Today we get to meet Cheryl Carpinello, who is having a blog tour hosted by: http://motherdaughterbookreviews.com/blog-tour-launch-giveaway-young-knights-of-the-round-table-by-cheryl-carpinello/

Young Knights Blog Tour Button

Cheryl is the author of Young Knights of the Round Table – King’s Ransom. This was a fantastic book and Stitch Says will be posting a review later as well. For now let’s find out more about Cheryl”

Author Picture

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.

When did you decide to become an author, and what impact has this had on your life?

I tried my hand at writing several years ago, but it wasn’t until I retired from teaching that I decided to try again. In fact, my experiences with high school students powered my return to writing. I dealt with numerous kids over my 25 years of teaching who just didn’t have an interest in reading. Not surprising with all the technology available to them. My main purpose with writing is to try to hook these reluctant readers in the elementary grades. One subject that my high schoolers loved, even those not interested in reading, was the unit on Arthurian Legend. So I decided to try my hand at writing my own Arthurian tales but for younger kids. I’m still amazed at the enthusiasm of the elementary students for Arthurian Legend. My Medieval Writing Workshops are very popular, and the kids not only get excited about the legend, they also get excited about writing their own stories. While I am branching out to Ancient Egypt for my next novel, my first devotion is to writing more Arthurian Tales I can share with young readers.

It’s great when you find something that sparks even the most reluctant student – fantastic work!

Tell us about your latest work and what motivated you to write it.

I’m proud of Young Knights of the Round Table: The King’s Ransom. It has done well garnering several awards including the Children’s Literary Classics (CLC) Seal of Approval for Recommended Reading and the CLC’s Silver Award for YA Fiction.

My first Arthurian Tale, Guinevere: On the Eve of Legend, turned out to be more of a girl’s book. I wanted my next book to appeal more to boys while still keeping my female audience. Boys are generally more reluctant readers than girls.

In Young Knights, the three protagonists (Gavin, Bryan, and Philip) take the Knight’s Vow to rescue their friend and mentor (The Wild Man) who is accused of murder and theft. Undertaking this Vow leads each on their own dangerous knight’s quest which pits them against their own fears and insecurities. Several characters from the Legend make an appearance like King Arthur and Sir Lancelot.

I think my girls will love this book too, which is the sign of a great story!

What are your future aspirations as an author?

I plan on another book as a sequel to Guinevere with more emphasis on Cedwyn and developing Guinevere’s character more. I also have been giving a lot of thought to another book in the Young Knight series. This might focus on one of the three protagonists more than the others. Still in the planning process.

My hope is to continue my Medieval Writing Workshops in the schools and in youth organizations. I would love to branch out into neighboring states.

Where do your ideas come from? What experiences or aspects of your life influence your writing?

Nearly all of my freshman English students over the years started me on my Arthurian trek. For years when asked what they knew about Guinevere, my students gave me the same answers: She cheated on Arthur; She betrayed Arthur and Camelot; She was the reason that Camelot fell. I wasn’t able to give them any different answers.

That started me thinking: Exactly who was Guinevere? Why wasn’t she strong enough to stay true to Arthur? What about her character, her upbringing?

When I started looking over my medieval instruction, I found the basis for my questions and for Guinevere: On the Eve of Legend. Most marriages of the upper class (royalty) were arranged and arranged early. How would a girl of 12 react to her betrothal to an older man, and how would that impact the woman she would grow to be?

Young Knights came to be as I thought back to the stories I loved to read so long ago and what types of books called to my son, a reluctant reader. The outcome: an adventure story with danger and surprises. One that re-enforced the traits that make the Legend so popular: Honor, Loyalty, and Friendship.

What do you do to improve yourself as a writer?

I read. I read for pleasure, and I read to learn. My pleasure reading spans the spectrum from middle grade fiction (i.e. Riordon, Avi) to my favorite suspense and action novels (i.e. Lincoln and Child, DeMille).

I’m always on the lookout for good craft books. On my reading shelf now sits David Kaplan’s Revision: A Creative Approach to Writing and Rewriting Fiction, Christopher Vogler’s The Writer’s Journey and Cheryl Klein’s Second Sight: An Editor’s Talks on Writing, Revising, & Publishing Books for Children and Young Adults.

Some excellent resources for any writer!

For other authors who may be struggling, what advice can you offer on handling rejection?

I’m not sure rejections from traditional publishers carries as much weight as it did a few years ago. With so many opportunities for authors to self-publish, rejection slips are almost a thing of the past. However, with that said, self-publishing requires authors to assume the roles that traditional publishers had in the past. These include editing, publishing, and marketing.

For authors determined to publish traditionally, there are several ways to avoid those rejection slips. 1) Join a writing group for the benefit of having outside eyes review and offer suggestions. 2) Get a reputable editor to edit your manuscript and keep an open mind to their suggestions. 3) Study the agents/publishers carefully before submitting. 4) Learn how to write a good cover letter. 5) Work on another idea while patiently waiting for an answer on your submission.

Wonderful advice – writing groups are fantastic!

Tell us a little bit about your next WIP.

My next book takes my readers out of Medieval England and into Ancient Egypt. In it, my main character finds herself transported back to ancient Egypt and the time of the great Pharaohs. Although not in the days of King Arthur, the story still shows the important of Honor, Loyalty, and Friendship as the MC helps search for a lost queen and strives to right a wrong done over 3500 years ago and restore honor to a royal family.

I’m excited about this story. It is also my first foray into true YA/Adult literature.

We look forward to reading it!

Where can people contact you?

I’m on the following sites:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cheryl.carpinello1

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/cherylcarpinello

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ccarpinello

My Blog: http://carpinelloswritingpages.blogspot.com/

My Web Page: http://www.beyondtodayeducator.com

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/cherylcarpinello

My books can be found here:

Young Knights of the Round Table: The King’s Ransom

AmazonUS: http://www.amazon.com/dp/148252709X

AmazonUK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/148252709X

MuseItUp Publishing: http://museituppublishing.com/bookstore/index.php/museityoung/action-adventure/the-king-s-ransom-detail

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-kings-ransom-cheryl-carpinello/1112317555

Guinevere: On the Eve of Legend

AmazonUS: http://www.amazon.com/dp/143273704X

AmazonUK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/143273704X

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/guinevere-cheryl-carpinello/1100076414

Thanks Cheryl for taking the time and providing Stitch says with such a wonderful interview – the synopsis and review will be posted next week. In the mean time remember to join the giveaway on Mother Daughter Book Reviews. Until next time – keep reading, keep writing!

Advertisements