I am a retired high school English teacher. A devourer of books growing up, my profession introduced me to writings and authors from times long past. Through my studies and teaching, I fell in love with the Ancient and Medieval Worlds. Now, I hope to inspire young readers and those Young-at-Heart to read more through my Quest Books set in these worlds.
You can find me on Carpinello’s Writing Pages (http://carpinelloswritingpages.blogspot.com) where I interview other children/MG/Tween/YA authors. My home is at Beyond Today Educator (http://www.beyondtodayeducator.com). At The Quest Books (http://www.adventurequestbooks.com), 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.
Cheryl, could you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I am a retired high
school English teacher. I also retired from a major airline in 2010. I guess
I'm somewhat of a workaholic. I enjoy keeping busy and always having tasks in
front of me. My husband and I love to travel both in the US and around the globe.
We have traveled extensively throughout Mexico and the Caribbean. Our
favorite trip was to Egypt in 2008 where we spent 2 weeks traveling on the
train from one end of the country to the other.
Can you please tell us about your book 'Guinevere: On The Eve Of
Legend' and why you wrote it?
The story of
Guinevere came out of my high school classroom over several years. When
we did the unit on King Arthur, many of my students had little knowledge of
Guinevere except that she cheated on Arthur and brought about the destruction
of Camelot. This bothered me for many years. I was also disturbed by the
students I encountered who could read, but chose not to. Seeing the
attraction that King Arthur held even for these reluctant readers, I decided to
write a story to introduce elementary students to Guinevere and hopefully to
get those reluctant readers hooked on reading in elementary school.
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
"Guinevere: On the Eve of Legend" was extremely easy for me. Mostly,
I believe, this was because I had spent so many years with the story running
around in my head! Probably the more difficult part was the numerous
edits I did on the book. From start to finish, "Guinevere: On the
Eve of Legend" took 5 years to finish and publish.
What books have most influenced your life most?
The tales that show
good triumphing over evil or the knight in shining armor saving the girl have
always been my favorites. In the literary world, "A Tale of Two
Cities" is close to the top of my list as my students will attest
to. The tales of "The Hobbit," "The Lord of the
Rings," and William Golding’s "Lord of the Flies" sit side by
side with "The Once and Future King." All were written to offer
hope to a world embroiled in another world war. 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. The books that develop this theme
speak to my soul. The characters are strong and fragile, trying to find out who
they are and what they are capable of being.
Briefly share with us what you do to market your book?
Marketing is a steep
learning curve for me. I mainly market "Guinevere" through my
medieval writing workshops for boys and girls (ages 8-13). These are conducted
in elementary schools in my state and with the Girl Scouts. I'm still
learning the ropes of online marketing and trying to decipher the multitude of
sites out there to determine the best ones for me. My ideal marketing
plan would be to conduct my workshops across the country with the sale of my
Have any favorite must-read books or authors?
I love the writing
duo of Douglas Preston/Lincoln Childs, David Baldacci, and Paul Sussman. I also
enjoy reading lots of children's literature.
What are you working on next?
I am just finishing
up my second book in the King Arthur Legend: "Young Knights of the Round
Table: The King's Ransom." It's an adventure story of three young people
(a prince, an orphan, and a blacksmith's apprentice) who take the Knight's Vow
to save their friend from death.
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