Fans of P.C. Cast first met fledgling "vampyre” Zoey Redbird six books ago, when she was a normal high school teenager "marked” as a vampire and sent to a vampire finishing school in the first book of the Oklahoma author’s House of Night series.
Co-written with her daughter, Kristin Cast, of Tulsa, the best-selling series for young adults has tapped into demand for the paranormal that can be seen with the success of Stephenie Meyer’s "Twilight” series as well as Cast’s friend, Gena Showalter. The seventh House of Night book, "Burned,” was released Tuesday.
Throughout the series, the Casts weave vampire lore with mythology and Cherokee spirituality, add their own goddess (Nyx) and mix in the angst and emotions that come with being a teenager. They set the books in Oklahoma: Zoey’s high school in the first book, "Marked,” was South Intermediate High School in Broken Arrow, where P.C. Cast taught for 15 years; the finishing school for vampyres, as the Casts write the word, mirrors Tulsa’s Cascia Hall.
Because of her years as a teacher (she retired 1½ years ago, after the series became popular), P.C. Cast knew the issues students faced, but she needed her daughter to help her capture a teen voice.
"When we first started writing together, (Kristin would say) ‘Good job, ... you just made Zoey sound like a 40-something-year-old disgruntled schoolteacher,’” said P.C. Cast, who turns 50 on Friday. "I said, ‘Fix it.’”
The success of the series, which P.