P.C. Cast's Blog: Goddess Within

August 23, 2016

A: Well, first you should understand that Kristin and I had a decade of practice before we actually co-authored anything. Kristin was my awesome teen voice editor for the HOUSE OF NIGHT. No, she didn’t actually write the books with me. She helped me with pop culture references and she was my frontline editor for the series. So, before we tried to do any writing together, we had many years of establishing a working relationship wherein we respected each other and valued each other’s opinions. I believe that is a very important starting step.

The first book that we truly co-authored was THE SCENT OF SALT AND SAND, a novella set in Kristin’s world of THE ESCAPED SERIES. We began by brainstorming together and writing an outline of the plot of the book. We came up with the main characters and wrote character sketches of our hero and heroine. We decided that I would write the chapters where our hero took a predominate role, and Kristin would write the chapters where our heroine was in charge. Then we wrote a much more detailed outline – chapter-by-chapter. This is really important because we passed the manuscript back and forth. It was a little like tag team wrestling! So, Kristin would write her chapter, then she would send the manuscript to me. In the manuscript after her chapter would be the outline I needed to follow for the action in my chapter. I’d write my chapter, and then I’d send it back to Kristin, etc., etc. We did fudge on this a little. Kristin has a completely different writing style than mine. I write chronologically and she does not. Kristin writes scenes as they come to her, and then links them together. Obviously, writing out of chronological order won’t work when she’s writing with a partner, so sometimes I filled in some small holes in a scene she’d written – not because she couldn’t go back and do it, but because I knew she trusted me to do it. And sometimes I’d write a scene that needed to be from her character’s point of view, and I trusted her to rewrite it/change it/add to it.

Sometimes I would “go rogue” (Kristin’s words) because how I write is very organic and tends to grow and evolve as the characters become more fully realized. That could have been the death of our writing team, but Kristin was absolutely awesome about it! She trusted me to not go too rogue, and told me she knew whatever craziness I came up with would make the story better (my daughter is awesomesauce!). I mention this because Kristin’s trust in me is a big part of why we can write successfully together.

On my part, I learned to respect Kristin’s editorial eye years ago, so when it came time to do our rewrite with our editor’s notes, I was able to blindly let Kristin take charge. I knew if she needed to cut something, it would make our book better. I knew if she needed to shift point of view and change some of my scenes to “her” scenes, it would make our book better. And it did!
Did we “fight” about our characters or the plot or whatever? No. But, again, Kristin and I have the experience of a decade of working together. We enjoy it, and we’re successful at it. We respect each other. (And we don’t really fight anyway!)

As we team up to write our first co-authored series, THE DISASTERS (release dates beginning spring and summer of 2018), we’ve already outlined and are in the process of major research so that we can begin to fill in the chapter plots – and then we’ll start writing!

LOOK OUT WORLD! TEAM CAST IS BACK!
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Published on August 23, 2016 12:20 • 55 views • Tags: how-to-write, team-cast, team-writing, the-disasters, the-escaped-series, the-scent-of-salt-and-sand

August 18, 2016

I love the Olympics! I have since I was a little girl watching with my (high school) coach father as we cheered on Team USA. Summer - winter - doesn't matter. I love it all! I do have my favorites, though. Winter Olympics it's figure skating. I'm obsessed! Summer is more difficult to choose a favorite. I love track and field, diving, swimming, volleyball... the list goes on and on. But my most-loved is gymnastics! This year Team USA is spectacular! I'm so proud of them, and love love love watching. Out of all of our amazing Olympians (waving at Gabby Douglas and Laurie Hernandez), my absolute favorite this year is the incredible Simone Biles. Not only is she an immensely talented athlete who can defy gravity and perform feats that seem impossible, she does so with grace and poise beyond her years. I particularly appreciate her sense of fun (Mrs. Zac Efron indeed!) and the joy with which she lives her currently very public life. Well done, Simone! And well done Team USA! I heart you!

XXXOOO

-PC
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Published on August 18, 2016 12:36 • 3 views

August 16, 2016

The Dysasters - A New Thrilling Tale from Team Cast!

We at Team Cast are excited to announce that PC and Kristin will be teaming up again in a new Young Adult fantasy series entitled The Dysasters. This new tale brings together ancient and modern mythology while blending the unique House of Night magick and vivid storytelling. We are excited to combine our writing styles and work together again to bring about mesmerizing twists and the fiery wit that all you readers know and love.

Unlike the House of Night, Kristin will be fully involved in content creation rather than focusing her efforts on teen voice editing. PC and Kristin will be alternating chapters and blending their voices to give readers a unique take on the tale. Additionally, we are excited to tell you that Team Cast will be travelling to the United Kingdom to research and investigate details involved in The Dysasters. The first TWO books of the series are set to release in 2018.

The MOON CHOSEN release date is approaching quickly!

Mark your calendars for October 18th for the first installment of PC’s new and exciting adventures. If you haven’t preordered the book already, you can place your order on PC’s website. These preorders will arrive at your doorstep signed by PC Cast herself so you can jump into Tales of a New World the right way. Additionally, you can find e-copies and an excerpt of the book at TalesofANewWorld.com.


Keep on reading,

-Team Cast
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Published on August 16, 2016 12:46 • 3 views

August 12, 2016

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Published on August 12, 2016 12:49 • 3 views

August 9, 2016

A: In 2011 Samuel Hadida at Davis Films (The Resident Evil movie franchise) purchased the option for the House of Night Series. Hadida hired an awesome screenwriter, Marc Haimes. Marc and I worked together on the treatment and then the script for either the first movie, or a pilot for a series. DAVIS FILMS HAS DONE NOTHING WITH IT. No, there is nothing I can do about this. Yes, their contract will, eventually, expire – in the fall of 2020. Until then, Kristin and I are waiting impatiently along with our fans for Hadida to do something – anything. I think you can imagine that we are even more frustrated than our fans by Davis Films and their lack of follow through. Please focus your frustration at Davis Films and Hadida, rather than at Kristin and me. Thank you.
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Published on August 09, 2016 12:51 • 2 views

August 4, 2016

I WANT TO BE AN AUTHOR. CAN YOU GIVE ME SOME ADVICE?

1. If you want to be a professional author you need to approach the career like you would any other job. RESEARCH THE WRITING PROFESSION. You can begin by reading: BIRD BY BIRD by Anne Lamott, HOW TO GET HAPPILY PUBLISHED by Judith Appelbaum, THE WRITERS MARKET, and THE AGENTS MARKET. Ignore the romanticized idea that says being an author is something magical and mystical – that you lay around, waiting for your Muse to whisper in your ear, or for your dreams to coalesce, and then you’re simply the vessel through which all the stories flow. Being an author is a job. Writing is work. Period.

2. Speaking of work – please remember that whatever you write represents you. No one is going to correct your errors in grammar, punctuation, and spelling. That’s not an editor’s job. Your editor is there to guide you into honing an already well written manuscript into the best work it can possibly be, and not to be a remedial writing coach. You need to work on the mechanics of writing and be as perfect as possible BEFORE you submit work to an editor or agent. Spelling counts! Even in emails. Get serious about that or no one will take your writing seriously.

3. What do I do to overcome writer’s block? I don’t believe in it! Again, writing is a job. When I was teaching there were many days I didn’t particularly feel like showing up at school and teaching 100+ teenagers, but it was my job and I did it (and did it well) whether I felt like it that day or not. That’s what writing is, too. Some days it’s a pleasure to be an author. Some days it’s hard as hell. Actually, most days it’s hard as hell. But I write whether it’s a breeze or whether it’s sloughing through mud, and so will you if you’re a real author.

4. How do I get inspired to write? Again, it's my job. I have contracts to fulfill and bills to pay. It's what I do for a living. Yes, I love creating worlds and telling stories. I believe people are happiest doing what they're passionate about - and I'm passionate about storytelling. That doesn't mean it comes easily. I've found inspiration is part research, part imagination, and part good old fashioned sweat and work. If you're continually coming to a dead end in your writing, perhaps you need to tell a different story. Or perhaps writing isn't for you. I wanted to be a veterinarian, but when I got serious about the career I realized I really didn't like dealing with parasites and poop, so even though being a vet seemed like a good idea, it really wasn't the right job for me.

5. Should you ask me (or any other published author) to read your work in progress, idea, summary, essay, poetry, etc.? NO. Okay – here’s the truth: another author can NOT get you published. Agents and editors can. Focus on them. Oh, and regarding allowing tons of people to read your work as you write – my advice is DO NOT. If you need feedback get into a writers’ group, or a creative writing class. Honestly, if you're so insecure about your writing that you have to be told by others whether you're good enough, you probably need to look at another career. Professional authors are tough and tenacious. If you manage to get published you need to have a firm backbone and thick skin because it's like putting your child out there for everyone to take potshots at - and, yes, they will blow holes in your baby. If you don't believe in yourself before you're even published, run screaming from attempting writing as a profession.

6. For the record – I do not read unpublished work. First, I can’t read your work and still have time to write my own. Second, my opinion doesn’t mean anything. I can’t get you published!

7. How can you get published? That’s a question you need to research and work on yourself. See #1 above for more info. Here’s the deal: you wouldn’t walk into a dentist’s office and say, “Hey! I want to be a dentist, so could you tell me how to drill on that guy’s teeth and let me have a whack at him?” Same thing about being an author. I can’t tell you how to do it. I can’t tell you how to write a book. Those are things you need to research and then do for yourself.

8. How do you start writing? JUST WRITE. Sometimes writing an outline helps. Sometimes drawing a chart helps. Sooner or later it all comes down to the writing. There is no magic pill that makes it suddenly happen. Read a lot. Write a lot. That’s all you can do. Is any age too young to start writing? Hell no! I wrote my first book in first grade. It's not about age; it's about talent and drive and tenacity. Teenagers: yes, you can begin trying to get your work published! BUT do your homework first. Know about manuscript format and how a book gets published (by a real publisher, which means you don't pay for it to be published - they pay you). Understand an agent's role in the process. Hone your skills. Then go for it!

9. Go to book signings and buy books signed by someone with a pulse. Don’t ask anything of the author – just go. It builds up good Karma and it helps support the career to which you aspire.

10. Don’t ever download a pirated copy of any book. It’s stealing from an author and her publisher. Yes. It’s seriously bad Karma, whether you ever want to be published or not. If you can't afford to buy a book visit your public library.

So, in summary: writing is a job. Educate yourself about it. No, that doesn’t mean you have to be a literature major in college. It means you need to read writers’ resource books and become knowledgeable about how the publishing industry works. Yes, it’s a lot to know. Just like in any other job. There are no shortcuts to being published (and being self-"published" is really being self-"printed"). Yes, you have to have a completed, rewritten manuscript – in an acceptable format – before you begin looking for an agent or an editor. No, an “idea” won’t sell unless you’re a celebrity, and then it’ll be ghost written anyway, and that’s a whole other issue.

I wish you much luck in your quest!
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Published on August 04, 2016 12:55 • 3 views • Tags: advice-for-aspiring-authors

Goddess Within

P.C. Cast
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