FACEOUT Friday: interview with P.C. Cast
Goddess of Partholon fans rejoice for P.C. Cast talks about her first book (Divine by Mistake), the series it inspired and what is next for Partholon. Oh, and P.C. is pretty darn funny. We think she would be a hoot to hang out with.
DbM (originally titled GODDESS BY MISTAKE) was born because I decided to write the book I most wanted to read. I’ve always loved the fantasy genre, but have lamented the fact that too often it seems to be written for 13-year-old boys. Which means NO SEX in it! So I sat down at my computer and created a fun fantasy with swords and magic, heroic men, amazing women, AND LOTS OF SEX. Oh, and wine. Lots of wine, too.
I didn’t plan more than the first two books, DIVINE BY MISTAKE and DIVINE BY CHOICE at the beginning. DbM was published by a small regional press. The press didn’t allow me to buy my rights to the book back for four years, and I was super frustrated that Partholon was basically a dead world to me without the first book in the series (by this time I’d written DbC and had begun the outline for DbB). So, like most obstacles in my life, I set out to overcome it. I loved Partholon and wanted to explore the world more – and I came up with the idea to set another series of books in the future of the world, using my original books as history. That’s how ELPHAME’S CHOICE and BRIGHID’S QUEST came about (and CIARA’S DESTINY is in my head waiting to be written!).
2. You use a lot of humor in your writing, especially in the Divine books. We love it because it is sarcastic (Shannon is Shannan’s hero.) How do you write it so that is comes across as humorous and not mean? Do you take notes on things you hear that are funny?
Well, it’s kinda embarrassing, but since DbM was the first book I’d written, I wanted to write who I knew – so I basically just plopped myself down as the heroine and surrounded “me” with people from my family/life. WE’RE FUNNY! And, yes, I do drink too much wine. Oh, and my man isn’t ClanFintan, but he’s Scottish, Chieftain of Clan Wallace, so he’s kinda like ClanFintan…
3. The two YA titles, Elphame’s Choice and Brighid’s Quest, are great love stories with heavy themes such as self-discovery, fitting in and fulfilling ones destiny. How was the transition from writing the fun and quirky adult Divine books to writing the more serious YA titles?
The transition really was pretty easy. It’s just a level of what’s appropriate. Shannon is a 30-something grown woman – definitely NOT a teen, so I can camp her up: booze, sex, potty mouth, etc.. But Elphame and Brighid are just becoming adults. If I wrote them like Shannon it wouldn’t be right; it just wouldn’t work. Does that make sense?
4. Encompassing all five books, there is a wide range and variety of characters, from the meekly humble to the exuberantly spoiled. Was there any particular character(s) that you admired/liked the most? One that you didn’t like? Well, of course Shannon (see my answer to #2 above). But I also understand Rhiannon and am always drawn to the redemption of her character. The Parkers are my dad and step-mom, so of course I love them! And ClanFintan is my favorite hero ever! Oh, Cuchulainn is a weird mixture of my two brothers, and that makes me love him AND want to shake him!
5. What have been your readers’ reactions to the relationship that developed between Shannon and Clint from Divine by Choice and the relationship between Cuchulainn and Brighid in Brighid’s Quest (based on his quick courtship/hand fast with Brighid in light of the recent death of Brenna?)
I’ve been surprised by how many readers don’t understand that Clint really is an extension of ClanFintan. He was more of a guardian than a lover – actually, Shannon’s love (with the blessing of Epona) healed what was broken within him. And, truly, I believe we all have the ability to love more than one person in our lifetime.
The relationship of Cu and Brighid seems to surprise and delight people. And Cuchulainn’s love for Brighid is another example of our ability to find happiness with more than one person.
6. The end of Brighid’s Quest gave the impression that all may not be well in Partholon. Will there be any more books in the series? If so, is there anything you can share with us?
All is definitely NOT well in Partholon! CIARA’S DESTINY is percolating in my very busy brain. I’m looking forward to writing it! All I can share with you is that there are characters from BQ who are going to have to work hard for their redemption, and Partholon is going to be shaken up by their next Goddess Incarnate!
7. What is currently in your STACKS to read?
Right now I’m on a huge Jennifer Cruise kick.
STACKGirls interesting author tidbits:
*salty or sweet: salty if it’s not dark chocolate
*cook at home, take-out or dinner out: I’m sick of traveling right now, so cook at home
*do you say pop, soda or coke: Pop!
*thesaurus or dictionary: Thesaurus
*country, hip-hop, rock or classical: A mixture of all of them!
*Star Wars, Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings: LotR!
*fiction or non-fiction: fiction
*texting, emailing or talking on the phone: skype!
*truth or dare: truth
*werewolf or vampire: vamps!
Side note: I (Shannan) worked with my mom at the front desk of a hotel while I was putting myself through college. I was never closer to her than those years. We were able to work so effectively, watch out for each other, laugh, talk, and respect each other. Even though I have my dream job now and she does what she enjoys, teaching pre-k, I look back on those nights as a bright spot in my college days. I just want to say I am so in love with the way you and your daughter get to work together. Not only do you get to entertain millions of readers, you get to show teens that having a mom and daughter friendship is cool.
(from P.C. Cast) Thank you Shannan! I love working with Kristin – and it’s such a joy to be able to travel with her on tour. As my own side note: I taught high school with my dad for ten years (I taught English – he taught Biology). We had the same plan together. We ate lunch together. We hung out in the halls between classes together. I love being an author, but I will always treasure that decade I spent with my dad. When he retired I still loved teaching, but the school just never felt the same. Big hugs and kisses to your mom from me!