Kat's Blog

Kat's Blog

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Summer Bash!

Welcome back to the bash of summertime.:-) This week Cheryl Carpinello is stopping by to help me celebrate the dog days of summer. So, without further ado, welcome Cheryl to the party!



Summer Bash Questions



01: What is the first story you’ve published. Tell us a little bit about it.



Guinevere: On the Eve of Legend, my first Arthurian tale, gives young readers a glimpse at the young princess. Guinevere and her friend Cedwyn enjoy life as only kids can do. They spend their days hunting rabbits and exploring around the castle. As her 13th birthday approaches, hints are dropped that her life is about to change. First Merlyn shows up, then she finds herself in trouble with her tutor among other happenings. However, it the meeting with her father King Leodegrance and Merlyn that pushes her to rebellion. Guinevere finds herself having to make the decision of a lifetime: Will she choose wisely? Standing by to help her are not only Merlyn and Cedwyn, but also a painted dragon, unicorns, and red deer.



02: What inspired the story?



My students were one part of my inspiration. They were curious about Guinevere because they didn’t know much about her. Getting young readers excited about reading was the other part of my inspiration. After seeing how motivated my high school students were to read about King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, I decided to write Arthurian Tales for elementary students in hopes of hooking them on reading.



03: Do you have a writing process? If so what is it?



As a teacher of writing, I’ve encouraged my students to think about what they want to write about before they actually sit down and write. I do the same. An idea may run through my head for a long time before it takes shape. Once it does, I do a short outline of events and list characters. Next, I expand upon the outline by writing out longer summaries of potential chapters. I then let what I’ve written settle in my brain while I take a break. When I sit down to write the first draft, I have a more focused idea of what my story will look like. Once the first draft is finished, I start the process of editing and rewriting until I get the story I want. My drafts also go through my critique partners and one, if not two, outside editors.



04: What do you currently have in the works? Give us a small preview.



My current work-in-progress is Sons of the Sphinx, a YA adventure that starts in modern day and then takes place in Ancient Egypt. Rosa, my main character, is enticed to travel back to ancient Egypt to help a famous pharaoh find his missing queen. Here are the first few paragraphs:



I don’t see dead people. I hear them. I talk to them. Boy, you should try that. Talk about people looking at you like you’re a freak. That will do it.

It would be one thing if I talked to famous dead people. You know like that Elvis guy my mother still drools over? I mean really? Like the guy would be ancient today! Anyway, if I talked to him, I could give my mom a personal message like, “Sorry we never got to hook up.” That would be worth a few extra bucks for allowance, don’t you think?

No, the dead people who talk to me are just dead nobodies. Nothing exciting to say. Nothing going down. They’re just hanging out, waiting for, I don’t know, to be more dead, I guess. Or, to see how much trouble they can get me in.

Take today in math class. We are taking this test, see. I’m concentrating real hard on this problem trying to figure height or something. Then I hear this.

“Hey you.”

I jerked up in my chair, looking around for the guy doing the talking. I glanced at the kids on either side of me. Nothing. I looked up at my teacher. He’s glaring at me.

“Great,” I whispered. “He probably thinks I’m trying to cheat.” I bowed my head and focused on the problem again.

“You, I’m talking to you.”

I shook my head in hopes of tossing the voice out. I know now. Some dumb dead guy is trying to talk to me while I take this test.

Inside my head I say, “Would you be quiet? I’m trying to take a math test.”

“Oh sure, that’s okay for you to say. I’ll never take another test again.” His voice broke up, kind of like bad radio reception.

“Not my problem.” I formed the words in my head.

“I died too soon, I really did.”



05: Who are some of your favorite authors?



I have many because my reading spans so many genres. The writing duo Lincoln/Child, Rick Riordan, Tolkien, Avi, Robert Ludlum, Jon Krakauer, and Joseph Campbell to name a few.



06: Do you have one author in particular who inspired your writing career? Who and why?



That’s a tough one, picking one author. I would have to say it would be Joseph Campbell. His hero’s journey is the basis for so many stories, and has been the basis for all three of my stories. The timeless tale of finding out who you are and where you belong in this world.



07: Are your stories based on real events or people?



I’m of the belief that the King Arthur Legend is more a state of mind rather than a determination about whether he was real or not. For me, the proof of his life lies in the fact that all these centuries later, people still flock to the legend.



Sons of the Sphinx is based on real events and people. I’m just not ready to revel which ones yet.



08: How much research goes into your work?



For my Arthurian tales Guinevere: On the Eve of Legend and Young Knights of the Round Table: The King’s Ransom, I didn’t have to do a lot of research. I taught British history along with British literature and the Arthurian Legend for twenty years so I feel comfortable in writing in that time period. I did a small amount of research on daily life.



For my current work-in-process Sons of the Sphinx, I have done a tremendous amount of research. My living room is stacked with books on ancient Egypt, the monuments, the Valley of the Kings, and the pharaohs. Plus I have my journal and pictures from our visit there.



09: Have you ever killed off a character based on someone real? If so why?



No, I haven’t.



10: If you could visit any period in history, what time would you go to? Why?



I love ancient civilizations like the Egyptians and the Greeks, probably because I taught so much literature in these eras. I would also like to visit Medieval Wales and catch a glimpse of King Arthur!



11: If you could gather any three people in the world, living or dead together, whom would you want to meet and talk with?



How about sitting down with my favorite storytellers: Homer, Tolkien, and with Joseph Campbell? What a conversation we could have about the themes in all their writings.



12: What do you do for fun when you aren’t busy writing?



My husband and I love to travel. We go to Mexico very summer, attend college football games around the country in the fall, travel quite a bit in the Caribbean, as well as to visit family. Internationally, we’ve been to Egypt and are planning a trip to England and Wales in Sept. 2013.



We are both avid readers, and we love spending time with our son and daughter and their families and our two grandsons.



13: What is the one thing people believe about writers that upsets you?



Nothing comes to mind that upsets me. I’m always amused though at the surprise when I tell people how long it takes me to write a story.



14: Is there any genre you haven’t written that you’d like to try your hand at?



I’ve satisfied with writing for Tweens/MiddleGrade/YA.



15: If you were independently wealthy what is the one place on Earth you’d most like to visit? Why?



Sorry, I wouldn’t visit one place. I’d buy a ticket on a trip around the world and stop everywhere! So many places and people make up this world. I want to step out of my comfort zone and experience them all.





Five Bonus Questions




16: What is your favorite color?



Definitely blue.



17: What is your favorite food?



A smothered burrito washed down with a margarita.



18: What is your favorite movie?



The Interpreter with Nicole Kidman and Sean Penn.



19: What is your favorite TV show?



NCIS! Lots of action and humor mixed with intriguing plots. I watch all the reruns.



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





2013 EVVY Finalist and Merit Award from Colorado Independent Authors Association

2012 Silver Award from Children's Literary Classics



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 shown up: King Arthur and his famous sword Excalibur, the Knights of the Round Table, and Sir Lancelot.



Guinevere: On the Eve of Legend





2011 Global eBook Finalist



Guinevere: On the Eve of Legend, my first Arthurian tale, gives young readers a glimpse at the young princess. Guinevere and her friend Cedwyn enjoy life as only kids can do. They spend their days hunting rabbits and exploring around the castle. As her 13th birthday approaches, hints are dropped that her life is about to change. First Merlyn shows up, then she finds herself in trouble with her tutor among other happenings. However, it the meeting with her father King Leodegrance and Merlyn that pushes her to rebellion. Guinevere finds herself having to make the decision of a lifetime: Will she choose wisely? Standing by to help her are not only Merlyn and Cedwyn, but also a painted dragon, unicorns, and red deer.



A unique look at this princess who lived several hundred years ago, but who acts just as many young kids today would when they suddenly find that they have to grow up and accept their future whether they understand or not.

About me: I am a twice-retired high school English teacher. I’m afraid I’m one of those people who do not do retirement well. Working with kids is a passion I have never lost. I regularly conduct Medieval Writing Workshops for local elementary/middle schools and for the Colorado Girl Scouts. We explore writing and reading, and it is fulfilling to see young students excited about writing and reading. 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.




Purchase Links:

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

MuseItUp Publishing Bookstore: http://museituppublishing.com/bookstore2/index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage.tpl&product_id=322&category_id=191&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=1&vmcchk=1&Itemid=1

Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0086MEW76

Amazon Knights Paperback: http://www.amazon.com/dp/148252709X

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/Boo86MEW76

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

Guinevere: On the Eve of Legend

Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0025KUJ36

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0025KUJ36

Amazon Guinevere Paperback: http://www.amazon.com/dp/143273704X



Author Links:

Blog: http://carpinelloswritingpages.blogspot.com

Author Web Site: http://www.beyondtodayeducator.com

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

Good Reads: http://www.goodreads.com/cherylcarpinello



Twitter Home Page: https://twitter.com/ccarpinello



 Cheryl Carpinello


author/speaker

ccarpinello@mac.com



Award-Winning Author



"Guinevere: On the Eve of Legend" 2011 Global E-book Finalist



"The King's Ransom (Young Knights of the Round Table)" 2012 CLC Silver Award for YA Fiction; 2012 USA Best Book Awards Finalist for E-Book Children's Fiction



http://www.beyondtodayeducator.com

http://carpinelloswritingpages.blogspot.com



World of Ink 2013 Tour: Some Stories become Legend, and Some Legends become Stories. http://storiesforchildren.tripod.com/worldofinknetwork/cheryl-carpinello-jan-13.html

Thank you so much for being here Cheryl. It was a blast having you. And make sure you all tune in next week. Till then, enjoy the hotter days.



5 comments:

N.J.Walters said...

Great interview!

Cheryl said...

Nice interview and excerpts!

ccarpinello said...

Kat, thanks so much for hosting me! I had fun.

Thanks to N J and Cheryl for visiting!

Kat Holmes said...

I enjoyed having you.:-)

ccarpinello said...

Thank you N.J. and Cheryl for stopping by.