Talking Books with Cheryl Carpinello Author of Guinevere Trilogy @ccarpinello #Interview

Cheryl Carpinello taught high school English for 25 years. During that time, she worked with numerous students who didn’t like to read for a variety of reasons. However, she discovered that even the most reluctant readers became engaged in the classroom and in reading when she introduced units on King Arthur and the works of ancient world writers. Upon retiring, she set out to write fast-paced, action-filled stories in these setting to encourage young readers to read more. When not writing, you can find her reading, spending time with family, and traveling.

Cheryl’s books:

Guinevere: On the Eve of Legend (1)

Guinevere: At the Dawn of Legend (2)

Guinevere: The Legend (3)

Guinevere Trilogy ebook only

The King’s Ransom (Young Knights of the Round Table)

Sons of the Sphinx

Tutankhamen Speaks

Grandma/Grandpa’s Tales 1

Grandma/Grandpa’s Tales 2






Welcome to The Writer's Life!  Now that your book has been published, we’d love to find out more about the process.  Can we begin by having you take us at the beginning?  When did you come up with the idea to write your book?

My Guinevere Trilogy eBook is the culmination of 10 years of work. Guinevere: On the Eve of Legend, book 1, was published in 2009. Guinevere: At the Dawn of Legend, book 1, was published in published in 2016, and Guinevere: The Legend, book 3, was published in 2019.

The idea for the story of Guinevere as a young girl came from my high school students. Over my 20+ years teaching, I encountered so many students who just didn’t like to read. However, when I introduced the tales of King Arthur, I didn’t have a student (I swear it’s the truth!) who didn’t read. Some of my non-readers actually went to the library and found additional stories of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.

Their reactions to Arthurian Legend and their knowledge (or lack thereof) of Guinevere determined my topic. I choose Guinevere because my students always told me the same three things about her: she married Arthur, she cheated on him, and she was the downfall of Camelot! I just couldn’t let that go. I decided to write about Guinevere to introduce younger students to her and the King Arthur Legend with the hope of encouraging more kids to enjoy reading.

Who is your publisher and how did you find them or did you self-publish?

I originally published Guinevere: On the Eve of Legend through Outskirts Press in 2009. Basically, I self-published at a cost of $1000. When talking with literary agents, I was informed that it would take 2-3 years for publication with a traditional publisher. I didn’t want to wait that long.

Guinevere: At the Dawn of Legend was also self-published as was Guinevere: The Legend. All of the individual paperbacks as well as the Guinevere Trilogy now carry Silver Quill Publishing as the publisher. Silver Quill is an author co-op based out of England. I’m one of 9 authors including one member of royalty and the only one from the US.

Is there anything that surprised you about getting your first book published?

It would have to be the negative connotation associated with self-publishing and the awe that people expressed at my having published a book! Back in 2009, people viewed self-published books as sub-standard, not good enough for traditional publishing. I encountered this a lot, but I also met people who were amazed I had written a book. Over the last 10 years, self-published has changed and is now accepted by most readers as a viable method of writing and publishing.

Do you believe a book cover plays an important role in the selling process?

Most definitely! Guinevere: On the Eve of Legend is now on the third and final cover. I was a little naive about publishing and it took a while to understand the importance covers play in marketing and appeal.

How hard was it to write a book like this and do you have any tips that you could pass on which would make the journey easier for other writers?

Any book I write becomes hard and frustrating at some point. I just continue onward. I believe any fiction writer will tell you that writing a book isn’t easy, but if you are writing what you love, or about what you believe in, it is enjoyable. Writing and publishing a book is a huge learning experience. There will be times when that learning curve seems too steep, but keep your eye on the finished product you want to have, and it will be an experience like no other!

What other books are you working on and when will they be published?

I’ve just finished book 1, The Atlantean Horse, of my new 5-book series Feathers of the Phoenix. Rosa, from Sons of the Sphinx, is tasked with collecting the five feathers of the ancient Phoenix bird. Little does she realize that she is not the only one hoping for rise of Atlantis. Others await her discoveries so they can steal those feathers, not caring who gets hurt in the process. Now, I’m researching book 2, The Norse Star.

Also, in the works, is my third picture book Grandma/Grandpa’s Tales 3. These are a collection of read-aloud and beginning reader stories. Book 3 will contain Fish Tales and Vampires in My Backyard.

What’s one fact about your book that would surprise people?

Readers, young or young-at-heart, will find a piece of themselves in the Guinevere Trilogy!

Finally, what message are you trying to get across with your book?

I didn’t start out with the intent to put a message in my writing. I just wanted to reach young readers and those not-so-eager readers with the magic of the King Arthur Legend. However, during my years as an educator, I’m observed hundreds of students, and in the end, my writing shows readers how, despite the centuries that have passed, children are still children struggling with similar concerns. I could also add adults to that.

Thank you again for this interview!  Do you have any final words?

Thank you.

Long live Tales & Legends!


Princess Guinevere dreaded her upcoming thirteenth birthday. It signaled the beginning of her official role as the Lady of her father’s castle.
No more adventures in the forest with Cedwyn. No more explorations outside the castle walls. No more excitement. No more danger. No more fun.
Cedwyn—her companion for as long as she remembered—viewed her circumstances differently.
A Medieval coming-of-age story relevant today.


Ancient Stones. Mystical Stones. Autumnal Equinox.
Down upon a wide plain the yellow orb shines strong.
Racing side by side, the two laughingly ride.
A mist descends. The laughing stops.
A dangerous Medieval tale of two friends. Of a loyalty not often seen.


Fiercely loyal, Cedwyn always rushes to Guinevere’s defense. Stubborn to a fault. Always there for her. A future Knight? His one and only hope. A hero? Not what Cedwyn strove for, but it sought him.

Guinevere rarely thinks with her head. Just the opposite. Thinking with one’s heart: a recipe for trouble. And trouble finds Guinevere, all too often. Stubborn, she refuses to abandon those depending upon her. Even when ordered by her father, the king.

And so these two—both on the edge of Legend—barrel forth in this deadly dangerous and riveting Arthurian adventure.

Reader’s Favorite 5-Star: A Gripping Tale.

Guinevere: The Legend is the concluding entry in the Guinevere trilogy by Cheryl Carpinello, a compelling Arthurian tale with strong characters and a story that explores the themes of friendship and loyalty against the backdrop of a society rocked by a crisis. The little children have been kidnapped, and Cedwyn is with them. Guinevere has made a vow to rescue Cedwyn and she leaves home without telling her father, an act that fills her with guilt. But she doesn’t know her bravery might put Cedwyn in harm’s way. She is just fifteen. And eleven-year-old Cedwyn trusts her absolutely, considering her as his queen. He is certain that she’s coming for him and the children. Can she save them from the renegades who hold the children captive? Traveling across the dark waters to the land beyond, Gaul, is perilous. In spite of the grim tales she’s heard from the old wizard Merlyn, will she continue?

This is a beautifully written story with fascinating characters, set in medieval England, and featuring characters of legend like the legendary King Arthur and Merlyn. In this novel, the author deftly develops a tale of adventure that revolves around Guinevere as a young girl and her loyalty to those she loves. The reader encounters her at the very start of the story, poised and on the go, determined to save her friend. Cedwyn is a richly developed young character as well and I enjoyed the way the author develops his friendship and devotion to the protagonist. The writing is filled with strong imagery, including elements of the setting like the rugged landscapes. The author’s unique ability to unveil the strong emotions of the characters and to keep the story realistic is a great addition to the strengths of the novel. The medieval era is reflected in the unique style of conversation and in the beliefs of the characters. Guinevere: The Legend is a gripping tale that keeps the reader turning the pages until the very last one…Reviewed by Christian Sia for Readers’ Favorite

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