Camille Peters led the multi-author collaboration, A Villain’s Ever After, and is the author of the long-running Kingdom Chronicles, and other fantasy novels.
Tell us about your fairytale retellings and what inspired you to write in this genre.
I’m a romantic at heart and have always adored fairytales, so it felt natural to begin my writing journey in this genre. When I first started out I was a little daunted about finishing a full story rather than dabbling in dozens of smaller ones for my own amusement as I’d done throughout my life, so basing a book on a classic tale allowed me to use my creativity to expand on it in a way that allowed me to discover my own story while also giving me the foundation to help me finally complete a book.
Creating more complex plots has gotten easier with each book so I no longer need that framework, but I still adore fairytales and will continue to write in this genre—both out of my love for these stories and also the fun I have in growing something new from their inspiration— even as I also expand into fantasy romance. I will always write books with some element of fantasy as I love creating stories that provide an escape to worlds different than our own…plus everything is better with a bit of magic.
2) How does the theme of beauty fit into your books, particularly your Frog Prince retelling, Spelled?
Inner Beauty is one of my favorite themes in fairy tales, as I believe that everyone is divine and has their own individual worth, no matter their appearance. Yet we live in a world that places such value on outward appearances, and I’ve witnessed firsthand how harmful this can be. I love exploring what true beauty is in many of my stories in hopes of combating the negative messages that my readers undoubtedly see in abundance through social media, so that they can hopefully learn to value themselves as they truly are…a destination my own journey to discover within myself took far too long to reach. I hope to help others embark on that journey sooner so they can experience the joy and peace of loving themselves.
I hope to explore different aspects of beauty in all my stories. For Spelled specifically, I wanted to explore not only learning to see past appearances in order to fall in love with someone based on their heart, but two other types of beauty—the beauty of imagination and storytelling that is at the core of my heroine, and more importantly the beauty of seeing past our expectations for how we think our life should unfold so that we can see the wonder of our life as is. My heroine begins the story so fixated on her imagined ideal plan for her life that she almost misses the beauty of the love and life she’s currently living. Because life so rarely goes how we expect, I hoped to help my readers see past their current circumstances and see the magic and wonder in the ordinary around them as well as their own unexpected detours in their own lives.
How has studying creative writing helped your writing?
I feel studying creative writing gave me the foundation needed to understand the structure of how to tell a story as well as the essential aspects of the craft. It also helped me get in a habit of consistent writing, and to experiment with different types of writing and exercises I might never have otherwise done. From there, I feel I’ve benefited the most from consistent practice. I hope each book I write is better than the last, and I hope to have continual improvement in my storytelling and craft throughout my career.
Inner Beauty is one of my favorite themes in fairy tales, as I believe that everyone is divine and has their own individual worth, no matter their appearance.Camille Peters
What do you want readers to take from your books?
For all my books I hope that whatever weakness, circumstances, trials my characters face, that my readers can be inspired in my characters’ journey to overcoming in hopes of helping them in their own lives. I want to leave my readers not only a story that offers a fun escape, but as well as hope and strength as they live out their own personal stories, which are far more amazing than any I can ever pen. If I can offer inspiration in any form, then that makes me happier than words can express.
I want to leave my readers not only a story that offers a fun escape, but as well as hope and strength as they live out their own personal stories, which are far more amazing than any I can ever pen.Camille Peters
If you were given the choice of the gift of magic, money, or wisdom, what would you choose and why?
In my real life I value wisdom out of those three and am constantly in pursuit of it. However, since I feel I can obtain as much wisdom as I set my mind to in real life, I’d choose magic as I adore it in every story I read and write, and I’d love to have it as a part of my own life. In an effort to experience it for myself, I am in constant search for the magic and wonder already around me in the simple joys found in being alive.
What’s something readers might not know about you?
That I’m a twin! It’s a boy twin so we’re not identical, but I still love having one. As such, I feature twins in every single one of my series and have plans to continue doing so forever. And this is less interesting, but even in my 30s I’ve actually never been in a romantic relationship, so perhaps I’m an imposter writing about love, yet I adore living vicariously through my characters. Hopefully my romances are still fun (and my kisses swoony) for my readers, despite my own inexperience, haha.
I heard from a little bird that you’ve lived in Japan. How has living in another country influenced your stories?
Yes, I’ve lived in Japan as a missionary for my church, as well as England for a year to do a Creative Writing program, and France for a Semester as part of a Study Abroad. I adored each of these countries! France had so many beautiful castles to visit, England has gorgeous countryside (I adore nature and am continuously inspired by it), but Japan is perhaps my favorite. I just adore the culture, the people, the food, how cute things are such an aspect of their culture, their storytelling…everything! It’s so fun to experience different places and discover more about the world as well as myself, and to grow in ways I otherwise wouldn’t have if I’d stayed home. I feel these new perspectives have expanded my imagination and helped me come up with my stories.
It’s so fun to experience different places and discover more about the world as well as myself, and to grow in ways I otherwise wouldn’t have if I’d stayed home.Camille Peters
What fairytale do you really want to retell but haven’t yet?
Cinderella is definitely a fairytale I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to retell! I have plans to finally my own version next year. Little Red Riding Hood is another I expected to have retold by now for how much I adore forest atmospheres. I also adore The Nutcracker and Alice in Wonderland but haven’t yet come up with a way to retell them.
Honesty, I’m a bit of a collector so I’ll eventually retell all of them…and several of the major fairytales again because I want to explore other ways to reimagine the same classic story.
When you’re not writing, you are…?
I’m an avid reader and that is my primary hobby. I also love playing the piano, playing board games (I own over 400), learning, going on long barefoot walks, spending time with family and friends, as well as playing the occasional video game and watching anime (with the “excuse” it’s to maintain my Japanese language ).
What can readers expect next from you?
I’m discovering I’m polygamous in my book series and I have plans to begin several more over the next year or two and then scatter each of my yearly releases across them. In addition to the two fairytale series I currently have going on, I have plans for at least one more that will be centered around the enchanted Forest that is the primary setting for my debut novel, Pathways. I also have plans to continue my Fantasy Romance series, The Royal Chronicles, as well as begin its spin off series that centers more on magic. I also will finish up the last book in the Dream World Chronicles and release two more interconnected series shortly after, one involving a magical castle, the other involving a lost kingdom and enchanted crown. I’m also toying with the idea of having a series of novellas featuring lesser known fairytales, as well as hoping to eventually do a series of retellings based on classic literature (English Literature is one of my degrees, after all). So many fun plans! I hope I can write faster to get all my ideas out in the world sooner!
Camille Peters was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah where she grew up surrounded by books. As a child, she spent every spare moment reading and writing her own stories on every scrap of paper she could find. Becoming an author was always more than a childhood dream; it was a certainty.
Her love of writing grew alongside her as she took local writing classes in her teens, spent a year studying Creative Writing at the English University of Northampton, and graduated from the University of Utah with a degree in English and History. She’s now blessed to be a full-time author.
When she’s not writing she’s thinking about writing, and when’s she’s not thinking about writing she’s…alright, she’s always thinking about writing, but she can also be found reading, at the piano, playing board games with her family and friends, or taking long, bare-foot walks as she lives inside her imagination and brainstorms more tales.
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