#1 New York Times & #1 USA Today bestselling author P.C. Cast was born in the Midwest, and, after her tour in the USAF, she taught high school for 15 years before retiring to write full time. PC is a member of the Oklahoma Writers Hall of Fame. Her novels have been awarded the prestigious: Oklahoma Book Award, YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers, Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award, Booksellers’ Best, and many, many more. Ms. Cast is an experienced teacher and talented speaker who lives in Oregon near her fabulous daughter, her adorable pack of dogs, her crazy Maine Coon, and a bunch of horses.
Kristin Cast is a #1 New York Times and #1 USA Today bestselling author who was born in Japan and grew up in Oklahoma where she explored everything from tattoo modeling to broadcast journalism. After battling addiction, Kristin made her way to the Pacific Northwest and landed in Portland. She rediscovered her passion for storytelling in the stacks at dusty bookstores and in rickety chairs in old coffeehouses. For as long as Kristin can remember, she’s been telling stories. Thankfully, she’s been writing them down since 2005.
I had the opportunity to interview both P.C. and Kristin about their latest book, Spells Trouble, which you can read below.
First of all, congrats on your latest book, Spells Trouble. Could you tell us in your own words what it’s about?
PC: Twin witches attempting to save their world and deal with teenage drama!
KC: Thank you! Spells Trouble is about two witches who, through protecting their town and learning more about their magic, find out not only what it means to be family but also what it means to be truly comfortable with yourself.
What are your favorite parts of the writing process? What is your least favorite?
PC: My favorite part is always the last third of a manuscript. I fly through those pages. My least favorite part is outlining and revising.
KC: I am the opposite. I love both outlining and revising. It’s the writing of the first draft that I absolutely do not enjoy. Funny since writing the book makes up the bulk of my job.
As mother and daughter, what would you say your artistic collaboration is like together? What would you say are the benefits of drawbacks of working with family?
PC: I love working with Kristin. Writing is such a solitary job that it’s wonderful to have her in the trenches with me. It’s great that she and I understand exactly what’s going on in the manuscript, so if I’m having an issue with a scene I can reach out to her for help – and she to me. Drawbacks? NONE! Because I’m the mom! (Insert maniacal laughter)
KC: I think that I bring the more regimented, organized side of the book creation process to the table whereas Phyllis brings spontaneity and creative freedom. She has really taught me to trust my creative instincts and to let my writing flow without judgment. The drawback of working with family is that work creeps into everything. It’s difficult to draw that line between personal life and work life when part of your personal life is wrapped up in work.
As Geeks OUT is an LGBTQ+ centered site, could you discuss some of the queer elements of the book?
PC: Kristin writes our wonderful queer character, Hunter, who I adore. Hunter is such a complex, interesting and strong character.
KC: Hunter Goode is a lesbian. Being the only person in the small high school of her small town who is out, she feels like an outsider. It’s always been interesting to her that others put so much of an emphasis on her sexuality when who she’s attracted to doesn’t make up who she is. Throughout Spells Trouble, Hunter struggles with her confidence and feeling at home in her own skin.
What advice would you give to other writers, especially those interested in fantasy or at least those trying to finish their first projects?
PC: Keep writing! And rewriting and rewriting. Read constantly. Research the job of being a professional author as you would any other job/career.
KC: Give yourself grace. Missed writing days, being emotional over rejections, not reaching word count or page count goals, needing space away from projects and people—these are just a handful of things that you’ll encounter on your writing journey. When they come about, be kind to yourself. You’re doing your best.
What LGBTQIA+ book/authors would you recommend to the readers of Geeks OUT?
PC: I love love love Caleb Roehrig’s THE FELL OF DARK so much! It’s smart and funny and way scarier than I thought it was going to be. Actually, all of Caleb’s books are great!
KC: The two authors currently on my mind and at the top of my Audible library are V.E. Schwab and Tirzah Price. Schwab is one of my favorite authors. She wrote The Invisible Life of Addie Larue, which I’m sure you’ve heard of, but she’s written so many other amazing adult and YA stories. If you see one of her books in the store/library, get it immediately. I also recently listened to Price’s first YA novel, Pride and Premeditation. It is excellent, and she is so fun to follow on Instagram.