I bought the first couple of [your] books for my son at Christmas. He loves Harry Potter books etc. and loves to read. I downloaded City of bones and read the book along with my son. Wow! He will not be reading the rest of the books and we won’t go to the movie. Why is it that you felt the need to have gay people in the book? Really? I guess that you think that it is the hip thing to do. :( Too bad that we spent so much money on the books.
I guess no one ever told this person Dumbledore was gay. Oh well.
I know you get a million messages a day, and probably are overwhelmed but I read somewhere recently that you get hate mail for Alec and Magnus being together (which is ridiculous) and I just wanted to tell you that when I read they became a couple I cried with happiness because (being bisexual) I related to Alec a lot and felt happiness vicariously through him and they just make me so happy and give me hope. So thank you. Your books inspire me to become an amazing writer myself!
Dear Ms. Clare - My name is Aaron ___, and I wanted to thank you for saving my life. How did you do that? It’s sort of complicated, but ultimately, you shared with us all the love story of Alec Lightwood and Magnus Bane. Let me explain. I started reading The Mortal Instruments series in college. I had no idea at the time that I was gay. In fact, being a devout Catholic, I though gay marriage was wrong (though my conscience told me otherwise). In comes this amazing character, Alec, struggling the secret of his sexual orientation and hopeless as to ever finding a soulmate who will love him back. I identified with him immediately. Magnus I just assumed was a stereotypical gay person, partying and sleeping around. Sometime after reading the first book, I realized I was gay. It was crushing. My dream all my life was to find love, marry, and have children. I thought my purpose for living was over. Then, reading your story, I shared the moment with Alec and Magnus on the boat, where Magnus confesses his love. Here were two men who had found each other and made each other whole. More importantly, over the series, I have seen these men commit to each other and love each other faithfully, something the world says is impossible for gays. I haven’t found my Magnus yet, but I have the courage and hope to search for him, largely because of you. Thank you for representing gay characters and gay love stories in an authentic, romantic, heart-warming way. Most teen books dealing with sexual orientation have cliched dilemmas and don’t seem to do anything but dwell in their gayness. Your characters fight demons, save the world, face hordes of issues, and make people like me believe in love. God bless you, and I can’t wait for the next book!
Hi Mrs. Cassandra
This isn’t really a question or anything, so you can completely ignore this. My name is Roman and I’m a boy who is involved in several sports and clubs. At one point in my life, I was really struggling with stress that my peers, teachers, parents put on me when it came to academics and physical activities. I literally had no time for myself and it started to effect me. I was just so worried about pleasing other people and living up to expectations I never slowed down and asked “what do I want?”. Soon, however, I came to the conclusion I sorta did like guys in “THAT” way. Of course I couldn’t mention this because I was a star athlete and it would feel like I would just be letting everyone down. So I kept it bottled up inside for over two years. And then one day, I was extremely depressed and I was actually contemplating taking my own life. I had to get out. I started walking aimlessly and stumbled across a bookstore just down the road. The first thing I saw was your book on the front stands, so, without thinking, I picked it up and bought it. I just needed to get away for a little way. I started reading your book that night, whenever I would feel that horrible, suffocating feeling welling in my chest. And every time I would open your book, I was okay. I wasn’t great, I wasn’t suddenly all better, but I was okay. It was probably the best feeling I had felt in the long time. Before I drag this letter out any longer, I would just like to thank you. Really thank you, Mrs. Cassandra. You’re book literally saved my life. And it’s helped me slow down and spend sometime with myself. And Jace. And Clary. And Will. And Simon. And Alec. And Magnus. And Tessa. And Jem. Thank you and I’m sorry I’m so mushy.
First I wanted to say: there is no too mushy. We Shadowhunters are very mushy. Under, like, all the killing. :)
Secondly, I am posting this in part because of what I talked about yesterday, about negativity and positivity. I do get hate mail about Alec and Magnus, all the time, the first letter here being a fairly mild example. (Everyone whose letter is here was asked whether they would allow me to post their correspondence, except the first one. If you’re going to be a huge homophobe at me, I reserve the right to post your email, sans identifying indicators, if I feel like it.)
The thing is, the hate mail gets under my skin and makes me angry and upset, sometimes for days. And yet I also get an incredible amount of extremely lovely, extremely moving messages and letters and emails and in-person meetings (a gorgeous pair of gay parents who drove three hours to meet me so I could sign their baby’s hoodie from Magnus and Alec, the boy who spent sixty pounds he didn’t have on train tickets so he could give me a letter in person at my London event) and yet sometimes I do the worst thing ever and I don’t write back — because I’ve saved the letter, because I want to write something really really meaningful and amazing and personal back and yet life is coming down on me like a ton of bricks and I can’t find the words. It’s not an excuse, just an explanation. You want to give people back something of equal value as what they gave you and — you can’t, so you freeze up.
So I picked these few messages out, as examples, so I could share them publicly and celebrate the people who are brave enough to write them and share important parts of themselves with someone they don’t know. I’ve often failed to do the same in the same situation, when a book has helped me — so I admire them.
Anyway, much rambling, but to condense: I used to throw the homophobic mail out, but not that long ago I took to writing back to the people who complained that they wasted their money on my books with gay characters, suggesting that they return the books, get the money, and donate it to the Trevor Project.
“The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth. Every day, The Trevor Project saves young lives through its free and confidential lifeline, in-school workshops, educational materials and online resources and advocacy. Learn more at TheTrevorProject.org.”
No one, so far, has, that I know of (surprise!) so I decided that since I was invoking the Trevor Project, what about using the power of all the nice and awesome and fantastic people to raise some money for them? Why not?
So — and this was a bit of a long game — I brought a copy of City of Bones to the movie set with me, and had all the actors sign it for the charity. It is, as far as I know, the only copy of City of Bones out there right now that everyone in the cast has signed.*
You can find pictures of the book, and a button for donating, here:
To enter to win the signed book, go to and make a donation of $10 or more to the Trevor Project. Only one person can win the book, but EVERYONE who enters will get a snippet from the upcoming Bane Chronicles…..an excerpt from the story about why Magnus is banned from Peru! In early April we’ll pick a winner at random and send them the book, and make sure everyone gets their excerpt from the Bane Chronicles.
So you have plenty of time to donate, and plenty of time to boost the signal to get more donations. I’ll keep posting about it as well.
And thank you to everyone who has ever written to me, or come to see me, or messaged me to share their stories about Magnus and Alec, or Aline and Helen. It means more than I can say. I know I have a lot of learning to do in terms of writing characters of diverse sexuality, but I do love these characters and it means a great deal that other people love them too.
*Okay, due to a weird mishap in which the book appeared onset and then disappeared, it is missing Godfrey’s signature on the page, but he nicely mailed in a signed photo of himself when he got home that is bound into the book. So you get to look at his cute face which is a bonus.
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