half-off his feet.
". . .The reindeer have chicken pox, every last one of them. . . ."
Father Chris shook his head in disbelief, "Son, you are a wonder!"
Tinker blushed, "Only because you and Santa believed in me. . ."
Tinker had eased "Ah-Choo" onto the top of that farmhouse like a butterfly landing on a flower.
But just as they were about to leave, Uriah's deep voice rang out, "Tinker, I want to see you and that chimp of yours when you get back. . . ."
Novella, Children's Book & CD
Please note: No shipping charges with purchase of 3 or more items.
CD recording of radio drama
Please note: No shipping charges with purchase or 3 or more items.
Please Note: Both Who's There and Tinker's Christmas are in both play and screenplay formats.
"All My Trials, Lord"
Logline: Should a handsome, young criminal, whose music brings scores of people to Christ, be put to death? A musical based in part on a true story with all hymns included in the public domain.
2017 – Screen play version semi-finalist in Acclaim screenplay competition.
Logline: Like birds with broken wings, Sam collects people with broken dreams. The owner and bartender at “Last Call,” Sam, a former psychologist, tries to find meaning in life after her husband’s death by helping those in her employ whose dreams have been “deferred” as they try to survive life. Incorporating pop music from the ‘70’s and ‘80’s, the play, like the song “Private Dancer,” implies that many of us are “. . . dancers for money. . .”
—we dance to survive finding it increasingly more difficult to keep the dream alive.
Logline: Mary tries to reconcile a past she cannot recall with a present in which she is losing control. Disturbing memory glimpses haunt her, glimpses of an absent father who appeared only twice in her life. Mary’s mother could fill in the memory gaps, but Lucille’s solution is to bury pain in spiritual trappings. Whipped on the altar of her father’s church, Lucille was banished forever with only her Bible and the baby she carried. Resolution comes in recalled memories, realization, and in saying goodbye to the playmate who has shadowed Mary’s memories for so long.
2004 – play version rec'd “honorable mention” in Jane Chambers Playwriting Competition.
1997 – 10-minute play with title We Accept Walk-Ins produced at Emory University in
conjunction with Southeastern Playwrights Project (SEPP) and Alliance Theatre interns.
Jesus Called (short)
Logline: Momma, Sister and Ivylee attend a funeral for their neighbor who was eaten by a hog. Upon viewing the hog, Momma faints. While Sister looks for someone to give them a ride home, Ivylee tells Momma that Sister has been run over by a chicken truck. When Sister finds Momma pretending to be dead, the two conclude that all the dead can tell you about dying is being dead.
2003 – play veresion published in Snake~Nation~Review.
2003 – screenplay version finalist in Tucan Film Competition.
2002 – play version 2nd place in Porter Fleming Literary Competition.
2002 – screenplay version rec'd “honorable mention” in competition
sponsored by American Gem Shorts.
1988 – play version produced at DeKalb College.
1987 – play version awarded 1st place in professional division of Georgia Theatre
Conference’s one-act play competition.
Life Like a Fair
Logline: Bertram Hoole decides to drive his car into a tree to spare his challenged little sister a painful life. When Angie asks who Jesus is, Bertram responds, “No friend of yours.” A sign nailed to the tree reads "Jesus Saves." At the crash site, the only sound heard is Angie’s toy clicker.
2018 – Short story version semi-finalist in Screencraft Cinematic Short Story competition.
2004 – screenplay version recognized in American Screenwriters Association & Writer’s Digest annual competition.
2004 – screenplay version rec’d “honorable mention” American Gem Short Script Contest .
2004 – radio drama aired nationally & internationally.
1979 – produced as Reader's Theater at Georgia State University.
Save Me, Oh, Lord!
Logline: An ineffective minister, Preacher Poke continues his efforts to bring people to the Lord. When the town harlot, Dixie, joins the church, Preacher Poke believes he has finally had a breakthrough. While baptizing Dixie, Poke misinterprets sexual arousal for spiritual enlightenment and begins preaching. Although his best sermon, Poke inadvertently drowns Dixie during the baptism.
1979 – produced as Reader's Theater at Georgia State University.
The Legend of White Wolf
Faced with starvation, a beautiful white wolf believed to have magical powers and her mate, Ghost Wolf, are forced to turn to cattle and livestock to feed their pack. A famous hunter is hired to track and kill Ghost Wolf. Time and again, the great wolf eludes the hunters, until they trap him on a mountain ledge. Leading the hunters away from his pack, Ghost Wolf leaps to his death. All is quiet and still as the hunters sit in awe. Suddenly, White Wolf charges from the woods along the ledge—following Ghost Wolf. “…In one hushed moment, the Great Spirit swept the magnificent body of White Wolf up and unto himself. And there he held her until morning’s light… Moved by the purity of White Wolf’s love for her mate, the Great Spirit lifted the lifeless body of Ghost Wolf and placed him in the night sky. And there we see the wolf they call ‘Lupus,’ bright star sign in the southern sky.”
2003 – story The Legend of White Wolf awarded 2nd place, Porter Fleming Literary Competition.
2004 – short story published in Snake~Nation~Review.
New World Flying Squirrel
Flip is a young squirrel who uses rap to share a story about a time he and his brother, Fall-Out, forgot the rules. Fall-Out almost became a screech owl’s evening meal. A fun story of one brother’s love for the other. “I’m a New World flying squirrel, I’m a night glider, easy rider, I’m a smooth sailor, tree-trailer. . . .”
1999 – rec’d “honorable mention” in annual writing competition sponsored by Writer’s Digest.
The Baby and The Burro
The birth of Jesus through the eyes of a baby burro, Silla. While trying to play with the baby, Silla hears a soft voice whisper, “Silla, you’re the one.” Years pass and still Silla hears the same whisper from time-to-time. Silla gives birth to a son, Beriah, who like Silla captures their master’s heart. One day some men come to their small farm, and Beriah finds himself being bathed and groomed. Along with Silla, their master takes them to a small house just outside the city. The people are very sad; the women are crying as a young man walks among them. When the man comes to where Beriah and his mother are waiting, to Beriah’s surprise, the man stops, rubs his mother’s ear, and whispers, “I knew you would be here.” When Beriah looks at the tear melting into his mother’s fur, he knows what he is to do—carry the man Jesus into Jerusalem.
My Cousin Is Not a Mouse
A humorous story, written in reader’s theater format, is about two young friends with a communication problem. Dee-Dee, a chickadee, is freshening her nest when her friend, Clementine, a cuckoo bird, drops by. When Dee-Dee explains that her cousin, a titmouse, is coming for a visit, Clem becomes outraged, as she believes Dee-Dee’s cousin to be a mouse. Clem, who talks non-stop without listening, will not hear Dee-Dee’s explanation. Driven to distraction by Clem’s “gift for gab,” Dee-Dee devises an amusing means to get Clem’s attention.
Good Morning Moon
A take-off of the classic Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown, Good Morning Moon greets the day with the same sweetness. Morning at the lake brings loons and s’mores, a little blue boat with yellow oars, puppies and guppies, and “...the Man in the Moon nodding off to a morning tune.” Like its predecessor, the story is a testament to the joy found in the simple rhythm and resonance of the written word.
Summertime on the Alaska tundra brings a willow ptarmigan, Willa, and Gaston, a gosling, together each year. They are best friends, but Willa’s mother, Mrs. Ptarmigan, is concerned. “He’s a goose. You’re a ptarmigan. It would never work.” When Willa explains to her mother how Gaston saved her life, Mrs. Ptarmigan has a change of heart as to how she views Gaston.
Thank you for your kind interest!