When the mother-daughter writing team P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast realized that 2017 would be the 10th anniversary of the publication of Marked, the first book in their bestselling vampyre-themed YA fantasy series, House of Night, they decided they wanted to do something special to celebrate. “We considered teaming up with a few other bestselling YA authors and setting an anthology in the House of Night world. We also thought about writing a novella that followed the story of the very first House of Night, but nothing felt quite right,” P.C. says. “We decided our fans would prefer another novel with their favorite characters instead.”
The resulting book, Loved (Blackstone, July), the first in the House of Night Other World spinoff series, features returning characters from the duo’s earlier series. The new novel takes place a year after the end of Redeemed, the last book in that series, and finds Zoey and the Nerd Herd reunited to battle evil and rabid red vampyres.
“I wanted to answer questions that fans have asked about main and secondary characters—as well as make fans’ wishes come true,” P.C. says. “That opened up a whole alternative House of Night world for me, so I tried to figure out a plot. But giving our readers what they’d been asking for made me really nervous, and it took me forever to begin writing. Kristin kept saying, ‘Phyllis, just start the book!’ ”
Loved contains additional material for fans. It includes a “Dear Reader” letter from P.C. that offers “a brief summary of where House of Night left off, and what was going on with a major character.” There’s also a classroom discussion Q&A and answers to selected questions asked by fans on the Casts’ social media platforms.
Kristin Cast began working as the House of Night series editor when she was 19. Since the series ended, she has become an author in her own right—with the Escaped series (Diversion Publishing)—and she is much more involved in the new House of Night series. “I’m not just sitting on the sidelines and waiting until something’s handed to me to edit,” she says. “Because of that, I can see a picture being formed in my head as it’s being written. This time, we’re building the world together, and I have input on how to propel the story forward. It’s creating as opposed to waiting.” Kristin’s expanded involvement is “a relief” to P.C., who notes, “Writing is such a solitary career, so it’s been a great experience to have Kristin by my side as that picture is being painted.”
Today, 11 a.m.–noon. P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast will sign deluxe samplers of Loved at the Blackstone booth (2628). Double-sided book posters, temporary tattoos in the design of the #HoNLovedTattoo design contest winner, and Loved bookmarks will also be given away.