Today I've got something special for you - an interview with the writing team of PC & Kristin Cast, authors of the awesome House of Night series. You guys know I loved Marked (book 1), and I'm so excited to tell you that Betrayed (out now) was just as good!
PC is going to be dropping by the blog to answer any questions or comments you guys have, so hit her with them. She's also giving away a signed copy each of Marked & Betrayed. The post will be up all weekend - we'll draw the winners from the comments noon on Monday, New Zealand time, so feel free to bug PC till then!
1. How/when did the two of you decide to write together?
PC: Well, I was working on chapter 1 of MARKED and I kept screaming down the hall asking Kristin questions like, "KRISTIN! What do teenagers call being drunk?" and "KRISTIN! Is it revved or gunned an engine?" (This was her first semester in college before she moved on campus.) Somewhere in the middle of my shrieking I realized it would be way easier on both of us if she and I just co-authored. Kristin agreed - I ran the idea past my agent, and she thought it was great. And off we went.
2. I'm always curious about the technical aspects of collaboration. How do you write the books - do you do a chapter each? A scene each?
PC: When we first started writing together I would write and chapter, send it to her, then she'd rewrite and send it back to me. We're on our 4th book now and our system is much smoother. We discuss plots, conflicts, characters, etc., and then I write a draft of the book and send it to Kristin. She rewrites and sends it back to me. Sometime I call her in earlier and have her read sections and we discuss. Also, I often leave blanks in Zoey's internal dialogue and Kristin fills them in for me.
3. For PC: Is it easier or harder to collaborate with someone as close to you as your daughter?
PC: I've only had limited experience collaborating with another author (Gena Showalter and I have done some writing together - which was a very enjoyable experience), but I'd say it's much easier than I think an outsider would imagine. Kristin and I have always been very close and we're used to being honest with each other. Plus, I can beat her, which is a definite plus.
4. For Kristin: What's it like collaborating with your mother? Does she try to be the boss?
Kristin: Working with my mom is really easy, because she tends to be laid back and really wants and values my opinion. Also, I get to tell her when she sounds old and when she’s wrong (which is completely awesome!).
5. How many books in the House of Night series? Is it open-ended or closed?
Right now we're contracted for six books, but I'd call the series open-ended. I don't know how we're going to get done what we want to do in only six books.
6. I loved Marked and after reading Betrayed, all I can say is that you two are amazing! Did you know you were going to be writing a series when you began Marked?
PC: Thanks Nalini! Coming from an author I respect so much that's a wonderful compliment. When I began MARKED I was only planning two books, but St. Martin's wanted three in the original contract, which is a good thing, because no way did we get the story told in two books! Before we'd finished with the third they were already wanting three more - again, a good thing because the plot had just exploded.
7. In Betrayed, something earth-shattering happens. I want to ask you about it but I don't want to spoil it for your fans, so...do you want to make any general-will make sense after you read the book-comments about Betrayed?
PC: I'd say to trust us. We're going to make you cry, but just believe that there are some characters we love too much to actually kill off, even if it means creating a whole new species of beings.
8. What's book 3 titled and what's it about?
PC: Book three is titled CHOSEN, and it beings a month after the events of BETRAYED. It gets darker as the issues Zoey has to deal with become more serious. And keep in mind - teenagers tend to make mistakes, and Zoey is definitely a teenager.
Kristin: I think CHOSEN is amazing! It is my absolute favorite – well, so far.
9. You have amazing covers for this series. Did you have any input into that aspect of things?
We gave them a lot of input about Zoey's tattoos, which they translated into the amazing design on the cover.
10. Anything else you want to add?
PC: In October St. Martin's is launching the House of Night website,
www.houseofnightseries.com. It's going to be an interactive site, so we would love to get your feedback!
Kristin: I just want to make a general thank you to everyone for their support and emails!
(Don't forget to comment and enter the giveaway of one copy each of Marked and Betrayed!)