While it may be impossible to pinpoint who exactly first imagined the monsters—vampires and werewolves and zombie—that populate folklore, we do know the origins of Casters. These supernatural sort-of-witches found in the Beautiful Creatures YA series, the first of which has is now a movie, were invented by the books’ authors, Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. With Twilight done, it’s looking like romantic interest in vampires may be waning as well. Garcia and Stohl told TIME, speaking about the movie adaptation, that their teenage relatives and students specifically requested new supernatural beings to follow.
Kami Garcia: But [the teens in our lives] said to us, ‘We want a story from a boy’s point of view, because we love Twilight and all these other books we’ve ready but they’re all from a girl’s perspective. And we want the boy to be the regular mortal and we want to girl to be the one with the power.’
Margaret Stohl: ‘And no more vampires. We’re done with vampires.’
KG: ‘You need to create your own supernaturals.’
MS: ‘And nothing generic. They’re all starting to sound the same to us. Put it somewhere really specific.’
KG: So we had to meet the criteria or we had to hear about it. I had to hear about it at work and she had to hear about it at home, and then they were emailing and facebooking us criticism. They were worse than any editors.
Casters, introduced in 2009 in the first Beautiful Creatures book, believe that “witch” is a derogatory term. (“That’s such a stupid word, really. It’s like saying jocks. Or geeks. It’s just a dumb stereotype,” explains the book’s heroine, Lena Duchannes.) Casters have powers, can do spells and are either “claimed” for good or evil. They’re inspired by the witches we all know—from the tale of Hansel & Gretel to The Wizard of Oz—but re-imagined by the authors.
As the world of young-adult paranormal romance continues to expand, they’re not alone. Twilight gave its vampires new abilities (sparkling!), and other recent blood-sucker-centric books have also altered the creature’s constitutions, straying from the basic no-light-or-garlic model. In 2009′s House of Night (becoming a movie in 2013), humans are “marked” to evolve into “vampyres” and then attend a school for “fledglings;” 2007′s Vampire Academy (the movie of which is in development) also takes place at a sort of Hogwarts for the undead.
It doesn’t stop there. Here are seven other newly adapted paranormal beings populating the teen novels that will be moving into movie theaters in the next year or so.