What inspired your book?
King’s Envoy, my first novel and the start of the entire triple-trilogy Artesans of Albia series, was inspired by a 1970s children’s TV show called “Tarot, Ace of Wands.” Tarot was a magician who used his special talents to solve crime, and this got me wondering what it would be like to be born with a special talent or power, especially if there was no one to teach you how to use it. This thought triggered a little scene in my head, which became the scene where my main male character, Taran, meets Major Sullyan for the first time.
How do you spend your free time?
I have two rescue Lurcher dogs, Milly and Milo, so I love going for country walks. I also love gardening and have a large collection of unusual cacti. Singing is another love of mine and I have written and recorded some folk-style songs that appear in my books. They can be found on my website, www.caspeace.com
What is the thing you struggle with the most while writing? And how do you defeat it?
Confidence that my writing is any good. I always write for myself, so having the confidence to show it to other people is a struggle. I’m always surprised when complete strangers like or identify with my writing, and that gives me a huge boost. All the lovely reviews I’ve received for my Artesans series, plus emails from fans, helped me overcome that initial lack of confidence. Now I just write what I want and don’t worry so much about whether it’s “good” right from the start. I know I can always edit and improve.
When did you first realize you were an author?
I never intended to become an author, I was only writing as a hobby, so I guess it was when I decided I had to take the plunge and show my first “real” piece of writing to my husband. He read it and really loved it, despite not being a fan of fantasy novels, and that gave me the confidence to send it out to agents and publishers. Although I received many rejections before finding my first publisher, I also received much encouragement and many personally-written comments. That’s when I realized these writing professionals were treating me as a serious author.
What kind of music do you listen to while you write?
I enjoy a wide variety of musical genres, and I love to choose music that suits what I’m writing. My Artesans series is set in a medieval-style world, so I listened to lots of medieval-style chants and plainsong while writing it.
What is your favorite part of writing?
I don’t ever plot my novels, so I love to just sit down (with a pen, I can’t type fast enough!) and simply write what’s in my mind, letting the ideas flow as they will. Then I really enjoy the editing process; going back over what I’ve written and polishing it.
What is the most important thing in your life and why?
My family. I very recently lost my father at the age of 92 and was so grateful to have a close-knit family that helped each other through the difficult times. My parents have been extremely supportive of me throughout my life, and they and my husband were encouraging throughout my writing journey. I love them all dearly.