Thursday, January 17, 2013

Cheryl Carpinello Spotlight


Author Cheryl Carpinello joins the 2013 World of Ink Virtual Tour
The World of Ink Network will be touring both of author Cheryl Carpinello's Middle Grade Arthurian Legend books, The King's Ransom (Young Knights of the Round Table) published by MuseItUp Publishing and Guinevere: On the Eve of Legend published by Outskirts Press throughout January 2013.
Some stories become legend while some legends become stories!

Author Talk:

Although a retired teacher, Cheryl Carpinello still has a passion for working with kids. She regularly conducts Medieval Writing Workshops for local elementary/middle schools and the Colorado Girl Scouts. She is 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!
She loves to travel and her other job is with a major airline. Her favorite trip was a two week visit to Egypt with her husband that included traveling by local train from one end of Egypt to the other.
Some of her favorite books include The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, The Once and Future King, and any by the duo Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child.
You can find out more about Cheryl Carpinello, her books and World of Ink
Author/Book Tour at

Follow Cheryl Carpinello at
Beyond today Educator

Carpinello’s Writing Pages



Publisher Website:

To learn more about the World of Ink Tours visit

Interview with Cheryl Carpinello

Please share your bio with us and anything else you would like readers to know.

I’m a twice-retired high school English teacher. While I still enjoy teaching and working with kids, after 20+ years of grading essays and senior research papers, I finally cried ‘Uncle’. Now I do Medieval Writing Workshops for elementary and middle school students and the Colorado Girl Scouts in addition to writing.

What are some of the things that have influenced/inspired your writing?

My influence for Guinevere: On the Eve of Legend and The King’s Ransom were my high school students. I had students read T. H. White’s The Once and Future King when I couldn’t get them to read anything else. I wrote for the younger students in hopes that they might get hooked on reading at an earlier age.

Joseph Campbell’s The Hero of a Thousand Faces is at the root of all my writing. The idea of the hero’s quest fits perfectly with Arthurian tales and with most of the stories for young readers out there. It figured prominently in The King’s Ransom and is the driving force behind my current work in progress and its characters.

Can you share some writing experiences with us?

Do you want the ones where the words flow out faster than I can write, or the ones where I’m standing and beating my head against the wall? Thankfully, I’ve had some of the former, but none of the latter. When I’m productive, I can write pages and pages without the outside world intruding. On the other hand, when I find myself staring off into space,  rocking too hard to my music, and writing little, I stop. I don’t beat my head against the wall. I’ve learned that my brain is telling me that I’ve not thought things through enough. As I tell my students, I need to do some brain work before continuing.

Tell us briefly about your recently published book and what you feel is the most important topic/sub-message you share.

Young Knights of the Round Table: The King’s Ransom is an adventure story centered around the journeys of three yet-to-be heroes. Gavin, Bryan, and Philip are the culmination of my study of Joseph Campbell’s The Journey of the Hero. Their individual quests to save their friend demands that each of them dig deep within themselves to find out who they are. In the end, I hope readers come away understanding the cornerstones of Arthurian Legend: Loyalty, Honor, and Friendship.

Like all authors, you have had your fair share of rejection letters. You obviously did not let the letters deter you. How did you keep your determination without getting discouraged?
I did get discouraged. I knew I was on to something with the Arthurian Legend, but no one wanted to listen. I got so discouraged that I decided to take the plunge and self-publish with Outskirts Press. It was not an easy decision either. I had the final copy of Guinevere ready for a month before I got the courage to hit that send button in December 2008! Since then it’s been a lot of hard work and a break from another author I met online to have Young Knights accepted by Muse Publishing and published in 2012.

It has been my experience, some things come quite easily (like creating the setting) and other things aren’t so easy (like deciding on a title). What comes easily to you and what do you find more difficult? 

Amazingly, I usually have a title before I ever get the first draft of a story done. Sometimes before I even start writing. Plotting the story out is the difficult part. I want to be sure that everything works, the characters are where they need to be, etc. One of the frustrations with Young Knights I didn’t discover until I was a couple of drafts in. It hit me like a brick, literally. One of the characters was all wrong. I had to go back to the beginning of the book and make the changes all the way through.
Please describe to us your relationship between you and your editor. What makes an author/editor relationship a success?

I always appreciate another set of eyes on my work. That’s the English teacher in me. Nothing is ever perfect, and every piece of writing can be improved. With that mindset, I’m open to all suggestions from my editors (my two and my publishing company’s two).  I believe it’s important to keep an open mind when working with an editor. Writers have a tendency to view their work as theirs alone. That’s fine if you’re writing just for yourself, but if you’re writing for an audience and to be published, then you need to open yourself and your writing up for constructive criticism.

When they write your obituary, what do you hope they will say about your books and writing? What do you hope they will say about you?

I’m a teacher through and through, and my writing is aimed at reluctant readers. These are kids who know how to read, but choose to do other activities. I hope to be remembered for my dedication to these and all students and for the fact that I wrote the Arthurian Tales in hopes of inspiring kids to embrace the adventure of reading and the ideals of the Knights of the Round Table. Sounds a bit hokey, I know, but I believe that all kids need to know how to read and communicate to be successful in life. What I hope to do is a small piece of that.

Is there any particular book when you read it, you thought, "I wish I had written that!"?

OMG, yes. The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. I would love to be able to build worlds like Tolkien did. The best part of those books is that they revolve around the Hero’s Journey, a concept around long before Joseph Campbell put it into words.

Have you ever suffered from writer’s block? If yes, how did you ‘cure’ it?

What writer hasn’t? I’ve learned that beating myself up doesn’t work. Now I just acknowledge that I need to do more mental work, so I write in my head. When I’ve gotten pass the problem, I go back to writing. I started writing Sons of the Sphinx (my WIP) about five times and quit. Finally, I figured it out and started the final first draft!

What type of books do you mostly write?

My books are Middle Grade/Tween adventure/quest stories. Guinevere and Young Knights are Arthurian Tales. My next book takes place in Ancient Egypt with an adventure/quest by a young Pharaoh and the modern day heroine he calls on for assistance.

Who or what inspires your characters and/or plots?

My imagination and my love of old world and ancient civilizations inspire my characters and my plots. I’ve always loved the Wales of King Arthur’s time, and Ancient Egypt has fascinated me for a long time. We visited Egypt in 2008, and this modern world sitting amid the Ancient ruins and gods stole part of my soul.

Tell us about your writing space.

I can’t do that. I don’t have a writing space. I write on my couch, at the kitchen table, at my desk, and outside on my patio! I just pick where I feel comfortable writing at that moment. The only consistency is that I usually listen to my favorite songs or have a favorite movie of mine on the television.

Is there anything you'd go back and do differently now that you have been published, in regards to your writing career? 

Sometimes I wish I would have pushed through with my earlier tries. I have three completed books that will probably never see the light of day. Then, I look back and realize that with teaching and raising a family, I just didn’t have the time or the drive to do so.

Do you do first drafts on a computer or by hand?

My first draft is usually written by hand. I’ve tried writing on a computer, but I don’t like it as well. While my laptop is small, nothing beats the mobility of a pad of paper and a pen. Transferring my written draft to a computer allows me to do a small bit of editing without slowing me down.

How do you see the future of book publishing, both traditional, electronic and print on demand?

I don’t see physical books going away. In fact, I don’t want them to. Children need the actual physical contact with a book and its pages to re-enforce the value and wonder of reading. I believe that ebooks are here to stay. It’s nice because electronic publishing opens up the world of reading for so many more. POD (print on demand) has the potential to lower publishing costs for the big traditional houses as well as the ever-growing Indie publishers. I think it is here to stay.

What happens before sitting down to write? (Explain your creative process.)

Once I get an idea for a story, I write out an outline, not overly detailed, just an overview of the entire story. Then I spend several days doing what I tell my students is brainwork. I just think about what I’ve outlined, the possible characters, the storyline, conflicts, etc. I then go back to the outline and fill in some of the missing pieces. I do more brainwork and then finalize the outline. Once that is done, I write straight through without stopping to question of verify information. I save that for the next draft.

Do you do a lot of research for your book(s)?

Minimal research was required for Guinevere and The King’s Ransom. Research for Sons of the Sphinx has been extensive and long. The nice aspect about that has been that I’ve immersed myself in Ancient Egypt for months and loved it. In fact, I’m still reading even though I getting ready to revise the first draft.

What voice do you find most to your liking: first person or third person? (Answer only if you write fiction)

I would have to say first person. For me, third person is tough. I tend to forget that I’m not supposed to know certain thoughts, feeling, etc. Young Knights challenged me in that I had to alternate between three viewpoints as each of the characters is a lead character.

Have you received any awards?

Guinevere: On the Eve of Legend was a Finalist in Pre-Teen Lit in the 2011 Global Ebook Awards. That was my first foray into the awards arena.

 The King’s Ransom (Young Knights of the Round Table) has done well for itself. It has earned the 2012 Seal of Approval for Recommended Reading from the Children’s Literary Classics; the 2012 Silver Award for YA Fiction from the Children’s Literary Classics; and named a 2012 Finalist for Ebook Children in the USA 2012 Best Book Awards.

 What advice would you give to a new writer?

I know it’s been said many times, but writers need to write what they love. Also, don’t be afraid to explore and expand on that. It was my love of King Arthur that propelled me into writing. Tying that together with Joseph Campbell and the hero’s journey inspired me in my writings for young people. Today this has taken me beyond Arthurian Legend to ancient Egypt where a young pharaoh embarks upon his own journey to write a wrong and be united with his one true love.

Sometimes a person’s writing can take them places they never imagined. Rejoice in that and embrace it!

Use this space to tell us more about your book’s characters. Anything you want your readers to know. Include information on where to find your book(s), any blogs you may have, or how a reader can learn more about you and/or your book(s).

My main website is Beyond Today Educator(, but I apologize in that it needs updating. Pictures of my Girl Scout workshops are posted under the Events tab.

My blog Carpinello’s Writing Pages ( is where I interview children’s authors, preview my upcoming books, and keep readers up-to-date on what is happening in my world.

My books are all available on AmazonUS, AmazonUK, Barnes & Noble, iBookstore, and other sites.

Young Knights is available from my publisher Muse It Up Publishing ( If purchased there, buyers will receive a free copy of the Teacher’s Guide.

I thank you for taking the time to share with my readers about being an author.

Book Talk:

The King’s Ransom (Young Knights of the Round Table) Experience the true meaning of friendship and loyalty as three friends, motivated by their belief in the Wild Man's innocence, embark upon life-changing quests testing their limits and forcing each to confront and conquer their fears or face humiliation and/or even death, in their attempt to save their friend.
ISBN: 978-1-77127-056-4
Publisher: MuseItUp Publishing
Publication Date: May 2012

On the Eve of Legend Meet the Princess Guinevere on the eve of her thirteenth birthday and share in her life changing birthday surprise.  
ISBN: 978-1-4327-3704-7
Publisher: Outskirts Press
Publication Date: March 2009Places available for sale: MuseItUp, Outskirts Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Ibookstore

World of Ink Tour Schedule Cheryl Carpinello

January 6th

Writers and Authors—Guest Post

January 7th

Children’s Writer’s World—Guest Post

January 8th

Books Are Cool—Spotlight

January 9th

The Crypto-Capers Review

Blog Talk Radio Show – Stories from Unknown Authors

January 10th

4 the LOVE of BOOKS—Spotlight

January 11th

Stories for Children Magazine FG Interview

January 13th

Utah Children's Writer Blog—Guest Post

January 14th

BTR’s World of Ink Network

Stories for Children Show 2pm EST

January 15th

Books Are Cool—King’s Ransom Review

January 16th

Families Matter—Interview

January 17th

Mama’s Book Corner—Spotlight

January 18th

Books Are Cool—Guinevere Review

January 20th

Home School Blogger—Guinevere Book Review

January 21st

Kit-Lit Reviews—Spotlight

January 22nd

Roth’s Inspiring Books & Products—Interview

January 23rd

Mother & Daughter Reviews—The King’s Ransom Review & Giveaway

January 24th

Home School Blogger—The King’s Ransom Book Review

January 25th

Kit-Lit Reviews—The King’s Ransom

January 28th

Writing Blind—The King’s Ransom Review

January 29th

Roth’s Inspiring Books & Products—Guest Post

January 30th

Andi’s Realm—Spotlight & Giveaway

January 31st

A Book Lover’s Library—Guest Post

February 1st

Families Matter—The King’s Ransom Review


  1. Thank you so much for hosting me today on my World of Ink tour.

  2. Both books seem interesting

    Thanks for stopping by my blog

    Rivie @ Bookshelf

  3. Thank you for sharing about Cheryl's books and for letting us get to know her better.

  4. Excellent interview, Cheryl and Leigh Ann!


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