Mother-daughter writing duo P.C. and Kristin Cast are debuting the first book in the brand new Dysasters series later this month! Learn more about the Casts and about this new book in this exclusive Chapters Blog interview.
Tell us more about this new series. What’s in store that you’re most excited about?
PC: I’m most excited to introduce our new cast (“Cast” heehees!) of characters to our established readers, as well as a whole new generation of YA enthusiasts. We love our DYSASTERS crew – they’re smart, funny, talented, and as well as dealing with everything that goes along with being newly eighteen and looming adulthood, they also have to figure out how to harness massive powers while they run from people trying to kidnap and use them. Add to all of that betrayal, redemption and romance and you get an awesome, wild ride!
We heard Dysasters described as House of Night Meets X Men. That sounds awesome! Was it fun to write?
KC: The Dysasters was so much fun to write! PC and I each chose the characters we saw most clearly and traded off when it was time to switch POVs to the other’s character. We would normally email the manuscript back and forth, but during the huge, amazing scene that ended up being the final chapter, we actually sat right next to each other on PC’s couch and shuffled the computer to one another depending on whose character was speaking. Having all of our characters come together in such a big way was thrilling! It was definitely my favorite chapter to write.
Now that you know that PC and I each wrote different characters, can you guess which of us wrote which character?
PC: It was a blast to write! Writing is usually such a solitary job that it’s a nice change to have Kristin in the trenches with me. During House of Night, she was my front-line editor, but she didn’t actually write the books. With The Dysasters she and I split the writing and in doing so we work much more closely. I love it!
Do you prefer writing together or writing alone? What are some of the challenges of working with a partner (and one you’re related to!)?
KC: I was going to say that I prefer to write alone because I can do everything exactly the way that I want to do it, but then I started thinking about all of the benefits of writing with PC. She’s an excellent teacher and brainstorming partner. Writing The Dysasters with her has made me a better author. If it wasn’t for this experience I wouldn’t have had the confidence to finish writing The Key, my first solo young adult novel which releases October 1st, 2020. There are so many amazing aspects to both writing alone and writing together. I suppose my preference changes like the wind. After all, the wind can change everything.
PC: Like Kristin, my kneejerk response would be alone because I can control everything, but the bigger truth is that I really enjoy co-authoring with Kristin. I appreciate the new perspective she brings to the work. I also love getting the manuscript back from her after she’s written her chapter(s). It’s a little like opening a much-anticipated present. And that lovely present informs what I write next. Plus, when I write with Kristin I ONLY HAVE TO WRITE HALF A BOOK VERSUS A WHOLE BOOK – and that’s awesome. The only downfall is that Kristin and I have very different writing processes. I write chronologically and Kristin doesn’t. But Kristin is so talented and such a professional that she adapts her style to mine when we co-author. She is The Best!
The characters in your books seem very real, even in very fantastical books. What’s it like to connect with your readers through fantasy books?
KC: Our books, both together and separate, are always very character focused. PC showed me that the most important aspect of a novel isn’t the fantastical setting or magickal things that are happening, but the people living in these places and going through these challenges. So, The Dysasters is a novel about Tate, Charlotte, Bastien, Foster, Eve and others who happen to be genetically modified to control the elements. Because the story is so character focused, it offers us the amazing opportunity to connect with our readers on a deeper level. I enjoy seeing the hardback on the shelf, knowing how much time and energy and how many pieces of myself I left within the pages, but getting notes from readers about how a character resonated with them or saved them or inspired change is what motivates me to keep writing.
PC: I love writing fantasy/paranormal for this very reason! Connecting with readers through our characters is satisfying and special. Too many authors forget that characters always come first. The world building, the paranormal aspects, the gods and goddesses, and the magick magick magick do not work unless your characters resonate with your readers. I honestly enjoy creating real teenagers and then plopping them in the middle of a fantastic setting and watching them react – not the other way around.
Is it true that there’s a Dysasters graphic novel in the works? How does it feel seeing your books adapted into graphic novels?
KC: Yes! I adapted The Dysasters into a graphic novel, which releases in March of 2020. Paring down the novel and choosing which aspects were most important was, at times, very challenging. I wanted to include absolutely everything, but that’s not possible. I also learned that a few things had to change in order for the graphic novel to flow and make sense. It reminded me of movie adaptations and how they’re often slightly different from the novel they’re based on. Luckily, no major parts or important aspects of The Dysasters needed to change. It was also crazy to see the artist’s interpretation of the characters. PC and I sent him images of who we think they look like, but it was up to him to bring these characters to life in a visual sense. Seeing the final files for the graphic novel was totally surreal! When I finally get the book in my hands, I’ll probably pass out. I know readers will love this even more fast-paced, action packed, fully illustrated version of the novel just as much as I do!
PC: Kristin did such an amazing job of adapting our novel! OMG! I’m incredibly proud of her. I cannot wait for readers to get their hands on it. (Truthfully, I cannot wait to get MY hands on it! We haven’t seen the finished version yet!)
Kristin has a new solo book THE KEY coming out next year. What can you tell us about that? What else are you working on?
KC: I am so excited about The Key! The story has been rolling around in my head for years and I’m finally getting to share the first book with you on October 1st, 2020! The Key is a young adult trilogy set in the near future after a massive pandemic spread by touch has nearly decimated the human race. I really enjoyed exploring the fact that this civilization hasn’t been allowed to touch for fifty years.
I’m also working on the script for a brand new graphic novel. I’m stoked about the idea and can’t wait until I’m able to tell the world what it’s about! Together, PC and I have plans for a new YA series, (it’ll be super dark and scary, just like I like ‘em), as well as an outlined novel that will add to the world of The Dysasters with more than just the next book in the series.
PC: I’m in the research stage of my next standalone YA series. I can’t say much yet, but I am so, so excited about it! You guys are actually the first to get a little hint. Here goes: ancient Celts + tragedy + newly awakened magick = a rewrite of history. And all because of one extraordinary teenager! Look for a big announcement late spring!