As part of the Young Knights of the Round Table Blog Tour, I get to ask author Cheryl Carpinello all the questions one usually likes to ask and author: the how/what/when/where. Cheryl has very kindly agreed to spill the beans. So glad to have you visit my blog today, Cheryl and here come the questions.
1. When did your fascination with all things Arthurian begin?
2.What was your favourite Arthurian book as a child?
4.I love the research and many wonderful details you put into your books: where do you find these?
Boy, that’s hard to say. I’ve always had an incredible memory for details. Over the hundreds of books I read relating to Arthur, coupled with my years of teaching a variety of Arthurian literature, some pieces just stick in my brain. The descriptions of feasts and standards in both of my books probably comes from Malory’s influence. Somewhere in my reading I remember coming across a passage that described Camelot as sitting in a high pass, so I used that in Guinevere. I did extensive research on Pembroke Castle, Cardigan Bay, and that part of Wales for Young Knights. In fact, I used The Lonely Planet’s Guide to Wales. Guide books contain lots of gems that textbooks leave out.
Definitely. Future installments will probably focus on just one of the three characters at a time. That is kind of set up in the end of Young Knights. It’s also possible that readers may see some new young knights at some point.
7.How has the reception been towards Young Knights? Are many of your readers actually adults reliving the Arthurian adventures of their youth?
8.What is the best Arthurian movie ever made, in your opinion?
I haven’t seen many of the movies out there, and my tastes are a bit eclectic. I’ve always liked First Knight. Most people don’t, but I’m a huge fan of Sean Connery. I also like the courage of Guinevere in that movie. Probably my favorite is one called The Last Legion. It tells the story of Ambrosius/Merlin leading the boy Romulus Augustus out of a defeated Rome and to the isle of Britain. Romulus carries his father’s sword Excalibur. It’s a different look at the legend.
Do you have a couple of days?! I can give you my ideas based on what I’ve observed in my classroom and in my workshops with kids.
Heroes: The Legend is full of heroes not just King Arthur. Every kid wants to be a hero if only to them. Heroes live by certain standards and are not always strong, but they don’t give up or lose hope. Arthurian Legend teaches the boundaries of right and wrong, the limits placed on people’s actions, and the consequences for crossing those boundaries or exceeding those limits. Young people hunger for those examples. Kids also see how the ideals of Arthurian Legend are present in the world today and that leaves an impression on them.
Adventure: The Legend is packed with adventure, and every kid loves adventure, even the most introverted. And what could be more adventurous that riding into battle to save the castle or the princess and going on quests for fabulous historical objects?
Magic and Mystery: The Legend holds infinite magic and tons of mysteries. In fact, the greatest magician of all time lives in Arthurian Legend: Merlyn!
I’m not sure if this answers your question, Fiona, but when all of the above are packed into a book, it is one heck of a story that kids devour.
10.I just adored Guinevere when I first read it. Straying off the Young Knights briefly, will we see more of Guinevere when she actually marries King Arthur?
No, but you will see more of Guinevere before her marriage to Arthur. While she grew up quite a bit in On the Eve of Legend, Guinevere still has more growing to do. I’m planning on another book which focuses on her growth and also has young Cedwyn taking a bigger role in the action.
11.If you had a time machine and could go back to King Arthur’s time and be someone at his court for a week -- who would you be?
I’d choose either to be a squire to one of Arthur’s knights or a Lady-in-Waiting to Guinevere. Those positions would allow me to get a better view of life in Arthur’s court. As a squire, I would be able to experience what a knight’s job consisted of and how the knights actually trained. As a Lady-in-Waiting to Guinevere, I would be privy to her thoughts and would come away with a better understanding of her.
12.Is there anything you’d like readers to know that I haven’t asked?