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P. C. Cast
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P. C. Cast   P. C. Cast is the #1 bestselling author of the House of Night, Goddess Summoning, Partholon, and Divine series, which have won prestigious awards like the Prism, Holt Medallion, Daphne du Maurier, Booksellers' Best, Laurel Wreath, Oklahoma Book Award, YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers, and the Romantic Times Reviewersí Choice Award. She writes the young adult House of Night vampire series with her daughter, Kristin.

Buy P. C. Cast's Books at the following locations: (downloadable audio books) (independent bookstores)
  Related Links:
P. C. Cast's Homepage
House of Night Homepage

This episode originally aired on 11/19/2009 with the following authors:
Note: The following interview has been transcribed from The Author Hour radio show. Please excuse any typos, spelling and gramatical errors.

Interview with P. C. Cast

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Matthew Peterson: Hello and welcome to The Author Hour: Your Guide to Fantastic Fiction, which can be found at Iím your host, Matthew Peterson. Last week I interviewed Anne Rice, Ursula K. Le Guin, Brian Herbert, Kevin J. Anderson, and Orson Scott Card. This week Iíve got a vampire-themed episode with P. C. and Kristin Cast, Charlaine Harris, Laurell K. Hamilton, and L. J. Smith. So sit back and enjoy as we talk about The Vampire Diaries, House of Night, Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter, and Sookie Stackhouse, which is the basis for True Blood on HBO. Iíve got P. C. and Kristin Cast on the show today, #1 bestselling authors of the House of Night, which is a vampire young adult series. P.C. is also known for her Goddess Summoning, Partholon, and Divine series, which have won prestigious awards like the Prism, Holt Medallion, Daphne du Maurier, Booksellers' Best, and the Laurel Wreath awards. Thanks for being on the show today ladies.

Kristin Cast: Hi! Thanks for having us.

P. C. Cast: Yeah.

Matthew Peterson: So you guys are a mother and daughter team. What made you decide to start writing together?

P. C. Cast: Well, as you said, I had already written several adult series and I got this idea for this vampyre [note: in their books, they spell ďvampireĒ as ďvampyreĒ] finishing school series, actually from my agent. And I didnít think Iíd have any trouble writing it, because I had been teaching high school for about a decade at that time. But when I actually sat down and started the first three chapters . . .

Kristin Cast: She realized she was OD.

P. C. Cast: [laughs] I wasnít THAT OD. What I realized was my inner 70's teenager started to creep out.

Kristin Cast: Scary, very scary.

Matthew Peterson: [laughs] Uh oh.

P. C. Cast: And it was really scary. So thatís when I called in Kristin. And I kept calling her and asking her like just little word choices and then I decided, ďYou know what? This would just be easier if we co-authored and I wrote it and then she went back through it and made sure that I didnít sound like an old woman.Ē

Matthew Peterson: Yep. So how old were you, Kristin, when this began?

Kristin Cast: I was nineteen.

Matthew Peterson: Nineteen years old.

P. C. Cast: Yes, you were nineteen. [laughs]

Matthew Peterson: [laughs] So were you excited that your mom said, ďHey, will you co-author a book with me?Ē

Kristin Cast: Yes, because in my nineteen year old mind I thought it would be my platform to fame.

P. C. Cast: [laughs]

Kristin Cast: So, I was very excited. Being with these people that are famous, itís going to be fantastic.

P. C. Cast: And then she found out that fame isnít really as exciting as you think it is, when youíre nineteen.

Matthew Peterson: [laughs] Sometimes itís a lonely experience.

P. C. Cast: Yeah, itís better because weíre in it together. We like that part, though.

Kristin Cast: Yes.

Matthew Peterson: Now, P.C. I do understand that you serve in the United State Air Force, and of course you taught English. Has that played a role in your writing at all?

P. C. Cast: Oh sure. Everything from my past impacts my writing all the time. Yeah, the Air Force, I joined the Air Force when I was 18, so that was really during my formative years. I think it still stands me in could stead with a foundation of discipline, you know, Ďcause writers are procrastinators.

Kristin Cast: Yes!

P. C. Cast: [laughs]

Kristin Cast: Yes we are!

P. C. Cast: Kristinís over at my house right now, finishing a story for Harper Teen.

Kristin Cast: Because I canít write it at my house because I end up cleaning or something.

P. C. Cast: [laughs]

Matthew Peterson: Oh no. [laughs]

P. C. Cast: But my military background really helps me, and then of course, I ended up teaching for 15 years, I just stopped teaching last November, and that really impacts my young adult books.

Matthew Peterson: Whatís the best thing about writing together?

P. C. Cast: Well, I know for me, I do the writing and then I do the entire first draft and then I send it to Kristin and what it allows me is to just really write, to focus on plot, and character development and put anything I want on the page because I know she has my back. I know that I can send it to her and that if Iíve messed up some teenage words or if Iíve sounded a little too mature some places, I know that Kristin can catch that and she can weed that out for me.

Matthew Peterson: Ah, okay. And Kristin, whatís the worst thing about writing together? [laughs]

Kristin Cast: [laughs] She thinks she right all the time.

P. C. Cast: I am right almost all the time, though. [laughs]

Kristin Cast: She really isnít. [laughs] However, that is kind of like two sided, because also one of the best things about writing with her is that I have proven her wrong so many times, that she kind of acknowledges that now.

P. C. Cast: Iíve actually had to say, [sigh] ďYes, Kristin, you were right.Ē

Kristin Cast: On more than one occasion!

P. C. Cast: [laughs]

Matthew Peterson: How funny! You said you were a teenager in the Ď70s, P.C.?

P. C. Cast: Yes.

Matthew Peterson: You need one of those younger whipper-snappers to keep you in line. [laughs]

Kristin Cast: [laughs]

P. C. Cast: [laughs] I do indeed. But I had hundreds and hundreds of them for fifteen years when I was teaching.

Matthew Peterson: Yeah. Well, so letís talk a little bit about the House of Night series. Kristin, can you give us a little summary of what the House of Night series is all about?

Kristin Cast: Well, itís pretty much about high school if you were a vampyre and sucked peopleís blood and had affinities for different elements. Other than the supernatural part, itís just, you know, the angst of going through school and saving the world.

P. C. Cast: [laughs]

Matthew Peterson: Oh, just a little bit . . .

Kristin Cast: Just a little added.

Matthew Peterson: Just a little added there. And vampyres are just a normal part of life, though, arenít they? Theyíre not in the closet or anything. Everybody knows about them, right?

P. C. Cast: Yeah. Everyone knows about them. Theyíre not really well integrated into our supernatural world, though. Theyíre powerful and theyíre beautiful and then tend to dominate the arts and that makes humans jealous.

Matthew Peterson: Oh, okay.

P. C. Cast: So itís kind of an uneasy alliance thatís fun to play with in the plot dynamics.

Matthew Peterson: And so, how do the vampyres and the humans co-habitate? Are there pitch forks and stakes and are the humans completely scared of these vampyres or have the vampyres found a way to drink blood without affecting humanity?

P. C. Cast: Well, here in Oklahoma, there are some pitch forks and that kind of thing.

Matthew Peterson: [laughs]

P. C. Cast: [laughs] There are Houses of Night all over the world and the vampyres have, most of them, have a very high ethical standard. They do drink blood and they do imprint with human beings and then the human being becomes the vampyreís consort.

Kristin Cast: Thereís not running around killing people.

P. C. Cast: No, theyíre not running around killing people, although we do have some rouge vampyres.

Kristin Cast: Yes.

P. C. Cast: And of course, itís playing on fear of the unknown.

Matthew Peterson: Yeah.

P. C. Cast: And fear of whatís different. And because vampyres have become very secluded in their little pockets of success in House of Night, that really plays into the fear that people have of someone being different and more powerful, and add the supernatural element and everything gets messed up.

Matthew Peterson: And this is a young adult novel, I mean, your main character is 16 years old: Zoey Redbird.

P. C. Cast: Yeah, she gets marked at the beginning of. . . at the beginning of Marked, [laughs] . . .

Kristin Cast: Well . . . [laughs]

P. C. Cast: . . . coincidentally enough, and itís a physiological change that happens within some teenagers. Modern science doesnít know why. They do know how it starts happening, but they donít know why with some kids. And thereís a process that happens then over four years where the teenagerís body either accepts the change and really metamorphosizes or evolves into what essentially is a higher being, a vampyre, or the body rejects the change, and many of them do, and then they die terribly.

Matthew Peterson: Oh, thatís not fun.

Kristin Cast: Very unfortunate.

Matthew Peterson: So this marked business, Iíve seen lots of different ways of people becoming vampyres, and usually it deals with being bit and drinking blood from the vampyre itself, but in your universe that youíve created, someone becomes a vampyre in a little bit different way.

P. C. Cast: Itís biologically based.

Kristin Cast: Itís more like evolution.

P. C. Cast: Yeah. And thatís because my dadís a biologist.

Matthew Peterson: Oh! Okay.

P. C. Cast: And so, he and I sat down and we talked about junk DNA and physiological response and evolution and change and we decided to base it all on evolution, and thatís also why all the magic in the House of Night books is all based on earth magic too. Itís not like Harry Potter magic, which you know, we love Harry Potter though, but you canít like zap someone into a mouse.

Matthew Peterson: Yeah.

P. C. Cast: Itís more shamanistic than that.

Matthew Peterson: Well, Iím a big fan of magical powers and things like that. So what are some of your favorite powers that the vampyres have?

P. C. Cast: I love that the affinity for elements. Zoeyís the only fledgling who has ever had an affinity for all five of the elements. And thereís a group of her friends who each have an affinity, like one of them has an affinity for air, one has an affinity for earth, and so then they can manipulate their element. But of course thereís costs for that. In my world, in our world, you donít get magical powers and you donít get these gifts without paying a cost for them too.

Kristin Cast: And not everyone has something.

P. C. Cast: Right, not everyone has them, yeah.

Matthew Peterson: Oh, that would be a bummer. [laughs]

Kristin Cast: [laughs]

P. C. Cast: [laughs]

Matthew Peterson: Youíre going to this school for people who are vampyres and like, ďYeah, Iím just a normal vampyre.Ē

P. C. Cast: [laughs] But they all get really good hair.

Matthew Peterson: Ah! Okay.

Kristin Cast: Yes.

P. C. Cast: And they tend to be very pretty too because, you know, as my dad said, ďEvolution-wise, if youíre a predator and you want to draw prey to you, you have to look a certain way. So as you become a vampyre, you get more attractive.

Kristin Cast: Right, Ďcause our society likes pretty people.

P. C. Cast: Yeah!

Matthew Peterson: Yeah, yeah, thatís true.

P. C. Cast: And itís matriarchal, so the girls are really, really pretty.

Kristin Cast: Yes.

Matthew Peterson: Ah. Okay. I was reading through various clips of your books and your main character, she has boyfriends. [laughs] She might have one, she might have two, she might have three at a certain time.

P. C. Cast: She might!

Matthew Peterson: I mean, is this like a normal thing for a vampyre to, ďYou know, Iím pretty, I can get the guys.Ē

P. C. Cast: You field that one, Kristin. Go ahead.

Kristin Cast: Well, in a matriarchal society it is not untypical for a woman to have more than one companion. However, they each serve a different role like protector and all that kind of different jazz, but in like the teenage world, I think itís more than healthy for girls to date more than one person . . .at one time. [laughs]

P. C. Cast: [laughs] Uh, oh, be careful.

Matthew Peterson: [laughs] You know, I do agree, that it is good to date more than just one person, especially as a young person, because you can get to know . . .

Kristin Cast: Exactly!

P. C. Cast: We donít like the whole ideology of Zoeyís 16 and 17 and sheís going to meet the guy that sheís going to love for the rest of her life! She canít even vote yet, come on.

Matthew Peterson: I know. [laughs]

P. C. Cast: I mean, she should be dating and vetoing a whole bunch of guys.

Matthew Peterson: Yeah. I totally agree. I think thatís a healthy thing to really know whatís out there. Instead of just the one person.

P. C. Cast: Yeah.

Matthew Peterson: So the latest book, Tempted, Kristin, tell us a little bit about the latest book.

Kristin Cast: Well, the latest book is told from multiple characters points of view. Itís not just Zoey . . . so you get Stevie Rae and Heath and Stark and of course Zoey and Aphrodite, and you get a mystery character. Yeah, so itís a little bit different. We did that mainly to kind of start a spin off series to follow the red vampyres, but it makes it really cool. You get to find out a lot more about each character especially Aphrodite. I cried, you know, three times, some in happiness, some in sadness.

P. C. Cast: Yeah, I made her cry three times in this book. I love that.

Matthew Peterson: Oh.

Kristin Cast: Oh. [laughs]

Matthew Peterson: You made your daughter cry. [laughs]

P. C. Cast: [laughs]

Kristin Cast: [laughs]

Matthew Peterson: So these books have been widely successful, I mean, Hunted just came out this year as well, I mean, that came out #1 bestseller on the USA Today and Wall Street Journal. So Iím excited to see that you are doing an off-shoot, a spin off series, or have an idea of doing that.

P. C. Cast: Yeah, we set that up books ago. We kind of seeded that through all the back in Chosen. Yeah, weíre excited too about that. And I really have a good time being able to delve into the other characters and fans are going to love that because we have some huge fans of like Stevie Rae and you know some of the side characters that you couldnít get if everything was just from Zoeyís point of view. Still doing from Zoeyís point of view, too.

Matthew Peterson: Yeah. Well, thatís great. Thank you so much ladies. So, Iíve been speaking with P.C. and Kristin Cast, New York Times best-selling authors of the House of Night series. Thanks so much for being on the show today, ladies.

Kristin Cast: Thank you.

P. C. Cast: Thank you. It was fun.

Matthew Peterson: Alright, so make sure you go to to check out the bonus questions that didnít make it onto the live show. Donít go away, Iíve still got Charlaine Harris, Laurell K Hamilton and L. J. Smith, coming up next.

  Read or Listen to the extra questions that didn't make it onto the live show.  

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