Hi Cassandra!!! I have fallen absolutely in love with your books. I find it utterly amazing how you created a completely new race and how the shadow hunters history is so entwined with old stories. Anyway, my question is: why caves? Do the herondales just have a thing for caves? Did you know decide about the others cave experience while righting one of the experiences? Because really caves are kid of kinky. Thank you for your time!!!

I don’t think the Herondales have a thing for caves, given that both times a Herondale has gotten busy underground, it’s not been their choice. They’re not like:

"Darling! I am FEELING THE FEELING! FIND ME A CAVE!"

I actually never even mentally connected up Jace and Clary’s underground lake and Tessa and Will’s prison under the mountain as being remotely similar until readers started asking about it. Which goes to show that a lot of what seeps into our consciousness, as writers, is in fact … unconscious.

I mean, maybe I like caves, given that the entirety of Magisterium is set in a cave, so if anyone ever gets busy, it will again be IN A CAVE. And there was a sea cave in Lady Midnight where some action happened but I took it out because of all the questions about caves. I decided I didn’t want to be remembered as a cave pervert.

Clockwork Princess questions and answers: SPOILERS

thehungergames451 said: I know everyone says this, but I absolutely love your books and they have really changed my life. Anyway, re-reading the Infernal Devices, I noticed that there were very little chapters in Jem’s PoV, and was just wondering why that was…?

I thought I would reblog the below answer since it still stands, but also add that I really enjoyed getting to write Jem’s POV in After the Bridge. I had to avoid his POV again in City of Heavenly Fire because again, Jem KNOWS TOO MUCH, and it was fun to get a chance to tell things from his perspective again.

cassandraclare:

The question’s not spoilery but the answer is …

Hi Cassie! I wanted to thank you for writing a beautiful conclusion to The Infernal Devices. I was wondering, is there a special reason why Jem’s POV is so little throughout the books? Thank you for everything :) — offeringofmoonlight

The question’s not spoilery but the answer is …

Hi Cassie! I wanted to thank you for writing a beautiful conclusion to The Infernal Devices. I was wondering, is there a special reason why Jem’s POV is so little throughout the books? Thank you for everything :) — offeringofmoonlight

SPOILERS FOR CP2

Sure! I knew from early on I was going to have little or no Jem POV in the books, because the whole third book turns on not knowing several things about him.

It’s not impossible to write the POV of a character with a secret. Will has a secret in Clockwork Angel and half of Clockwork Prince and yet we have his POV. But Will is very clear that he has a secret. We know he does. It is not such a good idea to write a character with a secret who we can’t even know has a secret.

All of Clockwork Princess depends on us not knowing several significant things about Jem. First, for the beginning section of the book, we cannot know that he has been taking all his yin fen. We cannot even know he is hiding something. We need to think everything is fine until he collapses, or the whole first third of the book does not work. From there to the middle of the book we cannot know that Jem is reconsidering his decision not to try to become a Silent Brother. Far more importantly, for the entirely middle to end of the book we cannot know that he is not actually dead. It is really impossible to flash to the POV of a character who is supposed to be dead without rather giving it away that he is not.

After that, Jem is a Silent Brother. Silent Brothers are not like the rest of humanity: their minds work differently. They think differently. I did not want to write from the point of view of any Silent Brother, ever, even Jem, as I think it destroys an aspect of their mystery that is essential to the story.

Since I always knew that having Jem POV would not be possible in Princess, it is basically nonexistent in Clockwork Angel or Clockwork Prince. I did not want to get readers used to having his POV ever because then the lack of it would have seemed strange. And I did not think it was necessary to have his POV for people to come to love him. There are very many fictional characters I love whose POV I have never seen. (Calling Mr. Darcy.)

I suppose I would just say: I feel no less close to Jem for not having written as much from his view as from, say, Will’s. And now that we have the end of Clockwork Princess, it’s clear that there might still be Jem’s POV in future books . ..which I think will be fun for us all.*

Like TDA!

Edited to add, here is where Holly and I will be tomorrow night! In Illinois:

http://evanced.nileslibrary.org/evanced/lib/eventsignup.asp?ID=20056

Time: 7:00pm. Admission: Free. Age restrictions: All Ages. Address: 6960 West Oakton St.. Venue phone: 847-663-6622.

See you there perhaps! And now to the airport I go.

cassandraclare:

Hey Cassie! I was just wondering what book or writing conferences and events you were planing on attending this year?!? If any…
Holly and I will both be at Anderson’s 11th Annual Young Adult Literature Conference this weekend. Info here!
We’ll also be…
Conferences and Europe tour dates
Hey Cassie! I was just wondering what book or writing conferences and events you were planing on attending this year?!? If any…
Holly and I will both be at Anderson’s 11th Annual Young Adult Literature Conference this weekend. Info here
We’ll also be at the Bath Festival in England, October 4. Info here.
And while not strictly festivaly, our tour of Europe is looking like this:
PortugalNov 4-5 
SpainNov 5-8 
Belgium/Netherlands: Nov 8-11 
Germany: Nov 11-15/16
Details coming. Meanwhile much to do!
Hi! It's very unlikely that you will see this but I just wanted to tell you that I've read The Mortal Instruments, The Infernal Devices and The Iron Trial and they really affected me. I really connected with Jem and Callum as I had to take sickening medication and walk with a limp. I really got Callum and it made me feel good about myself. These books gave me an escape and I really wanted to thank you for that. - Molly xx :)

That is so sweet. Holly is across from me at the table and she sends you big hugs.

frenchfilmelephant said: Should we expect any Cassandra Jean work sometime soon?

Ask and ye shall!

Cassandra Jean and I are hard at work on a Sekrit Project, so the flower card output has slowed for the moment — but it will continue!

Hi Cassie After reading all the TMI, TID and TMBC books I still don’t get why Will Herondale is such a touchy subject for Magnus. I mean, yes, they were friends and we know Magnus told Camille they were dating even tho they weren’t and Magnus had helped Will and Tessa many times but there was nothing that explains (unless I totally missed it) why talking about Will made Magnus sad. Why did he kept referring to Will as a painful memory and why on earth did Alec even think they had feelings for each other. Was Magnus inlove with Will and was upset that it was one sided? Did Will somehow hurt Magnus along the years? I’m still confused about the whole thing. I’d be super grateful if you could shed some light on the matter. Thank you so much for your books! — nicky-angel  

“Are you in love with Will?” Woolsey asked—all curiosity, no jealousy.

“No,” Magnus said. “I have wondered that, but no. It is something else. I feel that I owe him. I have heard it said that when you save a life, you are responsible for that life. I feel I am responsible for that boy. If he never finds happiness, I will feel I have failed him. If he cannot have that girl he loves, I will feel I have failed him. If I cannot keep his parabatai by him, I will feel I failed him.” —Clockwork Princess

Will did find happiness, and Will did get the girl he loved. Will did not get to keep his parabatai by him. So Magnus feeling he failed Will in that would be the simplest explanation for Magnus’ feelings of sadness regarding Will, and the one that Magnus plainly says is the reason.

Text is open to interpretation, of course, and you don’t always have to agree with the characters. My perspective is that Magnus’s sadness/wistfulness/sentimentality about Will springs from a few different sources:

1. The one Magnus stated, above. He feels he failed Will.
2) Thinking of Will reminds him of his own immortality. Remembering people he cared about and lost sometimes makes him sad. He cared about Will, and Will is dead. What’s not to be sad about?

3) Magnus had a front row seat to Tessa’s heartbreak when Will died. As another immortal, her great love for a mortal was symbolic for Magnus. We think of Tessa as someone with a lot of equanimity and wisdom, but at the time she was probably miserable. Magnus was likely one of her main supports at that time, and thus he probably saw the worst of it. And  wouldn’t that remind him of him and Alec?

3. When Magnus thinks of Will, he doesn’t just think of Will as he was the last time Magnus saw him in CP, as Will-with-a-happy-ending. He thinks of all the Wills he knew over time, including the tortured young man, and the Will that grew old, and the absence of Will that broke Tessa’s heart.
Lastly, Alec thought Magnus was in love with Will because he was repeatedly manipulated by Camille into fixating on the idea that he was. But the reason Alec was so vulnerable to that manipulation was that Magnus refused to communicate about his past. (More about that here:http://cassandraclare.tumblr.com/post/23085927566/city-of-lost-souls-questions-and-answers-spoilers)
You guys are super sweet!
Two artists worked on the Iron Trial cover. The illustration was done by French artist Alex Chaudret. Alex’s work:


Some of the design elements were done by Jim Tierney, one of my favorite book designers, like the bird-sword design of Call’s knife Miri.
David (our editor) just showed us the comps for the cover of the second book and it is lovely! And has Jasper!

You guys are super sweet!

Two artists worked on the Iron Trial cover. The illustration was done by French artist Alex Chaudret. Alex’s work:

Some of the design elements were done by Jim Tierney, one of my favorite book designers, like the bird-sword design of Call’s knife Miri.

David (our editor) just showed us the comps for the cover of the second book and it is lovely! And has Jasper!

sad Jem pretty art. 
swifty-fox:

Atque At Vale Brother mine
whew, first picture on the new laptop. 
Man Will would throw the biggest bitchfit if he knew he had been buried next to a Lightwood

sad Jem pretty art. 

swifty-fox:

Atque At Vale Brother mine

whew, first picture on the new laptop. 

Man Will would throw the biggest bitchfit if he knew he had been buried next to a Lightwood

Simon and his memory.

SPOILERS FOR CITY OF HEAVENLY FIRE.

bethaniebooks said: EEEEEEEEEK!!! Hi! Um, I’m like so nervous right now!! I am a HUGE fan of TMI and so is my best friend, we talk about it almost every day…but I have to ask…WHY DID YOU MAKE SIMON LOSE HIS MEMORY?! Me and my friend cried for like a week straight! I just have to know…*sigh*

Simon losing his memory was set up in City of Lost Souls, when Azazel takes a memory from each of Team Good, indicating that demons trade in memories.

Simon lost his memory because though I planned a hopeful and sweet more than bitter ending for TMI, I didn’t think it was an ending that should come entirely without consequence. Consequences are part of the theme of the books, thus the quote from Ted Hughes that opens City of Fallen Angels:

Nothing is free. Everything has to be paid for.
For every profit in one thing, payment in some other thing. For every life, a death. Even your music, of which we have heard so much, that had to be paid for. Your wife was the payment for your music. Hell is now satisfied. 

There was no way for Team Good to get out of Edom without paying a huge price. Sebastian’s life isn’t a huge price, because they came there to kill him, so accomplishing what you came there to do, however that might prick you with regrets, isn’t a huge price. They lost Raphael, but that was before the majority of Team Good even got there, and Raphael didn’t come to Edom willingly — he was forced. Being kidnapped and then killed isn’t a consequence for a choice you made.

It was important to me that Team Good be brave and willing to sustain losses to save the world. They chose to go to Edom, knowing they’d probably never come back. They were gifted with a way to come back, but that way had to come at a terrible price. It could have been any of them that volunteered to die — they all did volunteer to die. It could have been Magnus’ life, but since they pretty much forced Magnus to call upon his father in the first place, that’s very uncomfortable. When Team Good forces one of their members to do something they didn’t want to do and the result is that that member dies, Team Good may have to become Team Morally Compromised.

Not to mention I’m not sure it’s something Alec would have survived.

For every profit in one thing, payment in some other thing. They all got out of Edom, even Simon. The payment was Simon’s memories. They could all otherwise have gotten out of Edom with no payment at all, but then they look pretty stupid for having been so worried about going to Edom in the first place as it is clearly a cakewalk where you get to have sex in caves. Everyone should go to the demon realms! They have skiing! 

As for why memories?! why Simon?! — well, removing any else’s memories would have meant throwing them out on the streets of a world where they had no way to survive; they’re all Shadowhunters or magical creatures. Simon had a life to go back to. It was a survivable if agonizing compromise. It is also a choice that hits pretty much all of them where it hurts. They’re Shadowhunters. Simon’s not. They should have protected him. They couldn’t. Save the world and lose a piece of your heart; that’s a consequence.

Hi Cassie :) About Simon - I was wondering what exactly your reasoning was behind having Simon become a shadowhunter. In one of your old blog posts (I can’t remember which), you said you thought he “deserved” to become a shadowhunter after fighting alongside them for so long. But I feel like that implies vampires aren’t as good as shadowunters, something Simon and Alec talked about. From what I understood, it wasn’t okay for Alec to think Simon was beneath him simply because he was a vampire, but doesn’t what you stated imply that vampires aren’t on equal standing with shadowhunters? Also, now that Simon is mortal again, on the path to becoming a shadowhunter and also capable of having children, doesn’t that make all of his struggles throughout the series meaningless? I enjoyed watching Simon struggle with his identity and accepting his vampirism (if that’s a word), and I really liked the whole Mark of Cain thing. But if all of that is reversed, what was the point of his struggles? I just feel like his ending was too perfect. But I’m sure you have some reasoning behind it all, and I’d be honored if you’d share it with us. Thanks so much!!

I put these two questions side by side to illustrate the variety of reader response. From the idea that what happened to Simon is unbearable to the idea that what happens to Simon is too perfect, everyone has their different take. And as I believe all personal takes are valid, all I can do is give you my take. It may mean I disagree or we focus on different things but it doesn’t mean I think your reading is invalid. Just wanted to get that our of the way.

. In one of your old blog posts (I can’t remember which), you said you thought he “deserved” to become a shadowhunter after fighting alongside them for so long. But I feel like that implies vampires aren’t as good as shadowunters, something Simon and Alec talked about.

This is extra-book stuff as we’re now discussing my commentary on commentary. :) But I will say I don’t agree here. Simon deserved to become a Shadowhunter because it was something he wanted to be, not because it was something objectively better. Saying someone deserves something they want… not really the same as saying that what they don’t want is beneath them. If Simon had wanted to be a pilot and not a sailor, would that mean the text communicated ‘DAMN ALL SAILORS’?

I enjoyed watching Simon struggle with his identity and accepting his vampirism (if that’s a word), and I really liked the whole Mark of Cain thing. But if all of that is reversed, what was the point of his struggles? 

Simon lost the Mark of Cain in City of Lost Souls — traded it away for a weapon from Raziel. In fact, his speaking to Raziel was possibly the most Shadowhuntery thing anyone but Clary has done in TMI! Here is where we’re going to disagree textually (and that’s fine) — I never wrote Simon as accepting his vampirism, purposefully. He always hated it. He hated what happened with Maureen, he hated losing his family, he hated the idea of being in a clan, of living with other vampires. He didn’t have any vampire friends unless you count Raphael and that was always a tetchy relationship during which Raphael repeatedly told Simon that he was a terrible vampire because in fact he was. He was uniquely unsuited to it. The only thing he ever seemed to like about it was biting Isabelle and there are other things he could have done with Isabelle that he probably would have liked as much if not more.

(Lord Montgomery ponders.)

Also, now that Simon is mortal again, on the path to becoming a shadowhunter and also capable of having children, doesn’t that make all of his struggles throughout the series meaningless?

Jace is now free of the heavenly fire, knows who he is, knows the love of his life isn’t his sister, and is on a path to a happy life. Does that make all his struggles meaningless? Why would a happy ending specifically make anyone’s struggles meaningless? 

I mean, it could be that I am not understanding the question properly. From my point of view, Simon’s struggles — not wanting to be a vampire, not knowing how to deal with being rejected by his family, being always afraid vampires were going to spring at him for his yummy Daylighter blood — are simply being replaced with a different set of struggles. Simon is now an ex-Downworlder who is going to have to go train to become a Shadowhunter in a world where Shadowhunters, despite the progress made, still hate and distrust Downworlders, and everyone knows who he is. He has to go live in Idris, a place he doesn’t remember. He is also going to have to somehow come to terms with the fact that he no longer remembers a huge portion of his life. He doesn’t remember his childhood properly, or his best friend, or the girl he loves, or himself. He’s going to have to reconstruct an entirely new Simon out of the pieces he has and whatever he gets back. To me that is a much more interesting struggle.

Also, now that Simon is mortal again, on the path to becoming a shadowhunter and also capable of having children

All of these things are good things only if Simon wants them. Who wants to be mortal? I don’t, frankly. Others do. Not everyone would want to be  Shadowhunter. Simon luckily does, always has since book one. As for the children thing, who says he wants them or ever will? Not everyone wants children; not everyone has to have children to be happy. (Interesting post here about how difficult it is if you don’t want kids to find any kind of story that reflects your life and wants. “It seems in every other romance there must be a baby-epilogue, or baby-logue, with pregnancy and glowing and 2.5 children in the future. Which books feature heroines and heroes who are not interested in having children, whether it’s a major topic point or not? Which ones did you like best?”) TDA takes place when Simon would be 22, TWP when he would be 25. There’s no reason to think even if he wanted kids he’d have any in that time period or it would impact the story. (Besides, I think everyone assumed he’d wind up with Izzy as a vampire, and then they’d be together, and then they could perfectly well have kids by adopting them or with artificial insemination. Adopted children are your children. When Magnus and Alec adopt, that will be their kid. Sorry, tangential unrelated rant — my best friend has two biological kids, my other best friend’s son is adopted, and I don’t have kids. I get tired of hearing that only one of us has a family that is considered happy or acceptable.)

ANYWAY.

I don’t think that when struggles are over, they are rendered meaningless. I think that if there is something that feels weird about Simon’s ending, it is that everyone else gets what feels like closure. Simon gets what feels like an opening for more story. And there will be more story — in Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy, and even in TDA. I can see how that would make one feel “this ending is different/strange/why do I feel differently about it than the endings for the other characters?” And sometimes when things feel strange, we struggle to identify why – too happy, too sad, too overdetermined, too unclear? Maybe that explains the range of response to some extent. And also just that readers are always different people. A book is a bit of a kaleidescope – every person who looks in it will see the same glittering crystals, but never in quite exactly the same arrangement.