Castleman is my married name. When my divorce was finalised my father asked me to
revert back to my maiden name. The enormity of all the changes that I would have
to effect got to me and I decided to stick with Castleman. We were travelling, as
a family, to the Drakensberg for the Ascension Day weekend when he asked yet again.
Unfortunately he passed away 2 days later in the early hours of Saturday morning
so it was almost his dying wish - the least I could do was to honour his wish and
dedicate my writing to him by using my maiden name.
Why was this important to you?
My father started me on my literary journey by reading the classics to me from an
early age. At the age of seven I can remember him reading “The Tale of Two Cities”
When did you start writing?
Far too late in my life.
Why was this?
Life happens. I used to write when I was little. I can remember sitting on the steps
in the garden of my home - I was about ten years old - writing a poem about butterflies.
I have no idea what happened to it or whether it was a good attempt. I had an extremely
active imagination which worked to my detriment in class. Most of the comments from
my teachers were “She is a dreamer and doesn’t concentrate in class.” on the other
side of the coin I also got “Far too talkative.”
How did your current bout of writing come about?
My son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter (who live in the UK) came to South Africa
for a holiday in 2009. Della (my granddaughter) was three years old at the time.
Our special time together was her bath time - I would sit next to the bath and we
would chat about all sorts of things. During our last bath time session she asked
me to write to her. I promised I would. When I got home the enormity of the promise
hit me. How could I correspond with a three year old? After recovering from the blinding
light that struck me - I realised that I could write stories about her and the toy
rabbit that I had given her for Easter and the Della and Easter series was born.
What is the significance of your Logo?
I love the sound of water. Waves have a soothing effect on me and I love the warm
colours in this picture. It was taken by Sharleen Hudson (now Stuart) an ex-pupil
of mine who has become an e-friend. I admire her artistic eye in her photographs
which can be viewed on her blog.
Who does your covers? They are stunning.
I am blessed to have reconnected with another very talented ex-pupil of mine -Manuela
Cardiga. My covers are so brilliant that I really want people to judge my books by
the cover. Manuela and I have formed a spiritual connection that spans the seas that
separate us. I e-mail the book to her in Lisbon and she e-mails the cover to me in
Durban. She also helps edit the books. I would be lost without her. She is always
ready to supply much needed kicks in the pants when the need arises.