Interview: Paranormal novelists P.C. Cast & Gena Showalter release new book “After Moonrise,” plan home-state signing Tuesday in Oklahoma City
From Monday’s Life section of The Oklahoman.
Paranormal romance writers P.C. Cast and Gena Showalter collaborate “After Moonrise”
The best-selling Oklahoma authors each penned a ghostly novella set in the Sooner State for the duology and will appear Tuesday at an Oklahoma City book signing celebrating the new release.
Since both happen to be best-selling paranormal romance writers that call Oklahoma home, the latest product of their playtime is “After Moonrise,” a duology for which they each penned a ghostly novella set in the Sooner State.
“It was so fun playing with each other’s characters, in her sandbox is what we call it. I like her toys,” Showalter said with a laugh during a recent phone call with both authors, who are close friends.
Featuring Cast’s novella “Possessed” and Showalter’s novella “Haunted,” “After Moonrise” will be released Tuesday through Harlequin. To celebrate, Showalter, who lives in Oklahoma City, and Cast, who calls Tulsa home, will appear together at a book signing at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Barnes & Noble, 6100 N May Ave. in Oklahoma City.
They might even get some copies signed amidst the giggling that inevitably happens when they get together.
“I’m bringing a case of champagne, so we’ll get books signed — but probably not much else,” Cast said in between laughs about the nicknames that they have for each other, which include “Ms. Castwater” and “Ms. Snowater.”
“Gena and I have known each other since we were barely published, since we would have book signings at like Barnes & Noble and there would be five people there including our parents. They’d mispronounce our names, and also we would get asked things like ‘Hi, you work here, right? Do you know where the restrooms are?’ So we’ve been hearing mispronounciations of each other’s names for more than a decade.”
Both women are now busy New York Times best-selling authors. Cast, 52, has gained fame with the internationally popular “House of Night” books, the young-adult vampire series she co-writes with her daughter Kristin Cast. Showalter, 37, is known for her “Alien Huntress” and “Lords of the Underworld” series, among other titles.
In 2006, the pair came up with the idea for an anthology called “Mysteria” inviting MaryJanice Davidson and Susan Grant to join them in penning four novellas about a small Colorado town where magic quietly coexists with the mundane world. It was so popular, the quartet followed up with “Mysteria Nights” in 2011; by that time, Cast had moved up to top billing based on the supernaturally successful “House of Night” books.
“When my agent called me and was like ‘Harlequin wants you to do a duology,’ I was like, ‘Ugh, I don’t think I have time.’ And she said, ‘With Gena,’ and I went ‘Okey-dokey!’”
The Tulsa author had long been pondering a project about a paranormal detective agency called After Moonrise, and the idea became the springboard for both their new novellas. In Cast’s “Possessed,” Kent Raef, a psychic detective who works out of After Moonrise’s Tulsa office, investigates the case of Lauren Wilcox, whose twin sister has been slain by a murderer who is determined to destroy the woman’s spirit, too.
During the Wilcox case, Raef consults with Milana “Lana” Buineviciute, a Lithuanian-born medium who works with the agency’s Oklahoma City branch. In Showalter’s “Haunted,” Lana’s best pal, artist Aurora Harper, becomes convinced she witnessed a murder after she begins painting grisly scenes of the crime in her sleep. When surly police Detective Levi Reid moves into their apartment complex, he teams up with Harper and Lana to track down the killer.
“By the way, Gena, drawing scary pictures in your sleep, that’s creepy, I meant to tell ya. Creepy idea,” Cast said. “Good job! Well done!”
“Thank you, thank you!” Showalter replied with a chuckle.
The collaborative project gave the friends ample excuses to bounce ideas off each other and swap manuscripts, especially when characters overlapped in their stories.
“I do remember she called me once while I was at Target and it was like ‘Would your character say this?’” Showalter said, giggling. “And I’m just walking through Target, like ‘OK, this is what he’s going to say if he’s brutally murdered.’ It was quite fun, and I did enjoy the looks.”
The duology features a preview of “Alice in Zombieland,” one of the three new series Showalter is launching this year, along with “Angels of the Dark” and “Otherworld Assassins.”
“This is a year of firsts for me, about every book that is coming out is a first in some way,” Showalter said. “I’m really loving this year. I’m really enjoying it.”
As for Cast, she and daughter Kristin last week released “Hidden,” the 10th title in the “House of Night” franchise, which they plan to make a 12-book series. She also is almost finished with the third and last “House of Night” novella.
“One of the coolest things about being successful is that we get to choose projects not just to pay the rent. We get to choose projects that we’re really passionate about. Like this thing with Gena, it was a good time for me. It was fun to be able to write in the adult world again and also write something that I created with my girlfriend,” Cast said.
“After Moonrise” book signing with P.C. Cast and Gena Showalter
When: 7 p.m. Tuesday.
Where: Barnes & Noble, 6100 N May Ave.