Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Interview with Author Cheryl Carpinello

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.

Tell us about your current book. Give a short summary.
The King’s Ransom (Young Knights of the Round Table) is an Arthurian adventure story. The three main characters are Prince Gavin (age 11), the orphan Philip (age 13), and blacksmith apprentice Bryan (age 15). Brought together in friendship by The Wild Man, these unlikely friends swear a knight’s oath to clear The Wild Man when he is accused of murder. They embark upon quests that should they fail, may not only doom The Wild Man, but may take their lives as well.

Can you tell us about your publisher and how the process worked in getting published?
The King’s Ransom was published by MuseItUp Publishing, an ebook publisher in Canada. Having self-published my first book, Guinevere: On the Eve of Legend, I wanted to find a somewhat traditional publisher for The King’s Ransom. A writing/critique friend I corresponded with online suggested I try her publisher. I queried MuseItUp then end of June 2011. In one week, I received an email from the publisher Lea Schizas informing me that they would like to publish my book. I was ecstatic!

How did you get the idea for this book?
I’ve always been fascinated by King Arthur. I’ve probably read just about every fiction story written over the last 15-20 years. One of my favorites is Deepak Chopra’s The Return of Merlin. I’ve also ventured to nonfiction and scholarly accounts like Tyler Tichelaar’s King Arthur’s Children: A Study in Fiction and Tradition. However, I’m more of a romantic, and it’s that side of the legend that appeals to me. I like the ideas that surround the legend like might is not right and that it is still possible for mankind to live in peace. I believe this is what draws young and old to the legend. What the legend says to kids without them realizing it is that there is a right way and a wrong way to live. This is done with the stories of the knights with their quests, their jousts, their rescuing of the damsels, and their fighting for the underdog. These stories present young readers with vivid accounts of honor, loyalty, and friendship.

As a reader of Joseph Campbell’s The Hero with a Thousand Faces and a writer of Arthurian Legend, combining the two was a natural. I just needed a hero; in this case, I had three, and a worthy quest. Combining all three of those together resulted in The King’s Ransom (Young Knights of the Round Table).

What is a typical writing day like for you?
Probably unlike many authors, I don’t have a typical writing day. My days are busy, and when I am working on a book, I generally write in the afternoon or evening.

What do you enjoy most about writing?
I enjoy the planning and research of the book the most. Second comes the initial writing of the first draft.

What is the most difficult part of writing?
After the first draft is done, I go back and fill out the story with description, dialogue, and additional scenes as needed. For me, this is the toughest part. It takes an extraordinary amount of time, far more than most would think. Also, I struggle with how much information to put in a story because I want struggling readers to pick up one of my Arthurian tales and lead them to enjoy of reading.

How has publishing a book changed your life?
I’m not sure if it has changed my life, as much as my attitude about life. With two published books, I know find myself eagerly looking forward to starting the process all over again!

What are your plans now?
Right now, I’m in the process of getting The King’s Ransom paperback ready for print. Also, I have just finished the first draft of my next Tween/YA novel. The working title in Sons of the Sphinx. I hope to have it ready for publication by 2014.

What is your best tip for aspiring authors?
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!

 Is there anything else you would like to share with our readership?
The King’s Ransom (Young Knights of the Round Table) encompasses many of elements of Arthurian Legend that kids love: knights, quests, danger, and adventure.

The King’s Ransom has received the Children’s Literary Classics 2012 Seal of Approval for Recommended Reading as well as its 2012 Silver Award for YA Fiction. It has also been honored as 2012 Finalist from USA Best Book Awards for E-Book Children’s Fiction.

My main website is Beyond Today Educator ( I apologize because I need to update it, one of my New Year resolutions.

My blog is Carpinello’s Writing Pages ( I interview other childrens/MG/YA authors, keep readers current on my published books, and often preview upcoming works.

My books are all available on these as well as other bookstores:

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:


  1. Thanks for hosting me today. Looking forward to meeting your readers!

  2. Thanks for hosting Cheryl Carpinello and letting us all get to know her and her books better.

  3. Guinevere: On the Eve of a Legend was the first book I read by Cheryl Carpinello. It's a fabulous and well-crafted book. I loved it. Cheryl is a gifted writer with a passion for her craft.



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