Monday, May 3, 2010

Awesome Book Event! P.C. and Kristin Cast!

Kristin and P.C. Cast 

Sorry for the delay in my post about this event.  I drafted a detailed event report Saturday night, then somehow managed to erase the entire post while I was attempting to insert the video clips.  Blurg!  Super frustrating and the first time I've ever despised Blogger's auto-save feature, which instantly auto-saved my blank post in place of the original draft.  Sunday turned out to be a busy day in our household, so it took me until just now to find time to rewrite this post.  Anyway, enough of my whining.  Time to move on to the fun stuff!  :-)

Thursday evening I attended a Powell's book signing event featuring the authors of the wildly popular House of Night series, P.C. and Kristin Cast!  It was great to meet them and to learn more about their writing process and upcoming books.  I arrived at the bookstore nearly an hour before the event and found that there were already about seventy people waiting to meet P.C. and Kristin.  Powell's had a face-painter available to 'mark' audience members who were interested in having their faces painted, and they were asking House of Night trivia questions and passing out candy before the signing.  Fun!  By the time the event began, I would guess there were around 150 people in attendance.  Wow!  


P.C. and Kristin started their presentation by answering some of their most frequently-asked questions, such as "How many books will be in the series?"  They have a contract for twelve books, and P.C. has already co-written the The Fledgling Handbook 101 which will be released on October 26th.  Burned was just released last week, and Awakenedthe eighth book in the House of Night series, will be released on January 4th, 2011.


I particularly enjoyed hearing more about their writing process.  Before attending the signing, I'd incorrectly assumed that P.C. and Kristin both write portions of each book and then combine their work into one cohesive manuscript.  But actually, P.C. writes a complete draft of each book, and Kristin reads it and shares her suggestions with her mom (helping keep the language young and eliminating frequently-repeated words or phrases like 'whatnot').  Then P.C. takes Kristin's suggestions into consideration as she revises the manuscript before submitting it to their editor.  But ultimately, P.C. is responsible for all the major plot decisions and the writing.  Kristin is working as an editor for St. Martin's Press, and she has also written stories of her own, including "Amber Smoke" in the vampire anthology Immortal: Love Stories With Bite.  


In addition to discussing their writing process, they brought up a few other commonly-asked-about topics like the House of Night movie.  The series was optioned years ago, but it is basically out of their hands at this point.  You can read P.C.'s recent blog post about the latest HoN movie news here.  She did briefly mention the possibility of a movie based on Goddess of the Roseher adult novel which is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast.  It is my understanding that P.C. has her own production company now, so if that project comes to fruition she should have much more control over it than she currently has over the House of Night movie


About halfway through their Q & A session with the audience, I noticed that most of my photos were turning out blurry and decided to record a few videos instead of taking more photos.  Unfortunately my camera makes an annoying auto-focus sound while recording, so I apologize for the poor audio & shaky camerawork.

 Just before this video clip, P.C. was in the middle of responding to a boy who had asked her who she wants Zoey to end up with at the end of the House of Night series.  P.C. answered that she doesn't know who Zoey will end up with yet. She feels that since Zoey is still only seventeen and not even old enough to vote right now, she is really too young to make that decision.  She joked that if Zoey did choose someone at this age, she would probably just end up divorced in five years.  She also told the boy asking the question that he looked a little too young to be reading the House of Night series, to which he responded "I'm thirteen!" which is where this video clip begins.


A brief summary of the other Q & A's included in this video clip:
(Warning: Contains spoilers for the first six House of Night books.)


1. Where did P.C. get the idea for the red vampires?
Stevie Rae was dying, so she came up with that idea because she couldn't bear to let that happen.  She usually has a beginning and an end in mind when she starts a book & 'the whole middle is like whatever'.  (I take that to mean that she doesn't follow a strict outline but lets the middle of the story take shape as she writes.)


2.  How did Kristin get a job as an editor for St. Martin's Press?
She had essentially been working as an editor on the House of Night books already, so she had experience in that field.  She and her mom joked that she 'coat-tailed' her way into the the job.


3.  Does P.C. have any students that totally worship her because of her books?
Yes, they all worship her.  ;-)


4.  Why did she decide to kill Heath & shatter Zoey?
The characters take on lives of their own as P.C. is writing, almost as though she is watching a movie in her head, and that part of the story just happened and made sense to her.  She 'snot-cried' over it though because she really liked Heath.


A brief summary of the Q & A's included in this video clip:
(Warning: Contains spoilers for P.C.'s Partholon series.)

1.  Does P.C. plan to write another sequel to the Partholon books?
She has the next one planned out in her head and just needs to find time to write it.  Divine by Mistake was the first book she wrote that made it to publication, and many characters and settings in that series were inspired by real people in her life (like her family and friends) because she really didn't know how to write anything else at that time.  For example, Richard Parker is strongly based on her dad, who called P.C. to let her know that he 'snot-cried' when the character based on Kristin died in Divine by Blood.

2.  Do they get annoyed when people point out errors in their books?
Kristin said she does.  P.C. mentioned that people sometimes point out grammatical errors in the books, and she wanted to point out that the characters are teenagers and their use of incorrect grammar is a reflection of how they are thinking or speaking.  She taught English for fifteen years and understands proper grammar.  She compared people pointing out errors in their books to armchair quarterbacks.  If they can really throw a ball and throw it correctly, then they should get out there and do it rather than telling her how to do it.  So when they have ten million books in print, then they can point out the errors in her books.


To learn more about the House of Night series, please visit the official website HERE.  You can also read the first chapter of Burned, the seventh House of Night novel HERE, and you can watch the official Burned trailer below:

To purchase Burned:  Powell's | IndieBound | The Book Depository | Amazon

To learn more about all of P.C. and Kristin Cast's books, please visit P.C.'s website, blog and facebook.  Macmillan has a couple interviews with P.C. and Kristin posted HERE  &  HERE.  And you can visit the official House of Night fansite HERE.


UPDATE (5/3) :  The fabulous folks at Novel Novice just shared a wonderful interview they conducted with P.C. Cast while she was in Portland.  You can watch that awesome video interview and enter to win a signed copy of Burned HERE!  :-)

3 comments:

Candace said...

Thank you so much for the video!!! Even if it's hard to understand at times it still makes us get to know them differently. Better. I'm so mad I didn't get to go!!!! They sound so awesome it would've been great to meet them. I have Burned on the way. I pre-ordered it but it hasn't arrived yet. Hopefully next time I can go and I'll just bring all my books to be signed.
Oh, and I've had all my stuff disappear on blogger too. I understand your frustration!

Violet said...

Candace - It would have been so much fun to go with you!! We'll definitely go together next time! :) With several more books to come in the House of Night series and lots of other projects in the works, I have a feeling they will come back to the Northwest on tour again someday. They were really entertaining together, and I feel like I understand many of their characters and plot twists more thoroughly after hearing them discuss their books. They answered lots more questions than I've relayed here in this post, so I look forward to seeing you in person to share some of those extra details.

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