Wednesday, June 26, 2013
The King's Ransom by Cheryl Carpinello
Meet 11-year-old Prince Gavin, 13-year-old orphan Philip, and 15-year-old blacksmith apprentice Bryan. Each wants a future different from the others, but they all want to belong. They owe their friendship with each other to one man they call The Wild Man. When an advisor to Gavin’s dad King Wallace is murdered and the valuable jewell known as The King’s Ransom is stolen, The Wild Man is captured and proclaimed to be the culprit. Gavin, Philip, and Bryan bravely vow to clear their friend by taking the Knight’s Oath and embarking on individual quests to save The Wild Man. In the end, each one faces their fears and even death in their determination not to fail.
Ride along with these unlikely friends as they learn the importance of the cornerstones of Arthurian Legend: Honor, Loyalty, and Friendship. And, don’t miss the characters from the Legend who show up: King Arthur and his famous sword Excalibur, the Knights of the Round Table, and Sir Lancelot.
What inspired you to write this book?
When I retired from teaching, I decided to write for young readers in the hopes of hooking what I call reluctant readers on reading. Reluctant readers are those who can read, but who choose to do the umpteenth million others activities out there. A lot of these readers are boys. I wrote Young Knights of the Round Table: The King’s Ransom to reach the boys out there since my first book Guinevere: On the Eve of Legend appeals more to girls.
What is your favorite thing about writing?
This would have to be getting that first draft finished. Unlike reading, for me anyway, where I can sit go and read a book in about 2-3 hours, writing a story takes me several months. By the end of that first draft, my experience with the story is rather disjointed. I’m not sure if every chapter/scene flows like it should. Once I am able to sit and read the entire draft at one sitting, it’s easy to see which parts need more work and which parts flow smoothly. This also allows me to see if my pacing is what I think it is. Just between you and me, getting that first draft done is a huge relief.
What is your favorite candy?
Not a sweet eater, I totally succumb to chocolate-covered cherries at Christmas and chocolate-covered marshmallow eggs at Easter!
What is your favorite cartoon?
I’ve always enjoyed The Family Circus. Creator Bill Keane has such an insight into the minds of kids and always made me feel better as a parent.
When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
I can’t point to a specific time. I’ve written almost my whole life. Most of those stories will never see the light of day. Once I retired from teaching high school English and grading essays and research papers (the number if I even tried to count over 25 years would probably pave the road all the way to the moon!), I finished Guinevere and then started on Young Knights.
What can readers expect from you in the future?
My next story moves from Medieval England to ancient Egypt. I’m three chapters away from finishing the first draft! Sons of the Sphinx transports readers and the main character back to pharaonic Egypt to help a well-known pharaoh search for his lost queen and try to right a wrong that has condemned generations.
In the planning stages are sequels to Guinevere and to the Young Knights.
About the author:
I am a twice-retired high school English teacher. I’m afraid I’m one of those people who do not do retirement well. Working with kids is a passion I have never lost. I regularly conduct Medieval Writing Workshops for local elementary/middle schools and for the Colorado Girl Scouts. We explore writing and reading, and it is fulfilling to see young students excited about writing and reading. It seems I'm not the only one who loves Medieval Times and the King Arthur Legend. The kids thoroughly enjoy writing their own medieval stories complete with dragons, wizards, unicorns, and knights.