Friday, January 09, 2009

P.C.'s advice on writing



I’m getting lots and lots of questions from aspiring authors, so I thought I’d post a blog entry on my advice for those of you who would like to be published. Yes, I’m going to be blunt and honest with you, but please know I wish each of you the best of luck in attaining your dreams. Remember, dreams are realized through tenacity and hard work.

P. C. CAST’S ADVICE ON BEING AN AUTHOR:

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 ideal 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. Ugh. 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? Answer: 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. 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 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, both of which you can find by searching the internet.

5. For the record – no, I don’t 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!

6. 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.

7. How do you start writing? JUST WRITE. Sometimes doing 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.

8. 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.

9. 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 like any other. 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 business works. Yes, it’s a lot to know. Just like in any other job. No, there are no shortcuts to being published. 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. Oh, and be careful of Karma...

I wish you much luck in your quest!

PC

230 comments:

Larry said...

Ms. Cast,

I really wish to let you know that you can't have a House of Night movie! As much as i would enjoy that movie, I advise you it would be a horrible idea. Please think this through. Wouldn't you want people to buy your books? If they hear a movie is coming out less would read, but more would watch TV and get hypnotized and not read again. When kids read your books they can picture in there mind, make a movie in their heads, of what the book is. Please consider not making a movie. Please. It's for the future of the world. xoxo.

PC Cast said...

Relax, Larry, it's just a move and not the end of the world. I've already allowed the series to be optioned. I'm looking forward to whatever my production company comes up with. I trust in the public's ability to use their imagination and don't believe TV is hypnotizing - I watch it myself! Teenagers have enough sense to divide their time between books and movies. Actually, one could make the argument that the internet is far more hypnotizing and a bigger time-sucker than any movie...

Uh, I thought this entry was about WRITING...

PC

BrittanyJewell said...

Ms. Cast,
I enjoyed this post not because I'm a writer, but you didn't sugar coat it. You said exactly what needed to be said to those of us who feel we can someday join you on the shelves. It's encouraging to see this post. I'll take your advice and use it wisely. (As for novel about writing novels, I've been living in that section of the library since I started High School.) As for a movie production of your book, I always said if I were published I wouldn't sell the rights of my novel to someone else, but I'm starting to reconsider. It's good to know that not just book readers have the pleasure of knowing the story and sometimes I feel that my novels are better made into screenplays. Thanks for all of the useful information and keep the wonderful writing up.
Sincerely,
Brittany Baylis (shes.a.novelist@gmail.com)
P.S. I started Untamed around 12:30 this morning and finished it at 5:15. I couldn't put it down.

Mara said...

Thanks for the advise. And I agree that it is very hard work to write. I keep coming up with new ideas that I haven't finished as of yet. Do you think that creating a schedule for writing is a good idea? I've heard of people doing it but I am not sure of how it would work. I'm hoping to finish one of my many novels and get it published. Again, thanks for the advice!!

PC Cast said...

Thanks BrittanyJewell - glad you enjoyed the post.

Hi Mara - schedules work for some people - for others they don't. One of the biggest banes of writers is procrastination. Personally, there are times I'd rather wash the cat than write, but my deadlines say I have to write. If a schedule forces you to write, then go for it. Keep in mind that too many wannabes spend way more time angsting over sifting through the hows and whys and whens and never actually write.

J.T Wilbanks said...

Lovely entry Ms. Cast.

I'm as of now, nearly finished with the first draft of my first novel, soon there after I'll start rewriting. There's no doubt that hard part is going to be the rewriting and getting the agent. But I should try to enjoy it, I only get so many firsts.
Err, one question though. In a few months I'm going to have to start writing query letters, and I'm having the worst time trying to decide whether or not to tell agents my age in the letters. I don't want to be looked down upon becuase I'm young, but I also don't want to get published just because I'm 15. But if I don't tell them my age, wouldn't that be a little unfair to them. I just don't know. Thanks for the wonderful post.

J.T.

PC Cast said...

Excellent question J.T. And I admit I don't know the answer. I'm going to email my agent and ask her advice on this one. When I hear back from her I'll post here.

Best of luck to you!
PC

Kori said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
PC Cast said...

Kori - you haven't seen age mentioned in query examples because the vast majority of people who have completed a book length manuscript that is ready to be shopped to agents are OF LEGAL AGE. You're not going to find "kid" query examples. J.T.'s question isn't answered by the standard query format. I've shot the question to my agent - whatever advice she gives will be invaluable. She is utterly brilliant.

And Kori's response brings up another excellent point. Be very careful about giving or receiving advice to or from unpublished people. Sadly, too many people believe doing a lot of reading or internet-ing on a subject makes him or her an expert. It doesn't. (Sorry that I'm using you as an example, Kori. I know you have the best of intentions and I don't mean to be harsh.)

Tiffany said...

Wonderful advice!

Andrea Lira-Martinez said...

Dear PC,

I love to write. It's my hobby and it's what I love to do. I write stories about vampires, werewolves, faeries, witches, wizards, etc...Anyway, I finished my fourth novel (I've been writing a book since I was twelve and I'm gonna turn sixteen in Sept. 4th) and I hope to publish it to let people know how exciting it was to write these characters in my novel. Do you know where I can get editors and literary authors? Is it hard to get your novel published? Would they accpet it from a girl like me? Would they publish it ('cause I hope they do)? To tell you the truth, I want to be an author when I grow and have a degree in English Lit. and let writing be my life.

I cannot wait for HUNTED?

Oh, and you rock!!!

XOXO ANDREA LIRA-MARTINEZ

PC Cast said...

Andrea - you need to re-read my advice on writing blog entry. I either answer all of your questions, or tell you where you could get those answers. I can't possibly know whether anyone would publish you - you can't know that either until you follow the steps it takes to attempt to get published. Do your homework. Good luck.

PC Cast said...

J.T. - my agent said she would, indeed, like to see your age included on the query letter. She said it would tell her you're getting an early start, something she sees as a positive.

Good luck!
PC

J.T Wilbanks said...

Thank you both so, so much. You have no idea how much this has been bugging me.
And I'm happy to hear that my age may be a plus after all. Best of wishes to you, your agent, and Kristen. Thanks again.

- J.T.

Mara said...

I have a question for you... how do you know when to stop revising it? I find that I can always find something to fix so I take longer when I write... any ideas?

PC Cast said...

You're very welcome J.T.!

Mara - that's a good question. I think many authors (myself included) tend to pick and pick and pick at their work - constantly fiddling and reworking scenes. Often that's good. Writing IS rewriting. But done to an excess it can be like picking at a scab! I do have some recommendations that might help: 1) give yourself a deadline date. Say you MUST be finished with the manuscript and you MUST begin sending it out to agents/editors by a certain date. Then, as that work begins circulating, START SOMETHING ELSE. Don't just mess with what you already have done. 2) you might want to join a critique group or a creative writing class and have other eyes take a look at your work, and advise you about whether it needs more revision or not. Be careful of showing others your work, though. In a class or a writing group you should be able to get positive, constructive criticism. If you stumble into a negative group of people, run! 3) there are many unpublished contests you can begin to enter your work in (check out the Romance Writers of American website for a good starting place, as well as your local library system). Often the feedback you get from the contest judges will tell you whether you need to continue to revise or not.

Good luck!

Alicia said...

I agree with you that writing can be hard work. I can't even think of an original idea right now. But I also believe that some people get lost in their characters while making them come to life.

There are these characters I made up that I want to write about but like I said before I can't think of anything. Guess I'll just keep pushing through and trying different ideas.

I guess my question is, what do you for inspiration, say if you're stuck on a part in the House of Night series?

PC Cast said...

Alicia - research is a good place to find inspiration. Decide on something that interests you and then go to the library and pull out lots of thick, dusty books on the subject. Start reading. You'll be surprised at the inspiration you can find when you dig into the past.

PC

TruNerd said...

PC Cast,

Can i interview you for the first ever interview on my Blog??

Not now exactly, but whenever you get some time, could you please email me and i will ask you 7-10 questions regarding how The HOUST OF NIGHT series came to be and other related questions. Please email me for details!

Once again, i am just wondering. If you would LIKE to, email me, please?

thank you

--leah

PC Cast said...

Leah - sorry to say right now I'm working under several very tight deadlines, so I'm giving few interviews. Try again another time, and for future reference all interview requests need to go through my publicist, Katy Hershberger, who can be reached through my website.

PC

katsu said...

Hello PC!

Thanks for the advice. It really helped me. I have a couple of good plots, actually it's more of a short story and I didn't know how to like "make it grow." You're a great writer. I wish you continued success, not just in your career but in everything you do! :-)

vanessa said...

Ms. Cast

I have just recently started to read some of your most proclaimed novels (House of Night series) and i have to say, they were very addictive! I finished them in less than a week and now i am feeling the sadness of having devoured them so completely! I have read your blog and i agree one hundred percent on your advice as a writer, yet i wanted to ask a question and hope that you may answer me without feeling the need to restate how i should reread your blog ;)
My question is: writing for me is like reading.. a necessity similar to breathing and eating. Now I begin writing with no direction in particular yet as i start typing, ideas begin unfolding and the next thing i know i have a chapter finished and ideas are raking in, i create my characters once i begin typing not before. Now do you think that writing this way is ok or should I strive to take a more professional approach and plan before i write? I feel the need to tell you that i have tried to before yet it backfires every time. Please take some time to address this question and try and get back to me.
Hoping for that big break!- Steph

ReadingBuddyT said...

Hi! Like DSA said, this is great advise! I'm striving to be so many things right now and writing is one of them. Your books are SO inspriational! Although, I havent read the Twilight series but I heard it was good. Personally,I'd rather read your books any day. Oh! And I cant wait until Hunted comes out. My mom got me hooked! Lol. Oh! VERY IMPORTANT NEWS!!! Our Social Studies project is due Tuesday the 21st and I'm doing it on you! So if you could help me...plz!!!! I already have the basics, I just need a bit of background information. Like, what do you do when you have free time. You dont have to respond but I would love it if you would! Thanks a million!!! ;)

PC Cast said...

Free time? What's that? Okay, seriously, I take my Scottie dogs to the Bark Park - I frequent several of Tulsa's very cool local restaurants - I'm active in the arts community - Kristin and I like to travel together - and when all else fails I sit on my fabulous porch with a glass of wine and a good book. How's that?

PC

Andrea Lira-Martinez said...

PC,

Thank you on that advice, it means a lot to me. But I have a question: Is it possible for a person to have an alter ego in a world like our very own but the way that we see it? Because I see the world more differently. It's like an adventure to me when I write my own world...

And also is it possible to get a literary agent on the internet and an editor?

Thanks again.

XOXO ANDREA LIRA-MARTINEZ

PC Cast said...

Vanessa - whatever works for you WORKS. The writing process is different for everyone. Start to worry and change your process only if you're not productive.

Andrea L-M - alter ego? Huh? Sorry, don't have a clue what you're talking about. Just write and try not to believe fiction is reality. Is it possible to get an agent and an editor by using the internet? Well, I live in Oklahoma and I'm published in New York. Figure it out. Do your homework, as I said in my blog. You can't be a real author if you don't know how the business works, and that means you need to get your head out of the clouds and research.

Good luck,
PC

Justagirl said...

In a series, is it smart to summarize what has happened so far in the series, in EVERY book in the series like you do?

PC Cast said...

Justagirl - the summarizing thing is the hardest, most tedious part of writing a series for me. Yes, you have to do some of it, but you also have to figure out a way to summarize without losing your audience. I try to have any necessary summaries done through dialogue or actions of the main characters. It's difficult and hard to write. If it's bogging you down I suggest you skip the summary and just write the book. You can always add in details of the previous book as you rewrite. Don't use summaries being a pain to write as an excuse for writer's block!

PC

Alice said...

Hey I just wanted to thank you personally for this post. It was to the point but not too curt. Ever since I read it I've started working alot harder on my writing and doing more research. I just wanted to know if you knew a good agent or editor?

once again thank you

PC Cast said...

Hi Alice - I have a fabulous agent and several very good editors. What you need to do is to research agents for yourself. Check THE AGENTS MARKET and THE WRITERS' MARKET as a good starting place for both.

Good luck!
PC

Alice said...

I've been working on a book and it's almost finished. I'm looking for someone who will give me their honest opinion. Who should I ask to read it?

PC Cast said...

Alice - look into writers' groups in your area. You can find them on the internet or through joining organizations like local chapters of the Romance Writers of American, Mystery Writers of America, etc. Community Colleges often have excellent creative writing classes, and continuing education classes are open to just about anyone.

Good luck!
PC

Alice said...

Thanks that helped a lot they were glad to read my book and said they would give their honest opinions on it when they finished. Plus I gave a copy to some of my friends and family to read.

HouseofTwilight said...

well im 13 yeah sounds pretty young
but my teacher told me i DO have a future in writing bc she has read alot of books and said that i right alot liek stephanie meyer and my stories for essays are usually like 5-7 pages long and if i was aloud to i would keep going..and myt grandpa(who's a writer for liek college stuff) think s i would be good in the bizz.So do you think im to young and how COULD i get more of an addictive quality liek your and stephanie meyers books bc i wanna start writing a book

BrittanyJewell said...

HouseofTwilight,
I don't think thirteen is too young. I know you were asking Ms. Cast, but I just have to put my opinion out there. I've been writing since I was nine (ten years now). One thing I can just warn you about, when you're writing, no matter the circumstance, write right. Capitalize words that you should, spell words correctly, use punctuation, proper grammar, because no matter your age if you type like your thirteen they'll treat you like you're thirteen. If you write like you're twenty-five when you're thirteen, they'll treat you that way.
That goes for anything you do; if you do something maturely and properly people will respect you more.
Just my two sense,
BrittanyJewell

PC Cast said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
PC Cast said...

Well said BrittanyJewell! House of Twilight - as I already mentioned in the blog, your message will not be heard if you can't use proper grammar, punctuation, and spelling. Start there. Use spell check and a dictionary. Study the mechanics of writing. Remember that what you write represents you, and I can promise you the lazy shorthand/non-punctuated/not capitalized style of today's internet generation does not work in the professional world of publishing. Actually, as BrittanyJewell said, no one takes what you say seriously if you don't use common rules of spelling, etc. Work on those things first. Read a lot. Write a lot. Eventually experience and tenacity will help you figure out how to write your book. Good luck!

MermaidLover286 said...

I love your books. How did you make your 3-dimensional? How did your do the formation for mermaid?

PC Cast said...

Mermaidlover - I'd like to respond to your questions, but neither of them make any sense whatsoever.

MermaidLover286 said...

How do you make your characters come alive? How can I write a good mermaid transformation?

PC Cast said...

Mermaidlover - characters come alive when the author breathes life into them. Create people with pasts and depth and imperfections. Then throw conflict at them and see what happens. Regarding the mermaid question: you need to make up your own mythos. I can't tell you how to transform your character. Honestly it sounds like you're getting too tied up in obsessing about the mermaid aspect. Just write a good story with interesting characters - the mer-part is the least important aspect of the story.

MermaidLover286 said...

How do you name your characters? Do you name your characters from a baby book? I love your goddess books. When is the next goddess book coming out? is it okay to use a baby book for naming my characters?

♦Jess said...

Ms. Cast,

I heard there might be a House of Night movie on Marked, is this true? Because if it is then Crystal Hunt would be a perfect Stevie Rae!
I enjoyed the books and think it is a great idea to make a movie out of this.
So please consider it!

♦Jess said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
BrittanyJewell said...

MermaidLover286, I'm taking some writing classes at the college right now and one article we had to read was about the importance of names. For example, a short story we read featured a character named Miss Dent. She had a mental/emotional disorder. So, you can see the relevance of Dent being her name. I only the other hand use names with meanings or that sound pretty cool. Http://www.behindthename.com has been my main source of names since I started writing. And I know you wanted Mrs. Cast's advice, but I feel that putting my two sense in helps. Behind the Name has a name generator, names for different cultures, top 100 names for several years, etc.

Jess,
It says somewhere in Mrs. Cast's blog that they are discussing the rights for the movie.

Again, sorry for putting my two sense in.
BrittanyJewell

PC Cast said...

BrittanyJewell - I think I'm going to start considering you my assistant!

Yep - I have a whole post about the movie question.

Mermaid lover - Brittany has good advice. Let me add to it that getting too wrapped up in details like names is really unnecessary. Just get the book written. Names can be added or changed. How you find them is up to you. Sounds like you need to read some books on writing (the ones I recommend in this blog are a good starting place) and then JUST WRITE. Every writer is different, but you'll never find your own way unless you actually do it, versus picking apart all the extraneous details of writing. You'll learn by your mistakes, as well as your victories.

MermaidLover286 said...

Thank you. I'm still writing the story.

BrittanyJewell said...

MermaidLover286 - Something else I'd just like to add. I changed names of my characters three times before I actually decided on names. I received a lot of advice from friends about the names of characters. I even went to my mom. I thought that my character names were awesome to begin with, but I'm more satisfied now than I was when I first wrote the characters. To be perfectly honest, I even took some characters completely out. That is what editing a manuscript is all about, fixing what needs to be changed.

Mrs. Cast - It would be an absolute honor, though I get a feeling you're joking somewhat. :)

Destiny MiKenno said...

Dear PC CAST,

I think it's really nice how you posted this for all the inspiring writers, because it gives them things they should do. I'm only fifteen, so I doubt this will work for me, but it's still good advice. I've read all your books, and they've ispired me to write things of my own. When you go on your book signing I wish you would come somewhere on the east coast, but sadly you are not. Just wanting to say thanks

*Destiny MiKenno*

ANAIS said...

ARE YA'LL GONNA MAKE ANOTHER BOOK AFTER HUNTED?

Endless Secrets said...

Hey P.C!
I wanted to ask you a question about publication, I do realize I'll need an agent first and some serious rewriting, but i was wondering if I could have an agent who's agency is in the States if I live in Canada. I have tried to look it up but have come up with no conclusive answers.

I loved your interview today at the signing in T.O.! Can't wait till the next books.

You are the best, and your books an inspiration!

-Lea

PC Cast said...

Hi Lea,
That's an excellent question. I would definitely recommend you look at New York agents. Actually, I wouldn't know where to start with Canadian agents, but commonsense is telling me that there are lots more NY publishing houses, and there's a great relationship between Canada and US, with easy distribution, etc., so I'd say definitely focus on NYC.

Very best of luck to you, and it was great meeting you in Toronto!

BrittanyJewell said...

Ms. Cast,
Who did you have edit your novel? I'm in the editing process and I don't think I'm the best person to go through my novel. Who do you recommend (professional editor, friends, family, etc.).
Thanks,
BrittanyJewell

shea said...

Hi, first of all i absolutely love your novels (better than any other book!), Secound I am an aspiring author and have been writing pretty much insessently(sp?) My questions are,
1.) is it a bad thing if i have no trouble at all with writing? (as in i allways know where the story is headed and i never have issues with not wanting to write)
2.)How long should a first novel be?

PC Cast said...

Hi BrittanyJewell - Do you mean edit or proofread? They're two very different things. My editor is in NYC and she goes over the plot, etc., after I've turned in each manuscript. But editors only do that after they've decided to publish your manuscript and make it a book. If you mean who goes through my books to be sure I'm not messing up grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc., then the answer is ME. That's part of rewriting and honing your skills as an author.

Shea: 1) of course it's not bad to have lots of ideas and want to write. It's naive to think you'll never have a day when you just don't want to work, because writing is work. I loved teaching, but some days I just didn't feel like getting out of bed and teaching a hundred teenagers. That's when you just have to either give yourself a break, or if you have a deadline you just make yourself work anyway.
2) book lengths vary depeding upon genre, publisher, and imprint. Sounds like you need to research the career to find where your manuscripts fit. Best of luck to you!

Christina said...

Dear Ms. Cast:

Let me start out by saying how amazingly wonderful your books are. The characters are very well developed and the plot keeps me turning the pages as fast as I can!
Secondly, I would like to ask you for some professional advice not directly addressed in your original post or in the comments:
1) I have been able to come up with sereral ideas for a novel. However, my plots for said novels, always end up being too simple or too complex. Do you have any advice on how to make my plot more/less complicated? And,
2) Do you personally use outlines for your books. I have looked online (A LOT) and have not been able to find an example of an outline that does not pertain outlining essays. If you do use an outline, what is your format?

Thank you for taking the time to read my comment, and I wish you the best of luck with the House of Night series.

Christina D.

PC Cast said...

Hi Christina - good questions! 1) as to the plot problem: that's why writing is all about rewriting. Just get the novel down. Write all the way through and complete the first draft. Then go back and either plump up the plot or simplify it. There is no way to know if it's going to work until you've done the work.
2) Sometimes I use something called a proposal as a blueprint for the outline of a manuscript. I don't use one with every book because each book is different. For instance, I had to write an in depth proposal for a Nocturne book that will be published this October (called THE AVENGER) because it was part of a series and three other authors were writing the other books in the world. That proposal/outline was about 20 pages long. But for the HoN I haven't used an outline since the first book. There is no written in stone guideline for writing an outline. Just sit down and write down how you're going to begin it, complete with character descriptions and a little bit of their backgrounds, what's going to happen in the basic plot (the middle) and then how the conflict will be resolved (the end). Don't get bogged down in trying to follow a strict formula - that's just another way young authors procrastinate. There is no substitute for writing the book. And then rewriting...and rewriting...and rewriting...
Good luck to you!

Carli said...

This is really good advice! I have tried to write my own stories, but I can never finish them.

Any advice to help me actually finish a story??

I know I have to just sit down and write, but too many ideas come to me and I have to write them all down (as in make new stories).

-Carli

PC Cast said...

Sorry Carli - there's no magic bullet to make you finish. Experience, rewriting, and tenacity make you finish. Good luck!

Michelle Collup said...

Question from yet another aspiring writer:
*You often talk about deadlines, and in your posting you responded to someone saying when doing a rewrite you should set your own deadline and stick to it. So I was curious: when you are under a deadline is it one of your own making? Or are you contracted to deliver a book by a certain date? Also for us unpublished folk, what kind of deadline is reasonable you think for writing a roughly 350 page book? Thanks for the advice!

PC Cast said...

Hi Michelle - those are both excellent questions. First, yes, I am contracted for books ahead of time, and my publishers (I write for three publishing houses) give me a deadline for each manuscript to be turned in. But before I was published, and then before I had multiple contracts, I did set my own deadlines because writers are terrible procrastinators. I think anywhere from six months to a year is a reasonable deadline to set for the first draft of a 350-400 page manuscript to be finished. Then set it aside and begin the rewriting process, which might take another couple weeks.

The very best of luck to you!
PC

Suki said...

Thank you very much, Ms Cast. I like your advice and i'll take it for what it is. I love the House of Night series, and hope one day I can write a book that's as good as yours.

Ja ne!

Feral Valkyrie said...

Ms. Cast
I, too think this is excellent advice. Like so many others, I also have a couple of questions. 1) How do you feel about sites like Quizilla that allow you to post stories online? Is this a good sounding board for aspiring authors? 2) If a person was writing a book, how many book pages does one standard page (8.5" x 11") translate to? Can't wait to read the next book!
Feral Valkyrie

latinangel said...

Wow, thank you for the wonderful advice! This had me really thinking about my future in literature. I really love your House of Night series and I honestly think that your series is waaay better than Twilight! I'm only 13, but I have already begun writing a book and I am inspired by many authors, especially you! Again, thanks for the advice!!

jess_crazyy_909 said...

Hello Ms. Cast

My name is Jessica and I loved reading your books. They are very inspiring to me. I loved it when you came to tulsa for the book signing of Hunted. I live in Owasso but, a little drive doesn't my mom didn't mind. My friends and I wish we could've talked to you more. There was tons of people, though. I had read your advice and other peoples comments. I am going to research more on writing and things like that. I might have some questions still after that. I think with reading your advice my book will be better. I'm only 13 but, I believe I can achieve my goals!
I love your books and I am going to read other books you have written. Still I can't wait until Tempted comes out.
I do hope you come to Tulsa. I am not sure if are or not. Though, I haven't looked it up yet.

PC Cast said...

Hi Jess - good job with the intention to research. The more you know about the business the better prepared for the job you'll be. I live in Tulsa, so we'll always do events there. I haven't made the official announcement yet, but word has it that Night Line is going to come to town to film a feature on us, and we're having an event at the 81st Street Borders that day, too. Tentative date is May 21st. Keep an eye on my blog - I'll post more info there. Hope you can come to the event! It shouldn't be as crazy as the launch.

PC Cast said...

Hi F.V. - I don't know much about those on-line writing sites. My gut tells me I wouldn't post my stuff there, but then I've never been into a writers' group, though it does work for many people. And here's the truth: while it might help some people to have others read their work, unless the readers are editors or agents, it can't get you published. I think too many opinions tend to stifle young writers. I'd keep my work close to me. As for the technical question of word count, that changes according to font, etc. But computers will count the words for you anyway...

Good luck!

jess_crazyy_909 said...

Ms. Cast
Thanks. That sounds cool. I'll keep an eye on your blog.

jess_crazyy_909 said...

Feral Valkyrie-
Hey if your looking for a website to post your writing I reccomend DeviantArt.com. If you subscribe to it then your writing can be public. Or you could just have a regular account and just find some friends who have one. I have one but I didn't subscribe. I think its really cool. You should check it out.

Just some advice.

jess_crazyy_909 said...

Feral Valkyrie-

Hey if your looking for a website to post your writing you can try DeviantArt.com. I like it. If you subscribe to it your writing can be public. Or you could just have a regular account and find some friends who have one. I like it but, I haven't subscribed.

Just some advice.

Loralyn said...

Dear PC (& Kristin):
After reading all the HoN books (awesome by the way), my niece (age 17), husband and I have decided to co-write a book, with a series in mind. We each have our strengths and weaknesses, but have always been able to work out differences in the story line (usually laughing along the way). I want to help my niece get into college in two years (hopefully), so I want her to be rewarded for her "share" of the profits for the work she is doing. Since you both worked together on the books, I was wondering whether you were required (or volunteered) to have a contract with either your agent or publisher, stating the "sharing" of the profits (and deadlines) to protect the project as well as each other? You are the only team of writers that I have read and I am very impressed at the novels you have done together. I wish you both well. (If this is too personal and you are unable to post, please say so and I will not be offended.) Thank you for your time. Loralyn

PC Cast said...

Hi Loralyn - Those are details you need to work out with your agent and/or publisher. Each situation is unique and there are no set-in-stone rules to guide you.

Good luck!
PC

Rayne said...

Hey P.C. i love the books you and Kristen made they are awesome. I was wondering if you have any personal advise on how to become published. I'm 16 and i started writing a story about a week ago and its similar to what is out on the market, but i have no idea how to get it started with the whole publishing thing. So if you can give some advice i would really appreciate it. Thanks

Your books are awesome

Rayne said...

Hey P.C. you and Kristen have made some awesome books. I've been writing a story for about a week now and i was thiking how to get it published. I was wondering if you have any personal advice on how to get published. I'm 16 and everyone i have talked to about it says to go with my creative flow and write. So i am but im so lost in how to get published. I would be very happy if you could give some advice. Thanks

Your books rock

PC Cast said...

Rayne - Read the blog post that goes with this entry. That's my advice for aspiring writers.

Good luck,
PC

sjheacox said...

First and foremost, I would like to say thank you. As a HS English teacher of mostly reluctant readers, I just want to see my students read!! I have to admit that the Twilight series is what sparked their interest. After that, they wanted more! As their teacher, and an avid reader of books, I have been on the hunt to find good YA books for them to read. Yours was the next series I picked up. To date, they are the most checked out books in my classroom library.

Reading all of the good YA lit has inspired me to begin writing again. I have dabbled in short stories for years with people telling me I should expand them. I guess I never knew who my audience would be. Now I feel that this could be it; writing for teenagers and young adults. Thank you for all of the advice you posted. It fits in with everything I have been reading (it is hard to schedule time to write when you are a teacher and a mom :)). Keep writing! My students can't wait for the next one.

Thank you,
Sara

C. L. A. S. said...

Hey, PC! Love your writing and I have a bunch of ideas for stories and I am currently in the process of working all of them out in my head! lol. I really appreciate the advice because I really don't know what professional writing is like. Thanks for keeping it real!

Ashley Greene said...

Dear P.C.,
I'm young but writing is my passion and I understand you say writing is work, a job, but to me it is both work and (perhaps the closest word to match words in my mind) life. Writing is not just a pass time or "what I want to be when I grow up"... It is more, my words are beyond the English language or Spanish (which is a language I can speak) it isn't even both put together, not even with the little German, French, and Hindi I know... Writing is... EVERYTHING to me nothing less but much much more... I don't know how it is possible for me to fight tears of joy when I explain to someone how much writing means to me and I don't know how I don't go crazy because I have so many questions on how the rest of the book I am writing at the moment will follow up it is almost imposible for me to not jump up and down when someone reads my finished work and claims that it is a success. All I want is writing... I've found I'm good at it and I know I can't try anything else even though I know I won't like it as much... Keep doing your thing P.C. with writing dreams, Andrea
P.S. I ♥ the House of Night Series they are awesome!!!

zaneh1992 said...

dear pc,
i really enjoy this series, own every book, and advise everyone within in earshot to read it. However some advice, when creating characters you shouldn't fall into stereotypes. For example, the character "Kramisha" really put off alot of your african american fans [including me] because you stereotypes her as a ghetto angry black person. I am not trying to be rude or critical but I just thought it would help to hear someone point of view. btw i am black and i do date white guys and never judge people based on their skin color.

PC Cast said...

Hi Zaneh - interesting comment. I knew when I included Kramisha in my cast of red fledglings that I'd get flack about her. Here's the deal: I'm not stereotyping. Kramisha is a creation formed from several real kids who have been students of mine. She's not an angry black woman. She's strong and speaks her mind - in her own words, not those approved by society. And I wouldn't stereotype any black woman - my daughter, co-author of the series, is part black. Kristin and I embrace Kramisha and her voice and attitude and originality. Sorry you misunderstood her and took offense, but we definitely won't be changing her. We heart Kramisha. She's not ghetto. She's real.

BrittanyJewell said...

I just have one question; when you include shops and stores in your novel is it plagiarizing? Do you have to go to the place you're using and ask or tell them you are using their name in your novel?

BrittanyJewell

PC Cast said...

BrittanyJewell - you don't have to get permission to use real places in your books.

brittney said...

Dear PC Cast,

I first want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart. A few months ago all I could write was about magic and suspense. But as soon as I was finished reading your books it opened my eyes to a whole new world of possibilities. I never even dreamed of writing about vampires, but with that subject you can do so many things. Also thank you for all the advice you have given. I've been going through writers block for about 3 years now, but your books have got me writing again. it felt like a weight was lifted off my shoulders as soon as the pen hit the paper. Again thank you from the bottom of my heart and cant wait for the next HON book!!!!!!

Rachel Michelle said...

Hello P.C.,
Thanks for the awsome advice, it really helped me. okay i have a few questions though. I'm 14, does my age effect me getting published? Also when listing like books and movies do i have to get permission?
Thanks for your help,
Rachel :)

PC Cast said...

Rachel - I had the age question before and when I asked my agent her opinion she said age would not bias her against a writer.

As to permission questions: Just write the book. Nitpicking over details like whether you need to get Dairy Queen's permission to set a scene in the DQ (you don't) is a waste of time. Consider researching copyright and permissions as part of your revision process after you have completed your entire first draft.

Good luck!

Nicole said...

Dear P.C.
Wow. How woderful it is to find a best-selling author, who is obviously under tremendous pressure with deadlines, re-writing, book tours etc., that is so forthcoming & willing to help all her fans out!! If I didn't already love the HoN series (& by default you & Kristen!!), then this blog would certainly clinch it! Your writing advice is right on the button. I am a shocking procrastinator, so devoured all types of 'how to' writing books. However, when I finally started to actually write, (and yes, that is the single best bit of advice), it was like a weight had been lifted from my shoulders! All of the other stuff can be sorted out later at rewrite.

Do I actually have a question? Yes. Sorry for taking so long.
(1) I am in Australia, and was wondering if I should try and find a publisher in NY (or similar)? My manuscript is being looked at as we speak by 3 firms (fingers crossed!!), but thought you might be able to give me a little insight into how to break the American market?

(2) Any chance you might come down under to do a book tour, or come to Melbourne's Writer's Festival with Kristen? (I know that isn't an actual writing question...sorry)

Thanks for taking the time to talk to all us. Nicole.

PC Cast said...

Hi Nicole - Hum...I'm honestly not sure about the answer to your first question, although my gut says to look to New York for an agent and publisher (in that order). My friend, Nalini Singh, is from New Zealand, and she's published out of New York and has a NY agent.

And YES YES YES! We just agreed to a trip to Oz! I don't have details yet, and it won't be until after the first of the year, but we've definitely said YES! We are soooo looking forward to it!

Nicole said...

Hi P.C.! OMG!! You guys are coming to Australia!!! That is fantastic. I know you will love it here, as will all the fans that are sure to swamp the two of you! Thank you so much for responding to my quesions, & I will keep my eyes glued to see the dates etc., for your tour. All the best, Nicole xxoo.

Nicole said...

Just wondering if 'The Writers Market' & 'The Agents Market' are both books? Or if they are only available in the US? Thought they might help with contact details for NY agents/publishers? Ta. Nicole (the Aussie) xxoo

PC Cast said...

Nicole - good question. Yes, THE WRITERS MARKET and THE AGENTS MARKET are both reference books. You can get them in bookstores over here, and I would think they'd be available Down Under, but you might check with your local library. They're big, thick (usually expensive) books and might be easier for you to pour through them at the library while you make notes. Oh, be sure you get the most current edition available because information does change from issue to issue. Good luck!

brittney said...

Dear pc cast,

I have a question. Would I need to get permission to use real school names and/or real mascots. I'm currently writing a novel and I'm stuck on that part. I just dont want to put a real school in it unless its okay to do so. Thank you for your help with this blog I've learned a lot from it already.

Brittney

PC Cast said...

Brittney - I answer that question above.

PC

Holly B. said...

Hey P.C. i was looking into publishers and there are so many out there. Do you know of any good publishers for young aspiring writers such as myself. I know you said research it above but books don't give you exact names of trusted publishers. So do you think you could help me you? Thanks

PC Cast said...

Holly, had you read the books I listed in the blog you would have plenty of publisher information. THE WRITERS MARKET only lists credible publishers. Do you homework. Being an author is a job. Treat it as such.

*sydneyrenee* said...

Ms. Cast,
I would like to say that your books are very good. I would like to thank you for writing them because they have inspired me to write my own. You are my inspiration!

Sincerely,
*sydneyrenee*

chy said...

cheyennehey PC,
like i said before,i have writers block and was wondering if you could email me sometime when you get a chance. i have read your advice, but i am still having trouble and i hope to get it published someday. thanks for looking at this!!!

chy said...

hey PC,
i have one question. So i have a dog named Brandy and she likes to act life a parrot by sitting on my shoulder. i want to write a childrens book about her, except my roommate thought of some of the ideas like the illustrations. She has moved away and i want to finish it, but can i if i want to finish it with her ideas? would that be legal? thanks for looking at this!!!

PC Cast said...

Chy - the only help I can offer you about writer's block is in #3 above. If you become an author you'll learn to write through your blocks. No one can do that for you or even tell you how to do it. Good luck.

PC Cast said...

Chy - you need to research the career of writing. Start by reading the books I recommend in this blog so that you can be educated about copyright, etc., and answer questions for yourself. Then you'll either stop procrastinating and write, or you won't. It really is that simple.

chy said...

thanks so much i will do that now

Tiffany said...

This is amazing advice! I think maybe I might use it, seeing as writing is my passion!

LucieLu said...

I am new to the HoN series, but once I started I couldn't put them down. I read Marked a week ago, and I am now starting Hunted. It's a really wonderful series, and I love that you write it with your daughter.

Like many of the commenters I am an aspiring writer, and I was thrilled to see your recommended reading on getting published and writing. There are so many books out there, and it's nice to hear from a writer I enjoy which ones he/she thinks are worthwhile.

I wish you all the best!

Lucie

BrittanyJewell said...

Ms. Cast,
I've done a bit of research, as I've finished my novel and am ready to send it into an agent, but I'm having a bit of trouble. I know you said to look into 'The Agents Market', but when I looked it up nothing showed in the search, not even at Border's. Is there something or somewhere else I can look that will help me out? Thank you again for all your advice, it's really helped me pick my pen up and just write.
BrittanyJewell

PC Cast said...

Brittany - try this one:

2009 Guide To Literary Agents by Chuck Sambuchino (Paperback - Jul 29, 2008) - or something like it.

amayz9 said...

Ms. Cast,

Recently I have been writing a lot and when I finished a few chapters I was beginning to wonder when using Microsoft Word or any other program at that, what is a good length for a chapter to be on average? Oh and I must say that your books are utterly amazing and I can not wait for Tempted! Thank you for taking the time to read my comment.

(I'm not so sure how old this blog is either)

:)

PC Cast said...

A chapter is roughly 8-10 pages of double spaced writing. Go to the writers' resource section of your local bookstore or library and check out books that deal with manuscript format. Knowing standard format is part of educating yourself on the business of being an author. Good luck!

Haley said...

Dear Mrs. Cast,
I would like to thank you for the advise. It really helps a lot. I do agree that writing is a job and it needs work, but it is also something that you should do not just to make money but to do it because you love it. I know I love writing. I think you are a wonderful writer and I love all of your books. I try to buy them so I can reread them. My favorite books of yours are the House of Night books. They are wonderful. I do hope they get turned into a movie. Even though I can visulize the seans in my head and hear the voices (because you are so good at the details)I still want to see it turn into a movie. Haha I just love these books! Oh and I dont remember witch book it is, but there is one with a little too much detail. Its where Heath and Zoey are at the park.....yep. Haha. But, hey I still think you did a great job. Last year in tec. class we had to chose what we wanted to be and I said, of course, a writer. We had to chose one person that we think inspired us to become a writer. Well I choose you. Like i said you are an amizing writer and I love your books. Haha I even got an A+ on it! Oh yes I wanted to know if your planning on making any more House of Night books. If you dont want to tell then I am okay with not knowing. My little sister, Jessica, says hi and she loves your books. One more thing. I am taking your advise and sharing it with my best friend, Lauren. She is always asking to use my books. Well your books. Haha. She also wants to be a writer. And she says thank you and have a great year.
Haley

Leanna Crystal Lasso said...

Eesh... This blog is old! I'm not sure if you're still responding to questions, however, I do have one...

I know that you do not NEED to major in English or in Literary studies in order to be an author. I am (excitedly) majoring in English though (yippee college)! I am a bit confused on what English emphasis to major in. They give the choices of Creative Writing, Professional Writing and Literary Studies (I am literary but I think I'm going to switch to creative). Creative has more editing type classes and such. Does it honestly matter which one?

Thanks!

Leanna

christinesangel100 said...

I really want to be an author, so thanks for this advice.
I wish I didn't believe in Writers Block, but sometimes I just don't know what to write. I try and write anyway-like when I did this thing called NaNoWriMo to try and finish a book. I wrote 50000 words, but the book still isn't finished.
Anyway, thank you for the advice on being an author.
I just wanted to ask something-on the character profiles for House of Night, it says Zoey Redbirds favourite flm is The phantom of the Opera-a film I personally love. Do you like The Phantom of the Opera that much?
Thank you.

Haley said...

Hi again. This is Haley. I was just wondering if you were writing responses to our comments any more. If your not then I totaly understand. You have work to do!
Great job,
Haley

PC Cast said...

Yes Haley, there will be more HoN books. I'm writing them until the stories are finished being told.

Leanna - I'd say minor in whatever can help you find a job. Most authors write AND have a full time job. I was published for almost 10 years before I was able to quit teaching and just write, and I have three publishers and 19 books out. So have a back-up plan.

Christine - you're getting the character Zoey mixed up with the author P.C. I do enjoy Phantom, but it's one of Zoey's favorite movies. Keep in mind, especially when you're writing, authors are NOT the characters they create.

JJ said...

Thank you so much for this advice!
Not many authors would take the time out to write this, so thank you for doing so.
Thank you also because you didn't sugar-coat it.
I am an aspiring author and I have taken your comments on board, and I am not going to give up.
Thank you so much!

Rebecca said...

OMG all what you said makes so much sense! + thank you for not making it seem like a easy road trip which you can sit back and just chill.

I write stories woop!!! Some are loosely base quite on real life happenings, though a bit hard in some of them coz I’ve set them in the past. I haven’t had anything published yet, baring in mind I’m still 14, well 15 in two days. At the minute I’m just sticking to writing the actual stories and will prob start to look into sending a draft off some point in the next year or so once I got GCSEs out the way…I love school and want to be a secondary history teacher but it does mean I put a lot of time into it!
I’ve got loads of plans for stories (I mean LOADS) & written 6 so far. They are all different lengths, the longest being around 32,00 words but growing ever day because I’m re-drafting it for the 12th time. None of them I would call complete because, well I don’t know, I guess its coz no way would I feel happy if they were published right now (is that an okay answer?!).
I’ve got a couple of questions. How many times do you re-draft something? + how do you find being a teacher at the same time as a writer? Do the students treat you differently?
Anyway love the HON series, truly amazing. Though the Raven Mockers do scare me…honestly completely freaked me out one night when I was reading Untamed at like 1 in the morning!!!
Becca C

PC Cast said...

JJ - thank you!

Rebecca - I rewrite constantly. That's how I begin my writing every day. I pull up about 10 pages before where I left off and start rewriting. After I complete a manuscript I go over it again from page 1 until the end. Then I send to my editor and typically rewrite under her direction 1 to 3 times again.

I'm not teaching anymore, but I do miss my classroom. I just quit this past November. And, no, my students didn't treat me any differently, though they did beg to be in the books AND get really upset when I made them cry (like in Betrayed!).

Best of luck to you!
PC

Susan said...

Hi there,
I was really impressed with your books. I thoroughly enjoyed reading them.
Now about a movie....I went to the website and from there viewed the "year book" If those are the people that you would choose to play the characters, you are spot on! Great choices!
I was so very disappointed with the shoice of actors for the movie Twilight. Kristen Stewart was a very bad choice for the role of Bella. Because of that choice, I will not see the other movies, I just can not stomach it. That movie was not about talent, it was about looks namely Robert Pattinson. Please, Please....make good choices for the movie. I am sure that you will, but I am begging you, lol. Get the movie going, already!! We are all waiting
Hugs and good luck
Susan

Susan said...

Another issue that I personally would like to thank you for...You kept it "real" Meaning, the descriptions of our rituals are as true as any thing that I have ever seen written in a Non-fiction work! Thank you for not making us scary or portraying us as Devil Worshippers. I am Wiccan, if that is the term being used for the "Old faith". So many times we see our beliefs being protrayed in books and movies as dark and sinister. Thank you for not doing that

Cassie said...

I found a website that tells you how to write query letters,and how to format your drafts,and things alike it.And I was wondering how do you write your books?As in,do you write it chapter by chapter/scene by scene,or do you write it in parts,like do you do a scene from the last part of the book because you have an idea for it,then go back to the part you were working on in the first place?

PC Cast said...

Susan - thank you! I appreciate your comment. Blessed be.

Cassie - I write the books chronologically, but that doesn't work for everyone. You'll have to just write and find your own style.

Cassie said...

Thank you very much!I love your books by the way.By the time I discovered them 4 of them were already out.I bought all of them within 2 weeks,they were so addictive!I can't wait for the next one.

The Fantasy said...

Dear PC Cast,
Its really great how you give advice to other aspiring authors out there, so thats really cool and awesome. Here's my question. Poetry? Can i get published just by writting poetry? I really enjoy reading your books, there my favorite, but im really into poetry. Like ive been writting it all my life. I lost my other journal where i kept most of my poems, so i need to buy a new one. I just wanted to know which is better, poetry, or something different? Like fiction. Although im already writting a novel on something that popped up in my head, i dont expect to get it published, so yeah. But anyways, so what doyou think, Poetry. Will it get people bored?
BTW(BY THE WAY) cant wait for tempted to come out, i already read all the books, all i need is tempted.
Big fan od HON, actually thats the best series ever!
Take care, and i hope you keep HON going,best whishes to you and your daughter.
-F

PC Cast said...

F - don't have a clue about the business of poetry publishing, but I'm sure the rules are the same: research the career yourself so you can make wise, well informed career decisions. Good luck.

ghostwriter_07 said...

Ms.Cast,
Like many of these other bloggers, I ADORED the hon books and am looking forward to reading TEMPTED soon. Great advice. I've wanted to become an fiction/fantasy author since the 2nd grade and ever since I started reading your hon books, I've thought of you as a role model for what my future writing career should be like(with a differt story to tell, of course). I'm 15 now, but I have big plans and, in my opinion(and other peoples words), an even bigger imagination, but some people just call it being weird. I just see things differently from other people.
I already have my basic story line for the book I want to get published and the first few chapters have already been written. I'm one of those writers that comes up with a idea then let's it flow after I've begun writing, but I have a problem.
One of my BIG inspiration sorces comes from nature, but I live in a big city in Texas where chopping down trees for business offices and apartmentr building is becoming more and more popular. I've tried to convince my parents to move somewhere less exclusive and more secluded like a town in Virginia(took a trip in the summer, loved it), but they're not going for it. Do you have any suggestions?

~Darian~

PC Cast said...

Darian - create your own green world in your books and when you're an adult you'll have the ability to move to the country. Were I you I'd find a park close to where I live and spend time writing there. Good luck!

skrletkiss said...

hi first off i want to say i love you, your my favorite wrighter :P and I want to thankyou for you advice because lord knows I need it. Im workin on becoming a wrighter every book I read and every paper i type brings me closer(even though my spelling sucks)I was wondering what your favorite publishing company was? Good luck on your stories

~Faith~

PC Cast said...

Faith - St. Martin's has been very good to me, but Harlequin and Berkley and I have long, successful relationships, too.

Regarding spelling: I'm a very weak speller, too, but that's no excuse not to pay attention to spell check and get a dictionary. Remember what you write represents you, and no one will take your work seriously if your basics (spelling, grammar, punctuation, etc.) aren't up to acceptable standards.

brookmcnabb said...

Ms. Cast,

thank you so much for this advice. I've been debating on what to do and how to get started for some time now, and this has really helped me. [:

Sincerely,
Brooke

Sakura Tsume said...

Dear P.C

I love writing and could write for hours and blank everything else out but lately I've been having problems making my chapters longer and i now feel like my idea has been done a million times.

Is there any advice you could give me on how to make my chapters longer?

yours sincerely,

Zoe H.

Katherine said...

Dear P.C,
thank you for the great writing info. I am trying to become an author and I was wondering if you think it will be harder for me because I'm only twelve (almost thirteen). I have always loved writing and my friends thing I'm very good at it but I'm not sure. Do publishers/editors/agents not take young writers seriously? I admit that I have been sweating bullets over this. also how long dose it normally take you to write a book just out of curiosity. my first draft of my book has 110 pages that has taken me...about...at least...five...maybe more or less months to write that (which I consider not very many pages. I read Harry Potter five on my own in third grade for Peat's sake yes I'm a Dork). Do you have any advice for me? I really appreciate your advice and opinion (and practically worship your books) you are my absolute favorite author. thank you for your time to read this.
p.s is the house of night series going to be made into a movie? I just had to ask I think it's a great idea and I disagree with Larry. I didn't want to read the twilight series until I saw the movie.
Katherine

PC Cast said...

Katherine,
I've asked my agent about the age question and her response is that she sees it as a positive thing that someone so young has such a passion for writing.

You will be taken seriously if you know your craft, and by that I mean begin doing what I recommend in this post - treat being an author like any other job. Research the business. Understand how a book gets published - and I mean really published and not self-publishing vanity presses. Know correct manuscript format. Hone your writing skills. Then write and write and write - and read and read and read.

Best of luck to you!
PC

Jeanna said...

I have truly enjoyed your books, thanks to my teenage daughters! We are always developing our own story ideas, as well. I do have a question for you. Did you begin your writing career with a local pulishing house, or did you begin by sending your first manuscripts to larger houses? We have many local publisher's and printing presses and agents, but most of them have done historical biographies and the like. So, I was curious about this genre... did you just bite the bullet, prepare for a ton of rejections and send off to the big cities? Or did you start with small local agencies to get the ball rolling?

An aside to the movie versus book comment: when a book series is delicious (as yours have truly been), the public will devour it all! The movies often encourage people to go back to read a book series, just as the book will encourage fans to see the movie!
A comment for all young people, regardless of choice profession: Edit and spell check people! Hello?!
-Jeanna, Shreveport, LA

Darcie said...

Ms. Cast,

Thank you so much for taking the time to give this advice to aspiring authors. I myself am in the process of finishing my second manuscript and find this advice to be very helpful in my journey.

I just want to tell you as well as your daughter that you both are very inspiring with the creativity you show throw The House of Night Series. Hopefully I will be able to see you both in November at your Baltimore Book Signing!

riot001 said...

wow, thanks for the advice. I've been researching ever since I had the aspiration to be an author. I went on to a Q & A website first and asked about the workings of publishings, then I brought books, like the writers handbook 2010, it's very useful, I must say. The stories have changed fast as ideas come and go, but the research hasn't, there is still so far to go, so much to know. I read every tip or piece of advice I can, thats why I'm reading this (Plus I am a huge fan!)
I hope one day my name will be up there on the bookshelf with the greats, I have been writing for as long as I can remember, but do put things off a lot, which is why I have a lot of half written stories lying about. Usually they dry up and I move on, which is bad I know, but sometimes the characters revive the story for me, breathing life back into it.
You said you were coming to England as well, to Scotland I believe, I love Scotland, it's great, but I perfer Wales, my nan grew up there, in Tywyn, and my mom lived there for a while, she has some cousins and aunts and uncles up there and visit from time to time. I love how close and friendly the villages are, how people look out for one another, how safe it is. I also love how clean and open it is, away from the big lights of the city. I was in Wales just the other week actually, we went to Porthmadog, there I found my heaven. A small red bookshop called Browers bookshop, inside it was stacked floor to ceiling with books, books on everything imaginable, even art supplies, it was magical. I (regretablly) only had enough money to buy one book from there (It was a book on Faeires, with beautiful illustrations) but I hope to visit it again soon.
I know this is rambling on, but I feel like I have so much to say, in Media, me and my firends have to make a movie trailer, so we have chosen to do our adaptition of Marked, we all loved the book so much (We think Zoey should be with Stark <3.) Also, I read in an interview that if a fans name was interesting enough you would consider putting it in your book, I would say my name is slightly different.
Charlee-Ann Robyn Ellis but my best friend either calls my Charles or Chuck. I prefer Chuck, even if it is a boys name, I'm used to it.
Bye, HON rocks!!

RaeBeth said...

Hey there. I have faithfully read each book in the House of Night series and on Tue the 27th, I will be taking a visit to the local bookstore to pick up Tempted. As I was reading through Haunted I found some errors that you may want to look into. There's several areas that have the wrong characters talking. Like when Zoey was attacked and taken into the tunnel to be doctored. Once everyone was getting ready to leave the scence where Damien and Jack were talking about leaving each other. It's stated that Damien was Daruis. I dont know if this will end up on the blog list but if it doesnt I will understand. I am a writer myself. This is why I am writing to you. I feel that if someone found an error that I didnt see, I'd like to know about it. I wish you the best of luck in your writing and Im very excited for Tempted. Have a wonderful day.

Em Kyran Mor said...

this was great advice! and I must say the procrastinating tends to be a nuisance. Like JT I'm 15 and have found writing what I am good at and enjoy. I have one question. I have two started pieces written and another idea floating in my head and I write without a plan. I write as I go and make changes. is this a good way to go? Or should I try to just get the story out and then revise it to my liking?

PC Cast said...

RaeBeth - the title of the book is HUNTED, not HAUNTED. Have you heard of the old adage about throwing stones?

Em - whatever works for you is the right way.

Eris09 said...

Hi Ms.Cast,
I just wanted to say I love your books. I am very picky about what I read and it is hard to get me into most books. However, your books had me from page 1. I really wanted to comment on how you changed perspectives in your last book. Most times a change of character perspective throws me off even somtimes to the point where I stop reading the said book. I've never seen it done the way you did and I must say it was briliant. It didn't bother me in the slightest. I'm an aspiring young author. Im not writing for advice. I just wanted to say you are a real inspiration.

victoria said...

Hi PC Cast I'm a huge fan and have already read every book thats out. I think yours are the best(I've already read all that twilght book and the immortal books too, along with a few hundered other books in between). All I can say is that no other book can caputre the detailed emotions and senses to where the readers can feel, see, hear, ect. what's happening in the book.

Even though I'm still 14 and only in 9th grade i have already started writing my own book! but I'm wondering if i should wait until I'm older to see if i can get it published, any advice on that? I still focus on my other classes as well as my after school activies but (even though part of my mind is focused on whatever it is I'm doing) I still find myself writing poems or bits and pieces of some story I imaganed.

You and your daughter are my role modles because not any author I've read has made me more anxious to read their books as you guys have or got me thinking about how good I could be at writing!!!


-Victoria Reynolds

Hotaru said...

Hi PC!

Thank you for the great advice!! I've written a few different ideas and find it hard to write more than a Prologue of each idea. I know from Teachers I've had, that I do great introductions and conclusions but I've always been a little rocky in between. Do you have any advice for learning how to focus more on the 'journey' of a story than a beginning or destination? Again, thank you for your time - I greatly admire your work. (I've read the Romance too :), I'm a nerd that went through high school working in Library and loved every minute!)

Thank you!
Ash

straberiwine said...

I'm so glad to see this comment about becoming an author. There seems to be a lot of people out there aspiring to be authors who think it will be as simple as putting a few ideas down on paper and then you're done. It does take a tremendous amount of work and I, for one, appreciate the time you spend "sloughing through mud" to get to the gems that you add to the bookshelves.

I just found the HON series by "accident" while trying to find something intriguing to read. That said, I have read the first six books in a little over a week (along with having a 3 year old, a husband, grad school and a full time job). This is by far my favorite series of books (including the Vampire Diaries,
Twilight Saga, Vampire Chronicles, and PERN books). I'm going to brave Black Friday traffic tomorrow to get Tempted and will be waiting with baited breath for your next works.

Drama said...

Similar to many you have helped, I am a young writer striving to get passed everything that makes writing so DIFFICULT (my favorite part about it!).
I have finally decided to co-write with a great friend of mine. Plz help me with some advice on how to cope with this because it seems to be going fairly well--yet has it's flaws, and can prove to be difficult.
My question for you would be:
How can we create a system to write our book efficiently in which we developed together?

Katherine said...

P.C
I just want to let you know how much I value your advice. I hope to be an author someday,and your advice has really gotten me farther in what I hope to be my first book. The research does help (alot). I just wanted to thank you for the advice, especially since you and Kristien are my favorite authors. Thank you for taking the time to read this.

Katherine

Stephanie said...

Hello!

I am yet another aspiring author and I have a little advice for others that might be helpful. Mrs. Cast, although I respect your perspective on writer's block, I have a technique that helps me when I get it. What helps me is to sit back and ask myself 'If I could summarize this work to the best of my ability in one sentence, what would it be?'. After I ask myself that question, everything else seems to fall into place and I have a renewed purpose towards my works. So if anyone has trouble with writer's block, I would encourage them to try this approach. Even if it does not end up working, it's worth a try! I hope this was useful.

-Stephanie

PC Cast said...

Thanks for posting Stephanie! Sounds like a good exercise to get the writing focused again. When you pitch a book to an agent or editor, often they ask you to summarize it in one cohesive, exciting sentence. So, it's also valuable to be able to do this at the end of the writing, too.

brakenisthebest said...

Hey, this post is very helpfull for me. I started a novel last year, and have only managed to write two chapters, so creating a deadline to finish it seems like a great idea to get me motivated. Like I said, i've only done two chapters so far, and I have added way more plot lines and characters to it than I originally planned. Does this ever happen to you?

Best Wishes

Carla

PC Cast said...

My manuscripts are always organic and changed/evolve as I write. But I would recommend to young authors to use an outline to try to stay focused until the manuscript is complete, then go back in and add layers. Rewrite IS writing.

vampyrie lover96 said...

hi im new here and i just want to say hi

cagin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Savanna said...

Hi I write in my free time in college -mostly creepy things-. I love you series and I'm looking forward to Burned. I wish for things to work out With kalona and Zoey I'd be horribly disappoited if he is evil. :( Anyway your advice was helpful and thanks for being so unpredictable.

Collin said...

P.C.,
I was wondering what your personal preference is: do you write your characters first or do you come up with the plot first?

Thank You,
Collin

Lysa said...

Hi P.C!
I would just like to let you know that your books are AMAZING! I finished the whole series in two weeks and i can't wait for Burned! I was just wondering how you got started writing and what inspired you to keep doing it? I'm a good writer but i just have trouble finding the inspiration to keep writing.

PC Cast said...

Lysa - I've been writing for as long as I can remember. I actually wrote my first "book" in 1st grade. And I keep writing for several reasons: first, it's my job! So even when it's tough, I do it. Also, you should understand that you don't need to feel "inspired" to write every word. You need to know where your book is heading and have a plan on how to get your characters there. Then simply write - and rewrite. I get inspiration from research and travel and life in general, but inspiration and work ethic are two different things. It's just that the career of being an author is too often romanticized. Treat it like a job and you'll be more likely to get the book done.

VampirePrincess said...

Hi my name is Malinda, and im having trouble with my writing. Im a fairly good writer, (so i've been told.) but i don't have enough confidence to finish what i start. I've written many stories and even almost finished a novel, but every time i get close to starting or finishing something, i through what i have away.And by doing that it doesn't get me or my dreams any where. Do you have any advice you could give me on my situation?

PC Cast said...

VampPrincess - my advice is finish the book/story. No one else can tell you how to make yourself do that. Finishing and honing and rewriting is what the job of being an author is all about. You'll either do it or you won't. It's kinda like an artist asking how to finish a painting. It's either there or it's not. Good luck!

cagin said...

hi!!
My name is Cagin . I live in Turkey . I’m 14 years old.
İ follow your books. They are really good. Last year i learned your books and i started read your books. I live in Turkey so I am reading your books late. I am very sad L. I think you and your child should come Turkey because there are thousands of people who love you Turkey. When will it be burned?... Can i advice you? I hope Stark doesn't die :)) see you later..

Keri said...

Dear Ms. Cast:

I've been an avid reader of your books for a number of years when I found 'Divine by Mistake' in a convenience store book rack. From there, I've read your entire Goddess Summoning Series and HoN Series to date. What I wanted to know is when you were writing the Goddess Summoning Series, did you receive a lot of negative criticism towards your perception of the myths you were retelling as your own? By this I mean, did people say that your Gods and Goddesses were too out of character based on what legend said about them, or that you were embellishing an already known myth too much? Thanks. Also, really looking forward to Goddess of Camelot and Burned!

PC Cast said...

Keri - nope, fiction is about making up your own version of history/myth/legend. Besides that I really don't pay attention to negative press. I write what I most want to read. If someone doesn't like the fact that I retell myths, then they should simply not read my books. As in parenting and/or teaching, writing with the intention of pleasing everyone is a Big Mistake.

Keri said...

Thanks PC, I know I'm not writing to please others. I write for myself but I also write to offer another world to those who enjoy reading, as books have done for me in my life. Thanks again for the advice, you're the greatest.

Erin said...

I was just wondering how long it usually takes you to write a book. I read where you posted that if you don't feel like writing, either write anyway or give yourself a break (sadly I've been giving myself way too many breaks lately). How long does it take you personally to write a House of Night Book?

PC Cast said...

Erin - I can comfortably write a book in about six months. I've taken as long as a year and as short as two months (not a HoN book, though) to write one. Writing is hard work. Taking too many breaks = not finishing = not eating and paying my bills. Like any other job, if you don't complete it, you don't get paid. So decide if you want the job of being an author, or if you'd be happier writing as a hobby. Then breaks are fine.

Peyton F. said...

Hey, I just wanted to say your books are amazing! My mom and I love them!
I just have a couple questions, so here ya go:

1.) I can never finish the beginning on a story-I'm always much too anxious to get to the middle that I forget the beginning! Help me?

2.) How do you give your characters so much life? Stevie Rae is a perfect example! She's an awesome character!

One more question, it's about Burned, the girl on the cover looks eerily familiar to Taylor Swift...if you chose the actors and Taylor Swift wanted a part, would you give it to her??

I also live in Oklahoma, and I just wanted to tell you how amazing you are at giving it so much life! :]

Thank You For Reading This,

Peyton.

PC Cast said...

Peyton: 1) No one can tell you how to finish your book. You'll either push through the middle and get it done or you won't. Not everyone can finish a book.
2) Characters like Stevie Rae live and breathe for me because I develop them. They have histories, idiosyncrasies, likes/dislikes, etc. You have to believe your characters are "real" before you can make others believe it.

Don't have a clue about Taylor Swift. She seems sweet, though.

Lucas said...

Hi PC,

I just wanted to ask your opinion about self- publishing companies. I had one contact me and they are willing to publish my book but I don't really know a lot about them. The company is called I-Universe but I was just curious if you thought that self- publishing was a good way to start for your first manuscript?

I was told that it's so hard to get published these days when you are just starting out that it would be the best way so I figured I would get my answer for that from someone who has a lot of amazing books out already.

PC Cast said...

Hi Lucas = whether self-publishing is wise for you depends upon your writing goals. If writing is a hobby for you and you would simply like to see your words bounds and shared with friends and family, then there is nothing wrong with self-publishing. If you want to make writing a job and being a published author your career then I would highly recommend NOT considering self-pub. Yes, it's tough to get published. It's also tough to be a doctor, engineer, artist, etc., but doable with tenacity, talent, and a little luck.

Good luck!
PC

Lucas said...

Thanks PC. That does answer my question because I do want to make it a career.

Also, thanks for being an inspiration. I have a lot of respect for you and I love your work. Thank you for posting this blog and for showing aspiring writers the way.

Lisandra said...

Dear Ms Cast,
This is excellent advice. By the way, i've been writing a novel for about 2 years now and i'm not nearly finished. My dearest friend (and fan) is also writing many similar novels as i, but we both, emily and lisa, have important questions, when do you know exactly when to publish a book. I've gotten to chapter 52 and has, so far, 389 pages. I'm just wondering when can i get an agent and publish.:) thank you mrs cast for your wonderful advice again:)

PC Cast said...

Lisandra - You "publish" a book when a publisher buys it. You get an agent when one offers to represent you and you agree. Honey, you need to go back to basics and read the books I recommend in this post. Educate yourself about the job of being an author. Also, adhere to basic rules of grammar, punctuation, and basic sentence structure - even when blogging.

Good luck,
PC

donnica said...

How much money does a writer normally get for one book

PC Cast said...

Donnica - not much.

wtfbabe58 said...

Ms. Cast,

I have been following your blog for quite awhile and I just got up the nerve to actually post something.
Okay I have just a few questions. First, I am frequently told that i am a very good writer, though I am only 12 and I often question my work is this natural or am i just over worrying? Next, I am almost finished with the first draft of my very first book and am almost ready to start the rewrite, so I must ask if my age would hinder me in getting it published or even taken seriously in the large writing world?

Ever since i began to read your blog I look at my writing in a very different perspective, so I must say thank you. I now have schedules and dead lines and am able to get work done faster and thus my latest book was born though i think that this i should thank you for. Because, it was you who brought the light to my eyes.

Many
Thanks,
Savannah

cagin said...

said...
hi!!
My name is Cagin . I live in Turkey . I’m 14 years old.
İ follow your books. They are really good. Last year i learned your books and i started read your books. I live in Turkey so I am reading your books late. I am very sad L. I think you and your child should come Turkey because there are thousands of people who love you Turkey. When will it be burned?... Can i advice you? I hope Stark doesn't die :)) see you later..

PC Cast said...

Hi Savannah - I've asked my agent the age question before and she said that if you present yourself in a mature manner and have educated yourself about how to submit your manuscript, etc., age shouldn't hinder you.

Best of luck to you!
PC

MermaidLover286 said...

How do you talk or write about languages in a story? Because where my fantasy characters live it is hard to say what language they speak.

PC Cast said...

MermaidLover - I think you need to focus on standard English before making up a fantasy language. Work on syntax and punctuation - then worry about other languages.

Good luck!

Liz said...

Dear PC,
im thinking about the advice you wrote about how to be a great author and how much i luv the House Of Night Series!!! i really want to be author even though im way to young to be thinking about my future, im 13 for crying out loud!!! i know teenagers always change their mind but i really luv reading and writing so im set on being an author!!! i have a couple of questions for you, if can answer them please. #1 can i have your email address or where i can find it because i looked everywhere but cant seem to find it! #2 can i be a character in your next House Of Night Series, please i always want to be a character in a book! plus your my favorite author ever!!! #3 if your not to busy could you please stop by my school one day, once i have your email we can talk more about it because i luv you sooo much and want to be noticed at my school for once, im in 7th grade. im one of your biggest fans.
luv,
N3RD

PC Cast said...

Liz - I don't give out my personal email address. Go back and re-read the blog and start researching the JOB of writing. Age isn't important. Talent and maturity are what matter. Good luck.

Jessi Girl said...

I have a few things to say. One, I respect anyone you can sit down and write, and write for days. I myself dont really like to write (but i make up for it in reading a zillion books) but i think your honest advice for aspiring writers is just what is needed because alot of people dont know what it is going to take. For that i respect you more than i already do.

Jessi Girl

Ciara said...

Dear PC,
i was on my grandmas google this is mine just lettin you know! So i was wonderin if i could be a character in your next House Of Night book and if you could come to my school if your not to busy? The one i want most is to be a character in your book!!! Oh and please keep adding on to the House Of Night Series please? i am workin on bein an author thanks so much!
Luv,
N3RD

PC Cast said...

Ciara - I don't know you, so it's impossible for me to base a character on you in my books. I do school visits when I have the time, but your administration needs to contact my publicist, katy.hershberger@stmartins.com, to set that up.

~Sam~ said...

Thank-you so much! Your advice helped me a bunch! Also, your books inspire me to write. You are the best auther I've heard of and I hope that I can be atleast half as good as you! Thanks again, bye!
~Sam

Ciara said...

Dear PC,
i cant find my comment anywhere, so i was wondering if you got the description of me and replyed to me being in your book? please i really want to be in it i will worship you on my hands and knees if you do (not that i dont already)!!! just please think about it at least!!! thanks sooo much!!!
Luv,
N3RD

Demetria said...

Hey P.C,

O.K two things I was wondering about.

1. Is it difficult working with your daughter? How does it work do you write one part and she goes through and changes the language?

2.I don't mean to be rude but I have always wondered, what does P.C mean? Is it shortened or is it your name, you don't need to answer if it offended you I'm simply curious.

Your House Of Night series amazes me. :)

Keep on writing :)

Demetria.

PC Cast said...

Ciara - again, I don't know you, so I can't base a character on you. The end.

Demetria - 1) It's easy working with Kristin. She goes through the manuscripts as a kind of a teen voice editor. I trust her and her judgment, so it's a great partnership.
2) It's not rude at all to ask! PC stands for Phyllis Christine.

Raicheal said...

Alrighty, I'm not the kind of person to gush over anyone just because they're famous or I appreciate their work so please don't expect me to do so. I just wanted to ask you something that I don't want you to feel obligated to answer. I was wondering what you are religiosly. I've been reading your "Divine by Mistake" series (not something that most 14 year olds read but I find the sexual inuendoes hilarious)and it seems to me Pagan religion, I would know because i'm Pagan. So I was just a little curious. I do like you advice by the way, I have written/am currently writing 15 novels and i think you prove a valid point. I know what it's like to not want to write but I do it anyways and just go back and fix it if I don't like it. And, again there's no obligation here, I would like your e-mail. you seem like a very interesting person to talk to, and not just about writing. Best wishes to you!
-Raicheal (Rachel)

PC Cast said...

Rachel - I don't give out my personal email. And, honey, you need to work on your basic sentence structure before you move on to anything else. Writing IS rewriting. What you put in print represents you. Try to make it as perfect as possible, even if it is only a blog comment. Take yourself seriously or no one else will. Best of luck to you.

PC

courtney said...

Ms.Cast,
I do enjoy reading your advice on being an other. I'm actually quite young so my choices on careers is still on a wide horizon. One of my main choices of career is being an author. I've been told by peers and teachers that my writing talents are more than just excellent. Some people though try to take time and tell me that the only reason im good at writing is because my nose is always in a book. (I won't deny that im always in a book because I usually am.)
I wanted to ask you a question. My style of writing, you could say, isn't exactly everyones cup of tea. So I was wondering would someone still publish my work if I'm only 13 and my storys have a twisted and deranged plot?
-Love HoN!

PC Cast said...

Courtney - reread my blog post. I can't tell you whether you can get published or not - neither can teachers or friends. Pay attention to editors and agents: THEY CAN GET YOU PUBLISHED. Educate yourself about the job of being an author and then go for it!

Good luck!
PC

stagedexpression said...

Ms. Cast,
I'd like to first say that I love your book series HON & they're passed throughout a group of my friends as soon as the next book comes out. Second of all, this is great advice. I try & take it to heart. I don't feel like writing a lot, but I just have to push myself to write like you said & the creative juices start to flow. I always thought you were just supposed to wait until you get your "spark" to write good, but your advice seems to be working & I like what I write afterward, even when I'm not in the mood. & Third of all, what I really want to know, is what font you used inside of your HON series & what site to buy/download it from! I've looked everywhere & asked a lot of people on websites what font they use when I see it, but got no responces. I thought it was best to ask you through here. Thanks ahead of time.

PC Cast said...

I don't have a clue what font my publisher uses for the HoN books. Publishers handle that part of the process (thankfully, as I have no idea about fonts and such).

PC

VampirePrincess said...

Hi, I finished the novel that i was writing and im looking for an agent to help get my book published. I just dont know where to start looking. And im only 14, i was wondering if my age would affect whether my book gets published or not?
-Malinda C.

Kay Berry said...

:D I know its dumb to put an unprofessional smiley at the begining of statement, but...you made me smile. I am a writer, and something you pointed out that not a lot of people realize is that writing IS work. I've spent 3 years of my young life, researching backgrounds, people, reading stories, writing character analogies and going through all this...research just to do one chapter, so I better understand where I'm going. And that's BEFORE I've even tried to publish, its hard, its work, writing is a job like any other as you plainly stated. When I stay home weekends instead of going to the beach, mulling over which direction to go in as I eat my chocolate cereal, I am working. I am not typing on facebook, I am getting things done! I just wanted to say once again, you (unlike a lot of other snobby writers who seem to bug me at this moment and I won't mention names...) are an inspiration. You are a real person, and fame, fortune and money won't change you. BRAVO!

Leyla said...

Thanks for the advise about well... everything! I went to my local library and they had almost every HON book there! I am hooked and am officially obsessed with them. I hope they become movies :)

Demetria said...

Malinda C,
P.C has answered several times about the age of which you can publish, I suggest you should read the comments and have a look. Sorry for answering for you P.C.

Demetria

PC Cast said...

No problem Demetria - what you posted was totally accurate.

XXXOOO
PC

katie said...

Hey PC! :D
i know you must have heard this over and over again, but you are truely fantabbityastic!! (my word lol :P) I am seriously hearting your series HoN and seriously cannot wait for burned to come out! (any idea when it will as i am in the UK and i'm thinking it may be a little different to in US. Some people are saying its near the end of april, but others are saying its on the 6th May??) I also wanted to say do you have any idea when your coming the the UK in the late summer?
Okay to the question..sometimes I just blabber and blabber on and on (a bit like stevie rae lol), and never get to the point! Okay, i had started to write a book in December, but I just cannot decide on what names to put as my characters. I'm looking on many, many baby names websites, many behind the name websites but i just cannot decide on the names! my friends keep suggesting names to my but none fit and sound appealing to me..i want names that sound mysterious and intriguing. Many, many, maaaany thanks...Luv from your biggest number 1 fan Everrrrr lol. Im sure u've heard that a lot too :DD but it's trur tbh.
Katie. x
p.s just to let you know, the idea of the books becoming a film/tv series would be fantastic. just look what happened with Twilight, more people have read the books becuase of the films! better stop blabbing! you're bored already lol! xxxxxxxxxxoooxxxxxxxxxxxx

iloveHON ;) said...

hi P.C as you know I am writing my own books at the moment, I have gone on the internet and looked for publishers, but I either find ones that are too expensive or are just no help at all.. I was wondering If you could help me. I was also wondering if you could get a book published when you are 14 years old? I was just windering.. I will keep on looking, I never give up until I have found what I am looking for or finish what I am doing.

thank you
hope you and kristin are fine :)

Amber XxxOoo :):) :P

PC Cast said...

Amber - reread the advice I give in this post and begin educating yourself about publishing by reading the books I recommend. Authors don't pay publishers; publishers pay authors. Anything else is self-publishing. Age isn't as important as understanding the job of being a published author.

Jessica said...

I have to say that that was great advice. It helped me think harder about what I need to do if I want to publish a novel. I have already begun research and I am also taking a creative writing class with an awesome teacher. She, along with my peers, have told me to follow being an author because they think I have the talent. I'm a big critic on my work so I usually need advice.
And to tell you the truth, reading the House of Night series is what gave me the first push to want to become an author. Thank you so much! I can't even explain how much gratitude I have toward you both. Writing is my absolute passion.
If you ever come close the capital of North Carolina, I am sure that my mom (who I got addicted to your series) will let me go and see you. Actually, I know she will. You and your daughter are great authors. I hope one day I can do the work you have.

iloveHON ;) said...

okay thanx P.C.
can't wait till you come to the UK, and meet you in person... CAN'T WAIT!!!! XX

Amber xxo :) xxx

Alice said...

Hey Mrs. Cast, I love your work and want to thank you for your advice. I have read a few other blogs from authors, but yours helped the most. You didn't sugar coat it, but you also were not incredibly mean. I appreciate it and will really take it into consideration. Please, I am trying to get information on good schools and classes for becoming a writer and I'm doing some reasearch, keep in contact with me and please let me know if you have any ideas or places for me to look. Thanks a lot.

just nothing said...

Ms. Cast,
I just wanted to say that i absolutely love the House of Night. i find it highly entertaining and it actually has the true nature of a lot of teens (especially Aphrodite). Anywho, I just wanted to say that you have been a huge inspiration for me and my currently, badly written outline of a book, ha ha.

P.S: i recently got burned about a day ago and i'm just now starting to read it (lame I know, lol) and i just wanted to say....AMAZING!!!!