Dash-Board Interview: Sheryl Carpenter

22 Jun

Next up, Fellow New Englander, Sheryl Carpenter!

Bria, thank you for inviting us, reading about my fellow GH’ers has been fun. 

Let’s start off with a short bio. 

I’m an artist, trained graphic designer, former programmer and Flash multimedia developer–so I’m totally keeping tabs on Push Pop Press (They did Al Gore’s Our Choice). Multimedia is the sort of skill I love flexing and wouldn’t mind trading with my fellow writers. I’ve been writing seriously for 6+ years, and until recently I helped manage the FF&P critique group. I’m also a major workshop junkie. On the personal side, I’m multicultural and multiracial, which has always made me different and unique, but I’ve come to appreciate that since I have such a hodgepodge of experiences I usually have something in common with anyone I meet. I live in the Northeast with twins, an off-roading adventurer for a husband, and the mopiest Boston Terrier you could ever imagine. 

Tell me a little about your GH book. 

PIPER’S KISS is a YA Urban Supernatural marinated with a dash of fantasy and a pinch ofCaribbeanand African lore. PK is the first in a five-book arc about the redemption of the Pied Piper of Hamelin. In PK, he’s a villain out to corrupt the soul of the sixteen-year-old boy chosen to be the next Piper by introducing him to, then stealing away, his true love. 

What’s the opening line? (I included the chapter title)

~Welcome to My Freak Show~

A line of socks slithered out of the laundry basket to conga up the bedroom wall, but they weren’t the reason why Jessalyn Briar cowered on her bed with her thin cotton sheet pulled up to her nose and her eyes opened wide. 

Tell me about your GH call… and aftermath 🙂 

As a rule, I enter contests, then try to forget about them. So I didn’t know it was GH day. I believe I hurt poor Tricia Millburn’s ears. That was after she told me I was a hard woman to reach. Afterwards, I realized that other people had heard the news way before I had built up the nerve to tell anyone. The next day Carla Swafford called to tell me I had won the Linda Howard Award of Excellence in the YA category for my other novel DONOR. I think she understood from the dazed sound of my voice that both contest results had me stunned. Neither one has sunken in. 

What got you started writing? 

During a time of deep personal loss, I rediscovered my respect and love for romance novels. The complete first book came to me in a dream one night and went on to win and final in contests. So have the second and third books, which has encouraged me to keep going. PK is my fourth book and my first GH, but I realized I’ve been writing down scenes & dialogue all my life. 

Have you always written YA? 

I had, but I didn’t know it. My characters, their voices, and their themes were always YA, but it was only until someone pointed it out that I realized they were right. 

What’s your book’s or character’s theme music? 

I’m definitely a music-to-write-by person. But it’s scene by scene. So one minute it might be Soca, the next it might be Neon Trees. Songs help me stay in the moment for that scene. I can say Kieran’s longing-for-her scene song was Sweetest Taboo by Sade. Jess’s reversal turning point and when she realizes her strategy is failing was Secrets by OneRepublic.

Now, let’s do the fast money round!

Chocolate or Vanilla?
Chocolate covered fruit—yum! 

Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter?
Summertime and the Living is Easy…

Movies or TV
Imax 3D with butt thumping chairs 

Hot or Cold

Beach or Mountains

Travel or Staycation
Travel adventures 

Soccer Boys or Some Other Sport Guys (yes, we’re a little partial here at Luv YA)
Soccer legs!

Silly or Serious
Silly underneath-I see humor in the weirdest things

Early or Late Bloomer
Still blooming

Morning Glory or Night Owl

William or Harry
Prince Amadeo ofBelgium

Since we’ve been doing Quirky Facts on the GH Loop – share the quirkiest one you have… about you:

Two, if I may? Kill Bill & Motorcycles. This will change professionally with my marketing plan, but after working on a data-mining project on super computers, I try to maintain a tiny electronic footprint. Which makes me not so much quirky as neurotic like Beatrix, Uma Therman’s character. :D. Quirky would be the fact that I can do figure eights on a muscle bike. However… I can’t ride a bicycle. I keep trying, I’m terrible.

May I share my Cool Fact, Too?

The boys in my son’s fourth grade class think I’m the coolest mom because I can tattoo the most awesome dragons (with face paint). Combine the GH, the Linda Howard, and this compliment—well, I still haven’t touched down.

14 Responses to “Dash-Board Interview: Sheryl Carpenter”

  1. Gwen Hernandez June 22, 2011 at 5:33 pm #

    Yay, another former programmer! =) I love your opening line, Sheryl. Sucked me right in. The whole series sounds interesting and unique, like something my boys might read. Good luck!

  2. Gwyn June 22, 2011 at 6:44 pm #

    Conga-ing socks climbing the walls WASN’T the reason? It would be more than enough reason for me!

    Nice to meet you, Sheryl. Congrats on the Linda Howard Award. I love symmetry, don’t you? *G*

  3. Darcy June 22, 2011 at 9:33 pm #

    Ooh, Sheryl, your series sounds FANTASTIC! Boy there’s a lot of talent in this bunch:) Too bad we didn’t go with fire breathing unicorns, I can just see you skillfully painting our faces for the awards night. F.B.U.’s can’t be that much of a stretch from dragons, right?

  4. Gwen Hernandez June 22, 2011 at 9:36 pm #

    Darcy: I like your thinking! Remember the tattoo talk? Maybe Sheryl could give us all FBUs on our arms or something. 😉 It’s still the mascot…

  5. Sheryl Carpenter June 23, 2011 at 1:54 pm #

    Hi Gwen, Darcy, and Gwyn!!

    A bit of a mix up here! Didn’t know if I was next or someone else was up, and yesterday was my Wacky Wednesday So I didn’t check until today.. But Thank you for the welcomes!! You’re right, Darcy, FBU’s aren’t all that different, hmmmmm…..

  6. Shoshana June 23, 2011 at 2:30 pm #

    I love your first line, Sheryl! And how cool that you’re so familiar with multimedia stuff–that should definitely be useful.

    And I’m totally in for an FBU. 🙂

  7. Sheryl Carpenter June 23, 2011 at 6:03 pm #

    Hey Shoshana! Thank you! I’m really excited about the direction the whole print industry is taking. Although I hope there will always be print books–I would miss smoothing my hands over those luscious book covers and being able to dog ear my favorite pages–I’m also looking forward to sharing my art work and other conceptual ideas with readers.

    As for the FBU, I’m thinking of seeing if I can do some water-slide tattoos. Will let you all know.


  8. Mary Buckham June 23, 2011 at 8:51 pm #

    Sheryl ~~ I’ll be cheering you on come GH night!! Woot!!Woot!!! ~~ Mary B 🙂

  9. briaq June 23, 2011 at 11:16 pm #

    HA on the tattoos ladies!

    Sheryl – this was great! I loved getting a look-see in your writing life. Thanks so much for joining us!

  10. Venus Campbell June 23, 2011 at 11:43 pm #

    Very moving~ What a great “the call” story. I’d love to read Piper’s Kiss in its entirety. May the Gold H bring you much success. This must be an exciting time!

  11. Sheryl Carpenter June 24, 2011 at 9:23 pm #

    Mary! Thank you for stopping by! I wish you were coming to Nationals!!

  12. Sheryl Carpenter June 24, 2011 at 9:25 pm #

    Venus! Thank You! Yes, it’s been pretty amazing. I’m in awe of the entire process–from the people at RWA to the women who who I’m honored to have finalled with. Sheryl

  13. Suzanne June 24, 2011 at 10:14 pm #

    Hi Sheryl, Love the premise of your story–fresh and intriguing. I’m also intrigued by your husband’s off-roading adventures. You’ll have to explain that one!

  14. Sheryl Carpenter June 26, 2011 at 1:51 am #

    Hey Suzanne,

    Thanks for stopping by! Yeah, hubby’s a jeepster and it’s never a dull ride. Looking forward to seeing you at Nationals.

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