📖Authors To Watch: Cheryl Carpinello Author of Grandma’s & Grandpa’s Tales #authorstowatch #interview #PUYB @ccarpinello



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. Her success with readers aged 8-16 led her to reach out to the youngest of readers and those readers just starting out. Revising stories she had written for her own children, she created Grandma/Grandpa’s Tales for ages 4-7.  Her four grandchildren’s conversations created the stories in Book 3 of this series.

Visit her on Twitter and Facebook.

Grandma and Grandpa’s Tales books 1-3 encourage early readers with fun stories incorporating difference aspects of nature. Book 1, Wild Creatures In My Neighborhood and What if I Went to the Circus, explores the wildlife around neighborhoods and introduces decision-making. Book 2, Singers of Songs and The Not Too Stubborn Humpback, explores a common, but not so common insect, and lets readers see that being stubborn isn’t always good. Book 3, Vampires in the Backyard and A Fish Tale, introduces readers to an extended metaphor and lets them decide if the fish story is real.

Book Information

Release Date: Grandma’s Tales #1 (2016), Grandma’s Tales #2 (2018), Grandma’s Tales #3 (2021), Grandpa’s Tales #1 (2016), Grandpa’s Tales #2 (2018), Grandpa’s Tales #3 (2021)

Publisher:  Silver Quill Publishing

Soft Cover: Grandma’s Tales #1 – 39 pages; $9.99

Grandma’s Tales #2 – 66 pages; $13.99

Grandma’s Tales #3 – 64 pages; $14.99

Grandpa’s Tales #1 – 39 pages; $9.99

Grandpa’s Tales #2 – 66 pages; $13.99

Grandpa’s Tales #3 – 64 pages; $14.99

Amazon Ma 1:  https://amzn.to/3374bEX

Amazon Pa 1:  https://amzn.to/3uHMKpA

Amazon Ma 2:  https://amzn.to/3Jan0X5

Amazon Pa 2: https://amzn.to/34HGt2g

Amazon Ma 3: https://amzn.to/3wELnJj

Amazon Pa 3: https://amzn.to/3GyXTLJ

Welcome back to My Bookish Pleasures, Cheryl! Writing children’s books is a different genre than I’m used to of yours. How did you get into writing children’s books?

Cheryl: Thank you. Writing Grandma/Grandpa’s Tales is really an extension of my MG/Tween/YA stories. As an educator, I’m always exploring ways to get more kids reading. Reaching out to a younger audience made sense. If preschool and kindies become frustrated with learning to read, then chances are that frustration will continue as they grow. And most of the stories in the Grandma/Grandpa series had already been written.

Do you think it’s particularly hard to write children’s books?

Cheryl: I think it’s really hard to write picture books! At a glance, the books look easy because there doesn’t appear to be much to them: no more than 15 words per page and lots of pictures. However, to get those words just right so that the reader is pulled into the story takes a lot of trial and error. And, I scour the internet searching for just the right images to connect with the text and the reader. These two items take several months. By the time my illustrator is finished with the final images, the cover and layout are finished, 11-12 months has gone by. I can get one of my novels done in that time!

What is your special place to write?

Cheryl: My house is like Grand Central Station most days and so writing becomes a challenge. I still write from my couch with a concert DVD playing, but I’ve also found new writing spaces. With my home being the classroom for three students and one teacher during the lockdown, I’m frequented the local library when open. I’ve also discovered that my favorite breakfast restaurant is a good place for me to write. No one talks to me—although people are talking, I can just ignore them—and no phone is ringing for me! In fact, this is where I’m writing this interview! I look forward to heading back down to Mexico this summer where devoid of all distractions—except the sun, sand, and sea—I’m able to get some good progress on my next story.

Can you tell us a little about your illustrator (who incidentally did a fantastic job!)?

Cheryl: I always go to the Fiverr platform which only lists freelancers. Zeeshan Shahid, from Pakistan, did the images for both books 2 & 3. We collaborate on the images, and he always goes that extra mile for me.

When you are not writing, what are you doing?

Cheryl: Our grandkids frequent our house so one of them is always around. I love to read. Currently I’m reading series the Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica by James A. Owens which incorporates literary history with Arthurian Legend and mythology. I’m always reading nonfiction books about the ancient worlds, like Amelia B. Edwards’ A Thousand Miles up the Nile. We love to travel and pair our trips with college football games and my research which takes us on international trips.

If you could choose the perfect place to write more children’s books, where would that be?

Cheryl: For the most part, I’ve learned to just sit and write wherever I’m at. My grandkids always check in on what I’m writing. They don’t hesitate to read and comment on the story and the illustrations. That said, my living is my perfect place to write children’s books!

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