We had the good fortune of connecting with Cheryl Carpinello and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Cheryl, can you share a quote or affirmation with us?
I have two favorite quotes that I feel describe who I am. My first quote comes from J. R. R. Tolkien’s works: Not all who Wander are Lost. My second is from a Robert Frost poem: “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.” (The Road Less Traveled) Even had I not become an educator, I would still be a life-long learner. My career as a high school teacher simply determined the direction of my learning path I became obsessed with the Ancient and Medieval Worlds as I shared literary works from these eras with my students. Over the years, I’ve wandered through the ancient civilizations of Egypt, Greece, Rome, and medieval England and France through books and in person.

As I wander through the ages, I’m always in search of knowledge that has been passed down—and sometimes even lost—that gives me a unique insight into human beings and civilizations. I’ve explored the nature of human beings and the mysteries of civilizations through the works of Homer, Aristotle, Aeschylus, Plato, Herodotus, Napoleon’s savants, Dickens, Hugo, Poe, and many others. My experiences have made me more a Citizen of the World than just an America citizen. This enables me to use authentic settings, events, and people in my works and to create characters that my readers identify with. I write my books for Middle Graders and Young Adults set in the Ancient Medieval Worlds.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.

In my 20+ years as a high school English teacher, I had numerous students who didn’t like to read: Reluctant/Emerging Readers. The main units that encouraged these students to read were the stories of the King Arthur Legend and stories from the ancient worlds. Of the two, Arthurian Legend held the most appeal. I decided that when I retired from teaching I would try to reach those reluctant readers earlier in their schooling. Establishing my brand Tales & Legends for Reluctant Readers was accomplished over a long 10-year journey. I continue to work on reaching those Reluctant/Emerging Readers wherever I go. Getting school visits is hard even for a retired teacher. Money is tight and authors are often considered a luxury. I work conventions like CCIRA (Reading Conference). school fairs, medieval fairs, offer writing workshops, and participate in literary festivals. None of these avenues are cheap and require an enormous amount of work, but I believe these are worth my time and energy.
Life as an Indie Author is exhausting, but rewarding. I’ve done traditional publishing, but find that I lose a lot of control over my work. Traditional publishing also takes from 2-3 years to get a book out. I wanted my books in the hands of those Reluctant/Emerging Readers today. And so I became an Indie Author. This means I am in control of the book from day one of writing to the day it comes out in print to the daily marketing. Tales & Legends for Reluctant Readers (Beyond Today Educator) is becoming known to parents, educators, and readers across the state and the country. I continue to meet people who help me reach reluctant/emerging readers of all ages. I’m thrilled when previous buyers of my books come back to tell me how much they or those who bought the books for enjoyed them. What sets me apart from many authors is my focus on reaching those readers. I’ve used my years as an educator to help me create books that entice young readers and even reaches beyond those to readers not familiar with Arthurian Legend or to those who have my passions for the ancient worlds.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Colorado is an amazing state to visit. There is so much to see! We would start off in Morrison (just west of Denver) for a visit to the world famous Red Rocks Amphitheatre. Climbing down the stairs to the stage and looking up at the audience seats makes you feel like a rock star! However, going back up the stairs to the top makes you realize in 5 steps how out of shape you are and, if you come from a low altitude, how thin our air really is! Back in town, the Morrison Inn offers excellent Mexican dining and a great margarita to finish up our visit. From Morrison we would head west on I-70 to the Colorado High Country. The list of places to go here is endless. We’re heading up and over Berthoud Pass to Winter Park, a top notch skiing area and a fabulous place to hike around. At the end of the day, I’ll let you pick from the many restaurants on Main Street for dinner. The next day we will take off through Frasier—usually one of or the coldest spot in the nation in winter—and continue through Granby and Grand Lake to the West Entrance of Rocky Mountain National Park. On the drive we will see a multitude of wild life depending on the time of year.

Rocky National Park is home to bears, deer, moose, elk, bighorn sheep, woodchucks, chipmunks, several varieties of birds, and a host of other creatures. The wildflowers and scenery will stun you. The highlight of our drive will be going over Trail Ridge Road—the highest continuous paved road in the US! From it we can see Wyoming to the north, the Great Plains to the east, and the Rocky Mountains to the south and west. We drive out of the Park on the East side and end up in the town of Estes Park. After a day spent at high altitudes (12,183 feet), we will be starving! Again, I will let you choose where to eat from small intimate cafes to exciting restaurants. The next day we will complete our trip by returning to Red Rocks for an evening of music and fun from the Amphitheatre stage. If we were to take this trip on the day I am writing this, we would find ourselves in sweltering heat (98-100 degrees) from yesterday through tomorrow (Sept. 4-6, 2020) and then be bundling up big time for the SNOW and a temperature drop of over 64 degrees on Tuesday, Sept. 7th!! Only in Colorado.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My family: My husband Don who has always supported my writing and travels to all the places I want to visit and feature in my books, from the shores of Lake Nassar, Egypt to Caernarfon Bay, Wales off the Irish Sea to the North Atlantic off Iceland. My daughter Shelley who has graciously allowed her 3rd, 5th and 6th grade students to read/critique my stories and draw my maps. My son David and his wife Michele who allowed me to turn their son into a published author! My sister Sheila who is a huge supporter of my books and even markets for me! My brother Tim who always cheers me on.

Website: https://www.cherylcarpinello.com
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ccarpine1/
Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/pub/cheryl-carpinello/25/671/a02
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ccarpinello
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cheryl.carpinello1
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Cheryl-Carpinello/e/B002GGGZY6
Other: Writing Blog: http://carpinelloswritingpages.blogspot.com/
Silver Quill Publishing: www.silverquillpublishing.com

Image Credits
Don Carpinello

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