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Author Spotlight: C. R. Collins

C. R. Collins

Welcome to my weekly Author Spotlight. I’ve asked a bunch of my author friends to answer a set of interview questions, and to share their latest work.


C.R. Collins enjoys mixing fantasy with familiar. Her characters deal with everyday life issues disrupted by outlandish complications. She’s been writing for years, in one form or another, but only recently decided to get serious about publishing. Her first work, the Woodspell Trilogy, was released in 2022. As of May 2024, she has eight books available under her indie company, Kapeo Press, with more to come.

Her Tales of Ardonna series covers topics she feels passionate about, including nature (particularly trees), wildlife (ten years as a zookeeper instilled a respect for animals as individuals), and family (of the blood and/or the heart). She also enjoys a good romantic subplot. Her interest in her fellow humans led her to earn degrees in psychology and anthropology, which have helped with creating characters and societies.

When not writing, you can often find her outside, either working in her gardens or just enjoying the spectacular desert scenery.

More information on the author and her work, including new release announcements and maps, can be found on her website:

Thanks so much, C. R., for joining me!

J. Scott Coatsworth: How would you describe your writing style/genre? 

CRC: I call my books “hopepunk fantasy adventures.” They end on hopeful notes and feature characters who refuse to give up the fight for a better world. The series can also be called a “family saga” as the stories follow a few families, plus various friends, and cover three timelines. There’s magic. Polyamory. Cunning beasts. And disgruntled trees.

JSC: If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be? 

CRC: The plot of the book I took thirty years to finish and publish, so I would get my work out into the world sooner.

JSC: Do you reward yourself for writing, or punish yourself for failing to do so? How? 

CRC: Writing is my reward. I feel punished when I can’t sit down and get lost in my stories.

JSC: What do you do if you get a brilliant idea at a bad time? 

CRC: I once pulled off to the side of the road to type out an idea into my phone. It would have to be a really bad time to stop me from jotting it down somehow.

JSC: Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre?

CRC: As a kid, I wished I could create a world like Tolkien gave us, that readers like me would enjoy exploring. I grew up in an urban area and particularly loved his descriptions of the natural world. The fantasy genre allows one’s imagination to run free while also enabling fresh exploration of real life topics.

JSC: How long have you been writing? 

CRC: The first story I recall writing, I was ten years old. It was a horror story about an evil woman who gets transformed into a cat. That was . . . quite a long time ago.

JSC: How did you choose the topic for Giant’s Gate

CRC: For Giants’ Gate, I wanted to challenge myself with a large cast and a particularly outlandish plot. I had a lot of fun writing this one.

JSC: Were you a voracious reader as a child? 

CRC: I read anything I could get my hands on, including stories inappropriate for my age group.

JSC: What other artistic pursuits (it any) do you indulge in apart from writing? 

CRC: I’ve designed all our garden spaces, wherever we’ve lived. I’m not much of an artist otherwise. I do have fun creating maps on the Inkarnate site.

JSC: What are you working on now, and what’s coming out next? Tell us about it!

CRC: I always have more than one project going. Currently, my second Dragon Age prequel is with my editor, with a planned September 2024 release. I also have the final sequel and final Mage Era prequel (this one actually spans all three timelines) in progress, plus am plotting the final Dragon Age prequel. These will be released one per year, starting in 2025.

Giant's Gate - C. R. Collins

And now for C. R.’s new book: Giant’s Gate:

“This was a good time for silent reflection, to ask myself how—in all the rumored worlds—I’d arrived here.”

All she wanted was a secure home, but Maddie’s problems just got bigger.

GIANTS’ GATE is a standalone MAGE ERA prequel to the WOODSPELL SERIES and one of the TALES OF ARDONNA.

Content Advisory: Contains adult themes and situations and spoilers for River’s Roar

Get It At Amazon | Universal Buy Link


Elli and I followed Mama to the family room. Branches tapped the walls, as if probing for weak spots. The heavy door shook, momentarily bowing, but the bolt held. My father set the hearth crackling. Elli put the kettle on, then set up baking racks. I helped Mama knead cakes. We laid out an extravagant meal, using the bulk of the perishables.

The rest of the family gathered at Elli’s call. Papa led us in praise to water, without which we would have no food. He bid us eat thankfully and attend to flavors.

Mages revere these elements which maintain life: water, land, air—even fire, cautiously. Unlike humans, we understand. The uroborus reminds us of our place. I enjoyed what could be my last meal amid the forest’s relentless knocking. Cali would have done the same.

I’d never fully appreciated her burden until I’d assumed it. It fell to me now, as current eldest, to perform the role of heir and set an example. I’d not believed it possible for me to replace her—to find poise and circumspection beneath frivolity. But here I was, staying my sisters’ moans with a stern look.

These last miserable years had forced a change, a fiercer purpose. I savored tangy-sweet preserves and buttery cakes while the walls shook. A painting fell from its spot above the table, smashing roasted yams.

“We have been fortunate,” Papa said, “to have always eaten well.”

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