PikeCast Origins – Transcript

INTRO:

[Spooky music playing]

Welcome friends. It’s almost midnight, and you’ve found your way to The PikeCast. Come along as we careen through the catalog of the most formative horror writer of our young adult days, Christopher Pike. From adult perspectives, we’ll revisit these YA books our parents probably would never have let us read had they known what lie inside. We tackle one book per episode, in a freewheeling and unbiased chat. So grab your battered paperback, pull the flashlight from the kitchen drawer, climb under your bed covers and devour a good book with us.

[Spooky music ends]

COOPER:

So, welcome to the “beforecast” episode of The PikeCast. I’m Cooper, and I have with me…

BECCA:

I’m Becca, hi!

CASSIE:

And I’m Cassie, hello!

COOPER:

And we are here to do a little ‘setting of the table’ before we start The PikeCast proper. I wanted to do this because I know the importance that not only Christopher Pike, but horror in general has to the three of us. I wanted to talk to you both about that, and I’d like to start with Cassie – where was your first encounter with Christopher Pike?

CASSIE:

It was probably, I think, the fifth grade with the media center lady at my elementary school. She sort of noticed that I was reading through everything in our media center, all the kids books. So, I was winning awards for, like, “most read books” and stuff, which at the time, I was actually a little embarrassed of! But now it sounds cooler. [Laughing]

COOPER:

I feel that! Absolutely.

CASSIE:

But yeah, she noticed that I was a really, really big bookworm, and her daughter was eighteen, I think, and she was leaving for college. So she was getting rid of all of her books, and her mom just brought in this enormous trash bag filled with, like, Christopher Pike books, R. L. Stine, Richie Tankersly Cusick…

COOPER:

Wow! So, the Point Horror collection!

CASSIE:

Exactly! Yeah, all the good classics. And most of them were Christopher Pike books, and most of them are still the books that you see in my pictures and stuff now, ‘cause I kept a lot of them over the years.

COOPER:

Oh, that’s awesome!

CASSIE:

Yeah!

COOPER:

And that’s a great, like, you had that connection, the illicit material being funneled through someone at your school, thats… [Laughing]

CASSIE:

Yeah, because they weren’t available, like in the school! The library, yeah, the choosing there –

COOPER:

I feel like the librarians there would have looked at the books and actually evaluated whether or not they belonged in a grade-school library. Whereas a lot of people didn’t look at the books, they just assumed that Christopher Pike sits in the same lane as the Point Horror.

CASSIE:

Yeah, and they did have that campy look, too.

COOPER:

They do! They do. So Becca, you have NEVER encountered Christopher Pike ‘in the wild’?

BECCA:

I have not.

COOPER:

How have you avoided it?

BECCA:

I do not know! [Laughing] To be honest, it’s Cassie who, like, introduced me through Instagram, she would post these pictures! So yeah [Laughing], that’s how I know who Christopher Pike is! So thank you.

CASSIE:

Awwww! [Laughing] You’re welcome!

ALL:

[Laughing]

COOPER:

So what’s great about that is you’re coming into this with fresh eyes, Cassie and I both have nostalgia for Pike, so you’re gonna have to keep us honest!

BECCA:

[Laughing] I will try my best!

COOPER:

And help us overcome the lenses of nostalgia that we have here. [Laughing]

CASSIE:

That’s right, yeah, ‘cause if you ask us right now, we’re just gonna say point blank we love it all so much, it’s perfect! [Laughing]

COOPER:

Yeah! And honestly, I’m not gonna talk about it too much because we have a whole episode coming about it, but I just finished DIE SOFTLY and [Laughing] I’ve got some criticisms, I’ll tell you that.

CASSIE:

Yeah, there are some problematic things in these books! [Laughing]

COOPER:

And then what’s most interesting to me is I’m a major subscriber of the Stephen King ‘On Writing’ school of writing. Like, I feel like he wrote the definitive book on writing. And in it, he talks about the problems of ‘passive voice’. And ‘passive voice’ is ‘they were going’, ‘he was listening’ instead of ‘he listened’ and ‘they went’. And Christopher Pike… almost exclusively writes in the passive voice.

CASSIE:

[Laughing] Yeah.

COOPER:

And I found that so interesting! Because I’m so used to turning that off in my own writing, because I think we often will do the passive voice because it’s a little less threatening as writers. And we have to actively work against it. There is a lot to be analyzed, and at the same time, we recognize that these are mainly geared toward let’s say… freshman through junior year? Freshman, sophomore year in high school? And we have to recognize that level of uh, of writing, really.

CASSIE:

I think reading them at the age that I did was probably maybe a little bit too early, and even now, for Becca, it might be a different experience ‘cause she’s obviously, and we’re all adults, and this is her first time getting to them.

COOPER:

Yeah! And so also, I want to talk about horror in general because I am extremely passionate about the genre. I feel like it is one of the most encapsulating genres, because horror can contain everything. You can have romance in horror, you can have comedy in horror, you can have every other genre when you can’t do that. Like with comedy, you can’t just have someone get decapitated, that’s [Laughing], that takes you out of it, let’s say. So what does horror mean to you, Becca?

BECCA:

So, I wish, you know how they ask ‘what’s the movie that got you into it’? I wish I could answer that question, but I cannot, because it’s like literally all I can remember. Because my father, he’s like a pretty big enthusiast of the genre. So like, this has always been a part of my life, and I think I turned out pretty great, by the way!

CASSIE & COOPER IN UNISON:

I agree!

ALL:

[Laughing]

COOPER:

We’re both fans of you, Becca!

CASSIE:

We are!

BECCA:

Thank you, and I’m a fan of both of you, so…

CASSIE:

Yay!

BECCA:

But yeah, like I think I turned out okay, I’m really nice, sweet, I’m not decapitating [Laughing]

COOPER:

So you’re saying horror didn’t damage you?

ALL:

[Laughing]

BECCA:

I mean, I’m not going around decapitating people! So, I think I’m doing pretty good.

COOPER:

Well, that is the bar. If you’re not decapitating people, and you’re a horror fan, you’re in the good club.

CASSIE:

Yeah, that’s my personal bar!

BECCA:

We’re doing great guys.

ALL:

[Laughing]

BECCA:

I also think fans of the [Laughing], wait, let me get serious! [Laughing]

COOPER:

Yeah, we’re very serious!

BECCA:

Let me try my best! [Laughing] I do feel like fans of the genre are way more empathetic towards people, I feel like we’re honestly the nicest people. Like quite frankly.

COOPER:

I think so too, yeah! Let me ask you this, then: if your father was into the genre, was he giving you books, or was he giving you movies?

BECCA:

So, he’s actually, he was a writer. Well, he still kind of is – his pen name is T.G. Reaper, his real name is Thom. But this was when I was growing up, so we actually don’t agree a lot on what we like in the genre. He’s not a big slasher fan, and that’s like my main thing. So I mean I have taken his books, he has a bunch of Brian Keene books and I definitely stole those from him. [Laughing] So he has given me a bunch of writer’s guides that are based on writing horror, which is pretty dope, but as in fiction, we don’t always see eye to eye.

COOPER:

Can you give our listeners not your first horror, then, but your apex of early horror in movies or books? What is the one that stands out?

BECCA:

Nightmare on Elm Street for sure!

CASSIE:

That would have been mine, too!

ALL:

[Laughing]

COOPER:

Well it still can!

BECCA:

We can share!

CASSIE:

We’re over here like, Freddy Krueger fan girls like, YESSS!

BECCA:

We love it!

ALL:

[Laughing]

COOPER:

Nightmare was really early on for me as well, and actually, I have a vivid memory of being at a hotel in I want to say Lake Geneva, Wisconsin with my family and watching TV, and flipping through the channels and seeing a Freddy’s Nightmares episode on, that actually featured Freddy! Because he’s not in most of them!

CASSIE:

Yeah.

COOPER:

And I had nightmares all night! My parents would never let me encounter horror because I had the worst nightmares about it. Like, even seeing BEETLEJUICE at I think I was eight?

CASSIE:

So good.

COOPER:

The graveyard stuff freaked me out! And I would have nightmares about that. So, they were very… Perhaps overly protective about not letting me see horror, which of course, when they take away something, it only makes you want it more. And the formative moment I would say was I knew Halloween 2 was going to be on TV. And I was in my parent’s bedroom, and they had a little old 9-inch black and white, and I would turn it on and watch a little bit, and then get freaked out and turn it off and listen to see if they knew, if they were downstairs. Then I’d turn it on and watch a little bit. And of course, it gave me the worst nightmares. I remember the nurse getting lifted up by the scalpel, and her shoes falling off, and yeah – that was [Laughing] it was like a drug, you know? It’s like I knew what it would do to me, and I knew the nightmares that would come, but it was so exhilarating in the moment that I had to keep going.

CASSIE:

Yeah, I can relate to that! That’s how I feel about scary video games. [Laughing]

BECCA:

Video games are terrifying! Like, I love them, but they definitely scare me way more than any movie could.

CASSIE:

Because they’re interactive!

COOPER:

Yeah! And you choose to put yourself in the situations! Like, I played the Silent Hill 4 game that’s the one where you’re trapped in the room at the beginning? And so you’re in this hotel room, you know there’s shit going down, you’re going to the bathroom, you move the medicine cabinet, I think…? And there’s a hole! And you’re supposed to go into the hole, and that starts the game. But I heard stuff in the hole. And I decided right there, I don’t need to go in the hole.

CASSIE:

[Laughing]

COOPER:

There’s nothing in there that’s appealing to me when I can just hang out in this hotel room instead! And that was it, I literally never got farther than the hotel room in that game because it was too much.

ALL:

[Laughing]

CASSIE:

That game, I spent I’m going to tell you guys – that was my first most frustrating experience with a horror game because I spent sixteen hours, sixteen hours straight playing that video game. I was like, fifteen or so? I did not sleep that night, I stayed up all night. I had to beg my mother – cause this was before, you know, we all had smart phones. Well, I mean, I don’t know… I didn’t have a smart phone [Laughing], and I didn’t have a laptop. So I had to ebg my mom to let me use her computer so I could print out parts of the walkthrough ‘cause I would get stuck!

COOPER:

[Laughing]

CASSIE:

And she was not happy ‘cause it was, like, 2 AM! [Laughing] And so, I finally beat that game after all of that effort, and I got the literal worst ending that you can possibly get. Which I’m not gonna spoil even though it’s an old game, but I’m just gonna say – it was the worst ending and I was so mad! [Laughing]

COOPER:

So you’re saying my choice to never leave the hotel room is actually better than completing the game?

CASSIE:

I mean, if you completed it the way that I did, yes, definitely!

ALL:

[Laughing]

CASSIE:

I had to look up the other endings, and I was like, NOOO! This was totally terrible, I got the worst thing! [Laughing]

COOPER:

[Laughing] So, Cassie, what is horror– why is horror your genre? What does it mean to you?

CASSIE:

So, I had a really terrible childhood, which sounds really depressing [Laughing], and it is, so I’m not going to go super into that, but it wasn’t a really great time for me, but I did like reading and I did like video games and movies. And the only ones that I could really find myself getting completely, like, sucked into to where I was not focused on the other stuff in my life at the time, was if it was in the horror genre. So, if it was something scary that terrified me and gave me nightmares and completely encompassed my entire focus for two hours, I was super into it. [Laughing]

COOPER:

It took you out!

CASSIE:

Yeah! It was my ‘window’ into other stuff. And I think it helped, too, like Becca said – a lot of people in the community are super, super nice people, which people outside of the community might not expect because they’re like, “Oh, they’re all obsessed with terrible things!”

COOPER:

Right.

CASSIE:

But, I’ve met some of the nicest people, and it’s because of, like, my leaning toward the genre, that I’ve been able to see other people’s experiences, and learn about them, and kind of feel less alone in my own suffering? If that– it sounds really angsty, but it’s–

COOPER:

No!

ALL:

Yeah, and so, I think that’s been really great. Especially finding this community, too, because then I can be like, whoa! There’s other people like me, who like this terrible, creepy stuff that my mom thought I was weird for liking! [Laughing]

COOPER:

[Laughing] Yeah, my mother was always concerned about my interest in horror, and for me, the Pike origin is I vividly remember being at the library in Rogers Park, Chicago, and finding the book PARTY LINE, which is a Point Horror novel. And that was the first entry into that series that I found, and Point Horror is like candy horror. And Point Horror is lighter horror, you know? There’s violence, but it’s off-screen. There’s death, but you know, it doesn’t happen to your hero, let’s say that. And I just devoured that series, like I would go to the bookstore and buy three of them and have them read by the end of the day!

CASSIE:

[Laughing]

COOPER:

And then, I think it was SLUMBER PARTY, which is a Christopher Pike Point Horror that got me to find him, and then I saw these other books with these garishly impressive covers. And really, that’s what everybody remembers about Christopher Pike is those covers, and I cannot fathom why they changed them for reprints. It doesn’t make sense.

CASSIE:

I know! The new covers are not as good.

COOPER:

They are not. But I got the first Christopher Pike book I got was WHISPER OF DEATH, that’s right, right?

CASSIE:

That one’s so good, yeah!

COOPER:

And I remember vividly, like viscerally, how different it was because people are having sex, people are dying, there’s an abortion in it–

BECCA:

Oh my God!

CASSIE:

Oh! Sorry! No spoilers for Becca!

BECCA:

This is a teen book?!

CASSIE & COOPER:

[Laughing]

COOPER:

This is a teen book! And that’s, that’s what hit hold immediately that Christopher Pike was different! And I didn’t really understand why it was different yet, but I knew it was different. So I look at, like, if you look at the origin, the evolution of my horror, you’ve got the HOUSE ON HACKMAN’S HILL over here with my Scholastic Books were a hundred and ten pages long, you’ve got Point Horror when my Scholastic Books evolved a little, you have Christopher Pike, which had no business being in Scholastic Books in the first place, and then you get into Stephen King, and Dean Koontz, and filthy adult horror, let’s call it that.

CASSIE:

[Laughing]

COOPER:

Because this, Christopher Pike is that bridge, there’s something nasty in there, you know? There’s something rough in there. And he doesn’t pull his punches the way R.L. Stine always had to in Point. And I’m sorry for the little bit of a spoiler there, Becca.

BECCA:

Oh, it’s okay.

CASSIE:

It’s not like, a story-altering…

BECCA:

Yeah!

COOPER:

I think you find out in the first chapter, there’s the abortion thing, I’m pretty sure. But it also had this edge of sexuality, like I was reading these, you know, 10, 11, 12 – so the budding sexuality of the young lad. And there is definitely, I’m gonna save the term ‘incel energy’ for the next episode, because DIE SOFTLY has that in spades. But there was definitely something to that. And I want to hear specifically, Cassie, what did that look like for you reading this as a young person?

CASSIE:

So, for me in particular, I’ve always really gravitated more toward stories that are like narrated by women characters. So a lot of his books featuring main characters who are women, um… he does, you know, he does focus, he always has, on how they look, and how they’re pretty, but you know, their nose is maybe ‘a shade too big’.

COOPER:

[Laughing]

CASSIE:

You know? That’s something he really loves to do!

COOPER:

Yeah! Because they’re not perfect, because that’s important.

CASSIE:

Exactly! Exactly, so that you can see yourselves in them, and so like you said, you were 10, 11, 12 – I was the same. And so reading these stories about 17-year-olds having sex… I was like, WHOA! Whoa! This is adult stuff, but they’re still in school, they’re still, you know, having issues with some of their parents. So it was relatable to me, but it was also kind of like… Should I be this focused on my boobs? Like… [Laughing] Should I be mentioning them as often as the girl seems to in this story?

ALL:

[Laughing]

CASSIE:

So, I think there was a balance there to me appreciating it and loving it, but also being kind of aware that it was, even as a child, even without being able to sort of name that, that it was written by a guy. [Laughing]

COOPER:

Yeah. So, Becca, having not read Christopher Pike, but knowing that the horror genre in general tends to be a lot more adult than other genres, and tends to include, like, visceral sex, and that kind of thing, what was your awakening that horror was different?

BECCA:

That is a good question. [Laughing]

ALL:

[Laughing]

COOPER:

[Laughing] That’s okay, you can think about it for a moment.

BECCA:

I’m thinking! Um… I just feel like nothing really, I don’t know, like I don’t wanna be like, oh I’ve been fucked up my whole life! But, like… [Laughing] Nothing really like stands out to me, because it all just seemed normal to me!

COOPER:

[Laughing] Okay.

BECCA:

I mean, not saying that I was, like, having sex as a teenager because no [Laughing], I wasn’t doing things that apparently Chistopher Pike’s books were doing.

ALL:

[Laughing]

COOPER:

Yeah, these teenagers have full on adult adventures.

CASSIE:

They do!

COOPER:

Like, it is soap opera, adult shit, as 16 and 17-year-olds.

CASSIE:

As a 12-year-old, I thought my life at 17 would be very different than it actually ended up being.

ALL:

[Laughing]

BECCA:

I respect it though, because I do know that I did go to high school with people who were having sex, and teen pregnancies and whatever, like whatevz. You know, like, so it’s kind of cool that he did add that in because that did happen to some people and their lives, they really were doing that, so like that’s nice that he like pointed it out and didn’t like, try to make it, like, everyone is so innocent, and so naive that, like, their entire teen years, you know?

COOPER:

And I think the horror element there, it captures the, you know, there is a fear that you’re not going to live up to your peers, there’s a fear that you’ll be the only one not having sex. I imagine, I can’t speak for the women obviously, but I imagine that it puts in your head, there’s a fear that your bodies will not measure up.

BECCA:

Mhmm, definitely.

COOPER:

So, it’s playing on these other fears, I think. And other fears of the unknown, of the things that you hear that people are doing in the hallways, like cocaine. And that’s all over DIE SOFTLY.

BECCA:

My God, I’m so excited.

COOPER:

And I’d forgotten that until I got halfway through, and then it’s like, OH MY GOD, it’s this book, isn’t it!

ALL:

[Laughing]

COOPER:

And so, it’s this unknown fear for the people that are sitting in their bed, under the covers, reading horror books instead of going out to the big parties and doing cocaine and having all the sex, I think. [Laughing] At least, that’s for me, I don’t want to speak for the two of you.

CASSIE:

No, no, I agree with that! It’s like, living vicariously kind of.

COOPER:

Yeah, a little dangerous, a little sexy, and a little exciting. [Laughing]

CASSIE:

I think it was cool, too, because he obviously had a ton of horror stuff going on, but in his books as well, there’s kind of like, another line of, I don’t know, metaphysical sort of spirituality, and things like that – mythology and things. And I think it’s so, so interesting that he wrote things with so much sex and so much stuff from other cultures and other religions and things, and they did well for teens here, like in America! It’s wild. [Laughing]

COOPER:

Yeah! Well, I think it’s because it’s like a Trojan horse. With those covers, and being by an author from that Point Horror teen series, people didn’t pay enough attention. Like, I know if my mother had had any clue what was inside that book, she would not have let me read them! Period! I mean, my favorite example of my mother’s concern but lack of awareness is with the book IT.

CASSIE:

[Laughing]

COOPER:

Because the mini-series was coming out, and I was 11. And my mother was well aware that, number one, I still had horror problems. And number two, I was terrified of clowns for most of my life! And she said to me, looking at the book IT, that is 12- 1300 pages? “If you could read that by the time the mini-series is released, you can watch the mini-series.”

CASSIE:

Oh, noooo.

BECCA:

Can I tell you, it took me half a year to get through that book as, like a full grown adult. [Laughing]

COOPER:

Me too! But I had this massive book in sixth grade, sitting with this massive book open on my desk, and I couldn’t believe the content in there!

CASSIE:

Yeah, there’s a lot of stuff in there that’s…

COOPER:

Oh, my God!

CASSIE:

Yeah! [Laughing]

COOPER:

And it’s like, she had no idea what she did! She had no idea!

CASSIE:

It’s genius marketing, though! Like, to put covers that are bright, and that appeal to children – like, my mom? She bought me FLOWERS IN THE ATTIC by V.C. Andrews when I was a child.

COOPER:

Oh, my God!

CASSIE:

I was ten! She said, “There are kids on the cover, so it’s a kids book!” And the people who are making these books, they know what they’re doing. They’re trying to appeal to kids because they want the kids to buy it, they want the teens to buy it, it’s for them, but it’s… It’s for them, but it’s not for the parents. [Laughing]

BECCA:

Did you guys notice that, like, when the newest IT movie came out, when was it, like, 2018? Like, kids were all over that! Like way more than when I was a kid, like when I was a kid, I remember having a nightmare of Pennywise! [ Laughing] This is such a random memory, I was like in a car garage, and I laid on the ground looking underneath the car, and Pennywise is just staring at me!

CASSIE:

Oh, my God!

BECCA:

I never forgot that dream!

ALL:

[Laughing]

BECCA:

So it’s wild to me, because like, looking back, now I’m not scared of the 90s IT at all, but as a kid he was terrifying! So to see now that all these kids they’re all about him and Georgie, like I am shocked by it! My boyfriend has a son who’s like, 10, and he’s obsessed with it.

CASSIE:

You had me do those cards for him that one time, that was for him, right?

BECCA:

Yeah!

CASSIE:

Yeah, she had me make little Valentine’s Day cards or something for his entire class?

BECCA:

Yes! I still have one of them on my little cork board! [Laughing]

CASSIE:

And I remember thinking, ‘This is for kids? I mean, they’re not scared of this?! Oh my gosh!’

ALL:

[Laughing]

COOPER:

There’s a thrill like a roller coaster with horror, and I feel like when we are much younger, and I’m the oldest person on this podcast I’m well-aware of that, I feel like I probably got at least a decade on both of you. Probably more? But when we are young, we feel like everything is ahead of us, and it’s terrifying. But we also feel like we’re indestructible, and we like to test that. And testing that can be either going out and doing all of the things, or it can be reading about them and scaring the shit out of yourself because we wanna see if we can, you know? And I know that was why I was sitting in my parent’s bedroom turning on HALLOWEEN, I knew it would give me nightmares, I knew that. But I still wanted to see it, ‘cause I wanted to feel its power, maybe? ‘Cause it definitely has that. Have you seen MATINEE?

BECCA & CASSIE:

No.

COOPER:

This is an assignment, but not a podcast assignment. MATINEE is one of the best movies about horror ever. It’s set during the Cuban Missile Crisis in Florida, it’s a young teen – maybe 15? There’s the whole interest in a girl thing, but there’s also the world’s gonna end, and at the same time, this movie called ‘Mant’ comes to town, and ‘Mant’ is about a man ant, it’s like THE FLY. ANd John Goodman plays a character that’s basically William Castle who did HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL and THE TINGLER, and he goes from town to town, and he sets up buzzers in the seats, and makes it extra scary. But he talks about why we do this, why we go to horror:

[AUDIO CLIP FROM MATINEE PLAYS]

WOOLSEY
I didn't think anybody'd recognize Herb. You spend your whole life sittin' in monster movies?

GENE
A lot, yeah. Somebody like herb or Vincent price, it's like they're my friends.

WOOLSEY
That's a strange group. What are your real friends like?

GENE
I don't have too many. My dad's in the Navy, so we move all the time.

WOOLSEY
Oh, man! Five hundred new kids a year? That's Scary. One time we moved. This was to the big town, Hatfield, Missouri. I was petrified of those guys.

GENE
Really?

WOOLSEY
Oh, yeah. But see, now I get my revenge. I get to scare everybody else, but it's for their own good. People go like this (covers his eyes) at the Scary parts. They're not gettin' the whole benefit. You gotta keep your eyes open.

GENE
What's the benefit?

WOOLSEY
Okay, like, uh… A zillion years ago a guy's livin' in a cave. He goes out one day. Bam! He gets chased by a mammoth. He's scared to death but he gets away. When it's all over with, he feels great.

GENE
Yeah, 'cause he's still living.

WOOLSEY
But he knows he is, and he feels it. So he goes home, back to the cave, first thing he does, he does a drawing of the mammoth. And he thinks… People are comin' to see this! Let's make it good! Let's make the teeth real long and the eyes real mean! Boom! The first monster movie. That's probably why I still do it. Make the teeth as big as you want, then kill it off. Everything's okay. The lights come up. (Sigh) You see, the people come into your cave with the 200-year-old carpet. The guy tears your ticket in half. It's too late to turn back now. The water fountain's all booby-trapped and ready, the stuff laid out on the candy counter. Then you come over here to where it's dark. Could be anything in there! And you say… “Here I am! What have you got for me?”

[End of audio clip)

COOPER:

And it’s this beautiful speech from John Goodman, and really, it’s just a wonderful examination of something sort of unspoken about horror. And the thing that people who don’t like the genre really have never understood, I think. So I feel like there is something spiritual in the genre, and I feel like there is something, and the reason I think the horror community – with some exceptions – is so close, and friendly, is because you’ve experienced something together, it’s a shared terror. And the shared terror will bond you, you know, people who go through a horrible experience often come out more strongly bonded than anyone else.

CASSIE:

Absolutely.

COOPER:

And we share this horror with each other, even though we’re going through it separately. And we come out as part of ‘the survivors’. So, Becca, we look forward to welcoming you into the Christopher Pike ‘Survivors Club’!

CASSIE:

We do!

BECCA:

Thank you, I’m excited!

COOPER:

And our audience! Because, you know it’s really amazing to me, because for the longest time I thought Christopher Pike was just this thing I knew about.

CASSIE:

Same, yeah. [Laughing]

COOPER:

But then I discovered bookstagram stuff!

CASSIE:

Yes, exactly!

COOPER:

And because there’s such gorgeous covers, there’s so much love for them. But then I started to realize, it’s not just the covers. People really, really love and have this nostalgia for these books, and there are so many of them. And really, it’s– I’m so thrilled to be doing this with the two of you!

CASSIE:

Awww!

COOPER:

And it is going to be such an interesting journey rediscovering these, and sharing them with so many people! Like the “Show Us Your Pike” hashtag, I was blown away that people are already responding and showing us their Pike books! And I love the battered books, you know, with the folds in the cover. It’s so exciting to me!

CASSIE:

I love seeing them, it’s really great. I love seeing everybody’s, like, way that they display them. Because not everybody puts them in color order, you know, like I do. [Laughing] So I can see all these different collections, it’s awesome!

COOPER:

So the podcast proper, this is a preview episode, the podcast proper is going to appear on October 1st. And we will be talking about the book DIE SOFTLY, which as I mentioned, has cocaine in it. So you have time right now to order your copy of DIE SOFTLY, and you know, there are tons of used bookstores with so many Christopher Pike books. So definitely get your copy, get it read – it’s like a five hour read, seriously. It’s easy reading. And tension! So, then we will be talking about that for our first episode. We intend to at the end of every episode give you your ‘homework assignment’ for the next episode, which will be the next book that we’re going to be reading. And at some point, I’m sure we’re gonna start putting together an upcoming books spreadsheet – I bet Cassie’s already working on that.

CASSIE:

I do love my spreadsheets! [Laughing]

COOPER:

‘Cause she’s amazing! If you want to support the show, go to ThePikeCast.com/Patreon. We are all doing this for the love of it, but as you may know, podcasts take time and energy and money. So if you want to support the show, that’s a great place to do it! You can also follow us on all the social medias @ThePikeCast. And we set up for a Goodreads!

CASSIE:

Yeah! It’s called ‘Read with The PikeCast’, and you can look it up, or you can find the Linktree in our Twitter bio. We’re going to be keeping track of the different books we read, and we’re also gonna have some fun reading challenges that will be related to Christopher Pike, like… ‘A list of fun summer books like Pike’s books’ or something like that, so we have a little challenge element going on alongside the podcast.

COOPER:

Awesome! The one thing to mention is we will be spoiling the hell out of that book on the episode, so if you wanna go in fresh, you read the book first! Because we’re talking about it from page 1 to page 230-something, it’s one of his longer books. [Laughing]

CASSIE:

If you have anything that while you’re reading before our first episode goes live, if you’d like us to mention anything, or throughout the entire time that we’re doing this podcast, you can let us know on social media! Tag us, or we have a thread in our Goodreads groups where you can fill out and talk to us about each book we’re going to be doing every two weeks.

COOPER:

Yes, please do! We are well aware of the community value of these books. So, Becca, is there anything that you want to share with the audience about things you’re working on, or your social media, or anything like that?

BECCA:

You can follow me @AsToldByBex, my bookstagram is @ReadWithBex. That’s really all I have to share, I do have a book club called Attack of the Killer Book Club, and we are reading CIRQUE BERSERK by Jessica Guess right now.

CASSIE:

Love that book!

BECCA:

Me, too! It’s like one of my favs, that’s why I picked it.

BECCA & CASSIE:

[Laughing]

BECCA:

So, definitely join that, the Twitter handle for that one is @KillerClub because “Attack of the Killer Book Club’ is apparently too long.

COOPER:

Damn Twitter!

BECCA:

Yeah! They always try to ruin things for me. [Laughing] But yeah, that’s about all I have for right now.

COOPER:

Well, that’s a lot!

BECCA:

I try my best!

COOPER:

Cassie, how about you?

CASSIE:

Yeah, I have my Twitter, and it’s @CtrlAltCassie. My instagram for books is @holo.reader. My personal instagram is @ctrlaltcassie also. I also have an Etsy, and a blog! My blog is called LetsGetGalactic.com, and my Etsy you can find at LetsGetGalacticArt.Etsy.Com. I make lots of horror and colorful themed art, so, yeah.

COOPER:

Her art is amazing!

CASSIE:

Thank you! Becca and I are both contributors for Dead Head Reviews, and I am also a part of Ladies of Horror Fiction. And both of those organizations are really great, you should check them out!

COOPER:

For sure! You can find me on almost all social media @CooperSBeckett. I warn you that my Twitter feed gets a little blue and a little political, so if you don’t like that, you should probably hang out on my Instagram instead. My novels OSGOOD AS GONE and OSGOOD RIDDANCE about a kick-ass queer ghost hunter are both available now, and finally, the audiobooks are coming!

BECCA & CASSIE:

Yay!

COOPER:

My hope is for the first audiobook by the end of October! So stay tuned on this show for more of that. But you can find those at SpectralInspector.com.

CASSIE:

Whoo!

[Spooky outro music begins]

COOPER:

So, I look forward to talking with you both about DIE SOFTLY, and hearing from our audience about DIE SOFTLY. Thank you two for joining me to talk about ourselves.

ALL:

[Laughing]

BECCA:

Thank you for letting me talk about myself!

COOPER:

I hope it wasn’t too painful!

CASSIE:

No, it was fun, thank you!

COOPER:

And we’ll see you in a few weeks!

CASSIE:

Yay!

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The PikeCast's Goodreads Book Club
Read with The PikeCast 38 members
The official Goodreads discussion group for The PikeCast: a horror podcast dedicated to examining the work of Christopher Pike, one book at a time. ThePikeCast.com

Books we're currently reading


Whisper of Death Whisper of Death
by Christopher Pike
Start date: October 1, 2020



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Check out Cooper's Spectral Inspector novels!
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