I want to thank magnificent middle grade/young adult author, Cheryl Carpinello for sharing her personal writing journey with us on my blog today. Cheryl’s book Sons of the Sphinx can be purchased from Amazon, and other major on-line bookstores. Welcome, Cheryl! So let’s get this interview started…
How long have you been writing, Cheryl?
Probably around 20 years, but I started writing for MG/YA readers about 10 years ago. Nothing I wrote in those first 10 years will ever be published.
Never say never, Cheryl! Wink. Where did you get your idea and inspiration to write Sons of the Sphinx?
We had visited Egypt in 2008 and that started me thinking. However, it wasn’t until 2010 when the Tutankhamen exhibit was in the US that I thought seriously about writing a book set back in ancient Egypt.
Egypt is definitely on my bucket list. What sets Sons of the Sphinx apart from other books/series in the same genre?
I believe it is the fact that this isn’t just an historical adventure story full of action and danger. It is also a story of a young teenager trying to come to grips with who she is and how she fits in the world around her. Ages 14-18 are stressful years for kids, more than most people would think. Any trait that sets a teen outside of the norm can be devastating, and Rosa, the main character, has just such a distinction. She can hear dead people, and her classmates know this. This makes for some tough times for Rosa.
Hear dead people? Now you’ve got me hooked! As a middle grade/young adult author, what is your writing process?
I do a lot of brain work before I start a story. Once I have a basic idea and outline in my head, then I write that out—when I say write, I mean in long hand. Then it’s back to mulling the idea over in my head for a while longer until I can sit down and write out a chapter by chapter outline. Once the outline is finished, I start writing the story. My goal is always to write the first draft without worrying about changes or omissions. Each day before writing I do type the previous writing on the computer without making any edits. If I find that something is not working, then I change from that point on. I don’t go back over previous entered material. Once the first draft is done, I start rewrites and do any additional research. From that point on, it’s a breeze! Just read, rewrite, edit, rewrite, and so on. My story always goes through my personal editor at least three times. Then a professional editor goes through another three or four rounds with me.
Wow, I don’t think readers realize the leg-work authors must do to write a book! Thanks for sharing your process, Cheryl. How long did it take for you to start and finish Sons of the Sphinx?
I started working on the idea in May 2010. Sons of the Sphinx was released in October 2014.
Do you have any advice for other writers striving to write in your genre, Cheryl?
Do your homework: research the time period you are writing in. While I saw Egypt firsthand, I did a ton of book research, and I went to the Tutankhamen exhibit three times. Even if you are creating your own story’s history/background, you need to know everything about it.
Good advice! What’s next for Cheryl Carpinello the author?
Right now I’m working on sequel to my first Arthurian tale Guinevere: On the Eve of Legend. I’ve also got the first book in my new trilogy series Feathers of the Phoenix over half finished.
Okay, here’s one for me, since I’m writing a time travel series—If you could time travel anywhere into Earth’s past, where would you go and why?
I don’t even need to think about this—the Ancient World 1000BC to 400BC. I love the Greeks, Romans, even Egyptians of that time period. I’m also keen to see Atlantis! Those eras gave modern man and society so much in the way of philosophy, government, art, science, that it had to be fascinating to be a part of those worlds.
Blurb for Sons of the Sphinx:
Armed with what she considers her grandmother’s curse, 15-year-old Rosa agrees to help the ghost of King Tut find his lost queen Hesena. Though Hesena’s ba inhabits part of Rosa, finding the whole spirit of Hesena so that she and Tut can be together for the first time in over 3300 years proves to be a harder task than Rosa first thinks. Thrust back into Ancient Egypt with Tut, Rosa discovers that finding Hesena is not all she must do. She must keep out of the reach of the living Horemheb—who crosses mortal boundaries using Seth’s evil magic—if she is to stay alive to make it back home.
Buy Links for Sons of the Sphinx:
Cheryl Carpinello’s Author Sites:
I love the Ancient and Medieval Worlds! As a retired English teacher, I hope to inspire young readers to read more through my Quest Books. Please follow me on this adventure. Hook up with me on Facebook, , , , and .