Special To The Vista
James was a long-time faculty member at Central Lakes College, and Kate was a music teacher in the Brainerd School District.
James describes himself as a life-long writing hobbyist who, like many retired people, turned to a hobby in his retirement years.Little did he expect that at the age of 70, he would write and publish a novel attracting attention both nationally and internationally, with a story set in Minnesota and drawing upon familiarity with his native state.
His recently published novel, Everywhere in Chains, deals with the painful experiences of families with mentally ill loved ones in prison.
It has recently been reviewed by the London-based Longford Trust.
The reviewer was no less than Lady Rachel Billington OBE, daughter of Lord Longford, who throughout a lifetime, engaged in activities supporting prisoners and their families.
Lady Billington comes from a family of distinguished British authors and her brother-in-law, the late Harold Pinter, is a former Nobel Prize winner in literature.
In her review posted on the Longford Trust website, Lady Billington says:
“When I finished reading Everywhere in Chains, I realised why James Casper had felt indebted to my father’s ideas. It is a book with an unusually strong message and, although I can’t pretend my father read many novels, I know he would have admired Casper’s ambitious spirit.”
Meanwhile, Casper has been receiving letters and attention from families around the United States who are experiencing the heartbreak of an imprisoned loved one suffering from mental illness, a problem drawing more and more attention in national media.
Recently interviewed, Casper said, “No one is more surprised than I am. You never think a hobby will lead to much of anything. My many former college students need not submit a book report the next time I’m in Minnesota, but I hope they will at least check me out at Amazon.com.”