Cold Coffee Press Author Spotlight Interview With Cheryl Carpinello
As a retired high school English teacher, I have a passion for working with kids. Reading and Writing are essential skills for everyone, but especially for kids as they grow into their adult lives. I conduct Medieval Writing Workshops for local elementary/middle schools and the Colorado Girl Scouts.
Medieval Legends and Ancient Tales mirror everyone’s quest for adventure, self, honor, friendship. I have joined with two other Tween authors to present the best of these adventure-filled books to Tween and YA readers. Join us at our new web site (which is still getting tweaked) to view all of our books. The Quest Books span centuries and take readers inside the marvelous civilizations of the Ancient and Medieval world.
She writes Quest stories that will span time from Medieval times to Ancient Egypt to the island of Atlantis, so far!
Her Arthurian Tales are aimed at reluctant readers. A series of stories from ancient lands and legends will take readers on adventurous quests throughout history.
She loves to travel, and so her other job is with a major airline. Cheryl and her husband spent three weeks in Egypt traveling by local train from one end of the country to the other. In 2014, they spent three weeks in the UK driving over 1700 miles through England, Wales, and Scotland.
Cheryl’s first book ‘Guinevere: On The Eve Of Legend’ introduces young readers to the timeless King Arthur Legend and Guinevere the girl as she struggles with growing up and fulfilling her destiny. I hope young readers develop an understanding of the girl Guinevere, how she is like them today. Everyone has to grow up; everyone has unpleasant choices to make; and regardless of when we are born or how old we are, we don’t always get our way. And when that happens, we have to accept it and move on. Good lessons for any age.
“King Arthur’s Story” is a short excerpt cut from “Guinevere” in the final editing. Only available as an e-book, it gives readers a brief glimpse into Arthur’s reasons for seeking marriage with Guinevere.
The Legend of King Arthur continues to transcend the Centuries and All Age Groups because:
(1) The Legend is packed with adventure. Tales of knights fighting knights, rescuing damsels in distress, and the quest for the Holy Grail are found in vivid detail throughout the unending array of stories.
(2) The Legend is about heroes, the Knights of the Round Table: Lancelot, Tristram, Percival, Galahad and the many others. Specifically it is about the main hero, King Arthur.
(3) The Legend is about magic and mystery. Merlyn, the most famous magician ever, lives backwards in time!
(4) The Legend is about women and love. The regal Guinevere; the mysterious half sisters of Arthur: Morgan le Fay, Morgause, and Elaine; the witch Nimue who tricks Merlyn into revealing his secrets and then encloses him for life in a cave. The one thing all these women have in common is that they are misunderstood. Writers can’t even cast them into the same mold, especially the sisters.
(5) The Legend is about Hope. Arthur and his kingdom are essentially a utopia; a perfect world, at least in the beginning. There is a definite line between right and wrong. Chivalry rules the day. Arthur is the ruler who works not for himself, but for his people. In the time period that “The Once and Future King” was written (WWII), the Legend offered a safe haven for people’s dreams. It continues to do that and that is why she loves it.
Cheryl has just started publishing my children’s picture books under the series Grandma’s Tales. The first one is “What if I Went to the Circus and Came Home with?”
Sons Of The Sphinx (The Quest Books) has just been released. This book takes her readers out of Medieval England and back to Ancient Egypt for a visit with a famous pharaoh!
She loves to hear from her readers of all ages. Please contact her and let her know what you think of her books. You may contact her through her web site Beyond Today:
What, or who, inspired you to become a writer? I loved reading stories that sent me to another place and time (and I still do). I have always wanted to create my own stories. However, I started to write in earnest after my years as a high school English teacher. I want to inspire reluctant readers to become readers.
When did you begin writing with the intention of being published? Probably about 20 years ago.
Did your environment or upbringing play a major role in your writing and why? Yes. As a high school teacher, I came into contact each year with students who did not like to read. I wanted to reach those students before high school in hopes of making readers out of them. I found the King Arthur Legend to be a great vehicle for this.
Do you come up with your title before or after you write the manuscript? A little of both. I knew from the beginning with “Guinevere” that I was going to give readers an insight into Guinevere before she married Arthur. So adding “On the Eve of Legend” just felt right from the start. With my next book I planned on titling it “Young Knights of the Round Table,” but didn’t add “The King’s Ransom” until nearly half the book was finished.
Why do you write in the genre(s) that you’ve chosen? I chose Children’s Literature because elementary school is where students become readers. Also, I still love to read that genre!
What has been your most rewarding experience while in the writing process? The creative process I go through with each story is very rewarding. I loved being able to share my journey with my students.
What has been your most negative experience while in the writing process? I really haven’t had a negative experience, but I did have to go back to “Young Knights” once I thought I was finished and totally rewrite one of the characters.
What has been your most rewarding experience in your publishing journey? Learning, learning, and learning!
What has been your most negative experience in your publishing journey? It’s just frustrating at times, like learning any new skill.
What one positive piece of advice would you give to other authors? Keep positive and believe in yourself, your work, and your vision.
Who is your favorite author and why? This is a hard question. Probably J R R Tolkien. He was a fabulous storyteller who managed to include morality in his books that stayed with the readers.
Is there anything else that you would like to share with us? I do writing workshops for elementary schools and the Girl Scouts. In addition to reading, I believe that all kids and adults can learn to write. It is a matter of building confidence in the prospective writer and that is what we work on in the writing workshops. I guess that once a person is an educator, that teaching and encouraging nature stays with them.
When 15-year-old Rosa agrees to help the ghost of King Tut find his lost queen Hesena, she doesn’t count on falling for him. Once back in Ancient Egypt, Rosa discovers that finding Hesena is not all she must do: She must keep out of the reach of the living Horemheb–who crosses mortal boundaries using Seth’s evil magic–if she is to stay alive to make it back home.
Sons of the Sphinx is based on the schism that shot through ancient Egypt when, according to historians, the Pharaoh Akhenaten turned his back on Thebes and the gods of Egypt. He built his own city to honor his god the Aten, and he insisted that the people of Egypt do the same. Along with this, he supposedly refused to send troops to defend Egypt’s borders thus incurring the wrath of the then General Horemheb. When Tutankhamen becomes pharaoh, he reverses Akhenaten’s proclamations and returns the governing center to Thebes and the worship back to the god Amun.
However, the damage has been done, and by the time Horemheb attains pharaoh status, he has proclaimed the betrayal of the Egyptian people by Akhenaten so widely and so much, all members of the family including Tutankhamen and Ankhesenamun and Ay are dishonored.
The historical significance of my story is the main reason I was able to write Sons of the Sphinx. Needing to help right a wrong done over 3000 years ago and reunite the boy king with his queen (whose tomb has yet to be identified or found), allows my protagonist Rosa the opportunity to come to terms with who she is and what her place is in this world.
A Tween Adventure/Action Adventure/Tales & Legends from the Ancient & Medieval Worlds.
Travel to ancient Egypt through the eyes of a tenth grader named Rosa as she uses her special gifts in an attempt to bring honor to King Tutankhamen’s family. Rosa is an ordinary teen who struggles to fit in with her peers, however she must also come to term with the gift that her grandmother bestowed on her.
As it turns out, Rosa’s gift allows her to not only to hear and speak to dead people, but actually travel back to ancient Egypt. Without warning King Tut appears to Rosa in her bedroom asking for help finding the spirit of his long, lost, love Hesena.
Rosa has to fight unimaginable fears in order to travel back 3,000 years, deal with a hostile environment, and an evil Pharaoh, not to mention tomb robbers in order to connect with the spirit of Hesena all with the hopes of righting the wrongs of this ancient past.
Young Rosa has a heart of gold and the courage of a champion along with a sweet innocent inner self that inspires a touch of romantic feeling for her spirit guide. I quote a passage from the book to show the author’s unique writing style and ability to connect with young people:
“Tut, you were rich beyond anything I can imagine. It’s so unreal.” I walk around behind the shrine. “You were one of the richest pharaohs in Egypt.”
He looks at me and frowns. I see something in his eyes, briefly, that mirrors the disappointment in my dad’s eyes the day the cops brought me home. I ditched school after one of those talking ghost episodes. They picked me up at the shopping mall an hour before school was out. An hour! I have all the luck. I cough as my throat tickles in an irritating way.
“Roosa.” He sweeps his arm through the air. All this is here, with me, now, dead.”
‘Sons Of The Sphinx’ is a fast paced, historically accurate time travel adventure that will enlighten and engage the hearts and minds of readers from pre-teen to adult. Author Cheryl Carpinello has not only researched ancient Egypt, but travelled there herself. This book details the Eighteenth Dynasty (1550-1295 BC) and includes a map of Ancient Egypt. There is a glossary of Egyptian Gods, People, Places and Terms which is most beneficial.
Cold Coffee Press endorses ‘Sons Of The Sphinx’ by Cheryl Carpinello for the historical accuracies, adventurous journey to ancient Egypt with teen tenacity and paranormal contributions. This book was given to us in a PDF for review. The review was completed on April 28, 2015. For more information please contact Cold Coffee Press. http://www.coldcoffeepress.com