I wanted to tell you a little story about the Infernal Devices. Back when I first started writing it, a lot of people told me historical fantasy fiction — historical fiction period, except in romance — didn’t sell, no one would read it, my readers would never follow me from The Mortal Instruments to a series set in the past, and that my desire to release them as an alternating series was “totally crazy.”
But I loved the Infernal Devices and I loved the characters and the story and I decided to write them anyway, because well, what is life without passion projects. And I figured if basically nobody read them, well at least a few people would read them and love them.
Since the release of Clockwork Angel, the response from my readers has been overwhelming. As I said, I hoped some people would read them, but I never dreamed that so many people would come to love the characters I loved and embrace the story I’d taken a chance on.
This past week I’ve been on tour for Clockwork Princess and I’ve gotten a ton of wonderful news. Clockwork Angel and Clockwork Prince both debuted at #1 on the NYT children’s bestseller list. But when a series hits three books, they move it from the children’s bestseller list to the “series list” — where the really heavy hitters like The Hunger Games, Twilight, Harry Potter and Percy Jackson hang out. I didn’t dare to hope that Clockwork Princess would propel the books to the top of that list. (The Mortal Instruments has been on top of that list but — it’s not historical fiction.)
On Wednesday I got the news that Infernal Devices was #1 on the New York Times series list. Which means that my historical fiction series, that everyone told me no one would read, debuted at #1 for *all three of its book releases*.
And there’s TMI, too, hanging out at #6! *waves at the Times list*
Then my publisher sent me this tweet:
So I checked and it was true: Clockwork Princess wasn’t just the best-selling children’s book in North America, it was the bestselling book. In the country.
Holy crap. And that’s not even all of it:
ANYWAY. I have a larger point here which is not about me, but about you.
While working on this series (which I have been doing since 2008) I often doubted myself, and my wild idea of writing the historical-fantasy-trilogy-vaguely-based-on-Tale-of-Two-Cities I really wanted to write and hoped people would read. But you never doubted me, even when I doubted myself. TID was a huge amount of work — months of research, plowing through first-hand histories, working with the incredible researcher who helped Neil Stephenson and Libba Bray fine-tune the details of their historical fiction) memorizing dictionaries of Victorian slang, traveling back and forth to England and Wales multiple times a year, throwing up in a plant pot (well, that last part wasn’t strictly necessary but it did happen last time I was in London.) But it was also work for you guys: accepting and coming to love new characters, adjusting to the world of Victorian London, accepting odd diction and a whole load of Latin and Welsh and Mandarin dumped on your heads, and you did it: you proved to be so much more imaginative and adaptable and open than publishing likes to ever imagine readers to be.
You, readers of the Infernal Devices, made all this happen: loved and celebrated these books and supported them in numbers far, far greater than I could ever have hoped.
I am enormously grateful to those who came from the Mortal Instruments to the Infernal Devices thinking they might love Shadowhunters in any age. I am enormously grateful to those who found the Infernal Devices first, and loved them. I am grateful to you all for giving me, and this world and these characters, the chance you did. I am grateful beyond measure to all of you, who followed Tessa, Will and Jem to the end…and even beyond that.
What I wanted to say, in the end, was this: writing this series was one of the dreams of my soul. Thank you for dreaming my dream with me.
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