Longtime pals P.C. Cast and Gena Showalter welcome opportunities to play together in the same sandbox.
Since both happen to be best-selling paranormal romance writers who 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 telephone 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 amid 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 mispronunciations 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 cowrites 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, ‘Okie-dokie!'”