Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Enchanting Interview: P.C. Cast

1) How do you care for and nurture your muse?

I think it’s important as an author, as well as a successful woman, to be well read and well traveled. People are so much more interesting when they’ve had a variety of experiences, which should include visiting different cultures and countries. Probably more than anything else travel inspires me and nurtures my creativity.

2) What was the inspiration for the HOUSE OF NIGHT series? Anything taken from real life (even just a little!)?

My fabulous agent, Meredith Bernstein, came up with the idea for me to write a series about a vampyre finishing school. At that time I was reading Amelia Atwater-Rhodes’ HAWKSONG books, and I instantly thought of YA – so that’s how the House of Night was born! Yes, we definitely take many things from real life. First, the basis of our vampyres is biological. My father is a biologist; he and I brainstormed for a genetic reason for vampyres, then I added the goddess lore. The setting for the school was inspired by a prep school in Tulsa, just as many other setting elements are Tulsa based: Street Cats, South Intermediate High School (which is where I teach), the Tulsa Depot, the tunnels under the city, Utica Square, St. Johns Hospital, the Benedictine Nuns, etc. Also many of the characters are based on ex-students and friends – and, of course, Zoey is based on Kristin when she was a teenager!

3) Where did you come up with the idea of a vampire who is 'chosen'? Also the idea of the tattoos?

The Marked/Chosen part all grew out of the biological research my dad and I did, using the premise that for some teenagers hormones come alive and act on the junk DNA strands we’ve yet to map for their purpose. The tattoos were inspired by ancient goddess lore and the idea that when a young woman became a priestess she was often tattooed to show that she had been accepted into the service of her Goddess.

4) I'd like to know a little more about the mother/daughter collaboration. I've always been curious about how two people writing a book together brainstorm and make decisions...what if the two don't agree on a plot point? And the mother and daughter combination makes it even more interesting...and possibly volatile! Any funny stories come out of this?

Well, I love it because I’m the mom and I can beat Kristin if she disagrees (if I can catch her!). Seriously, we don’t always agree, but I respect Kristin’s opinions, just as she respects mine. And what we’ve discovered after writing five books together is that both of us have to bow to what the characters decide to do – so neither of us are actually in control!

5) Looking back on the first three books, is there anything you wish you could have added or even taken away?

Honestly, I wouldn’t change anything about the books. I love the House of Night and feel strongly about our characters and the problems/conflicts they face. I like that our heroine and the secondary characters are flawed, and that they actually make mistakes – like real life. I find it interesting and sometimes disturbing that some teenagers judge Zoey and her friends harshly when they mess up, when so many teenagers mess up! To me it makes a point about not being so quick to judge

Interview September 2008

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