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?
Writing "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 books.
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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