Cheryl Carpinello is a fellow author from Muse Publishing. Delighted to have you here today, Cheryl. Tell us a little more about yourself.
I love the Ancient and Medieval Worlds! As a retired English teacher, I hope to inspire young readers to read more through my Quest Books. Please follow me on these adventures in the ancient and medieval worlds.
Also please visit my other sites: Carpinello’s Writing Pages where I interview childrens/MG/Tween/YA authors; and The Quest Books where I’ve teamed up with Fiona Ingram from South Africa and Wendy Leighton-Porter of Abu Dhabi to enable readers to find all of our Ancient and Medieval quest books in one place.
This is the part of the interview I enjoy the most. I try to give readers a different perspective by asking other than the normal questions.
- What made you finally decide to get serious about writing?
It wasn’t until I retired from teaching that I actually had the time to write. Being a high school English teacher didn’t leave a lot of free time as I was forever reading, editing, and grading my students’ papers. The last year before I retired, I started my first MG Arthurian tale Guinevere: On the Eve of Legend. About three and a half years later Guinevere was published.
- Name a book/author you can read again and again and always learn something new.
Boy, that’s a tough one. I’m notorious for re-reading lots of books. I always discover something different each time. Picking one, I would have to pick the classic A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. The complex nature of the writing is what draws me back to this story. Dickens’ use of literary conventions exceeds any other authors I’ve read. His extensive use of symbolism, foreshadowing, and political commentary add several layers of meaning to what is commonly described as a love story set in the midst of the French Revolution.
- Where do you go for inspiration?
To the stories that take me into worlds full of wonder, magic, and adventure. I watch movies like I re-read my favorite books: over and over again. Seeds of my inspiration come from JRR Tolkien, Indiana Jones, Star Wars, Harry Potter, Joseph Campbell, and a host of others. I also listen to music in much the same way. Albums like Mumford & Sons The Road to Red Rocks, the soundtracks from The Lord of the Rings trilogy,The Hobbit trilogy, and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty are ones that I often listen to as I write.
- Tell us about your Current WIP.
I’m working with two at the moment.
I’ve finished the first draft of Guinevere: At the Dawn of Legend—Cedwyn’s Story, the sequel to my first Arthurian tale, Guinevere: On the Eve of Legend. This story focuses on Guinevere’s young friend who longs to be a knight. In fact, in Eve of Legend, Cedwyn tells Guinevere that is the reason she must agree to marry Arthur, so he can be a knight. Now, a few years later, neither is where they thought they’d be: Guinevere is still a princess, and Cedwyn has yet to train to be a knight. However, in Cedwyn’s Story, he achieves his goal of being a knight but not in the way he thought and at great cost to Guinevere and him.
I’m in the process of finishing the first draft in my new trilogy The Feathers of the Phoenix. The first story involves the lost city of Atlantis. Finding out that their grandfather, and by extension, themselves, are actually descendants of the last surviving Atlantean, two siblings are tasked with finding and protecting one of three feathers of the last Phoenix bird. Their adventures lead them into danger and discovery.
- What is something you’ve always wanted to do but don’t have the nerve?
Skydive! I have a fear of heights so I would never attempt this. Even if I said yes and got in the plane, you would have to literally tear my arms from my body to break my hold on the straps in the plane and pry my feet off the floor. If you managed to do that, I would still have to be thrown out of the plane. There is just no way I can jump!
- What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?
Spending time with my husband, kids, and grandkids as well as the rest of the family. I also like to read, work in the yard, and hike. Oh yeah, I absolutely love to travel! I can catch a plane on a moment’s notice! We love to go to Mexico and Las Vegas. We just spent September 2014 driving around the UK and visiting London, Wales, and Scotland.
In front of me is desert, sand, open sky, and heat for as far as I can see. Already sweat is starting to run down my face and neck. I thought gym class was bad. I’m not even moving here, and it’s as if a river is coursing through me. I sweat more standing still in this country than I ever did playing basketball.
Turning around, I stare at the sight in front of me. The Pyramids. I’ve seen millions of pictures of them, but this is different. I’m standing here on the same ground, in the presence of these mathematical wonders. Perfectly shaped pyramids, over four thousand years old in my world. In this world, well over a thousand years old. And all around is desert. I twirl around. Nothing but desert in all directions. This can’t be real.
“Tut, is that really the great pyramid of Khufu?” I ask, needing confirmation of where I am.
“I’m not sure it’s great, but yes, that is Khufu’s pyramid. And those of his son, Khafre, and his grandson, Menkaure.”
Only momentarily does Khufu’s monument dwarf the others. The sun’s glare draws my attention to Khafre’s burial pyramid revealing the one shining difference between our times. Here Khafre’s tomb is covered in polished limestone; in today’s world, only the crown remains covered. The rest has been stolen and re-used over the centuries. What I wouldn’t give to touch those building blocks. To put my hands where ancient laborers laid theirs.
“Can we go closer? Can we climb up Khufu’s?”
“Of course we cannot. That is forbidden. These are the resting homes of Pharaohs, Egypt’s gods. We do not climb, but we may go closer,” he adds. “Come, let us see the stela at the Sphinx, and then we’ll go.”
“Where is the Sphinx? I thought it was right here with the pyramids?”
“It is. Right there.” He points to a huge mound of sand.
“No way. Where is it really?”
“This is it, Roosa. We are just around the back. Come, I will show you.”
I follow him with difficulty. I don’t know how he walks in all this sand without it getting into his sandals. My feet feel like they’re standing on a million peas, you know like that story ‘The Princess and the Pea’? I stop to dump the sand out.
“Come, Roosa. You must hurry. We haven’t much time. Another day has passed.”
“I’m coming. Just emptying the desert out of my shoes.” I hustle to catch up with him and realize the peas are already back. “How do you walk in this without all the sand getting in your sandals?”
“I’ve had thousands of years to learn to walk the sands of my Egypt. You will learn.”
“Not me,” I mutter. “I’m not staying around for thousands of years. On the other hand, if we don’t hurry, I might find the desert more welcoming than my parents.”
Buy Links: Sons of the Sphinx
Guinevere: On the Eve of Legend – Amazon http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0025KUJ36
Young Knights of the Round Table: The King’s Ransom – MuseItUp Publishing book page: http://museituppublishing.com/bookstore/index.php/museityoung/action-adventure/the-king-s-ransom-detail
Tutankhamen Speaks – Amazon http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00E18KH46
Thanks so much for being here today. Guys, if you get the chance, stop by over at http://carpinelloswritingpages.blogspot.com/ where Cheryl is hosting me.