Message From The Author

Author's Message

Cast-ing a Spell

When authors move into the young adult market, some struggle to get that teenage voice right. But when paranormal author P.C. Cast decided to make the genre leap, she was ready: She's a high school teacher, and she was writing her YA debut -- Marked, out this month from St. Martin's Griffin -- with her 20-year-old daughter, Kristin.

"God knows I know teenagers," Cast says. "I have an authentic teenage voice because I have an authentic teenager."

Cast laughs off the criticism she endured from her daughter, who would tell her, "Phyllis, you're making [the character] sound like a 46-year-old disgruntled schoolteacher."

Kristin loved the chance to finally set her mother straight. "It was awesome because it was pretty much the first time I got to tell her no without any consequences," she says, "besides clothing choices, like when she went through a shoulder-pad phase -- that wasn't good."

The easy companionship between mother and daughter isn't something they bestowed upon their main character, Zoey Redbird, whose mother is more enamored of her new husband than her children. To add to her problems, Zoey's been marked as a vampire, which in the Casts' universe is a genetic abnormality that begins presenting symptoms during adolescence. All fledgling vampires must attend a special school, where adult vampires help them through the drastic and sometimes dangerous transition. Zoey's going to have some time to adjust to her change; the Casts have been contracted for three books in the House of Night series.

The mother-daughter duo is eager to continue writing together. Kristin says, "I'm really happy to have such a great co-author." -- Elissa Petruzzi

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