'House of Night' world expanding for P.C. Cast as 10th book is released
BY JAMES D. WATTS JR. World Scene Writer
Sunday, October 14, 2012
10/14/12 at 3:23 AM
Simply because the end is in sight for the House of Night doesn't make things any easier for Tulsa novelist P.C. Cast.
"If anything, the last few books are going to be the most difficult to write," said Cast, who with her daughter Kristin writes the best-selling series of young-adult fantasy novels, about the dramatic adventures of the residents of a unique Tulsa school designed to help young people discover and embrace their paranormal destiny.
"There are so many different story lines that have been woven together through these books," Cast said. "And I have to make sure that each one comes to a conclusion that will be satisfying - to the fans, and to me."
And there are a whole lot of fans to satisfy. Since the series' debut with "Marked" in 2007, the "House of Night" novels have become one of the most successful series of novels for young readers on the market.
What started with a suggestion by Cast's agent for a book about a "vampire finishing school" has grown into a wide-ranging mythology that incorporates all manner of ancient legends and beliefs, drawing from Celtic, Egyptian, pagan and other sources.
And the idea of outcasts learning that what makes them "different" in the eyes of the world provides them with unique, unnatural powers obviously struck a chord with millions of young adult readers - and a good number of adult ones, as well.
More than 12 million copies of the first nine books in the series have been sold worldwide, with several novels debuting at No. 1 on national best-seller lists the week of their release. The "House of Night" series has spent 140 consecutive weeks on the New York Times Best-Seller List.
On Tuesday, the 10th novel in the 12-book series, "Hidden," will be released. The Casts will launch the new book with an event at The Book Place in Broken Arrow.
They will also conduct a live video chat beginning 6 p.m. Thursday about the new book on the Goodreads website ( tulsaworld.com/goodreadschat).
In addition to the main "House of Night" novels, Cast has created a number of ancillary items that draw on or expand the world she has created. These include a series of novellas that explore the history of some of the major characters, as well as jewelry, clothing and other items that give fans the sense of being more a part of the "House of Night" experience.
These include "The Fledgling Handbook," supposedly the manual given to each person who enters the House of Night, and the just-released "Wisdom from The House of Night" (Crown, $12.95), a collection of "oracle cards" Cast co-created with Colette Baron-Reid.
"Colette and I first met when she sent me a fan email for the very first book I did, called 'Goddess by Mistake,' " Cast said. "This was back when getting fan mail was a very unusual thing. And we hit it off immediately and have been friends ever since.
"A couple of years ago, during one of our normal girlfriend catch-up sessions, she mentioned that she was wanting to do a series of oracle cards for a young adult audience," Cast said. "She's done a number of these in the past, merging a number of ancient religions into her work, the way I've done with 'House of Night.'
"And what I love about Colette's cards is that they always reinforce very positive, empowering messages and choices, which is what I try to do with the 'House of Night' series," she said.
Cast and Baron-Reid collaborated on the cards and the booklet that explains what each image means. The illustrator, Jena DellaGrottaglia, even incorporated images of P.C. and Kristin Cast in some of the cards.
Cast has not confined herself solely to the "House of Night" series. Later this month, Harlequin will release "After Moonrise," a volume of two novellas about a paranormal detective agency. Cast wrote one novella, and Oklahoma City author Gena Showalter wrote the other.
"They're set in the same world, with mine taking place in Tulsa, and Gena's in Oklahoma City," Cast said. "Gena's a great friend, and we've worked together in the past, so this was just a lot of fun to do."
With only two more "House of Night" novels left to write, Cast said she knows that she is going to miss this world she created and the characters that people it.
"But my mind is already moving ahead with new ideas," Cast said. "I have a couple of stand-alone novels I want to do. And I have an idea for series that I've been wanting to do since before I started 'House of Night.' "
P.C. and Kristin Cast will launch "Hidden," the 10th book in their "House of Night" series with an event 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday at the Book Place, 732 W. New Orleans St. in Broken Arrow.
P.C. Cast will also sign copies of "After Moonrise," a collaboration with Oklahoma City writer Gena Showalter, beginning at 7 p.m. Oct. 23 at the Barnes & Noble, 6100 N. May Ave., in Oklahoma City.
Original Print Headline: Beginning of the end
James D. Watts Jr. 918-581-8478
"Hidden," by P.C. and Kristin Cast, is the 10th book in the authors' best-selling "House of Night" series. It goes on sale Tuesday. Courtesy