Sunday, April 10, 2005

A Blog Visit from Romance Authors Gena Showalter and PC Cast

Recently we (PC Cast and Gena Showalter) were contracted to a romance anthology at Berkley – tentatively titled MYSTERIA -- PC by her agent Meredith Bernstein and Gena by her agent Deidre Knight. We thought it might be interesting to describe how the project developed.

The beginning:

We were invited to be a part of a charity anthology for Triskelion Press. Triskelion already had characters and plots we could have used for our episodes, but we wanted to write something different, something all our own. We really saw it as an opportunity for us to explore our wildest imaginations.

Gena: “I had a mental picture of three young, beautiful witches dancing naked through a graveyard and accidentally raising the dead – and one of the sisters falling in love with one of the. . . well, corpses. He’s only recently dead, so still handsome of course. I mean, imagine if Achilles from the movie Troy came back to life. Totally lovable, right?”

PC: “Oh Lord…I’ll probably raise lots of brows with this but…I got my idea from real life. An ex-student of mine finally talked me into going out with him – yes, on a real date (he’s 26 ½ and I’m 45). So I was dating him and having one hell of a good time…then Gena told me about the anthology and I started giggling because I thought how
much fun it would be to use a page from reality and sprinkle it with a heavy does of fantasy (he’s not a werewolf, nor is he a gigolo).”

Gena: ”We enjoyed writing those episodes so much, we decided to take it a step further.”

PC: “Yeah, Gena and I talked about how much we’d like to expand our short episodes. Neither of us were finished with our characters (grin). So I said that we should set our own anthology in OUR fictional town – kinda like Desperate Housewives meets Bram Stoker.”

Gena: “I’m a huge Desperate Housewives fan and love the street the wives live on: Wisetria Lane. The moment PC said Desperate Housewives meets Bram Stroker’s Dracula – a stroke of brilliance on her part, I must say – I burst out with: they have to live in Mysteria.”

PC: “As always, Gena and I were in perfect agreement. The next step was for me to approach my editor at Berkley, Christine Zika, and see if she’d be interested in an anthology like this (before we put anymore time and effort into writing it). Christine was receptive, and she said if we came up with a Bible for our town, short proposals for each novella (short as in a couple of pages), and a couple more authors, she’d be happy to read it.”

Gena: "PC and I got together and brainstormed who would be perfect for this project. We kind of looked at each other and it was one of those moments where everything clicked into instant place. We knew right away MaryJanice Davidson and Susan Grant -- who had also participated in the charity anthology -- would be perfect."

PC: “Sue and I were already friends, but I was still nervous about approaching her. I mean, no author wants to hear a generic ‘gee, that’s a nice idea, but…’ from anyone, let alone a well-respected sister author. But Sue replied immediately and was very excited about the project. She felt the same way about her charity episode – she adored her demon hero and didn’t want to let him fade away.”

Gena: "I shot MaryJanice an email and like Sue, she returned my email that same day with a yes! Talk about propelling me straight to the stars. Being in an anthology with three of my favorite authors. . .a slice of heaven on earth!"

PC: “So with all the authors in place, Bible written, short proposals done, I called Christine. She was pleasantly surprised to hear from me, and then immediately excited about the group of authors. I emailed the proposal to her on that day (Thursday) and she called me MONDAY with a big fat YES! After that the details were really easy – Christine is a dream to work with. And all four of us were amazed to learn that this is the first author initiated anthology Berkley has ever published! Until now, they have always come up with the anthology
premise and then contacted authors. (This is a little detail I’m glad I didn’t know in the beginning.) So look for MYSTERIA in Summer 2006!”

Gena: “It will have a little bit of everything: demons, witches, magic, shape-shifters, vampires and so much more. Life doesn’t get any better than that, does it?”

For more information, visit PC Cast at and Gena Showalter


Anonymous Anonymous said...

So many of my favorite authors all in one place. This is really exciting! And 2006 feels sooo far away--

Cant Wait

Monday, April 11, 2005 at 9:20:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Yolanda Sfetsos said...

Such a COOL idea, I can't wait to check it out!


Thanks for the background info... :)

Tuesday, April 12, 2005 at 1:06:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Evangeline Holland said...

The Desperate Housewives inspiration is sure to attract some non-romance readers. *GGG*

Tuesday, April 12, 2005 at 12:44:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Kristen Painter said...

Wow - this sounds great. I can't wait to read it. We enjoyed having PC and Gena so much when they were our dual Authors of the Month at Romance Divas!I've enjoyed everything I've read by both of them, which in Gena's case, is everything's she's written to date. PC - I'll be up to date with you when my Amazon order arrives. :o)

Thursday, April 14, 2005 at 12:25:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, this sounds like a FANTASTIC idea. Desperate Housewives with a paranormal twist? What fun!

Thursday, April 14, 2005 at 8:23:00 PM EDT  

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