Monday, October 14, 2013

St. George Book Festival Author Interview with Cheryl Carpinello



Although I’m a retired high school English teacher, I still have a passion for working with kids. I regularly conduct Medieval Writing Workshops for local elementary/middle schools and the Colorado Girl Scouts. It seems I'm not the only one who loves Medieval Times and the King Arthur Legend. The kids thoroughly enjoy writing their own medieval stories complete with dragons, wizards, unicorns, and knights! It is my hope to reach reluctant readers with my Arthurian Tales Guinevere: On the Eve of Legend and Young Knights of the Round Table: The King’s Ransom.

What are three words that describe you?
Educator, Writer, Traveler

Are you a morning person or a night owl?
Night Owl

What is your favorite food?
Smothered Burritos

Where do you dream of travelling to and why?
Anywhere in the World. I love to travel! Next on my travels will be England and Wales, home of the Arthurian Legend.

Do you listen to music while writing?
Yes. Right now I’m addicted to Mumford & Sons.

What's your favorite book or who is your favorite writer?
The Return of Merlin by Deepak Chopra. I read this at the right time before I started writing Guinevere. It reinforced my belief in what the Arthurian Legend means today and why it still endures.

Can you tell us a bit about your latest manuscript?
I’m in the rewrite/edit stage of my next novel, a MG/YA paranormal time-travel set in ancient Egypt. Although the setting has changed, the main character is still searching for herself as she helps a famous Pharaoh search for a lost queen and restore honor to his family.

What have you learned about writing and publishing since you first started?
One lesson from my teaching days remains the same in the publishing world: No manuscript is ever perfect; No book is for everyone. Writing a story is not enough. Authors need to know who their intended audience is.

Do you plan everything or just let the story flow?
I plan out my stories in the broadest since. I define my beginning, middle, and end. Without these, no story works.

Do your characters ever want to take over the story?

Thankfully, for me, that has not been the situation.

Is there anything you would do differently?
If I hadn’t chosen a teaching career, I would have started writing earlier. Most likely as a newspaper correspondent.

Who, or what, if anything has influenced your writing?
While I dabbled in writing over the years, it was my teaching of writing and literature and my encounters with reluctant readers that fueled my journey to write my own Arthurian Tales. Joseph Campbell has been a big influence over my writing and my teaching. It is his idea of the hero’s journey that forms the backbone of each of my stories, as well as numerous other stories through out time.

Anything you would say to those just starting out in the craft?
Study the literature already out there. Study and interact with the age group you are targeting. Learn their likes, dislikes, mannerisms, etc. Find yourself a good craft book and a good mentor text. My craft book is Joseph Campbell’s The Hero With a Thousand Faces, and my mentor text is Avi’s Midnight Madness.

Blurb of your latest release or coming soon publication if any:
Young Knights of the Round Table: The King’s Ransom

Meet 11-year-old Prince Gavin, 13-year-old orphan Philip, and 15-year-old blacksmith apprentice Bryan. Each wants a future different from the others, but they all want to belong. They owe their friendship with each other to one man they call The Wild Man. When an advisor to Gavin’s dad King Wallace is murdered and the valuable jewell known as The King’s Ransom is stolen, The Wild Man is captured and proclaimed to be the culprit. Gavin, Philip, and Bryan bravely vow to clear their friend by taking the Knight’s Oath and embarking on individual quests to save The Wild Man. In the end, each one faces their fears and even death in their determination not to fail.

Ride along with these unlikely friends as they learn the importance of the cornerstones of Arthurian Legend: Honor, Loyalty, and Friendship. And, don’t miss the characters from the Legend who show up: King Arthur and his famous sword Excalibur, the Knights of the Round Table, and Sir Lancelot.

List of previous books if any:
Guinevere: On the Eve of Legend
King Arthur’s Story from Guinevere: On the Eve of Legend
Behind the Scenes of The King’s Ransom

Any websites/places we can find you on the web?
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