Cast, P. C. and Kristin
Cast, P. C. and Kristin(pop culture)
P. C. and Kristin Cast are the co-authors of a popular young adult “House of Night” vampire series, launched in 2007. P. C. Cast, Kristin’s mother, was born in Watseka, Illinois. After high school she joined the Air Force and after her service pursued a college degree with a literature major and a minor in secondary education. She resides in Oklahoma and since 1993 has taught English at South Intermediate High School in Broken Arrow. Her first book, Goddess of the Sea, appeared in 2003. Meanwhile, in the 1980s, she married and had a daughter. Kristin grew up in Oklahoma and after high school attended Tulsa University. In 2005, P. C.’s book agent suggested that she try to do a young adult vampire novel. As Kristin was showing a bent for writing, it seemed natural to work together on the new venture.
The “House of Night” series introduces 16-year-old Zoey Redbird, who lives at a time when vampires are out in the open and tolerated by humans, at least most of them. As children grow up, the vampires will mark some as special and they will be transferred from their normal situation to the House of Night school where they will continue their education and be groomed as future “vampyres.” Should their body reject the transformation, they will die.
Zoey is part white-part Native American (with a Cherokee grandmother). She is a typical angst-filled teenager. She has been marked by no less a personage than the goddess Nyx (a reflection of the pantheon Casts’s earlier books had featured) and an indication that she has strong inherent powers. She seems to fit right in at the new school. She has friends and several boys who wish to be her special one, including the hottest of the lot. She has an antagonist, Aphrodite, who seems the jealous type, among her other faults, and if Aphrodite fades, Neferet stands ready to cause trouble. The various cliques at the school set the possibilities of a host of stories. The vampires in the several books of the “House of Night” series are basically good guy vampires, and St. Germain (Chelsea Quinn Yarbro’s main character) and Angel and Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer inform the Casts’s vampyres. However, their real distinctiveness comes from their mining the world of Western Paganism. They exist in a culture that is matriarchal. Also, their vampirism is more a biological condition than a supernatural transformation. In addition, the vampire mythos is based on biology. In some teenagers, hormones trigger a reaction in the DNA; their bodies begin a physiological process that transforms them either into a vampyre or a corpse. Their special powers are all earth-based abilities, such as controlling the element of air, or having a special connection to horses. Casts’s vampires are also not immortal, just very long lived.
Casts’s vampires, as might be supposed from their all attending the same school, have a very communal existence. Early in one, the reader is introduced to a coven, the Dark Daughters, headed by Zoey’s rival Aphrodite. When she abuses her powers, Aphrodite loses her position as high priestess in training and Zoey become the new leader.
As of 2009, Kristin Cast is finishing college and the “House of Night” series continues, with five volumes out and additional titles in the pipeline. Updates are always available from the Casts’s Websites at http://www.houseofnightseries.com/ and http://www.pccast.net/