Author/Teacher Cheryl Carpinello Writes Children/Middle Grade Fiction. Author Cheryl Carpinello’s Books Include ‘Guinevere-On The Eve Of Legend’ And Young Knights Of The Round Table: The King’s Ransom.
Cheryl Carpinello: Although a retired teacher, Cheryl still has a passion for working with kids. She regularly conducts Medieval Writing Workshops for local elementary/middle schools and the Colorado Girl Scouts. It seems she’s 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!
Cheryl loves to travel, and so 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 are: “The Hobbit,” “The Lord of the Rings,” Golding’s “Lord of the Flies” and “The Once and Future King” by T.H. White was all written to offer hope to a world embroiled in another world war. “A Tale of Two Cities” by Charles Dickens illustrates how unselfish true love enables people to offer the supreme sacrifice to preserve that love, while Dostoevsky’s “Crime and Punishment” shows how circumstances can cause people to do despicable acts. The one book that connects of all of these texts as well as a multitude of others is Joseph Campbell’s “The Hero with a Thousand Faces.” The journey of the hero, depicted by Campbell, is a universal theme that never dies out.
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?”
Her current work-in-progress takes her readers out of Medieval England and back to Ancient Egypt for a visit with a famous pharaoh! Stay tuned.
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(s) before or after you write the manuscript(s)? 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.
Featured Book: Young Knights of the Round Table: The King’s Ransom by Cheryl Carpinello
At Pembroke Castle in medieval Wales,11-year-old Prince Gavin, 13-year-old orphan Philip, and 15-year-old blacksmith’s apprentice Bryan, brought together in friendship by the one they call The Wild Man, embark upon a quest to save The Wild Man’s life when he is accused of murder and robbery. If they have any hope of succeeding, the three will have to confront their fears and insecurities, and one of them will have to disclose the biggest secret of all. But it is the arrival of King Arthur and what he reveals that surprises characters and readers.