Author Cas Peace
Today on my blog, I am honored to host friend and fellow author, Cas Peace. Cas is the phenomenal author of The Artesans of Albia Trilogy; King’s Envoy, King’s Champion, and King’s Artesan. I loved the series from the start and wrote a blog article about King’s Envoy some time ago. She is also the author of the non-fiction book, For the Love of Daisy.
Fantasy authors have always fascinated me. Where I fashion tales wrapped around history, authors like Cas create worlds out of nothing. I was fortunate to have an opportunity to ask Cas a little about her technique for character creation and she was kind enough to share the following with me:
Characters and their Names
First, I'd like to say a huge Thank You to Candace for hosting me on her blog, and for helping me re-launch my Artesans of Albia series. I really appreciate it, and I hope you all enjoy the post. Don't forget to check out the links to the books, below!
I think the creation of characters for fiction, whatever the genre, is one of the biggest pleasures an author can have. But it is sometimes difficult to know where to start.
When I began my Artesans of Albia fantasy series, I had only two characters in mind. The first was Taran. He evolved out of the 'idea germ' that sparked the entire series. In the 1970s, there was a kids' TV program called 'Tarot, Ace of Wands.' This program put a little idea into my head which persisted right up until 2001, when I began to write. I did debate whether I should also call my character Tarot, but I didn't, a) because my Taran is nothing like as confident as the Tarot of the TV program, and b) because I didn't want that name to give readers a false impression. Tarot cards do not feature in my books! I did like the sound of the name, though, and eventually came up with Taran. I had no idea at the time that 'taran' is the Welsh word for thunder. So it was with a weird sense of coincidence that I realized I'd named the horse Taran rides at the Manor, 'Thunder'. Spooky, or what?
The second character I knew I would create was Sullyan, but that's not the name she started with. I originally named her Sullivan, and that was the only name she had. Even she doesn't discover why she doesn't have a first name until Book 2! I can't tell you why the name Sullivan appealed to me, but it was the name that came to mind whenever I explored the 'idea germ' that had settled in my brain. I wrote the entire nine novel series using the name Sullivan, and I didn't see any reason to change it.
Once I realized that my scribblings might be good enough to publish, I looked around for advice. This was in the earlier days of the Internet, and I didn't know much about critique groups, or writing groups. I used adverts in writing magazines to help me find someone who could give me informed feedback on my novel, and one of the people I finally approached turned out to be a fiction writer himself. I can't remember his name now (he's dead) and he was extremely upbeat about what I sent him. He did respond with advice though, and the firmest piece was to change the name Sullivan. To him, it was a purely Irish name and he said that a beautiful and powerful female lead character deserved a prettier name than Sullivan!
I decided to take his advice, but I still liked the sound of the name, so I simply tweaked it and came up with Sullyan. A couple of the other original characters went through name changes, too. Rienne was originally Ruth, and Cal was Ricard. But all the rest have stayed.
I do believe that character names are important, but choosing fantasy names is not as easy as it might sound. I have a file on my computer with sample names in it, and if ever I think of a new one, I pop it into the file. I'd never remember them otherwise! Sometimes I trawl through foreign dictionaries, and craft new names that way. Other times I look at the names on TV credits. I find that if you take the ending of a Christian name and the beginning of a surname and put them together, you can often arrive at a pleasing new one. Although not always - my own name certainly doesn't work like that!
I hope you have enjoyed this post. If you would like to try my books, please follow the links. I can also be reached via
I would like to thank Cas for being my guest today. One thing I learned is that it’s not as easy to create characters as some might think.
Today (12/12/13) is the official re-launch of the Artesans trilogy. Please be sure to check out her website: www.caspeace.com to enter for a chance to win. There are 18 Fantastic e-books listed below which are being given away (two of mine included), plus signed print copies of each Artesans book published so far. Aside from being a talented writer, Cas has a lovely singing voice as well. The MUSIC from each book can also be heard and downloaded for FREE. Don’t miss out! CCB
BOOK BLAST GIVEAWAY TITLES:
King's Envoy, Artesans of Albia Book One, Cas Peace
King's Champion, Artesans of Albia Book Two, Cas Peace
King's Artesan, Artesans of Albia Book Three, Cas Peace
The Circle of Talia Book One, Shadows of the Realm, Dionne Lister
The Dream Keeper Chronicles Book One, The Dream Keeper, Mikey Brooks
Seeking A Scribe, Enchanted Bookstore Legend One, Marsha A Moore
The Dream Keeper Chronicles Book Two, The Dreamstone, Mikey Brooks
League of Elder, Sygillis of Metatron, Ren Garcia
A Knight of Silence, Candace C Bowen
A Change of Plans, Donna K Weaver
Spur of the Moment, Candace C Bowen
A Song of Betrayal, Jesse Duckworth
Echoes of Erebus, Joseph Picard
The Slaves of Erafor Series Book One, The Reader of Acheron, Walter Rhein
A Sword Called ... Kitten? Gordon A Long
Watching Yute, Jospeh Picard
Why Are People So Stupid? Gordon A Long
Lifehack, Joseph Picard
ENTER TO WIN:
BE SURE TO CHECK THE WEBSITE EVERY DAY FOR MORE EXCITING NEWS AND EVENTS: WWW.CASPEACE.COM
THE INNER WORKINGS OF A WRITER’S MIND
I have been asked where the ideas for my stories come from. The short answer would be from my life.
The long answer is a bit more complex. By going in the order they were written, I will try to break it down by novel in a way you can understand the inner workings of my mind. I guess the most important thing to know is that I start a novel with a general idea for a story. Once I start typing, the story takes on a life of its own.
A KNIGHT OF SILENCE (2008):
Having realized too late that I legally bound myself to a man who was not who he initially portrayed himself to be, I was unhappy and looking for a way to escape. I found that escape through writing. Don’t get me wrong, I never expected a perfect relationship, I don’t think they exist. However, in Fulke and Reina’s story, I created two imperfect halves that together formed a complete whole. I think Plato states it best in The Symposium: “According to Greek Mythology, humans were originally created with four arms, four legs and a head with two faces. Fearing their power, Zeus split them into two separate beings, condemning them to spend their lives in search of their other halves.” I believe that if you love someone, you do not continually point out their flaws to keep them on a level you are comfortable with. You build them up and rejoice together in the success that follows. I did not have that so I escaped to a fictional world where I could.
SPUR OF THE MOMENT:
While writing Bronwyn and Euric’s story, I pretty much realized I had reached the end of my marriage. Already an introvert, my only emotional outlet during this time came from the interaction with my son and through my writing. In the story, Bronwyn’s life mirrored my own. She was in a place she wasn’t meant to be. The only reason I held onto the relationship was for the sake of my young son. I knew he had to reach an age where he could rationally think for himself without being influenced by the petty immaturity of others.
During Wicked Embers, I found myself in a holding pattern. Only in this case, I related to the nemesis of the story, Jaenelle. While she waited centuries for revenge, I anxiously awaited my freedom.
JACK OF HEARTS:
If you know anything about Victorian Society, you may know women of the era were confined by the dictates of society. Guilt for what I wanted for myself weighed heavily on me. Who was I to destroy the only life my son had ever known? I’m his mother. It’s my duty to protect him. If not for a catalyst that forced my hand, I often wonder how much longer I could have held on to the marriage. In a moment of anger, the carefully maintained façade that had fooled so many people, myself included, slipped. Only then did I realize that by staying I was doing more harm to my son than were I to end the marriage. The drama that ensued was even worse than I expected, not unlike the chaos created by Jack the Ripper himself. While still young, I am blessed that my son inherited a level of maturity far beyond his tender years. He handled it far better than I could have ever imagined. Thank heaven for mitochondrial DNA.
A KNIGHT OF BATTLE:
The second book in the Knight Series came upon me unexpectedly. The last thing on my mind while going through a bitter divorce was romance. Believing it would take my mind off of the turmoil in my personal world, I escaped to my fictional one. Still, I wasn’t too surprised when my mom read the first draft and didn’t like it. I couldn’t blame her. I knew it wasn’t up to par. Somewhere in the legal mess, I lost my passion for writing… and that made me mad. How could I allow someone who was legally fighting for half of everything I had worked so hard for to take away one of the things I loved most? Determined, I scrapped the entire first draft and started over. Whether anger or determination reignited the fire within me, I completed Albin and Lecie’s story within days of the deadline. My mom approved and I can honestly say I am proud of the story for more reasons than one.
I will always look upon March 10, 2012, as the date I took charge of my life. Seven long months of legal hassles later, I was finally free. In order to put aside the anger within me, I once again turned to my escape; writing. Voodoo Fire is a cautionary tale of what could happen when you push a good person too far. Subliminally, it was also my therapy. When I finished the story, I felt like I could breathe again.
My past is exactly that and I have no intention of ever looking back. I have a brilliant and beautiful son who made every second of my decade in purgatory worthwhile.
I don’t think I will ever understand how the creative part of my mind works. All I do know is that I have never been happier. Where that will take me in my writing, only time will tell.
Love and light,
Candace C. Bowen
Below is the Goodreads link to the blog:
January 29, 2013
Below is my contribution to the 'Authors Tagging Authors’ Blog Hop.’ After being tagged by fellow Rhemalda Author, Cas Peace, I figured I better figure out what this blog hop business was all about. Cas is the author behind King’s Envoy and King’s Champion part of the Artesans of Albia Series. They’re amazing stories that you should definitely check out. http://peacewrites.blogspot.co.uk/
So without further adieu, here follows the questions and my answers:
What is the working title of your next book?
My current work in progress is entitled, Voodoo Fire.
Where did the idea come from for the book?
My maternal grandfather was born in Garyville, Louisiana. I have always found the city of New Orleans and its culture absolutely fascinating. With its above ground cemeteries and multi-cultured history, the story of a séance going wrong at the tomb of the infamous voodoo queen, Marie Laveau, just played out in my head.
What genre does your book fall under?
I would call it classic horror with a romantic element. I don’t think I will ever escape from romance when it comes to my writing. After making a few bad personal life decisions the happily-ever-after element of romance appeals to me very much.
What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
I could definitely see actress Amanda Siegfried in the role of the lead character Willow. Amanda has a wide-eyed innocence that would be perfect for a possessed mid-western college girl. The hero would be somewhat harder for me to cast as I based him on someone special to me. I would have to give that choice a lot of thought.
What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?
Queen Marie is back and she’s not happy…
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Voodoo Fire is currently scheduled for a fall 2013 release through Seven Realms Publishing.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
I am currently still working on it. My writing goal is no less than a thousand words a day. I usually surpass this mark, but I like to set a reasonable goal since I have a life outside of writing.
What other books would you compare this to within your genre?
I try to make each of my stories totally unique so I have never read or heard of anything similar.
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
I tend to have a moral to all of the stories I write and this one is no different. In the midst of a major life change, I was forced to endure the petty vindictiveness of a few people. Voodoo Fire is a tale of what happens when a person takes a negative path as opposed to a positive one. On a more personal note, it’s also about what can happen when you push a good person too far.
What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?
I think Voodoo Fire has a little of something for everyone. There’s non-explicit horror, suspense and a hint of romance. Since the romance takes a backseat in the story, I also think it’s the first novel in my catalog that will appeal to both women and men.
Next up on the blog tour is fellow Seven Realms Publishing author, Rick Nichols. Rick is the author of the John Logan series about ex-spy turned PI John Logan as well as the Eastlander Chronicles series. His influences include Robert B Parker and Robert Jordan. When he's not creating worlds, Rick enjoys reading, guitar, golf, and spending time with his family. He lives in Florida. My dad is a fan of Rick’s John Logan series and I was fortunate to be chosen to proof the Eastlander Chronicles. I eagerly await the next installment. Check out Rick’s blog: www.ricknicholsonline.com
After Rick, we have author/illustrator Virginia Wright. Virginia is the author and illustrator of the children's books: The Princess and the Castle, The Prince and the Dragon, Crying Bear, The Christmas Secret, and an educational, non-fiction book titled-- Buzzzzzzzz: What Honeybees Do. She also had several of her writings published in an Anthology-- Soundings, by the Poetry Fellowship of Maine. She was quoted as saying, "When I am not spending time with my husband, watering my vegetable and herb gardens, canning, or cooking, I spend my time doing what I enjoy doing most, writing..." My son loves her book, Buzzzzzzzz: What Honeybees Do. Link: http://www.virginiawright.com/blog
Then we have another fellow Seven Realms author, R.P. Steeves. Richis the talented author behind the Misty Johnson series; Supernatural Dick in Capitol Hell and Book Two, The National Maul. I keep trying to convince Rich to have Misty take on the Curse of the Wrigleyville Goat, but to date have had little success. He has an informative and entertaining blog so be sure to check it out. http://www.rpsteeves.com
D.G. Gass, poet and author of "Ghosts of Arlington" is the next author on our hop. Long after I had the opportunity to read it, D.G.’s story about war and its aftermath still resonates with me. A veteran herself, you should definitely check out her site. http://writerdggass.wordpress.com
Last but by no means least we have the multi-talented, J. Kent Holloway. Kent is an adventure author with a passion for edge-of-your-seat thrillers. A real-life paranormal investigator, his work explores the realms of the unknown. When not writing or scouring the southeastern United States for ghosts and cryptids, he works as a forensic death investigator. His books include: Primal Thirst, Sirens’ Song, The Curse of One-Eyed Jack, The Djinn, Devil’s Child, Freakshow, Masquerade at One Thousand Feet, and Willie Wiggles and the Weaving Webb. How’s that for multi-talented? Be sure to check out his website: http://www.kenthollowayonline.com
Every one of these authors is an incredible talent. It’s an honor to know them.
Love and Light,