On the House of Night series
Introduction: Nyx in the House of Night
By P. C. Cast
Even before I hit national bestseller lists, the two questions readers asked me more than any other were: 1) Where do you get your ideas? And 2) How much research do you do?
Okay, the two answers go hand in hand. Research has always been the foundation of my ideas. I actually enjoy researching, and I like doing it old style– paging through giant history and humanities textbooks in a musty research section of a library. As I go through tomes on history and sociology and mythology, my mind starts creating stories and pictures: changing, shifting, modernizing, rewriting. This process has always seemed totally normal to me. Ancient mythological tragedy? Bah! Everyone dies tragically with no happily ever after in history? No way! For as long as I can remember I’ve revised mythology, created worlds based on history, and then made the stories read the way I wanted them to read–quite often giving unexpected characters happily every afters and turning patriarchy and misogyny upside down.
That’s usually how I begin my writing process, with research. But from my very first book I realized that I created better, more believable worlds if I mixed textbook research with legwork. That’s one of the reasons so many of my novels are set in Oklahoma. When I describe the Centaur Plains in my fictional world of Partholon, it’s really Oklahoma’s Tall Grass Prairie. I’ve been there–walked its paths–gotten lost in its majesty. As I’m there I create worlds of my own and populate them with unusual …