Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Interview Time! Plus, Win A Book!

Today, we've got a fab interview with one half of the writing team that creates the delish House of Night series (Marked, Betrayed, Chosen), P.C. Cast! And best of all, one lucky commenter is going to win an autographed copy of Marked to get you started on the series!

How did the idea of a mother-daughter writing venture come to be? Whose idea was it?

It was my idea. When I was beginning the first book Kristin hadn’t gone off to college yet, so she was still living at home. I’d yell out questions about teenage vernacular at her from my office. Like, “Chicken!”(I call her Chicken. Kristin Frances Cast. KFC.) “Chicken! When someone’s really drunk, what do you call it?” She’d say, “Trashed, Mom.” And then I’d yell back “Thanks!” and keep writing. So I’m trying to write the first three chapters and I keep yelling down the hall. Kristin says she was “innocently” watching MTV. (Please! I don’t think you can innocently watch MTV.) Anyway, I finally came out and said, “Would you like to coauthor this book with Mama?” She said, “Coauthor… like have my name on the cover?” “Uh huh,” I said. She said, “Like, Kristin Cast and P. C. Cast?” I said, “No, like, P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast .” She went, “Oh. Yeah. That’d be cool.” So I called my agent and she liked the idea. She was thinking of the marketing perspective. Everyone was cool with it, so it happened.

What's the writing process like with you and Chicken *snerk* working on a book at the same time?

Kristin and I do some brainstorming, and then I write the first draft. It’s hard for me. I want to call her and talk to her about it sometimes, but she hasn’t read up to where I am. I used to send her pieces of it, but I revise constantly. So what I will have sent her before might have completely changed. So that didn’t work. When I get the whole first draft done, I send it to her. (I’ll talk to her in the manuscript.) Then she goes through it and fills in the blanks and answers the questions. She makes sure I’m being succinct enough, because I tend to do too much description. She said in this last book she had to delete a zillion “and whatnot”s. So she’ll change some of the text and write little bubble comments to me. Then she sends the manuscript to me and I see what changes she’s made. I re-read it carefully to make sure she’s not messing up any of my dominoes, because I have a much better idea of where I’m going than she does. When I’m done, we send it off.

Very cool that you guys work so well together. What was your inspiration for the House of Night series?

Well, it started out with my agent saying “vampire finishing school.” Two, almost three years ago, at the [RWA National] Conference in Reno. We were drinking, and she says “Hey hey hey, I have an idea for a series I need to give you.” I said, “Okay.” Then she said the three magic words: “Vampire finishing school.” I had been reading a lot of young adult, and I was thinking I would really like to write a young adult series. She, on the other hand, was thinking bondage and college co-eds. Well, those of you who have read my Goddess Summoning Books know I could definitely make that work, but I couldn’t get the YA angle out of my mind, so I talked her into young adult. And I’m sooooo glad I did. It’s made my career. These books have put me in a completely different place.

Also, I sat down with my dad, who is a biologist, and came up with a biological basis for vampirism. Then created a world that’s ours only there have always been vampires. It’s an uneasy alliance between vampires and humans. My vamps are like Superman. They’re super-gorgeous. They’re super-talented. They’re literally super-men and women. It’s matriarchal. Nyx is their goddess. I use a lot of Wiccan based rituals. They’re in no way disrespectful to men, because a real matriarchal culture would not be disrespectful to men. It’s just that men have a different role, and their role is more is as a protector.

I love that you got your dad involved! Who is your favorite secondary character from the series?

That’s easy – Aphrodite! Okay, I know she comes off as abrasive and selfish and even kinda ho-ish, but I love her. Plus, her character grows and evolves during the series quite a bit.

Okay, I have to agree. She's kind of a snot, but sooo interesting. I can't wait to see where she goes in the series. Speaking of which, how many more books will there be? Any buzz on a movie?

Right now we’ve sold a total of nine House of Night books, which includes a three book spin-off. As for a movie, Empire Pictures has optioned the series and is going to pitch it as a TV series to the major networks. So keep your fingers crossed!

Awesome! Can I come to the premiere? Kidding. Not really. Um, can we get a sneak peak at what's next for Zoey?

If you’ve read CHOSEN you know that Zoey messed up Big Time. So UNTAMED (out in October) begins with Zoey cleaning up her messes, but in the middle of all of that we meet a new force of evil that has been influencing vampyres at the House of Night. I can tell you that I scared my own self when I was writing this one! And I think of the end of it as more of a pause than a real The End. I’m working on the next book, HUNTED, already, and it begins literally within minutes of the close of UNTAMED.

I can't wait to see the new covers. The current ones are amazing. In between books, when we need a fix, where can we find you online?

You can find me at my website: http://www.pccast.net/ (and http://www.pccast.blogspot.com/) and the House of Night series website: http://www.houseofnightseries.com/.

That House of Night website rocks. Thank you for stopping by! Now, readers, don't forget to comment to get your name in the drawing to win Marked!

32 comments:

  1. What a great interview! Wow. I've never read the House of Night series--but really want to. I just have to wait until I finish writing Love Sux before I do. LOL

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for posting the awesome interview, Kristen.

    Ms. Cast, I love the story of how you got together to write with your daughter. It almost makes me want to try something with my own - she's my first beta reader right now. She's also the big vampire lover in the house, so if she hasn't read your books, I'll definitely recommend them to her. =o)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Brillaint interview! I'd seen these books around in waterstones "and whatnot" ;) but didn't have enough money to pick it up. It does sound amazing though.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Wonderful interview! Good questions (all the questions I would personally have asked, actually) and long, satisfying answers. Thanks for posting!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Wow, this is a fantastic interview...thanks for posting it, Kristen!!

    ReplyDelete
  6. If I post under a different name, do you think I might be able to win? I'm not above being sneaky when it comes to books, lol.

    or chocolate, if anyone is wondering.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Fantastic interview!

    Reminds me that I've been wanting to read these books! (Guess that short-term memory loss thing is starting to creep up...)

    Ms. Cast, I heard you speak in Atlanta, when Chicken was unable to come because of summer school, and I was so fascinated by your process! Very cool! I think that's awesome that you write with your daughter. :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Those covers are so drop dead gorgeous, lol - and it is really cool to see how you and your daughter work together!
    Congrats on a terrific series - I'll be recommending it to my own daughter!

    Traci

    ReplyDelete
  9. Wonderful interview! Thanks for posting it. I love how P.C. and Kristin and found a way to work so well together. I'm really excited about this series.

    ReplyDelete
  10. LOL, Gwen. Me neither!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Oh, I would absolutely LOVE to win a signed copy of this book. This series is one of my top most faves! I seriously did a fangirl sqeal and a little dance after I got to Books A Million and had Chosen in my hands. Awesome interview btw, great questions...and answers. *crosses fingers* I hope I win.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Don't enter me in the contest as I already own an autographed copy of Marked. I just wanted to say what a great interview! I am reading Chosen right now (what a coincidence, lol). If you decide you want to give away any autographed ARC's of UNTAMED, let us know!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Awesome interview, ladies. You're doing a great job with this blog. And now I have even more books to add to my huge TBR pile;))

    ReplyDelete
  14. Great interview! And those book covers are gorgeous. I'd love to win a copy.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Awesome interview! And I love the books. I love the covers. I love everything, really.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Except dust ruffles.

    ReplyDelete
  17. How fun to be writing with your daughter! your series sounds awesome! I love paranormal and your books sound right up my alley! I can't wait to check out your website, and my next stop will be Amazon!!

    Great interview Fictionistas! Thanks for sharing!!

    ReplyDelete
  18. How cool that you write with your daughter! Love it!

    ReplyDelete
  19. I read Betrayed for a contest and was just blown away by it--the writing, the concept, the stunning covers for the series. I'm so happy for your success with these books, Kristin and PC!

    Shelley
    http://www.allaboutusbooks.net

    ReplyDelete
  20. Great interview today, and I love that your writing as a mother daughter team! Sounds like a great series. tWarner419@aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  21. Wonderful interview. I can hardly wait to read your series, now!

    ReplyDelete
  22. I keep staring at these books every single time I'm in the bookstore. I've been promising myself I'll read them once my insane TBR pile dwindles. I'm a big vampire fan.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Absolutely entering. These books sound incredible. I'm ashamed to admit that they're all new to me.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Great interview. My sister really enjoyed this series and I'm looking forward to reading the first one!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Wow!!! New to me, too. I love this idea... Can't wait to read them...

    Tami

    ReplyDelete
  26. At least you didn't call Kristin "Krissy", Kristen! (Whew, lots of Kris's going on there!) I found the mock interview with Jill Monroe, PC, and Kristin on Youtube last week and laughed my butt off. :)

    Anyhow, the series sounds wonderful and I LOVE the covers!! :)

    ReplyDelete
  27. Great interview! It's cool to hear some of how the series came to be. A signed copy? That would be awesome! :)

    ReplyDelete
  28. What a wonderful interview! I have been hearing some great things about this series. Must try it soon.

    ReplyDelete
  29. What a great interview. I would love to win a copy of Marked.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Hi Guys! Sorry I'm late in commenting - I've been out of town and then totally out of time when I got back.

    Thanks for all your great comments! Yep I do love me some Chicken Frances. I just got off the phone with our editor and CHOSEN is holding strong at #4 on the New York Times Best Seller List. That makes five weeks we've either been at 2, 3, or 4 there. Go Zoey!

    Kristen - of course you can some to the premier with us, baby. You can be my date. I do lurve me a tall chick.

    The YouTube interview was hi-lar-i-ous! Jill and Gena are so damn funny!

    And, yes! If Kristen reminds me I'll definitely come back and give away an ARC of UNTAMED.

    Speaking of, back to writing...

    ReplyDelete
  31. Well, crap. I mean "come" to the premier. Jeesh. More coffee...

    ReplyDelete
  32. Anonymous4:16 PM

    What a great interview! I loved reviewing all the House of Night series for www.nightowlromances.com. If you haven't read them, go out and get them, you will not be sorry! Can't wait to see what happens with Zoey and her friends.

    Leslee

    ReplyDelete