Hi Cassie! (: I really loved all your books, especially TID because it was just so emotional. I recently finished CoHF and I’m really looking forward to TDA and finding out more about the fey and Emma Carstairs. I have a feeling the books will have a very different tone (in a good way!) from your other books in the Shadowhunter Chronicles because your previous heroines, Clary and Tessa knew nothing about the Shadow World while Emma is obviously a fearsome, trained shadowhunter already. Is Emma’s character close to that of Isabelle, queen of bad-assery? Also, will we please find out more about the Faerie Courts? Out of all the downworlders, the fey fascinated me the mist because of their cunning and their magic… Lastly, will we prettyyy pleaseee see more of JEM CARSTAIRS in TDA? I really loved his personality, with his gentleness and his dry humour. He is easily one of my favorite characters ever! — gloriousburritos
Hi! I’m really glad you’re looking forward to TDA and Emma.
I think it’s natural to want to map new characters onto old characters, like “Is Emma like Izzy?” because it gives a point of reference. We know Emma only as a kid at the moment, and while that does give some insight, it’s still hard to imagine her as the protagonist of her series: the most important character, the one who everything revolves around.
It’s definitely true that while both Clary and Tessa had to have the Shadow world explained to them, The Dark Artifices focuses on characters who are already a part of it. Emma knows she’s a Shadowhunter from the beginning; the question of the book is much less “What is my identity?” and more “Since I self-identify as a dedicated Shadowhunter, how do I know when a law is a bad law?”
Before Infernal Devices came out people constantly asked if Jem (I’ll use him as an example because you seem to like him!) was like Jace, or Alec, or Simon. But while he has some things in common with all of them, he isn’t like any of them. He’s just … like Jem.
Emma is just like Emma. We’ve always seen Izzy as someone who revels in her own natural Shadowhunting skills, while Emma trains constantly, and brutally, and agonizes a lot over whether lack of inborn specialness can be made up for with effort. (She wants to be like Jace, but that’s not easy when you don’t have extra angel blood.) She’s dated before, unlike Clary or Tessa, but not with Izzy’s devil-may-care-I-don’t-believe-in-love attitude. And a huge part of what shapes Emma and Julian is that they have the basically sole charge of all these kids: any sibling who’s ever brought up a younger sibling with little to no help will hopefully relate. Jules, and Emma less but as well, are thrust into these parental roles very early: raising these kids, managing them, getting them to eat, singing them to sleep, teaching them to ride bicycles, all the details of child-rearing land on them and that makes one a very different sort of person.
In the end, though, I think you only can get to know a character by reading about them; no amount of telling people what they’re like will work (just as, as a writer, you get to know characters by writing about them.) I’ve been super happy about the positive response to Emma and Jules so far, and I hope people will not be disappointed in their story!
(We do indeed see much more about the faeries in TDA because of the connection to Mark and Helen. As for seeing Jem, etc, I don’t want to make concrete statements about how much he’ll be in it when the series is as yet unfinished.)
Cassandra Jean drew a gorgeous panel comic of Emma and Jules’ parabatai ceremony, meanwhile. I’m trying to decide whether to post it now or later. :)