Friday, July 16, 2010

Advice for Aspiring Authors


Apparently my archived blog on this subject got overloaded with posts, and has been unable to accept more - so it looked like I was ignoring y'all when I really was posting your questions and trying to respond. Soooo, I'm redoing this entry. If you posted and didn't see your question, please retry.

Here ya go:

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 idea that says being an author is something magical and mystical – that you lay around, waiting for your Muse to whisper in your ear, or for your dreams to coalesce, and then you’re simply the vessel through which all the stories flow. 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. How do I get inspired to write? Again, it's my job. I have contracts and bills to pay. It's what I do for a living. Yes, I love creating worlds and telling stories. I believe people are happiest doing what they're passionate about - and I'm passionate about storytelling. That doesn't mean it comes easily. I've found inspiration is part research, part imagination, and part good old fashioned work. If you're continually coming to a dead end in your work, perhaps you need to tell a different story. Or perhaps writing isn't for you. I wanted to be a veterinarian, but when I got serious about the career I realized I really didn't like dealing with parasites and poop, so even though being a vet seemed like a good idea, it really wasn't the right job for me.

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

6. 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!

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

8. How do you start writing? JUST WRITE. Sometimes 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. And is any age too young to start writing? Hell no! I wrote my first book in first grade. It's not about age; it's about talent and drive and tenacity. Teenagers: yes, you can begin trying to get your work published! BUT do your homework first. Know about manuscript format and how a book gets published (by a real publisher, which means you don't pay for it - they pay you). Understand an agent's role in the process. Hone your skills. Then go for it!

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

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


As an additional note - some of you have asked about self-publishing. My advice is if you want to write as a hobby, then it's just fine. If you want to making writing your career, then don't self-publish (actually self-print is a better word). Yes, I know there are exceptions, and some self-pubbed authors have gone on to have successful careers with real publishers, but those few are the exception. Real publishers pay their authors, not the other way around. If you want to be a career writer, you need a real publisher. Period.

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 (and being self-"published" is really being self-"printed"). Yes, you have to have a completed, rewritten manuscript – in an acceptable format – before you begin looking for an agent or an editor. No, an “idea” won’t sell unless you’re a celebrity, and then it’ll be ghost written anyway, and that’s a whole other issue. Oh, and be careful of Karma...

I wish you much luck in your quest!

PC

199 comments:

stevie rae said...

Again...thank you soooooooo much for this advice!!! :D Iit's deffinately going to help me cause I make poetry...Thank you very very very much!

stevie rae said...

Hello Ms.Cast. I'm Himali and I just want you to know that I am so inspired by your work I can't wait to start mine! Although I'll be 18 this year and am pusueing arts as a student i hope to find time to write! :)lol! You are the BEST!!!!I'll remember you throughout my quest!

Ellinno said...

Thanks For The Whole Explaining Thing Which Helped Me Figure Out How To Do After The Actual Novel Is Done. If You Can, And I Totally Understand If You Can't What With Writing Like 24/7, Can You Advise Me Or Whatever With A Few Names Of Any Publishers Which Are . . . 'Honest', If You Can Like I Said Before. But Anyhoo You Totally Helped With Me With The After-thing With The Story. Thanks So Much Again. xx

Jezalla Midnight said...

Hey P.C. Cast. I was wondering if you could tell me how I could get my own stories published. I know I'll need an editor, but what else do I have to do?

PC Cast said...

Jezalla - reread my blog post. I can't tell you how to get published. You have to research that for yourself.

Ellinno - same answer for you. In my post I give you resources to find publishers. And let me remind you that you need to know standard grammar, punctuation, and spelling rules.

caseybratt said...

Hi PC! I just wanted to thank you for all of the advice, and that your work was my inspiration to begin writing. I am only 13 years old, but my first manuscript is just weeks from being done. Thankyou again for giving me the inspiration to follow my dreams.

Casey L. Delaney

A MAD Owl Creation said...

Thank you very much for your advice. I found it not only helpful, but frank and straightforward, as well. It's encouraging to see this post and I'll take your advice and use it wisely. So many times, pre-published writers are fed the myth of the muse and magical pen that the story flows from, and it is refreshing to get honest advice from a successful author.

SadisticxBribri said...

Quick question: what do you mean by "Know about manuscript format and how a book gets published (by a real publisher, which means you don't pay for it - they pay you)."?
Does that mean that when you publish, let's say, your first book, those who are publishing your book are not paid by YOU to do it?
Because I tried once talking to a so-called publishing company and they wanted me to pay hundreds of dollars to publish my first book (without the manuscript). I said no, of course, since I couldn't make such an investment right now, anyway. But of course, as most advertisers do, they continued calling until I completely ignored them =/

PC Cast said...

Good question - whether it's your first book or your 50th, YOU DON'T PAY TO GET IT PUBLISHED. If you pay, it's self-published, which is fine if you want to write as a hobby. If you want it to be your profession, don't go that route. Read the books I recommend. They explain the process. And good on you for questioning and using your intuition. General rule with publishing (and life): if it seems too easy and too good to be true, it probably isn't real.

buggybear01 said...

pc thank you so much for emailing me. that was so cool when i got your emiail and i am so glad that you did .

you keep inspiring me to write
thanks

Kerren Ann said...

Hey PC

I live in South Africa and am a huge fan of your books. both me and my sister love them!
i have written since i was eight and am a huge reader. right now I'm trying to publish my first series but unfortunately no agent here in SA is ready to look at anything written by a high school student. any way just want to say thanks for the advice it definately has helped me alot when i write. thanks, kerren

PC Cast said...

Kerren Ann - don't let where you live hinder you! I'm in Oklahoma, but published in 39 other countries. Do your homework and go through the steps to contact industry professionals in New York, via the internet and snail mail. If you want it badly enough, and are willing to work hard enough, you may make it happen!

Kerren Ann said...

hey again Pc
Thanks so much for the email and advice. i am certainly going to try my hardest and hopefully i will get noticed.
thanks so much
Kerren Ann

Kayla said...

PC Cast, I love your honestness(?). It amazes me how you write and say again and again you wont read unpublished work yet it is still asked of you. (some people never learn :)

I devoured your House of Night and Divine series books. I do have a question for you. "Divine Beginnings" is it available other than e-book? I cant find a hard copy anywhere. I can't imagine it not on my bookshelf along with the rest of the series.

I love that you have a blog that you get on and check and post to your fans, you seem far and few between that do that and you are one of my favorite authors. Thank you for your time and detication to your fans.
-Kayla

Edwar Grave said...

Hi, i was thinking of asking you, you say writing is a job, so i was wondering do you have a average page per day or something like that? i was thinking of doing 2 pages a day but haven't been able to make it happen and still be a good story...

cuestacuesta said...

PC,
I know this is probably random but, what would you say are the qualities required to become successful in the writing business?
(It's for a research project I am doing.)
-marilyn c.

shawnee dowda said...

thank you, mrs. cast, yo're writing has helped me alot. but how am i to get my works out into the world so people can read it?

christina said...

P.C,
Thanks for posting your advice. I have done the research and I am halfway through my first book. I would like to know how you picked the correct genre for your Goddess books. They were fantacy and romance. My book it also other worldly, romantic, and complete fiction. How do I break it down into one genre, when it fits so many. I cant get a proper answer from any of the books I have researched. If you have time, I would love to get your oppinion.
Thanks...Christina Bertke

PC Cast said...

Hi Christina,
Good question (and you're right - this would be hard to find an answer to). I'll skip all the gray shades of answers I could give you and get to the bottom line: the author doesn't really choose her book's genre. That's more of a publisher/marketing thing. Sure, you need to have one or two lines that summarize your book, or a "tag line." That might lean to a genre. Example: tag line for HoN was "vampyre finishing school." That lets you know right there that it has to be paranormal, but the specific genre stuff: YA or romance or s-f/fantasy or chick lit, etc., etc., is up to the publisher. Basically, don't worry about genre or where it'll be shelved in the store. It does help if you can tell an agent/editor what other books it's like - but don't worry about that until it's done. Good luck!

Proudmommy said...

Hi P.C,

I am a huge fan of your books, my best friend and I hold over the phone book club regarding your books because we both love them (and live 1200 miles from each other). I wanted to thank you for writing this blog for aspiring authors. I am currently writing a novel as well as a memoir and hope to be a real author one day. I am also looking into writing a children's book series with my 4 year old as the main character.

You have been such an inspiration to so many people and I hope to one day to be as inspirational as you are. Thank you so much for all that you do.

Oh, one question before I go. When are you coming to Minneapolis MN?? I would love to meet you and your daughter as well. If you could keep me up to date on your tour that would be great. My email is wallacjamie2008@gmail.com and I would love to hear from you.

Again thank you for being such an inspiration! Cant wait for the next book Awakened to come out, hope it is soon.

Jamie W.
Minneapolis MN

lola said...

Dear PC,
1) I LOVE your books. My friend told me about them and gave me the first book. I wasn't so sure because it was about vampires, but it was AWESOME!!

2) Thanks for the advice! I am a inspring author. Me and my friend are writeing a series. It will be called Demon Lover or DL Series.

3) I have a website that is bloging that I go to. And I am entered in the Scholastic Writing and Drawing Awards.

4) Remeber this name because it will be seen soon, Rose. Also you might want to check out my one friend's book Tweaked, being published by InkWater Press.

5) Again... YOU ARE AWESOME!!!
CAN'T WAIT FOR AWAKENED!!

Sincerly,
Rose a.k.a Victoria Menken

sabr.ine said...

hello! im a huge fan and ive read all the books from the series. i loved them. your books make me feel emotion and i cry i feel anger...ive just finished reading Burned, i liked it alott, but i did not like what you did in some parts, like: i loved Dallas and Stevie Rae being together, beacuse i love both of them soooooo much, why did you make Dallas go to Darkness. And i also didnt like that Stevie Rae could be in love with Rephain, it angers me...sorry...do you think you could answer me some questions? just answer me on my e-mail ; sabr.ine@hotmail.com ok? here are the question: will Dallas and Stevie Rae get back together? Or will she fall she stay with Rephain? Will i find out in the next book? or what not...
i pleade you to answer me...please, im desprat! thank you,
sabrine reinsons
p.s. i know this has nothing to do with the advice collom

PC Cast said...

Sabrine - sorry, I don't give plot spoilers.

PC

Jessica said...

Dear, PC
I just want to tell you that I love your books, and that im a fan! >.<
But i also started writting when I was 13. I have a book with ten chapters and 128 pages. I really love my book and its funny that your eigth book name to HoN is very similar to mine.
Your:Awakened. Mine:Awaken. Funny,right?!
But yes to all of the no jokes and laughter, I am kinda uneasy to my writting. My family constantly puts me down-well they just tell me that I should do 'writeing' only as a hobby. And that i should be a doctor (or w.e in that medical field.)
And I would say "yeah" and "yeah" but really I have dreams of becoming a full time writer and maybe have a second job, but i want writeing to be my main carrer in life. And I DO have confindence in my book Awaken. As well as the other ones...But I just wanted to hear some words from you. I hope I don't come about as a snotty little spolid child.
Sincerly, Jessica.
( ♥ I LOVE THE HOUSE OF NIGHT SERIES ♥ )

Kerren said...

Hey PC
I wrote to you a while back but i just want to say thank you so much for your advice. i followed it and now a month later I'm starting to get some where. I have my blog set up and I've found a small local publisher who is publishing my book for me. thank you so much for the advice and i can't wait to read Awakened!
thank you
Kerren Ann

mollycee said...

Dear P.C.,
My name is Molly, I'm 20 yrs old and REALLY love to write! My problem is...I seem to have Idea ADD, get a lot of cool thoughts, but I never how to start them. You know? Like the first few introductory chapters of a book where you set the scene? I just want to get straight to the good stuff. lol Is there anything you could say about writing the "salad" before you get to the "meat" of the story. lol Thanks!! Oh and I just want to say I LOVE your House of Night series and am actually using you and Kristen for my author study project in my college English class tomorrow! It's for a "critical assignment" which is basically a "pas or flunk the entire course" assignment..fun. lol Well, wish me luck! Gonna be a looooooooooooong night ahead. Haha, darn that procrastination. ;)

PC Cast said...

Molly - the entire book has to be interesting and exciting. If it's not, no one will want to buy it. You don't start with scene setting - start with action, conflict, mystery, murder, mayhem - something interesting. Focus and get to work making the entire thing excellent. Being a published author is a job, which means it's a skill you have to hone and practice. A lot. Sounds like you need to practice your beginnings.

Good luck,
PC

He is Ramza said...

Hello P.C.

I am not entirely sure where to start.

My girlfriend of more than 3 years recently became obsessed with your work. After she read all she could from the House of Night series, she jumped straight to the Goddess books and everything else she could get her hands on. Over a 2 month span she has read just about all of your books, on top of juggling a heavy pre med semester of her senior year in college.

I have always known her to be interested in reading, but you seem to have strongly sparked that love back up in her. I can't be sure if you are officially her favorite at this point, but her strong interest is a sheer testament to how good you are at your job.

It started to seem like your books were getting more attention then i was :) So i approached the situation with a "If i can't beat them, join them" spirit. And read some of your Goddess books. I don't think I have to iterate to anyone reading this blog just how enjoyable i found it. I used to associate your type of novel with being targeted at teenage girls and young women. But fellas, if any of you are reading this, know these novels can definitely captivate young adults of any gender. Normally i am a fan of a darker, grittier style something like Chuck Palahniuk or Alan Moore (considering i am also a major Graphic Novel fan)

In keeping with trying to show interest in her interests i took to the internet to find out more i could, about further book releases, get some more background or insight into some of your worlds. Hoping to find some information on a possible book-signing in the New York City area to surprise her with an autographed copy of your work for the holidays. However i think i read somewhere on here that you were going to the UK for a tour in January which is only weeks away. To that i can only say.. rats! Luckily i know she will stay a fan of you and it will always be something she will look forward to in case you are ever in the area.

(continued in another comment)

He is Ramza said...

Now, to the meat and potatoes of why i am commenting. This is actually not the first time i have stopped in on your blog. After browsing around for the basic information i mentioned earlier, i started to read your little writers advice section. When i was a little bit younger i felt like an aspiring author myself. Sometimes i would read a good book, and like a wide eyed kid watching a baseball game, i wanted to be out on that field like a pro. I wanted to "make it". I guess most people who love to write FEEL that way. After reading your very honest and sincere advice section, it has actually made me realize that writing is NOT a career for me to pursue. I absolutely love to create worlds and characters and tell stories, and in that sense i am very creative.

But with bills to pay and financial obligations i feel i could be much more happy pursuing my other passion in computer networking and systems. I know that sounds like a stretch from writing, but i am also very successful in that major as well. So i guess i just wanted to say thanks, even if it sounds silly. But your advice has made me realize that not becoming a published author does not make me unsuccessful as a story teller. Having that weight lifted off of me subconsciously has actually rekindled a desire to write again last week.

Nothing drastic, nothing too expansive... just because it was a good creative outlet for things i have been feeling. I don't even need or want anyone to read it. So i just wanted to say thanks, because it felt damn good. Keep on doing what you are doing! And COME TO NEW YORK! You have a ton of fans out here.

- Theodore (Brooklyn, NY)

honfan said...

Hey there P.C.!! I ADORE your books!! So I just wanted to know that in 'Hunted', are the poems that Kramisha writes in the book written by Kristen?? I thought so 'cause I've read at the back of the HON books that Kristen has won many awards for her poetry. The poems are seriously AMAZING, MIND-BLOWING, AWESOME, GR8 etc. , etc. !!! :)

PC Cast said...

Yep, Theodore, you're correct. The job of professional writing is not for everyone.

HoNFan - I write all the poetry. Kristin is an excellent poet, but because I do the writing, and she serves as a teen voice editor, it would be impossible for her to write the poems because they always go hand in hand with the plot.

chutkay said...

Hi PC,...

How r yu?.. am vishnu, 21 from INDIA.. I love yur house of night great series.. I need to know one thing.. In yur future books of house of night series, will Heath come back??????.. Will he come back to meet Zoey in his next birth?

srishu said...

Hello Mrs Cast,
I am Srishti choudhuri and i am on my way to become a sculptor and i want my work to speak like yours.

I am from india and your books are doing great here as well.....
I had a question for you...and it is
How many HON books are in the series? does the series end on awakened(I doubt it)? i already own the first 7. So how many are left... and have you thought of their titles...can you give some hint...

In short how many books will be published after awakened and when will the series end? and can u reveal their names? whats the last books name?

And please keep writing! we heart u!

PC Cast said...

The next book is titled DESTINED (released in Nov 2011). I'm not sure how many books there will be; I'm just telling Zoey's story until it's finished. Nope, I don't know any other titles.

ToriBaby227HoNFan said...

Ms. Cast,
I am a huge fan and I heart the House of Night series. In fact this series is my # 1 favorite and has inspired me to write my own series. And I'm only 13! I like how the characters are so real and open minded. I love what you do to the locations. And what an amazing imagination you have! I thank you so much for writing such a magnificent series and please don't stop writing the HoN series. It's the best!

Megan said...

Wow you are one smart woman. I've been trying my hardest to write this book I'm still working on, for the past almost five years. I think it's an incredible skill you have too finish a book in several months.I have changed my book over and over again trying to make it perfect. I have so many ideas its ridiculous and I cant seem to get it on paper. I've been righting so fast that it seems a Lil more like a play then it does a series. There's very little detail for how i want it to be.
The question i wanted to ask was have you ever gotten excited just about every time you got an idea for the next scene in your head or while your writing, something good pops outta nowhere and you know exactly were to put that glorious twist or turn? Like when I read my book i'll get excited over the simple thought of a new twist or character. And as I'm writing my brand new ideas down it seems that after i get to that point all the greatest of words begin to fall on the page for me. It isn't as hard as normal, but for it to be that easy you really and truely have to dedicate yourself. Almost like you've signed a goal contract and you have to have it done by a certain date. Whether the contract is real are not doesn't matter, it matters what you see it as. If it means something to you than dedicate yourself to it. And I'm sure once you've finished that contract you'll feel oddly accomplished with yourself.
Every time i read my book over for corrections (and definitely more details) it's like I'm reading it for the first time again : )

Well thanks for reading if you have any personal advice i would marvel to hear it. If not thank you very much for the beautiful, but brutal truth about writing. Oh and I'm 17, I'll be 18 on febuary 2!!

Jordan Clarke said...

what do you like best about being an author?

PC Cast said...

Megan - be sure to keep yourself focused. No matter how exciting ideas are they need to be put to an order (plot) that is comprehensible to the public - if you want to be a published author.

Jordan - what I like best about being an author is creating worlds and giving life to characters within the worlds.

ToriBaby227HoNFan said...

Hi Ms. P.C. I was just wondering how you plot what you want in each book. And how do you work with it. Is there anything you ever wish you could change.

ToriBaby227HoNFan said...

Hello P.C.
I was wondering what types of books do you recommend for young writers like me? When I mean books I mean for skills in writing and what ever I else I need to learn. Is there any key points you can give me?

Megan said...

Thank you and you are very right. I just wanted to say that I love your books. I just finished burned, amazing by the way, and I'm just about to start Awakened.
Oh and I believe my favorite thing about writing is also to create a fictional world where anything can happen and I absolutely love to create the most interesting characters and scenes. my book is based on a lot of fantasy and some mythology.

vampyrecat said...

I've made this poem when last year september for Burned! Hope you like it!

Night Has Became Burned
Cryptic nights sheds,
Bloody light of souls
That has shattered.

Night sky with foggy mist
Blurs the sky.

No one can see,
But we still hear, smell, taste, and feel.

Wind howls in the night,
With fright.

Voices move in the halls of Night.
Who are they?
They are teachers, and students who “school”.

“This poem is for the house of Night. The series from P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast” -Cassie ©

PC Cast said...

Tori - the books I recommend in the original blog post are for everyone, not just adults. The same publishing rules apply to writers, no matter their age.

As to plotting - there is no set way to do it. Each author has to find his or her own path. I differ depending on the manuscript I'm writing. Sometimes I work from an outline - something I don't.

Jessica said...

Dear, PC
I just want to tell you that I love your books, and that im a fan! >.<
But I also started writting when I was 13. I have a book with ten chapters and 128 pages. I really love my book and its funny that your eigth book name to HoN is very similar to mine.
Your: Awakened. Mine: Awaken. Funny,right?!
But yes to all of the no jokes and no laughter, I am kinda uneasy to my writting. My family constantly puts me down-well they just tell me that I should do 'writeing' only as a hobby. And that I should be a doctor (or w.e in that medical field.) (and i know they mean good but...)
And I would say 'yeah' and 'yeah' but really I have dreams of becoming a full time writer and maybe have a second job, but I want writeing to be my main carrer in life. And I DO have confindence in my book Awaken. I don't know, but whenever I'm on my computer, I go straight to my book, and I get so caught up in it. One of the main reasons why I write, is because its a place I can go to and be myself, a place where I can let a NEW strory take place, a place that only I could create. What can I say, I love writeing, and I want to go forth with it. But I just wanted to hear some words from you. I hope I don't come about as a snotty little spolid child.
Sincerly, Jessica.
P.S ( ♥ I LOVE THE HOUSE OF NIGHT SERIES ♥ )

PC Cast said...

Jessica - follow your dream. Educate yourself and get a good day job, but that doesn't mean you have to give up on writing. I wrote and taught high school full time for almost a decade. Hone your skills. Be tenacious. You might be surprised at what can happen...

peacekeeper_hannah said...

Hey P.C.,

reading this really helped me with the novel I'm working on, it is great advice and I thank you for it. :)

p.s. Love the House of Night series, I can't wait to read Destined!

-Hannah J

Lisa said...

Hi, P.C. Cast, I love Your Series, House of Night! That is an awesome Series. I have read every book except the last two so far. I my self have started writing and want to become a published author, i wanted to say thank you, because from reading that series i have gotten inspired to write my own books. i have read through this blog and have been doing research on publishing. I am about 15/16 years old and already have almost a novel, but i do have one question, for a Fantasy novel, how many words does it have to be to be counted as a novel?...i have looked around and have gotten many different answers....and again Thank you for write such an awesome Series and thanks for the Advice with writing and everyhting in this blog.
Alisa Nickole

PC Cast said...

Hi Lisa,
That's a good question, and the answer does vary. The typical word count for a single title manuscript (versus YA or series or category romance, which usually have a smaller word count) is about 100,000 words. Roughly that equates to 400 double spaced manuscript pages if you're using Times New Roman font. You can go a little under or a little over, and still be okay, but too short (under 80,000 words) or too long (over about 125,000) might cause a new author problems. Hope that helps, and best of luck to you!

PC

Lisa said...

Thanks, PC...I am at about 10,100 words so im close to having my manuscipt be counted as a novel...i hope that before i am out of hig school i could get my novel published and i am going to keep researching on publishing like you said. Thank you so Much!
Alisa Nickole

PC Cast said...

Lisa, it's one hundred thousand not ten thousand words that's roughly single title novel length.

Best of luck to you!
PC

puppieluver99 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AnnaSwanson said...

Hi PC, I just wanna drop in and say I love the HoN series. :) I have a few questions for you.
Do you outline your novels, and if so how?
Is it possible for a thirteen year old to get published and actually have their book selling?
What is it like being a writer, busy, hard, super-duper fun?
Will you write a book about writing? :)
Thanks,
Anna Swanson

Georgeanna said...

In HoN fashion, Merry Meet Pc! I love the HoN series and am currently looking in to reading other books while I wait for the newest installments to the HoN series. I am an aspiring author and am currently working on my first novel. I was wondering if you can give me an insight to an author's career. Such as, how can I get my book published, could I make a living just by writing, and do you have any advise for my writing. I can also post a teaser of my novel "Midnight Wolf" if you would like to critic my work. I would appreciate any information and advise you can give me on this subject. Thanks in advance for any help you may offer me. Warm Regards! - Georgeanna Roberts

PC Cast said...

Anna and Georgeanna - I've already answered your questions in this blog post. Go back and reread.

PC

Emily Collins said...

Hi PC! I'm a fellow Okie, born and raised about an hour outside of Tulsa. I'm so glad that you are so proud of our beautiful state, and in your writing you've let others know that Oklahoma really is a cool place to live. I just had a question, I have an idea for a book, but I have no interest in becoming a writer. But I can't get the idea out of my head. I was wondering how I would go about finding an author for my idea? Or, do publishers ever accept just an idea?

PC Cast said...

Emily - nope, publishers don't buy ideas unless they're contracting an experienced author to turn the idea into a manuscript. I have no idea where you'd find an author to write your idea. The truth is most professional authors have more ideas for books than we can possibly write...

Punkxxemoprincessxx said...

Hiya again,

I just noticed you don't read unpublished work! Sorry I asked! Well I would also like your advice on self publishing?! Is it something worth looking into?! If just to create a bit of a buzz about yourself?!

Sammie

PC Cast said...

Sammie - If you want writing to be a hobby, go ahead and self publish. Although "publish" isn't the word I'd choose for paying someone to put your writing out there. Self-print is a better description. Professional authors are paid by real publishers. If you want a career as an author I'd recommend honing your skills, learning about the business of publishing, and then focusing on agents and editors.

Good Luck!
PC

Punkxxemoprincessxx said...

Thanks for the advice! I think its awesome you do this with your fans!

Sammie

Sandy said...

Dear Ms. Cast, thank you for your info. on where to go and what to look for, for new authors. I have been writing for a while and I've decided to make something come of my stories. It's been dificult finding any info. on what to do and where to go though.
I'm a big fan of the House of Night and several other stories of yours but mostly the House of Night and I thought I would check out your sight to see when the next book will come out. That is when I came across the blog.
I really do appreciate you putting the info. out there from an established author. I have heard so much other advise from so many other places that never made sense before but I feel like I can move in the right direction now.
Thank you.
Sandy

Josefutureauthor said...

PC- Im sure you advise will definitely help he in writing. I looked up some agents and after my manuscript is finished i will mail in a submission (and hopefully get accepted by one of them). And then i will hopefully get published by a real publisher, the kind that pays you.

But i just wanted to say thanks for your advice. -Jose

puppieluver99 said...

Dear P.C.
I'm only 14 and I already dream of being an author. I've written some books that I hope to one day get published, and I have you and Kristin to thank for that. Yous are my inspiration. . my role-models. I absolutely love The HoN series. They are amazing! I have some writing idea's and I hope to one day share them with you. Thanks again(:

Xoxo;; Jackie!

Thalles Marques said...

Ok, maybe will sounds like I'm a yes-man, but your HoN series is one of the books that inspires me, just after the Harry Potter, sorry, that was the first book series I ever read, so... But your stories really inspires me in my writing, of course, I cannot get to your feet, even less at Rowling's, but, I simply love writing, and I really hope be published someday. (Actually I have two projects beeing writing). As Samantha had just said, remember my name, maybe someday you'll see my name in the libraries.

akirablaine said...

I know this must be time- consuming for you, so I will try to be brief. Out of curiousity, do you generally come up with your characters first or do they come to you after you have created the storyline for your book? Their personalities are so complex in your stories, so I had to ask. Thank you for your time.

Megan said...

First off, I LOVE your books and have recomended your books to many of my friends and they loved it... Even the ones who don't like to read. I love to write and, to me, writing comes naturally.
When I started to write a book, no one told me to or said I had to do it. I just an idea and wrote it down. It gradually fit together in my head and... I had a story. I just had a bit of a lapse. The characters didn't come together so good.
I was wondering how you create and define your characters so well. How do you make it seem as the story's taking place right there in front of the reader?
~~ Megan :)

ashley.terry24 said...

Thank you Pc this helped me, I do have a question how do you know or find out if something is copyrighted?

Becky said...

Ms. Cast,
I thought I would go through some of your blog postings while waiting for Awakened from my library (they ordered 80 copies and there are over a thousand hold requests on it!). I was curious if being a teacher helped to inspire your writing at all, or if teaching high school helped you focus on the young adult audience more? I just graduated college with my degree in English hoping to teach very soon, but writing has always been a hobby of mine, and I was curious if the teaching overlapped with your writing (at least HoN). I absolutely adore the series, and find it riveting even though I'm mostly out of that young adult age. =)

PC Cast said...

Hi Becky,
Teaching definitely helped me with writing YA, but you have to remember that I was published well before HoN was released. So while teaching teens helps with writing YA, it really doesn't have an effect on other genres (or at least not in my experience).

Best of luck to you,
PC

Morgan said...

Pc, hello! I am a 9th grade student doing a paper on your book, Marked. I was wondering if you have and email address that I could use to contact you and ask questions about the book. Thanks!

PC Cast said...

Morgan - there are plenty of interviews out there on line where I discuss my books. Actually, if you go through the archives on this blog you'll get a lot of information. As a former English teacher I can tell you that writing a paper on someone is about research and hard work (and correct grammar, punctuation, etc.). Put in the time and you'll do fine.

Good Luck,
PC

Maria said...

thanx Pc in 12 ( yeah i know im young >.<) but i love to write and make up stories i always have when i grow up i wanna be a writer but the thing is that right now im writing a novel ..... and many of my friends like it.....normally when i create stories i throw them out then write a new one.....should i keep throwing away my stories ( aka novels really) or should i keep them?

I LOVE U AND YOUR BOOKS THEY ROCK !!!!!!!!! :)

PC Cast said...

Maria - only you can answer that question. They're YOUR stories.

p.s. As I already said several times - if you want to be an author you need to pay attention to grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc. And that means in everything you write.

Good luck,
PC

julie01 said...

Dear PC Cast,
I Was just wondering if it was harder for you to co-author a book than to write one by yourself, or if you liked it better because someone could have ideas when you were stuck. Also, do you and Kristin take turns writing, or do you work together through every part?
Your curious reader,
Julie

PC Cast said...

Julie - I don't co-author the HoN books with Kristin. I write them and she serves as my teen voice editor. Sometimes I brainstorm with her, but she usually doesn't read any of the manuscripts until they're done. If I get "stuck" I call my editor and/or one of my close friends and we talk it out.

Maria said...

thanc pc. i just wanted to know one thing.... how did u come up with the hon series? did it just pop into ur mind or something?
-Maria

Bokhylla said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Maria said...

Hello Authors, I am Mari and I just love ur books and I was searching online for ur next book which i think is Destined. So I was wondering when it will be coming out in stores? And I do hope is as good as the last 7 books....

Rochelle Buz said...

Hi.
My name is Rochelle, I am 21 and I have a passion for books and love nothing more than to curl up on the couch with a nice hot drink and a good book. I have a lot of books and love them all and one of the series I do love is yours. I have recently just started writing. I wouldn’t call it a manuscript or a book or a novel. I have however started with an opening chapter and to be honest with you I am quite shocked at myself on how well I have written it. You see whenever I used to put pen to paper to write a story of any sort, it would always come out like a 5year old had told the story with repetitive words. I failed English when I was in school due to my failure at being able to write stories. I have always read books, from being a little girl I cannot remember when I never had a book with me. I cannot seem to fathom how all of a sudden my writing skills seemed to have sprung from nowhere, when I have been doing nothing of any difference. My friends have often wondered why I haven’t written my own book yet or started to write to put outlines of a story onto paper/computer screen. my answer to them was always the same
“it is interesting to hear your sister, niece or child tell you the story of their day, but for a 21year old to tell it exactly how the 5year old would say it, that isn’t as interesting”
Today however it just felt different. after I had managed to finish yet another book in only a few days, my partner asked me;
“why don’t you start to write your own, what with the amount of books you read and your weird natural skill at plot lines, you would make a great book”
So after thinking it over for an hour or so, I eventually got the laptop out and just started typing. It took me an hour and a half to write only 518 words for the introduction and then 3hours to get it to exactly how I wanted it to be. So now to me I have a perfect introduction for a start of a book. I have managed to start on writing the actual story down. But how do you manage to keep up with yourself and your vision of what happens during the stories? And how do you know when to end the book at that to start the other in the series? As to me I don’t think I would know when to stop writing once I have fully gotten into it.

I am sorry I know this is very long winded. As you see I seem to get carried away.
Thanks for reading if you get time. Xx

PC Cast said...

Rochelle - I can't answer those questions for you. No one can. Figuring out how to actually tell the story - the entire story - is what makes a writer an author.

Good luck,
PC

Rochelle Buz said...

Thank you for your advice. I will keep it in mind when writing the story.

I was wondering how long did it take you to write you first book? i know youv'e said it takes you about 6months now to write a book but i was wondering was you always that fast? xx

PC Cast said...

Good question Rochelle. No, I haven't always been this fast. It used to take me from 9 to 12 months to complete a manuscript. The beginning takes me just as long as it used to - it's the last half that comes faster now.

Rochelle Buz said...

Thank you so much for your advice. It has given me alot of help. Can't wait to read your future books im sure they will be just as amazing. xx

Poet said...

Hi PC, I was wondering how many words make up a novella? Are you going work on any other vampire inspired books after the HON series?

PC Cast said...

Poet - novellas are usually between 20,000 and 50,000 words.

I already have an idea for a new series after the HoN. It is paranormal, but it isn't vampire. I really can't imagine writing another vamp series that isn't in the HoN world.

Rochelle Buz said...

Hi P.C
I was wondering roughly what the word count is for the first book in a series like the house of night? Also what the word count is roughly for just a singular book say like the Adele Parks books?
As I am currently writing a book and I have only just started to write chapter five and already have the word count of 10,816. Although I am sure that it will be the first in a series of books and not just a singular one I would like to know about both for future reference.
Much love Rochelle x

PC Cast said...

Rochelle - you need to research the answers to your questions. Part of becoming a professional writer is learning your craft. If you read any of the books I recommended in my original post you'd find your answers. As I said, being an author is a job, thus you need to educate yourself about the career as you would any other. Good luck to you.

Rochelle Buz said...

Ok thank you P.C
I have tried to find The Writers Market and The Agents Market but it won't show up on any of my searches. Do they have any specific author to narrow the search?
xx

Sandy said...

Hi P.C.,

I am writing a fantasy story and cannot seem to find an editor. Do you have any advise on where to look?

I am also writing my query letter in search of an agent. This is the first story I have written that I am trying to publish, do you have any suggestions on how to list 'no previous writing awards or acknowledgments'?

Thank you,
Sandy

PC Cast said...

Rochelle - you didn't search very hard. Try Amazon or your public library.

Sandy - same advice works for you. Read the books I recommended. They're a good place to begin to educate yourself about the publishing business, which includes how to contact editors and write query letters.

ToriBaby227HoNFan said...

Hello P.C.,

I was wondering where can I find a good agent and editor for the types of books I write(Fiction/Fantasy/Vampire Romance) and I was wondering you knew anyone I could actually look up. It mean a great deal to me if you can
sincerely,
Tori

K.S. said...

Hello, sorry if anything i ask has already been answered...
First off I want to tell you I love your books, you and your daughter are amazing authors.

Questions:
1. Do you have an agent?If so are they located in Oklahoma? (I live in Tulsa, thats why I am curious about this)
2. How long did it take you to find an agent/get published?
3. How does writing make you feel?
4. I am currently writing a book and have to make myself stop writing/working on it to go to bed. For me writing is amazing. I have always loved to read and have written poetry since I was about nine. I always enjoyed writting poetry, but never did it fill me with the joy that writing this book has, I get emotionally joyous just talking to people about me writing a book. Would you say that my feeling so emotional about being an author means I should definetly continue the path? I only ask because when reading different advice from people it makes me a little weary.
5. Just one more question-if you can tell me-could you recommend the best way to do research into different cultures(current and historical). (for example, my book consists of many Irish main characters and would probably turn out better if i can look into how they spoke historically and how they speak now.)i have been researching online, but can't find every answer I need. Someone recommended I consult a professor at a university, but am no even quite sure how to go about that even.
Sorry to write so much, and any insight into these questions you can give me would be greatly appreciated. Thank you

-K. Stepp-

PC Cast said...

K. Stepp - you need to work on researching the career of being an author. You don't need an agent until you've completed a manuscript. Regarding agents: I thank mine in each of my books. Research would have told you that, given you her name, and goggle would have let you know the rest of the story. How I got an agent and got published really has nothing to do with your path, but I've answered those questions on line many times.

I can't tell you where to go to find the information you need for a manuscript you're writing. That's part of the work you have to do on your own. Regarding how writing makes you feel: that's not necessarily a determining factor for deciding a career. Talent tenacity, hard work, and the market itself are determining factors. It's good to enjoy what you do, but first you need to really understand the job and all it entails. Research, write, and then see if you can actually make being an author your career. I would recommend you work on the basics of writing, too. Grammar, punctuation, spelling, and basic sentence format count.

Good luck,
PC

Monika said...

I love your books, especially the House of Night series.

I also wanted to say thank you. I am only 14 and am writing a book. I knew that I was going to have to research things out and that is what I have been doing. You and Kristin have to be my favorite authors. You both have been an insipration.
Your list really did help me, it gave me that confirmation that I am on the right track. I do write alot and have been but this is the first actual idea that I am turning into a book, well for now at least. Again, I want to say thank you. And hopefully you both might find your way near Redding, CA.

Andrea said...

Hi PC, my name is Andrea and I love writing. The thing is I lived in America for 7 years but now I live in Iceland, so in English class in school we learn
British-English instead of American-English. Because of this I tend to blend the two together, so when I'm writing a story I often use words from both. For example I'd write colour rather than color, but estrogen rather than oestrogen. So I was wondering whether blending both would be a problem? Also, because writing is your job, do you have an average number of pages that you write per day?

Also, I'd just like to say that your books are amazing and I can't wait to read Destined!
-Andrea

Morgan Renee said...

Ms. Cast,
I love your books. I was wondering what inspired the otherworld?

PC Cast said...

Andrea - just be consistent in your spelling. Don't flip flop back and forth between colour and color (as an example) and you'll be fine. The amount of pages I write per day varies depending on where I am in a manuscript. Sometimes I write two pages - sometimes ten. At the beginning it's slow. When I go past about p. 250 it speeds up.

Morgan - the idea of the Otherworld is based on several pagan cultures and the way they view the afterlife. My HoN Otherworld is physically based on a grove that you can find on the Isle of Skye in Scotland. (There are also pieces of Oklahoma's Tall Grass Prairie in the Otherworld.)

Taraneh_jafa said...

Dear P.C.
i love your books so much and when i heard you were doing a movie i knew i had to try my hardest to try and audition for a part.....I live in New Zealand and was wondering if you would consider holding auditions here for members of the House of Night cast?
Thanks alot.
Love, Taraneh

Live Your Dreams said...

My 13 year old daughter and I love the House of Night Books and we are waiting for the next one. We aspire to write together like you and your daughter. Thanks for the advise and keep writing. We love your books :)

~Isabella~ said...

Dear P.C.,
Did you know that according to tons of teen readers out there, your character Zoey Redbird is a Mary Sue character?
~Isabella

PC Cast said...

Isabella - no, I'm not aware of that. Could be 1) because I don't read reviews or frequent chat rooms, etc. I'm busy writing. 2) Seems "tons" of teenage readers aren't aware of the definition of a "Mary Sue" character. A Mary Sue is a character everyone in her book world loves - she never makes a mistake - she's always perky and perfect and wonderful. That's not Zoey Redbird. She screws up a lot. Her peers get pissed off at her. A lot. She's absolutely imperfect. So, be a dear and educate the masses for me, would ya? Thank you.

PC

Ducky said...

Hi P.C.,...Did you see this about this English teacher? (this guy talks really fast, but gets his opinion across) I am on Team Judy, I am so sorry if I offend any friends or family who read this. If she isn't teaching Erotica in her class.....leave her alone. She uses a pen name not her real name. I am positive there are other teachers, principals etc. have things they do in their spare time that are worse than this and Judy just happened to be found out where as the others haven't. "let he who is without sin, cast the first stone". Who are we to judge. If parents are worried about her writing falling into the hands of their kids, maybe THEY should patrol what their kids read. Just my thoughts.(The article listed on this video has more details on the story).I thought this might interest you because you had been an English teacher.

I also wanted to tell you how much I enjoy your books and to tell you I have expanded the HON fan base by telling my sister she had to "read these books". She has them all on her iPhone (and tells anyone and everyone who likes books about them) and listens to Zoey when she feels discouraged and needs to channel Zoey's strength. She also swears that you mentioning Glee in Awakened, was due to a blog I wrote on when you went to see the Glee Cast Live. I had mentioned to you that I thought that Chris Colfer (Kurt) would make the perfect Damian in the HON movie, and you replied he would be PERFECT! I told her I would be extremely flattered, but, NO WAY would I be so lucky!!! Thank you for your valuable time.

Rizzabelle Blue said...

Hi there P.C.,

This was probably covered in some sort of way, but I still have a question about writing problems...

What do you do when you hit logic barriers, things that don't really make sense or can't easily be explained? That probably sounds dumb, but I run into those a lot. Should I just drop the idea (or the whole story) or ask for other points of view on the concepts? How would you handle it?

-Rizz (=

(by the way, you're my absolute favorite author, I read HoN three times! <3)

PC Cast said...

Ducky - I haven't seen the interview, but I'm well aware of the parental attitude that everyone else should police their children except them. Bottom line: if she's not teaching the books in her classroom it's not their business what she writes.

Rizz - your plot, setting, and the actions of your characters must make logical sense. Set up rules to your world and then don't break them, even if they're paranormal rules.

Anonymous said...

Dear PC, I love HON and I been trying to create plot for a manga series. However, I am having a huge case of writers block. Cn you help me out?
-Madison

PC Cast said...

Madison - just sit down and write. That's the only advice I can give you. You'll either work though you're block or you won't.

Anonymous said...

thanks for the advice P.C cant wait for your next book from HON!!!
-Madison ^-^

Leah Hughes said...

Thanks for the advice! I really hope to become a writer because I love to write. I have a lot of people who like my writing onthis website I write on. Now since a lot of people like it, it really does feel like a job. :) not as fun as it used to be but I still love it. Oh and I love books 1-4 inthe HoN series they were amazing.

---Leah

Lari Pitanga said...

Good Night Cast!
I am Brazilian and here we are still in the book Awakened! I want to congratulate you for the series, for I love all the books, I'm really addicted. And like so much wanted to talk I love, perfect really think Zoey and Stark. I really wanted them to be made ​​for each other as soul mates, they have everything to do together. For me they should be like the queen Sgiach and Zohar, or even better since it never existed as a vampire Zoey. They should be only two Zoey and Stark! Heath just took me by the series, yuck, can not stand him, not because it was the first boyfriend and love of Zoey that is the love of her life and she'll have to love the rest of life because it's never like that and think books that we also should not be. He took the stage as him when she was human, now it was gone. I was disgusted when I saw this last book he's coming back reincarnated into a receiver and will probably come back to that boring X Zoey Heath! He says that in the end they will not stay together, which is only talks to Z. and Stark. With love, Larissa.

Tezcat2012 said...

Hi PC,

Currently I am writing a series and I already see a possible spin-off. I was wondering if I were to sign with a publisher for the original series, and if they weren't on board with the spin-off, could I try to pitch the spin-off to other publishers?

baferguson91 said...

Hey,

I love to write and like you I wrote my first book at a very early age but I was wondering something that I found unique with how you write on the cover of your book there are two names and I wondered how exactly you co-write a book. As in do you simply pass it back and forth, each writing a seperate paragraph or two, or do you both work on each paragraph together.

Thank you for reading,
B. Ferguson

PC Cast said...

B. Ferguson - I do the writing. Kristin serves as my teen voice editor. She also fills in pop references that I mess up.

baferguson91 said...

Hey,

Thanks for clearing that up, I guess me and my sister will be doing things a little different and will just have to work out how to really do it ourselves but thank you for answering my questions and I LOVE YOUR BOOKS!!!

Thanks,
B.Ferguson

wall flower said...

hey P.C.,
I have read almost all of your books. I know your a talented writer and I was wondering if you could answer a question for me in my economics class we have to find out what our future salary and stuff like that, and i know with authors it goes by book deals not a steady pay. so my question is how much does the typical author make on there first book deals and if you don't mind telling how much did you make on your first book deal.

writing maniac said...

Dear PC, thank you so much for the informative post about becoming an author. I have been writing for as long as I can remember (I am 52). I especially liked your #7. I so enjoy reading your House of Night Series. I find myself waiting with baited breath for the next installment and then I read it in a flash and can't help but anticipate the next. You and your daughter are extremely talented, please never stop writing.
Thank you for the reading.

Joanna :) said...

Hey P.C. I just thought id let you know that my elder sister and i adore your books! :) And also i just have this simple question to ask you i just hope I'm not taking much of your time :D
What is this stuff i keep hearing about a House Of Night Movie or TV Series going to be made??? Is this true or not???

harlzknowzbest said...

I just want to say you're such an inspiration, I needed that guidance. I am writing a book, currently 70 pages in, but I'm only 12 years old. I know I can write, I'm the top of my year in school. I just feel as if I'm in over my head with all of this, despite my talent. You probably wont read this but I have to ask, have you ever had this feeling?

harlzknowzbest said...

I just have to say I find you such an inspiration, I would love to reach your standard of writing. I'm 12 years old and find myself slightly in over my depth with this publishing business. I must include that I'm top of my year and score excellently in creative writing assignments, not trying to sound cocky, just simply stating the facts. I know it's too soon to be considering this as I'm young, there is much to learn and I'm only approximately 70 pages in to my book but I have to ask, have you ever felt as if you're never going to make it and this is all just some dream that may or may not come true? That's certainly what writing and getting published is seeming like to me.

Jenn P. said...

PC- first of all HON is amazing! I am in the process of writing my first novel and one of my characters is gay. How can I keep him gay with out being offensive?

Jenn P. said...

PC- I have one more question. What do you think of ebook publishing to get publishing credits under your belt?

__sweet dreams___ said...

hey pc, does the acting cast need prior experience? or can they be fresh faces?also, must they be of a certain race?please email me at:vintagebaby@live.com

Amie said...

Hey there,

My name is Amie and like a lot of others that comment on here, I'm a writer. My first book comes out this December and I'm also in an anthology that comes out next week. :D
You're advice really helped me. Writing is certainly a job and I sit for hours and hours writing my novels.
I posted a question before but I should have posted it here. I'm going to re-post it because I'm odd like that lol.
My question is...is the Imprinting concept of your novels something you came up with or something you expanded? I've been writing my book Eternal for three years now and I have the same concept in my book, but it's not exactly the same. I want to publish Eternal, but I don't want to get in trouble for Imprinting. I hope to hear from you soon.
Thank you for all of your insight and bringing me into a world I love to write about.

- Amie (A.L. Flagg)

PC Cast said...

Amie - the concept of Imprinting isn't unique to the House of Night world. In my Partholon books I've used the idea that there can be a bond established between individuals that goes beyond love and is deeper than a mortal commitment. Lots of authors, as well as film makers, have explored this concept. I encourage you to explore your own version of it. Best of luck to you.

saramills said...

I absolutely heart all the House of Night novels! I've read the series twice and continue to read them again now that Destined is finally out. I think you should make the books into movies.
This novels remind me of problems i have in school. The boyfriend problems and mean teachers are somewhat like the ones i have at Helix High School.I'd like to thank you for putting really good advice into the conversations in your stories with Zoey and the gang, it's really helped me.
Thanks alot! Sara Mills

Drag Girl- Melissa said...

I absolutly loved the series!!! Thanks for the advice. I am fourteen and am currently writing my own novel. I drag race and work crafting with my grandmother and am going to play soccer and am in the band. I have a lot i can write about. I have entered the sixth, seventh, and eighth grade writing fair and won. i would love it if they made the house of night series into movies!!! They just wouldn't be as good as the books.
Thanks again,
Melissa Daughtry

Madeline Dyer said...

Hi P.C,

I saw earlier that you said you always write on a computer. Do you write the whole book in one document, or have a separate document for each chapter?

I love your House of Night series, the characters seem so real. And I love how you integrate sub-plots into your work too! I really want to be a writer - I'm 16 and have so far had 6 fantasy short stories published, and am working on a series... I always seem to find that I get new ideas for other novels when I'm working, then as I try to write that one, I get another!

Thank you so much for your wonderful books (and your daughter too!). I've just bought 'Divine by Mistake' to read as well!

Madeline

PC Cast said...

Madeline - I do write all my manuscripts on a computer. Yes, they're each in one file. Be sure you back-up your stuff, though.

Mari said...

Dear PC,
Thank you for this post. It helped me a lot. I'm 16 and have already written two novels, and I'm going to be published in September 2012.
I love the House Of Night Series, and you are my role model.
I have a question, where do you do the research for the novels? Do you search on the internet?
Writing is a wonderful thing to me.

Mari Trevisan (I bet you'll see my name in the New York Times bestseller list someday!)

PC Cast said...

Hi Mari - I research in many ways: internet, library, old out of print books at used bookstores, travel, interviews, etc., etc. Plus, I do a lot of living. I think life is research.

Best of luck to you!
PC

GlassMusicXD said...

Ummm well I Have a interesting idea for a story I just need a little help making it work and coming up with a beginning ? Could you help me... also I had a cool idea for one of your books

PC Cast said...

GlassMusic - The thing about being an author that's hard for a lot of people to understand is that no one can really "help" you figure out how to write - not a beginning - not a middle - not an end. Each author has to go through the process themselves. JUST SIT DOWN AND WRITE. Telling you that is the best "help" I can give you. In the same theme, I don't need ideas for books. I have more swirling around inside my head than I can ever hope to write...

Good luck,
PC

Jenn P. said...

Hi PC i left you a comment a little over a month ago and I have noticed you have answered to everyone but me. My Email Address is Jenniferperry969@gmail.com if you would like to email me a answer. I hope you are doing well
Jenn. P

PC Cast said...

Jenn - answers: 1) if you're worried about offending people being an author is probably not the right job for you. 2) I think you're confusing e-publishing or on-line publishing with self publishing. If you're being paid by a reputable publishing house, whether it's in an electronic or a print format, that is publishing. If you pay them - it's really just printing your own work. To find credible on line publishers you need to research.

Good luck,
PC

Marie Author said...

Hi, P.C. Cast,
It took my over five tries to finally write this message. I finally finished my book that I've been working on for this entire 2011 year! People tell me that the title of a book is the hardest thing to write, and to me, IT IS! I want to write this to ask if you could possibly explain the publishing process a little more for me?
And if you'd like, if you're not too busy, to read my story as well.
I need a few more critique opinions, since I've only let my closest friends read only the first four chapters out of the 36 chapters plus epilogue.
I want to thank you so much for letting all your books be published! I thank you very much as well for being my inspiration. I've stopped writing plenty of times to read all the "Goddess Summoning" novels and the next day I was in full bloom with inspiration! Thank you so much, P.C. Cast! Thank you, thank you!
Sincerely,
Marie Federkeil
(soon-to-be author)

Jenn P. said...

Thanks so much PC! I really look forward to writing and being free of offending anyone. I will right him like i want him to be. Thank you so much for being an inspiration to me in my writing and my life. You are a truly amazing women and I hope you have many more adventures in your life and more books for us to read1

Jenn P.

PC Cast said...

Marie - don't worry about a title. If your work gets published your publishing house/team will often choose/change your title. I can't tell you more about the publishing business; that's something you need to educate yourself on. And, as I said in this original post, I don't read unpublished work. I don't have time to do that and write my own work, and I'm not a publisher. My opinion can't get you published.

Good luck!
PC

Lizzy Deavers said...

what if you have an idea for a story, but aren't sure how to get there? what do you do then?

hon lover said...

Hi P.C.

I haven't written on your blog for a while because I am in the final stages of putting my book together into a manuscript. I have written the whole thing all the way through and just need to make some adjustments to the voice and word choice. I am so excited to be following my dreams. I am in the process of finding an agent to submit to and making my query letter. I am a little scared though because I don't have anything to boast about in my introduction for my query. I don't know what to write. I have researched as much as I can for this book and have researched all the agencies that do YA paranormal. Thank you for all your help and guidance. :D

PC Cast said...

HoNLover - first, congratulations! Well done you for finishing! Okay, everyone who has any sense is scared when they start sending out query letters and manuscripts. It IS scary! As to the query letter - don't worry about boasting about literary achievements, etc. Your query letter has to do one thing and one thing only: it has to get an agent interested enough in your work and in you to request at least a partial of your manuscript. So, be brief (never more than one page), say something that will make the agent want to read your manuscript. Why is it unique? Why is it awesome? Say a little about who you are. Be polite. Be letter perfect. Go over and over that one page and be absolutely certain that there are no mistakes. Have an adult with a brain and basic writing skills read it and be sure you're not overlooking a silly typo (which is very easy to do). Then send it off with positive thoughts. I'll add my positive thoughts to yours as well. Good luck and let me know what happens!

PC

hon lover said...

Thank you P.C! I appreciate your words of wisdom! :D

Wendy said...

I just wanted to say bravo on the advice. I have been writing since I could put pen to paper. I belong to a writing group and every year get a new writers market. I subscribed to writers digest and research EVERY day. Writing is not for the faint of heart. You do need a thick skin. I do know that my perseverance will pay off. I do know that published or not I will write til I take my last breath. Thanks for being an inspiration.

Chelsea C. said...

I just want to say that I absolutely love your books. I have read almost all of them. I also want you to know that I think it's great that you incorporate paganism into the novels. I love the way you show the true side of paganism like when you talk about Hell and Hades/Underworld not being the same thing. I just think you took a huge step in society by putting something non-Christian out there and I think that is awesome. Your books are very eye opening and open minded and I hope you plan to keep writing for many years. Thanks for the enjoyment!

vampirehinnata said...

Thank you for taking the time to write this. It is great to have your favorite author give her advice. I am actually trying to get a Literature Major in college. I love literature so much and sense I was eight I have aspired to publish what I hope that someday will be published as my novels. It is a shame writers do not get published where I am from, especially if they write in English like I do and not in our native language (I live in an island in the middle of the Caribbean). Yet it is still very nice to have some kind of advice on the manner, I really appreciate it and I will refer to it as I try to become a Best Selling Author myself. I will definitely try to get of hold of those books you have suggested.
I have one question and I would be very grateful if you took the time to answer it, even thou I imagine it must be hard to keep up with all the fans. Still I want to see if you might have some suggestion about where I should start in my search for an editor or publishing company? I have done a lot of research and I have some ideas in mind but I am nineteen and I do not live in United States; where I live there is no one to publish what I have written. I already have the copy rights and such, for my writing and a few finished stories (I say stories because my mom does not like me referring to them as novels because that she says they are not novels until they are published, yet I believe that I should think them as I want them to be, because even if they are not published I want them to be and if I don’t believe them for what they are mean to be, then they are not worth me even trying to publish, because if I don’t believe in myself, who will?)
Thank you if you took the time to read my post, which I think is a little too long.
Of course I must input my fan comment:
I am so happy because I finally got a hold of all P.C. Cast. I love reading these books. I have read at least three times each Goddess Summoning book. I cannot help but be inspired by them; they are amazingly written and have a very good story line.
Love, Aleysha.

Poet said...

I just wanted to thank you for being such an inspiration to aspiring authors.

Elena said...

Dear P.C.

I am sure you are getting lots of feedback as below, but I would like to thank you for fantastic books you have produced. Happy endings is what we all are looking for, and you've managed to paint beautiful pictures of great journeys to happy endings.
Being a writer myself (unpublished yet, but working on this matter), I find your books very inspiring. The sense of humour of your characters is amazing and the tension that you keep your readers in throughout your stories is priceless. The moment I open your book, I cannot put it aside, so I "swallow" it in 2 days, just to find out what will happen next, and later I read it again slower to absorb the details of the story.
Thank you again and I will look forward to your new creations.
Elena

hon lover said...

Hi P.C!

I just got some exciting news this morning! I checked my email and an agent that I queried for my children's book wanted to see my full manuscript! He was interested in my book! I'm so excited! I can't wait to be living my dreams!

PC Cast said...

HoN Lover! What awesome news!!! Congratulations! I'm sending you light and best wishes. Keep me informed about what happens!

jakeHoNreader said...

Do you find that listening to music can help you focus more on your work?

PC Cast said...

I can't listen to music when I write. It messes with my concentration. I can't have the TV on, either. But I know some authors who create whole soundtracks for their books. Yet another example of how unique the writing process is to each author!

hon lover said...

Hi PC.

I got a contract offer from a publishing house . . . but I'm not sure if they're legit. I know you say that if they ask you to pay them then it's not a good publishing house. Their contract was: I have to pay $195, then I have to sell 100 books on my own, then they give me 1000 bonus + royalties. They said it was because I'm a new author and they wanted to take a chance with me but they are afraid of how many books might sell. . . What do you think?

PC Cast said...

Hon Lover - publishers NEVER require money from an author. NEVER. You're talking to a self-pub, vanity press, or a small press that isn't really legit. Go by publishers listed in THE WRITERS MARKET. But if you just want to write as a hobby, self-publishing is fine.

Sending you good energy,
PC

jakeHoNreader said...

Thank You Ma'am for answering my ealier question. I have another for you, do you know where I should look to find a reliable literary agent?

hon lover said...

Thank you a ton PC!
I went to the library today and followed your advice. The only problem was, they don't have the newest edition of Children's book writers market. They only had one for 2010. But I figured I could go from there.
I do not want to self publish. I want to make writing my career and this is the first step to making it happen.
lol I've already had 2 rejection letters but I don't get down about them. I expect to get quite a few before I get published.
Thank you for your continued support Mrs. Cast.

Andy said...

I'm 19 and I've been writing this one story for about 3 1/2 years. I generally just write down whatever comes to mind.
Most of the time I end up writing about 15 pages continuously then I'll have this great idea for a completely separate part of my story.
My problem is that I'm all over the place. Sometimes I can't really tie together all the parts I've written and end up having to start all over.
Do you have any advice on maybe how I can change this, that way i'm more focused?

PC Cast said...

HoNLover - ask your library to inner library loan a more current edition of the book. They should have one somewhere in their system. Good luck!

Hi Andy - I write in sequence, but lots of authors don't. Kristin, for example, writes totally out of sequence and then goes back and connects the scenes and puts them in the correct timeline place. You might try writing an outline of the total plot of your story to help you focus. And about rewriting and throwing away scenes - happens all the time. I think of writing as rewriting...

stephane said...

dear pc. my name is stephane. i am a young writer and i would love for you to ead and comment on my stories if you woudnt mind, thanx for your wonderful books

stephane said...

dear pc. my name is stephane. i am a young writer and i would love for you to read and comment on my stories if you woudnt mind, thanx for your wonderful books

PC Cast said...

Stephane, please reread the blog post. In it you will see that I don't read unpublished work and why.

Good luck,
PC

Karina said...

Hello P.C.,

I think I'll begin by saying that I completely agree with you on the matter that writing is a job, and some people just are not cut out to be writers. I used to want to be a doctor. That is, until I realized that needles and I just do not make for a good combination. I practically pass out at the sight of a needle. When I was younger I used to give my doctor a very hard time when it came to injections. It took the doctor, both of my parents, and two nurses to chase and hold me down. I pity doctors who have to deal with little kids who are anything like I used to be.

I've always been more of the artistic type. I enjoy reading, designing clothes, drawing, singing, writing music, and especially writing novels and acting. One day I hope to be an actress or a writer. I enjoy it. Anything else just isn't me.

I owe both you and Kristin a great debt of gratitude. You both have been a great inspiration to me. Both of you are rolemodels of mine. I ADORE the HOUSE OF NIGHT series! I've read and own all the books, including DRAGON'S OATH, LENOBIA'S VOW, THE FLEDGLING HANDBOOK 101, and NYX IN THE HOUSE OF NIGHT! I am counting down the days until Hidden comes out. I have to ask. You normally post an excerpt of your books before they are released. Do you plan on doing that for Hidden? And if so, might I know when?

Again I want to thank you. My best friend and I actually bonded over your books. We had a French fieldtrip to the zoo. I didn't really know her at all. Until I realized that she was reading TEMPTED. That was all it took to get me going. We started talking about your series (and driving the two friends that were with us insane if I might add. They had not read the books. Yet.) I offered to lend her the rest of the books in the series. We spent the whole day talking about the series. It was afterwards that we realized we had practically the same taste in books, movies, music, clothing, etc. (rather like the Twins). We were so much more alike than we expected, aside from the fact that Meagan's a lovely mocha color of Jamaican descent (sound familiar?) and I'm a caramel colored Mexican. We've been inseperable ever since. Now she is the only person I share my stories with. And she shares hers with me. And we have you and Kristin to thank for that.

The week after, I lent the whole series to one of the friends we annoyed at the zoo that day. I got her addicted to the series as well. She practically neglected all her school work and went through the whole series in about two weeks. Meagan and I couldn't have been more proud of her! ;) I've gotten several other friends addicted to the series as well.

You're stories have inspired me to really get into my own stories. I find that after reading your books I awaken the next day with a fresh idea for a new novel. I'm 15 years old (16 in August) and want to look into, perhaps, becoming a professional author. I find that I often have more ideas for books than I know what to do with. I start the books with the part that seems most interesting to me, before I lose the idea. However, the hardest part for me to come up with has always been the beginning. I know that authors have to find the method that works for them best. But if you could give me any input that would be very helpful to me. What technique do you personally find best to come up with the beginning of a story?

P.S. Sorry for writing this EXTREMELY long comment!

- Karii ♥

Patricia said...

I am so glad I have come across this! First, i have to tell you, you are one of my FAVORITE authors ever!! I have always loved reading and writing, and I hope one day I will be able to complete a novel of my own. I'm still young Happy 16 :) and I admit I have a really hard time making time to write. I don't have a computer and I have a daughter at home and of course school to do. So do you have any advice on how I can make time to write? I have a thing about making mistakes, I absolutely hate them, which causes a problem with paper and pencil for me... Do you ever feel that way? I am hoping to buy a laptop soon, but any advice on maybe hoe to get over my nick picky mistakes?

Been writing since I was 12 years old, been reading since I was old enough. This here has really inspired me to never give up on my dream :) You are one of my favorite people and I am just glad I actually have the chance to talk to you!! One day you will see me, lol maybe not for a few years, but look forward to meeting me :)

Signed~
Patricia D. Anderson (Sorry I talk to much) So exited XD

PC Cast said...

Patricia - no one call tell you how to make time to write. You'll either be driven to figure that out on your own or you won't. I used to write for three publishers, teach full time, and was a single parent.

I can't say this enough: writing IS rewriting. Writing teaches us through our mistakes. You don't need a computer or free time to be an author. You need drive and tenacity, with some talent and luck sprinkled in there. Here's wishing you a sprinkle of luck if you have the others...

jakeHoNreader said...

Do you find that you can give your characters more personality if you base them on someone from your daily life?

jessica said...

Hi P.C.,
I have a quick question for you on query submissions...do you think it is best to send a query to one agent at a time? This way I can grow a little and my query can become better and better...or do you think it is best to send out a handful of querys to different agents at the same time and then if no one takes a bite that I should go back to the drawing board and redraft the query?
Thanks for being awesome and all-inspiring!
Jessica

Chelsea C. said...

This question isn't really about being an author. It's about your Parthalon series. I know you must be very busy with the House of Night series as well as the others but I was wondering if you are going to have another book after Brighid's Quest. The way you ended it definitely sounds like there is another one but I haven't seen any hints or information regarding another. I really hope you have the time, in the near future, to write it. You are a very talented author and I enjoy reading your books. Congrats on becoming such a successful author! And I am super excited about the HoN movie(s).
Thanks, Chelsea Coleman

Natsu-Natsu said...

Thanks for this~ I've started writing and am looking to publish, but I'm not finished yet! I hope to finish soon! Thanks for this advice, it's a great help!
Hannah Chambers~

Unknown said...

Thank you so much! I'm going to get started on research right now!

just jenessa said...

Hello P.C, my name is Jenessa Bresnahan and I just have 2 questions for you. But before I ask I will tell you I am an aspiring author and do plan to be published so i do appreciate it when authors such as yourself give out advice.
So...
first question- Do you think its easier or harder to collaborate on a novel with another writer? I ask this because I'm working on a novel right now that was born from a story line i had an the storyline of a friends mixing, because we loved the ideas that were born through that merge.

Second Question- Do you ever find yourself losing your grip on what made you want to write in the first place? I ask this because it seems that some of the books ive read recently just arent that good because the writing just seems so forced and like the author just wanted to finish so they word vomited on the page.

Thank you for any advice you may give me.

Shelby Phillips said...

Hello PC,
Thank you so much for the advise on the best ways to get your work published. Since I was in seventh grade I've wanted to be an author, and when I started reading the House of Night books, I just fell in love with the fact that anyone can take a concept and change it so that it becomes their own (Much like the two of you did with the vampyres in House of Night).
You and your daughter have given me so much hope and so much strength. I am so inspired by what you all have done. Thank you once again. I will use the information to the best of my abilities.

Only'sAngel said...

Thank you PC!
Your books are a delight to each one of my days whether I be at work or at home.Keep up the great work!
This is really wonderful
information too.
So,thank you!

On a separate note,
where will the book signing for Hidden be?

I would really like two signed books,one for my sister and I, whom I got into the book series.
I live in Chicago. <3

Thanks again!
HON fan,
Kelly

Azraels_Incarnate said...

Hi Mrs Cast.

Id like to ask you(if you dont mind) are you pagan or wiccan, because your knowledge of herbs and stones properties are very advanced. and by the way i love the way you twist greek mythology into modern novels, you truly are a outstanding author who is both unique and amazing. Kirtsen is also i take it a very good author, surely theres soem divine intervention on the females in your familiy. blessed be

Raven Azreal Vella El Messaoudi

SilentHeart said...

Dear PC Cast,

I thank you greatly for posting this. I have been running around the internet looking for information and most of it made sense but, didn't make me feel as great as your advice does. I have been writing since I was 14. I have about 6 book semi-finished. (Never really go back and re-read them to edit them again lol. I need to thought.) It is hard, and it is a job, but I hope for the best for myself, and for your upcoming projects. :) You have inspired me to do what I do best and well, that's be writing. I cannot think of anything else. I don't believe in writings block either but I have been feeling a bit down in the dumps with all my books. I do believe in them and I have confidence in them also. I just pray that in the end its all how I wish it will be. I just have been getting stuck on finding Agents that seem, good to sent my work to. I haven't really gotten any yet.

Thank you again and I hope one day I can meet you at a book signing. I never have the money to do any of that. How I would love to go to a book signing. Thank you again and most appreciated love and admiration,

Loryisa.

jakeHoNreader said...

You are an amazing author and I just wanted to say that you are one of my biggest role models. Thank you and Kristen for the amazing books that you two have created. I can really relate to the characters. Do you find it is easier to base characters off of people who you know in real life?

silvermoon said...

Dear P.C. Cast,

Hi, my name is Victoria and I'd just like to say that I absolutely love your work. I have every single book you've written, and while I love the HoN series, I have to say my favorites are the Goddess Summoning saga, especially Goddess of Spring. I think that's my favorite book you've written.

I'd also like to thank you for your positive representations of paganism in your works. I'm a Wiccan who worships the Greek deities (hence my love for the Goddess Summoning books) and I really appreciate when people get their facts straight and portray us as we are. So thank you!

I'm an aspiring author on the verge of finishing my first novel and I'd just like to let you know that you are a role model for me, one of my top favorite authors (and I've sampled a lot; my room is practically a library, I read so much lol), and your advice is so helpful. Your works have actually inspired the series I'm currently writing. Thank you for your contributions to the literary world and I can't wait to read your next book!

Yours truly,
Victoria

Lizzy Deavers said...

Dear P.C.,
I'm a huge fan and have read almost all of your House of Night books, I love to write, but I have a problem coming up with plots and I tend to forget where I was going with my story lines... I was wondering if you've ever had it happen to you and how you got passed it if it has. I would love if you could answer this.

Signed;
Myrana Johnson

Rubey said...

PC,

thank you for your advice! i will have to rember the books you listed in your post. i wish to be an athour someday soon!

i love the HoN books, but why 12?

why make your fans wait so long to see if the light beats the darkness?

why make us wonder what will become of the Auorx/Heath/Stark situation?

what will become of the nerd herad and Aorux?

i can't wait to finsh the HoN books... although i will be sad when they are done.

now that that is out of the way, i have a question regarding the HoN movie.

do you know if the movie will be comeing to Oregon any time soon and if so when?

thank you PC once agin for your advice!

thank you for takeing the timeto read this!

Scarlet

Lindsey said...

I am thirteen and I have loved your books for two years now since I was in history and looked over at my friends desk and said "What's that?" I've written for three years and it's always been for fun, but I want to be a famous singer when I grow up, I make my family read my stories and they tell me I could also be a novelist as a back-up plan. I've written many stories, poems, songs, started books, and fanfictions, The longest I wrote was as 100+ page book I was planning to send out, but it got deleted and I couldn't rewrite it, and right now I'm writing a One Direction fanfiction that is 88 pages long exactly, and it's not even half-way finished. Your advice gives me hope that if I'm not famous that I can be a writer, because I honestly love writing.

Lindsey said...

Okay P.C. I have a question. As a thirteen year old writer I write on MANY different topics, some of which people think are way to mature for me. Because I find dark and dramatic things interesting. Such as murder, rape, drugs, self-harm, disorders, suicide. It's what comes naturally. You should understand when I say that when I'm writing I don't think about it, I practically go off in a daze and my fingers continue to write as I envision in my head what is happening. Is this normal? Because I show all of my friends my work and they think I'm depressed and suicidal when I'm quite the opposite. It just...fascinates me I guess. I really don't know how to explain it...

natalia lang said...

i love u!! I'm from Brazil, already read all the books, hidden but not yet released
I will always admire you!
(não é uma pergunta mas eu só queria que você lesse porque sou muito sua fã!)
kisses

jdyerjdyer said...

Dear P.C. and Kristen Cast,

I have to know. As I was reading the latest book, Hidden, I dismissed it initially as a quirk (or semi-common behavioral oddity) when Shaylin said she sensed that it was going to rain. But my mind was blown later in the book. Was that intentional? Was it thought of when you were starting the book, or was it added as a foreshadowing device later on? Either way, it was amazing, and I must say, I love the series!

Sincerely,

Josh Dyer

jdyerjdyer said...

Dear P.C. and Kristen Cast

I know you are probably busy, and needed a break after your overseas tours, but I was wondering if you might be able to answer my questions on foreshadowing in Hidden. I know my questions are based on that book's use of foreshadowing, but the answers could be helpful as a general idea to consider as an author, as well.

I see my questions could also have been overlooked as it seems only 200 comments appear on the original post and the others only appear when you click on the comment button and then click on newer.

Either way, thanks in advance.

Sincerely,

Josh Dyer

Ria L.A said...

Hey PC!
I've been reading your post for a while now. I'm one of the fans you fell in love with HoN with the first word. I recently took up my free time to write a novel because one of my goals is to write one before I turn 18. I was wondering how did you do first person passed tense so perfectly? I'm writing that way because, well, it's a habit because I'm obsessed with passed tense, but do you have any tips or anyway you could look over a excerpt from my novel? Thanks.
-Waiting to get my mark, Ria.

Kaite Castilloux said...

Dear P.C,
I have been writing the same book for 4 years (taking so long because of school work.) I have been keeping a journal close at hand in case inspiration strikes while im on the go. I have tried to type out my book many times to have a manuscript on file but every time I type it I change what I had because it sounds bad, but at first it sounds like its the most amazing thing to write. Is this normal to change what already sounded good?

PC Cast said...

Myrana - if you have trouble coming up with plots and can't remember what you're writing it sounds like being an author is not a viable career choice for you.

Lindsey - there is no "normal" for writers or teenagers. You may want to reread my advice about showing your work to people outside the publishing business, though.

Josh D. - yes, that was foreshadowing.

Ria - my best advice to you is to master your structural writing basics: grammar, punctuation, spelling, etc. (It's past tense, not passed.) Your story won't be heard if your writing skills are weak, no matter in what tense you write. And as I explained in the post - I don't read unpublished work.

Kaite - writing IS rewriting.

silvermoon said...

Dear PC

I've finally published my first book! Some people who have read it have compard my writing style to yours, which I consider a great honor. I would be even more honored if you would read it, I know you said you only read published works. It can be purchased/downloaded here:
http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/sons_of_pan
Thanks in advance!

Sophie Styles said...

Hi P.C,

Thanks for writing House of Night with Kristen, because they really helped me start writing and I love them!

I don't really understand, would you or would you not read a six page long story that I have written?
I am very proud of it and it would be such a honor if you would give me your opinion on it!

Thanks,
Sophie Smedegaard

Unknown said...

Hi, I'm Luci, and my best friend Jenny and I are absolutely in love with the House of Night series. We found interest that you revealed a third council member in Hidden, Alitheia. We were wondering if there was any chance of the other four members of the high council being revealed in the next two books or not?

Unknown said...

Hi, PC
Luci again. Sorry for asking a lot, but Jenny and I were discussing the Fledgling Handbook 101 last night, and we were wondering if you were going to create a Fledgling Handbook 201, 301 and 401 and possibly a professor's handbook or high priestess handbook?

PC Cast said...

Sophie - As I said in the post, I don't read unpublished work. So, no, because 1) I need to focus my energy on my writing, and 2) my opinion can't get you (or anyone) published.

Luci - Whether you meet more High Council members or not depends upon how the plot develops in the last two books. And right now I'm focusing on finishing the series so I'm not thinking about companion books at this time. Maybe in the future...

Maria Banuelos said...

Dear Ms. Cast,

I have just finished reading Hidden and Iwould like to say Wow! Can't wait fot the next 2 books! Thanks for the wonderful escape from reality you have provided for your readers and especially for myself. I was diagnosed with extreme Fibromyalgia in August of 2011 and have been bedridden forlong periods of time in which I came across your books on my Kindle. They have been a wonderful way for me to get away and escape from the pain and frustration this disease brings. Plus they have given me strength and passion to regain my life in a new way rather than to give into the suffering I face daily, so for this I want to say, from the bottom of my heart, thank you!!

When I was in high school, I began writting a novel which helped me win a scholarship for college. This was back in 1997. I wanted to be an author. As life began to move quickly for me, I found myself lost, quit colloge, met and married my wonderful husband then gave birth to two hansome sons. My youngest was diagnosed with autism about 6 years ago.Although I didn't finish college, I never stopped writing. I'm reminded of a quote I heard on the movie Throw Momma From The Train which Billy Crystal states, "A writer writes, always!" Since the sad day I left college and through my years as a wife, mother, daughter and friend, I have stacks of spiral bound notebooks of stories, poems and ideas for books. I never really givem much thought about becoming an author. I don't write to try to be a famous author, I write because my soul and spirit guide my words as a release of emotion. It doesn't matter what I'm doing, I have "words on the brain" as my husband would lovingly joke about it. Recently, I had a dream that has changed my attitude about my writings. My grandmother came to me in this dream and showed me a book with empty pages. She told me the book will remain empty till I returned to college and finish what I started. She said, you are a writer, so write! Since then, I have, for the first time in 13 years, stepped foot on the local college campus, enrolled in courses and am moving forward in my life's destiny, to be a writer. It does not matter to me if I come into fame from my works. What matters most to me is that I'm doing what my heart and dreams desire and that is to learn the craft and go forward with my life, loving what I do. I feel now that it is better to try and possibly fail than to not try and always wonder, what if? Not to say I'm going to quit my job and only write, but at least I can better my skills and move forward not looking back with regret. I have your works for helping me be strong and light the dormant fire within, and my grandmother for confirming that I must do what my heart longs to do.

I wanted to thank you for this blog post, for the wonderful and honest advice you gave plus the book references you noted we should read on the subject. I will be thinking of your wise advice as I go forth in my journey and as I look forward to the final books to the HoN series.

Once again and always, THANK YOU!

Sincerely,

Maria Banuelos

Kaitlyn said...

Hello, Ms. Cast! I've been a long time fan of your work, and have to inquire a couple questions. 1) At what age did you publish your first book, and what was the title? 2) I noticed that your books tend to be adorned with plenty of romance. I'm wondering how you are capable of writing romance in your novels knowing that anyone could read them, (including family!)
Thank you so much for putting your time and creativity into these beautiful novels. They are truly divine!

PC Cast said...

Kaitlyn - 1)my first book was published in 2001. Its title was GODDESS BY MISTAKE. 2)I try to write the book I'd most want to read every time I write, and because I think stories with love and passion are more interesting, I include both in my books. I don't worry about "families" reading them. I expect each family and each person to choose their reading according to their own beliefs. My job is to tell the stories - not to police the reading of the stories.

jakeHoNreader said...

Is it wise to work on more than one book at a time?

PC Cast said...

Jake - sure, if you can manage it. I've never been able to, but I can go through the rewrite/edit process on a manuscript I've completed while I'm beginning another, but I'm used to the rewrite process and comfortable with it.

Kayla Cameron said...

Dear PC,

I am an aspiring author also and I was really pleased with this advice! Thank you very much for taking time to post this blog.
Also I have a question: I was a scene the other day that reminded me of a line from a song that I knew. I added it in only to realise that there were probably copyright laws that prevented me from doing this. That's when I remembered that in DESTINED (very sad by the way - made me cry when Jack died!) there was a scene when you wrote a whole bunch of lyrics to a song from Glee. Did you have to acquire permission to write that into your book or am I worrying about nothing? Sorry, copyrighting is very hard for me to understand since it's quite ambiguous. Thank you in advance.

- Kayla

PC Cast said...

Kayla, I did have to pay for and receive permission from the lyricist who holds the copyright for Defying Gravity. Copyright isn't ambiguous. There are strict guidelines about how many lines you can quote without getting written permission from the copyright holder. Educating yourself about copyright is part of being an author.

Best of luck,
PC

Kaitlyn said...

Hi, Ms. Cast! I recently read in your biography that you were once in the USAF. What was your occupation while serving? I'm heavily considering joining but I have some typical issues, i.e. boyfriend's already going in and I'm a bit worried we would get stationed far away from each other,I'm scared I'll lose my individuality, and my number one fear is entrapment, and commitments are one heck of an entrapment. I'm scared of being a puppet. Can you give me any advice? Thank you for your time. Blessed be )O(

King of Awesomeness #1 said...

P.C. Cast, I am Majesty Batiste. I'm graduating from high school next month in June. I had a lot of questions since I'm close to graduating and just want to start on my stories I've been writing for years. I was wondering what is hard about being an author/novelist? What is a good company to go through? Do you have to have a college degree to be an author? I want to go to college just not right away. I want to work on my stories. What is frustrating about working through a company? I want to write novels and that's all I want to do. And thank you soooo much for answering my questions and for actually reading them. :)

Thatyana Fernandes said...

hello ms.Cast. i'm Thatyana Fernandes, 20 years old and live in rio de janeiro brazil. just passed by to say i really love house of night ( can't wait to read the last one. i bought it in english because i can't wait to see it published in portuguese here. n.n)
and i wanted to know if you have any suggestion on books for research.i'm trying to write a book right now but can't find any books that can help me (mithology, wicca legends...) and other question: how did you found the cherokee words, i can't find them anywhere.


SL Penned said...

I really liked this post, especially the part about being thick skinned. My editor finally said the latest revision of my query letter "nailed it", which was an amazing high. Countless drafts and edits, revising and tossing away and I finally had it. The funny thing? The first rejection was almost as exciting because that meant I was one step closer. I'm still waiting for my happy ending, but love what you wrote about KARMA. Please let me know if you ever attend any networking or writer's conferences, I would be very interested in hearing you speak.

majesty batiste said...

Hi PC Cast, I need some advice, right now i'm trying to write a story about vampires, war, mythical creatures and such. I've been planning on writing this since i was in 6th grade but 3 years ago i lost all my notes since someone stole my backpack with all of it in there. i've been devastated ever since. i still want to write the story i want to write but now, i really don't know where to start and i want to make sure i write it all this time. i wrote 5 chapters so far but it doesn't seem right to me and i can't find the joy in writing it anymore. i want to know how i should write a plot outline, and what i all need to write in a story about vampires, war, mythical creatures, and adventure that my protagonist is going to be heading. i actually was going to give up on writing which i decided several months ago and gave up on the story i was going to write, but now i realized i can't because it keeps popping up in the back of my mind and i need to do something about it with this story. can you please reply back as soon as you see this? otherwise you can also reply to me at my email which is batistemajesty@gmail.com