Exclusive: Cassandra Clare and Holly Black talk about ‘The Iron Trial’, diversity and a bat (Part Two)

Cassie and Holly_©Cassandra Clare & Holly Black

Here is part two of our interview with Cassie and Holly; click here for part one.

Do not go on reading if you haven’t read The Iron Trial yet. There are major spoilers!

Cathrin: What is the most exciting thing that is going to happen in book two [Holly laughs] that won’t give too much away or what can your readers expect from book two which is hopefully still called The Copper Gauntlet?

Cassie: It is still called The Copper Gauntlet. I think what readers can expect from book two [to Holly] slap me if I say too much! For me the book is a lot about Call and his father now that his father realizes for sure that Call is Constantine Madden, what happens with Call and his dad and also the question of who in the Magisterium finds out the truth about Call and what they do about it.

Holly: Do his friends find out? What does it mean to hide it from them? What would it mean to tell them? It’s a lot of the consequences of what he learned at the end of book one.

Cassie: Call really doesn’t want his friends to know but the more he hides it from Aaron specifically, the worse it looks.

Holly: And also him wrestling of what does it mean to be – potentially – an evil overlord? Like, what does it mean? What about him? Is he evil overlord-like? How much can he monitor himself for evil overlord tendencies? So he’s got a lot of like, ‘Is this being like an evil overlord? Or maybe I should do it or maybe I shouldn’t do it? What would an evil overlord do? Let me do the opposite.’

Cassie: It’s interesting because he’s constantly self-monitoring, like in the way that most of us don’t, ‘Is this a good or evil thing to do?’

Holly: ‘If I were evil, what would I pick from this menu? Is my choice an evil choice?’

Cathrin: But at least he’s got Havoc…

Cassie: He has Havoc who is his …

Holly: Evil pet.

Cassie: Right, he is a little worried that Havoc is an evil pet but he loves Havoc and Havoc loves him. He’s not getting rid of him.

Holly: But he might be an evil pet.

Cassie: He might be evil but Call’s not getting rid of him!

Cathrin: Is there a particular reason why Callum wasn’t in the center of the first cover?

Holly: Yeah, there is a reason. […] If you have heard that there’s a twist in the book, the thing you think that twist is, is when Aaron is revealed to be the Makar and Call isn’t […] In a magic school book where a kid who hasn’t really made much of himself […] we assume a certain set of things. We assume that he is going to find out that he is super, super special and is destined to fight the Big Bad. And so when you realize Aaron is the person who is super, super special and has way more markers of being a hero and then actually is a Makar, he then becomes the person we think of as the main character. In a different book he would be the main character so putting him in the center puts him in that main character/protagonist position and is a nod to that reveal.

Cassie: Actually when we first saw the covers they gave us a number of different positions and designs and we fell in love with that one because the artist was clever enough to put Aaron in the middle.

Cathrin: That’s actually a great answer because it leads to one of my other questions: because Callum isn’t the usual hero, his story doesn’t seem to follow Joseph Campbell’s ‘hero’s journey’, how much fun was it to deviate from this monomyth and how do you think did your readers react to the plot twist or how do you think will your future readers react to it?

Cassie: It was so much fun to deviate. We’ve both done, I think, versions of the hero’s story; I’ve definitely done it with Clary. […] It’s incredibly fun to do something different because we know that story so well we can kind of look at the reverse of the story. It came from a conversation that we were having where Holly constantly observes brilliant and intelligent things and is tragically ignored by her sleeping friends… We were talking about how things in books that mark a character as special and they’re going to be a hero and how they overlap very closely with the things that say ‘This character is gonna be a villain’. This character has a tragic past, that’s a hero thing but it’s also a villain thing. This character has a special powerful power, that’s a hero thing but it’s also a villain thing. This character has a great love that is lost, that’s a hero thing, that’s also a villain thing. We were like, ‘What if we follow what seems like the traditional path? Saying this character has all these marks of a hero’ and then we realize, ‘Oh they’re actually also the same things that mark a villain.’

Cathrin: Is the series set in a particular time – the same as the release year or the early 2000s or is it completely random?

Holly: I think we try to keep it vague so people will not realize, as the story goes on, exactly where it started but I think we can assume that it begins in the year it was published.

Cassie: I would call it nowish.

Holly: Yeah, it’s nowish and as much as you can cheat, nowish is useful to do.

Cassie: I think that, also from what you were saying before, our readers and how they react to the twist: usually very surprised. I have not seen that there were many people who were not pretty surprised, either happy surprised or bad surprised, they’re usually shocked and I get a lot of emails that say, ‘But why? Why?’

Holly: I don’t know how filthy this interview is about to be but you got a great email today!

*There’s unedited use of the f-word in the following answer*

Cassie: Yes! […] It was an email that said, ‘Call is Constantine Madden? Fuck you, fuck you, fuck you.’ [everyone laughs] ‘Fuck you why?’ I said, ‘Holly, this is great!’

Holly: It is, truly. When we sat down to write the book it was that reaction that we were hoping for the most. [laughs again]

Cassie: I was like, ‘This is a beautiful piece of fan mail’. [laughs]

~*~

A very big THANK YOU to Cassie and Holly for answering all of my questions! I had a brilliant time with the two of them and cannot thank them enough for their generosity and kindness.

I would also like to thank the German Magisterium publisher Bastei Lübbe – especially Ms L. – for arranging the interview and for allowing me to havethat much time with Cassie and Holly. Vielen Dank!

And to all our readers out there who will hopefully get to meet Cassie and/or Holly one day: don’t be nervous; only chocolate, which they both love, is sweeter than them ;-)

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Exclusive: Cassandra Clare and Holly Black talk about ‘The Iron Trial’, diversity and a bat (Part One)

Cassie and Holly_©Cassandra Clare & Holly Black

Before Casandra Clare and Holly Black signed their book The Iron Trial in Cologne on November 12, I sat down with Cassie and Holly to chat about plot twists, diversity in novels and how aspiring authors can make writing novels easier.

Since the interview was 25 minutes long and Cassie and Holly also talked about spoilers for The Iron Trial, there will be two parts: the non-spoilery part and the spoilery one which also has an unedited mention of the f-word.

~*~

Cathrin: [Before the interview] You briefly mentioned the cover for The Copper Gauntlet, will the whole series have matching covers?

Cassie: Yeah, as far as we know. They’re all gonna be – they’re all done by Alex Chaudret and they’ll all be in the same style. They won’t all have the same characters but they’ll all be reminiscent of each other like the Percy Jackson covers.

Cathrin: [Since you’re writing Magisterium together] You share one laptop and you push it back and forth, are there also notes scattered around you or is everything relevant inside your heads?

Holly: We actually use a program called Scrivener which I’m super obsessed with and we had put a lot of our notes into the Scrivener file for Magisterium and so when we sit down to write it’s not in a blank chapter, it’s in a chapter with the notes we already put together.

Cassie: We save things like short phrases: ‘Call, Aaron and Tamara go to the test, they fight…’ and then we have to fill it in but we know what the general idea is.

Holly: In Scrivener we also have files on who everyone is at the Magisterium and which year gets which color and which metal and things like that. We can go back and check when we’re in this moment so that is actually the usefulness of writing on one laptop. We can have the master Scrivener file and not have it get confusing where one of us is adding to their own Scrivener file but it doesn’t translate in so we have one set of notes as well as one manuscript.

Cathrin: You are making this interview incredibly easy for me because you’ve mentioned the years and I was wondering: what’s your favorite school year at the Magisterium and why? If you were a student there.

Holly: I assume I would like the last year at the Magisterium. [chuckles] I could laze around, wait to graduate, that would be the greatest year at the Magisterium, right?

Cassie: I don’t know…

Holly: Do you think you’d spend too much time being pressured about the Collegium?

Cassie: Yeah! Cause there’s actually a school after the Magisterium, there’s the Collegium. I feel like I’d spend too much time stressing about what I wanted to do with my life so maybe I would enjoy the silver year the most where I got another year to make decisions.

Cathrin: You’re often at writing retreats with Maureen [Johnson], Sarah [Rees Brennan] and others and there are a lot of funny things that happen when you are together. Did anything really funny or unexpected happen when you were writing The Iron Trial or maybe also the second book?

Cassie: Yeah, the bat!

Holly: Wait, was I there for the bat?

Cassie: You were there for the bat. You were asleep though, weren’t you? Well, it was in Italy.

Holly: No, I wasn’t there.

Cassie: But you came like the next day!

Holly: I did come the next day and I heard about the bat. This bat situation would not have happened if I were there.

Cassie: No, it would not.

Holly: I would have taken this bat situation in hand.

Cassie: It was the night before Holly arrived in Italy so it was me and Sarah and Leigh Bardugo who wrote Ruin and Rising and Leigh had just arrived and Holly was gonna arrive the next morning so we were getting ready to go to dinner. It was this big villa and had a long hallway with these bedrooms off it and a high ceiling and I came out of my room and I saw this bat flying towards me. I’m terrified of bats, I’m terrified of rabies so I screamed. I was like, ‘Sarah, can I come into your room?’ And she said, ‘Nooo, I’m naked.’ And I was like, ‘I don’t care!’ I burst into her room, she was naked and she was like, ‘Why would you do that? Why would anyone do that?’ And I was like, ‘A bat is chasing me!’ She said, ‘That can’t be!’ So she goes out in the hallway, basically naked, she was wearing underwear and she’s like, ‘There can’t be a bat’ And the bat swoops towards her and then she starts running but she is just running naked up and down the hallway, the bat’s chasing her and then Leigh comes out of her bedroom and Sarah is running up and down the hallway naked, screaming and she [Leigh] was like, ‘I don’t even wanna know.’ [Cassie and Holly both laugh] We had to spend half an hour getting rid of the bat. … If Holly had been there, she would have made friends with the bat.

Cathrin: I think I would also have run away. … Let’s talk about diversity [Holly laughs because of the sudden shift in topics] How strongly do you as authors feel the readers’ need for more diversity in Young Adult novels or in novels in general?

Holly: I definitely think it’s much needed. Malinda Lo has done a really great job of putting together statistics and they are sobering! When you see how consistent the level is and how low the level is, of representation across the board in terms of people’s color, in terms of …

Cassie: Non able-bodied characters…

Holly: Yeah, they’re really sobering statistics. Obviously it’s still something that publishing has not figured out how to address.

Cathrin: So they still have a long way to go.

Holly: We have a long way to go… And actually, I have been thinking about this because we have been talking about this in different places, we all sort of notice and think, ‘What can we personally do about it? What can we do about it today?’ What we can do today – I’m gonna recommend three books that I think that anyone reading this might enjoy. Since this [Magisterium] is a middle grade series, I’m gonna recommend two middle grade books: Coe Booth’s Kinda Like Brothers which came out this year. Absolutely great and Varian Johnson’s The Great Green Heist; really fun! Really great. I think there’s gonna be a sequel and then – since I know that many people are reading YA books who might be reading this – Alaya Dawn Johnson’s Love Is the Drug. They are recent releases and they are all great! And if we all listen to this and go ahead and buy these books today, we will have made a difference! … I think about this because we’re talking about this so much and I have been thinking, ‘What can we all do?’ We can do this.

Cathrin: Great! So you’ve written this book together and you’re writing the other books together, what advice would you give friends who are writing a book together so that they don’t fight?

Holly: When we’ve talked to people, a lot of times what they talk about is having disagreements. Having things where one of them wants one thing and one of them wants another thing and I think that the thing we have always talked about is that believing that if you get to the core of why you want something and your buddy gets to the core of why they want something, there’s a way to have both those things. There is a third way.

Cassie: For me it’s the idea of if you’re having an argument and you want one thing and the other person wants another thing, you both have to give up. You’re not gonna get your thing, what you have to do is work together to find a third solution. So it stops it from being a fight about ‘I want this and you want that’ and you’re alike, ‘Instead we work to find thing three’.

Holly: I think just having a very similar view of the characters, like really knowing who they are and both of you kind of believing that they’re the same people. I think if we didn’t have that I think we really would have a rough time.

Cassie: Yeah, most of our arguments are about pacing and timing like when something happens. We argued in the car today.

Holly: Yeah, it was all about, ‘Is it going in this book or the next book?’

Cassie: Which is not an argument about ‘Does this happen?’ We both agreed it happens, absolutely it happens, but when.

Holly: Where does it fit in? How does it fit in? So those are arguments that are easier to have than ‘Who is this person?’ You have to start from a place of building that together.

Cathrin: This is another writing question. Holly, you’ve got a little boy; Cassie, you’ve got your godsons and I was wondering if you could picture yourselves writing a book for even younger readers and since your characters, Cassie, in the Shadowhunter Chronicles have grown [up], if you could imagine writing for older readers (New Adult books)?

Holly: I will say this: I sat down and tried to write a picture book [pauses] and I haven’t figured that out for me yet. I thought, ‘Yeah, sure. I can write a picture book.’ I’m not so sure. It’s tough! It’s a very tough format. […] Picture books are like an iceberg and you see the little bit on top and there is all of this stuff underneath that you have to make work. I think about Mo Willems’ Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, a book that is genius – GENIUS! – because it allows the child to both identify with the disobedient pigeon who is doing this bad thing and also to be the person who for once gets to say no. That kind of thinking [pauses again] breaks my brain! I would love to do it but I’m not sure I know even the first way how.

Cassie: Picture books are very, very difficult. It’s like a poem, you have to say everything in a much smaller period of time but for my godsons I would love to write something that is younger than this [Magisterium]. More like around the age for six-year-olds, about twins that were detectives.

Cathrin: That sounds cool!

Cassie: I think they would love that! There’s such a unique relationship, watching them grow up. They are always together, everything they do is together, the other person is like just a part of you, they are always there. And so I think that would be really fun to explore. […] They sleep in the same room, they sleep at the same time, they eat at the same time, they do everything together and I was spending so much time with them and I was like, ‘Aw, it’d be fun if they had a book about kids like them.’

Holly: I would have written that book!

Cassie: I know but this is my book. [both laugh]

Holly: I’m excited to watch her write really short. It’s like a dream.

Cassie: I’ll just write one really long thing and then chop it up randomly.

Cathrin: So the New Adult… maybe more snippets, like you did with Tessa and Jem?

Cassie: I really enjoyed writing After the Bridge and I would do more. Most people really liked it but I kept getting the same comment from people, ‘I don’t think it’s right that you write this kind of thing about underage people’ and I was like, ‘They are a hundred and forty!’ [Holly laughs] ‘They are not underage, they are senior citizens! They are ancient!’ […] It actually wasn’t even that explicit, it was clear what was going on –

Holly: I’m not sure it was New Adult.

Cassie: I would not pass my stories as New Adult, they would want it to be much more explicit. I don’t know if I write this about Clary and Jace, Julian and … you know, whoever [laughter], am I gonna get all these cranky comments? I don’t know, it made me wonder. But it was really fun to write and I might do it again. Maybe something about Will and Tessa after they’re married cause you can’t really object to people having sex after they’re married. I mean, come on, they’re married!

Cathrin: Holly, you’ve written about faeries and vampires and you’ve also written about people with magical abilities. What do you think is so fascinating about fantasy creatures that the readers buy your books and buy so many fantasy books in general?

Holly: I think that fantasy allows us to talk about the real world in a different way. We all have had the experience of getting angry, so angry that we were afraid that we’d say something or do something that we hurt the people we care about and if you take something like a werewolf and you literalize that. You say: Once a month this person becomes a monster, you’re no longer asking the question ‘Is it okay to feel that way?’ That’s just accepted, it is what it is and now you tell a different story of what it’s like to be out of control. I think because we get to come at life in a different way, we get to think about it differently, too. So I think that’s the value of fantasy. We can tell our own stories in different ways and the more we are able to make them malleable and turn them around, the more we’re able to see different sides of them.

Cathrin: Cassie, before the interview we talked about Simon and Isabelle in Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy, but let’s quickly talk about another installment: there is one about the Circle and then there is also The Secret Treasons [the graphic novel project], is it still a project?

Cassie: Secret Treasons is on hold because we couldn’t do The Secret Treasons and the Shadowhunter Academy at the same time because then I would have two sets of projects that are set at the Academy, going on at the same time and they’d contradict each other so there was no way to keep the continuity going so we have The Secret Treasons on hold. We’re doing Shadowhunter Academy first and then whatever is established as canon about the Shadowhunter Academy in Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy will be the canon for The Secret Treasons. We tried it and it’s impossible. I was working out the stories with Sarah, Maureen and Robin [Wasserman] and at the same time I was doing notes for Secret Treasons and getting back from my co-writer blocks of stuff about what was going to happen [in Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy] that totally were contradicting the other stuff and I was like, ‘I can’t do both at the same time.’ And it’s a lot of stuff. […] The Simon and Isabelle stuff is really fun, actually. They’re in this really interesting situation: she loves Simon now and we started out with he kinda liked her and she was like, ‘Ugh, Simon!’ And now it’s really flipped because she loves him and because she knows him and the Simon that she knows doesn’t remember her! There is this beautiful girl, who’s really nice, who really seems to like him and he’s like ‘I … don’t know what to do about it’ so it’s really tough for Isabelle because she is both really confident but also a person who has issues about trust and so what does she do in a situation where she has to either walk away or trust that Simon is going to fall in love with her again? It’s a really hard thing to do with yourself, to put yourself out there. […] I really felt for her, ‘That’s really scary.’ So we get to see how that’s gonna play out.

~*~

Click here for the spoilery part of the interview.

 

Emma and Mark talk about love in new ‘The Dark Artifices’ snippet

 

Art by Cassandra Jean

 

Cassandra Clare is close to finishing Lady Midnight and she has shared another snippet from the first book in her The Dark Artifices trilogy. In this new snippet Emma Carstairs and Mark Blackthorn talk about Mark’s time with the Wild Hunt and love, but see for yourselves:

“Have I?” asked Mark. “Is this my home?” He looked over at Emma. “I can say this to you because you are not a Blackthorn. You do not have Blackthorn blood running through your veins. I have been in the land of Faerie for years and it is a place where mortal blood is turned to fire. It is a place of beauty and terror beyond what can be imagined here. I have ridden with the Wild Hunt. I have carved a clear path of freedom among the stars and outrun the wind. And now I am asked to walk upon the earth again.”

“You belong where you’re loved,” Emma said. It was something her father had said, something she had always believed. She belonged here because Jules loved her and the children loved her. “Were you loved in Faerie?”

A shadow seemed to come down over Mark’s eyes, like curtains closing in a dark room.

snippet from Lady Midnight illustrated with the first of the Dark Artifices flower cards by Cassandra Jean

There is no release date for Lady Midnight yet but let’s cross our fingers for next year!

TMI TV Tuesday: The Importance of Staying True to the Books

The Mortal Instruments

Every Tuesday, TMI Source and Fangirlish are bringing you TMI TV Tuesdays, where we discuss different aspects regarding the upcoming television adaptation of The Mortal Instruments.

With every adaptation there is a great risk of the source material being altered to extremes. As fans of Cassandra Clare’s books, our first obligation is to the world and the characters that live and breath on the pages. And when the time comes for them to make their way from the pages to the screen, we hope with every fiber of our being that they’ll be treated with care and respect.

It’s important to note that with any adaptation there are certain liberties that the showrunner, producers or studio will take as they adapt it for the big or small screen. But there’s a huge difference between changes that are necessary and changes that are forced and will negatively affect the adaptation.

It feels sort of repetitive and you have to wonder why it even needs to be said, but The Mortal Instruments television show must stay true to the books. And, no, I don’t mean that every single thing that happens in the books must be portrayed to a tee on the small screen. But the important events and the spirit of the Shadowhunter world must remain intact. Because it’s not the Shadowhunter world without it. And it might as well be an entirely different show altogether.

One of the problems with The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones were the changes to things that were actually quite important to the story and the overall series, like Valentine not ending up with the Mortal Cup by film’s end. That was a significant change that affected the plot of the then-second-planned film. It was imperative that Valentine wind up with the Cup — that Clary had to lose something so that she was motivated to fight back, that Valentine posed an immediate threat. All of that was taken away because of the decision to have Clary come away victorious with the Cup. You don’t grow as a person because you win, you grow because you fail and then rise up and keep fighting back. That’s the spirit we all fell in love with. And that’s the spirit I hope remains intact in the show.

The simple fact is that there are going to be changes. There are going some things that are left and some things that are added as a means to move the show along. But that doesn’t mean they’re going to be bad. You might even find them needed. The important thing is to recognize the things that you can change and things that you can’t. It’s not merely because the fans want it but also because it’s important to the spirit of the series.

Speaking in regards to television, there are certain shows that have gotten it right and others that have gotten it wrong (more on that in a future TMI TV Tuesday), but the important thing to note right now is that The Mortal Instruments has the chance to redeem itself. It can be one of these shows that people talk about when they talk about great adaptations, or it can be one that people laugh about how it went horribly wrong. But I have faith that those at Constantin and Ed Decter know the importance of being faithful to the books and will deliver us a show that the fans and Cassandra Clare’s characters deserve.

Angelic Power Rune

Head over to FANGIRLISH on Thursday to read their thoughts on why  it’s important that The Mortal Instruments staying true to the source material, and check back every Tuesday for TMI TV TUESDAYS.

What are your thoughts? How important is it to you that they stay as true to the series as possible? What would be your reaction if they took to many liberties with it? Sound off in the comments!

Exclusive: Cassandra Clare talks ‘The Bane Chronicles’ audiobook + listen to a clip from Magnus’ voicemail

The Bane Chronicles

The Bane Chronicles hits stores today in all of its hardback and audiobook glory, and we’re bringing you an exclusive interview with Cassandra Clare as she talks about the audiobook and how they brought together different actors to voice each individual installment.

We’ve also got an exclusive clip from Magnus’ voicemail, featuring messages from Alec and Isabelle Lightwood!

The Bane Chronicles is now available to own in hardback, audiobook and eBook.

Jace gives advice to Julian in new ‘The Dark Artifices’ snippet

The Dark Artifices

Cassandra Clare has shared a new The Dark Artifices snippet with her fans and it’s a really awesome one because there’s Emma, Julian and one Mister Jace Herondale in it. See for yourselves:

“You’ve got a lot of responsibility now,” Jace said to Julian. “You’ll have to make sure Emma winds up with a guy who deserves her.”

Julian was strangely white-faced. Maybe he was feeling the effects of the ceremony, Emma thought. It had been strong magic; she still felt it sizzling through her blood like champagne bubbles. But Jules looked as if he’d been slapped.

“What about me?” Emma said, quickly. “Don’t I have to make sure Jules winds up with someone who deserves him?”

“Absolutely. I did it for Alec, Alec did it for me — well, actually, he hated Clary at first, but he came around.”

“I bet you didn’t like Magnus much, either,” said Julian, still with the same odd, stiff look on his face.

“Maybe not,” said Jace, “but I never would have said so.”

“Because it would have hurt Alec’s feelings?” Emma asked.

“No,” said Jace, “because Magnus would have turned me into a hat rack.”

There is no release date for Lady Midnight yet.

Ask Cassandra Clare and Holly Black your ‘Magisterium’ questions!

Iron Trial Eng-Ger

Casandra Clare and Holly Black are about to go on the second leg of their European Magisterium tour where they’ll have signings in Antwerp, Belgium (November 9); Hamburg, Germany (Nov. 11.); Cologne, Germany (Nov. 12.) and Vienna, Austria (Nov. 14). Thanks to the German publisher Bastei Lübbe, TMI Source will be interviewing Cassie and Holly on November 12 and we need your The Iron Trial questions! We’ll also try to ask a few questions about Cassandra’s and Holly’s other books.

Comment down below with your questions (in English or in German) and we’ll pick the best ones for our interview.

The deadline is November 9, 3 pm EST.

TMI TV Tuesday: Five Reasons Why ‘The Mortal Instruments’ Will Work Better As A TV Series

TMI banner

Every Tuesday, TMI Source and Fangirlish are bringing you TMI TV Tuesdays, where we discuss different aspects regarding the upcoming television adaptation of The Mortal Instruments.

If at first you don’t succeed, try again. That’s the mindset Constantin has in regards to reviving The Mortal Instruments as a television series. While the series failed as a film franchise, there is renewed hope in regards to it lighting up the small screen. And, frankly, this is a good thing.

While there have been several successful YA film franchises, including The Hunger Games, Divergent and Twilight, there have been more than double as many failures, The Mortal Instruments included. But sometimes a two and half hour film doesn’t work when adapting a 500-page book filled with world building and character development. But the important thing is The Mortal Instruments may have found new life in the television world.

Here are five reasons why we believe The Mortal Instruments will work better as a television show.

1. More Time For World Building

One of the problems with The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones was the lack of world building for those unfamiliar with the material. But even then, fans were still very much looking forward to seeing the world come to life through a different medium. It’s not that they didn’t try, it’s just there was no time to do so in a way that the source material was owed. That’s one of the challenges faced with adapting not only a 500-page book into a two and half hour film but one with so much rich history that can get lost in the shuffle. With a television show you’re given at minimum 13 hours or maximum 23 hours per season. There is going to be so much time at showrunner Ed Decter’s disposal as he’s crafting a way to introduce this world and flesh it out through the eyes of our heroine Clary Fray.

2. Fleshing Out the Characters

One of the things that I love so much about television is the amount of time you have to dedicate to your characters. It’s the same thing that applies in books and it’s why the series has such an impact on its reader or viewer. When done right it’s like you’re being treated to a one-hour short film every week and you get to know the characters on a much deeper level than you’d ever get to on film. Not only will we get to really dig deep with our main cast of characters, but the minor characters that we’ve grown to love will get their chance to shine. Remember how they cut Rafael from the film? That needn’t be a problem on the show, where Decter can take an entire episode to not only flesh out his character in the present, but as well as in the past. It also provides an opportunity to explore unseen — well, in this case unread – stories involving the characters. The characters are the heart and soul of Cassie’s books and for the series to truly shine, they will have to be the heart and soul of the show, as well.

3. Telling the Story Right

When you task yourself with crafting a film based on a 500-page book it’s obvious that some story lines are going to get the ax. And that rang true for The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, which featured either an extreme condensing or a complete deletion of scenes in its screen adaptation. While there’s no promise that everything that happens in the books will happen on the show, there’s much more time to flesh out certain story lines and really take the time to tell the story right. There’s no need to rush through or completely ignore certain scenes due to time restrictions. And unlike in a film where you can’t undo a mistake, if something isn’t working on the show you can fix it in the upcoming episodes.

4. More to Work With 

With movies you only have so much to work with and so little time to do so. With television there will be more time to fully utilize the source material from the entire series and not just City of Bones. Reports have indicated that they will start with City of Bones and then slowly delve into the other five books. There is so much story to work with in just City of Bones alone and you have at most 22 hours to work with in telling an entire season arc. Also, since Constantin owns the rights for all of Cassie’s works, who’s to say we couldn’t possibly get flashbacks hinting at the times of The Infernal Devices somewhere far down the road? The possibilities are endless when you have so much time and story to work with.

5. Less Pressure to Succeed

The make-or-break factor in aspiring film franchises — whether it’s Young Adult or not — is money. That’s the goal for big-budget studios. It’s the most important thing. And you normally get one shot with opening weekend. Now with television, it’s more about the viewers than the money. The viewers dictate advertisers and advertising costs. But you see, they’re both aimed at making money — it’s what this world revolves around — but it’s not about the viewers’ money (in most cases), it’s about the advertisers’ money. How much are they going to pay for an ad to run during a network’s most popular show? But let’s not mistake it, pressure is still very much a factor. It’s just ratings pressure and it’s not as intense as making sure you hit a $60 million opening weekend. And unlike with films you get more than one shot to shine. With movies it’s opening weekend or bust. For television it’s weekly ratings or bust, but sometimes if a show’s social media presence is strong enough they’ll give it another shot.

Angelic Power Rune

Head over to FANGIRLISH on Thursday to read their thoughts on why The Mortal Instruments will work better as a television series, and check back every Tuesday for TMI TV TUESDAYS.

What are your thoughts? Why do you think The Mortal Instruments could possibly work better as a television show?

goodreads Choice Awards 2014: Vote for Cassandra Clare and Holly Black!

The end of the year is approaching so it’s time for the goodreads Choice Awards 2014!

Cassandra Clare’s City of Heavenly Fire – the final novel in her The Mortal Instruments series – as well as her middle grade book The Iron Trial, which she co-wrote with Holly Black, are nominated for Best Young Adult Fantasy & Science Fiction of 2014 and Best Middle Grade & Children’s of 2014 respectively.

CoHF Iron Trial

Cassie’s City of Lost Souls and Clockwork Princess came second in 2013 and 2014, they only lost against Veronica Roth’s Divergent series. City of Heavenly Fire and The Iron Trial are up against stiff competition, but we can do it this year!

 

Vote for City of Heavenly Fire.

Vote for The Iron Trial.

 

Here’s goodreads voting schedule:

Opening Round Nov. 3 – 8
Semifinal Round Nov. 10 – 15
Final Round Nov. 17 – 24

 

Happy voting :-)

Mark is called a half-blood in new ‘The Dark Artifices’ snippet

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Art by Cassandra Jean

Some fans are already halfway in love with Mark Blackthorn whom we met in City of Heavenly Fire and Cassandra Clare catered to their needs with sharing a snippet about him:

“Loved?” he said in a cold voice. “Do you no longer? Remember, half-blood, I know  that you can lie.”

Mark flicked his eyes up. He saw the storm in those eyes, but behind the storm he saw two boys as small as stars in a distant sky, locked together under a blanket.

What a mysterious snippet, right? Who do you think are the two boys? Sound off in the comments!

‘Mortal Instruments’ television series to run one-hour episodes

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When it comes to The Mortal Instruments television series, there’s no such thing as too much news. And the news keeps on coming.

After official word on Monday that The Mortal Instruments would indeed be revived on the small screen, new information about the show has been revealed.

According to Deadline, episodes of the show will run one hour long and start from the beginning with City of Bones and later expanding to the rest of the series.

Initially there was concern where the show would pick up — would it start from the beginning or pick up after The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones film? Starting from the beginning makes the most sense as the TV series is a completely separate entity from the film, and it will help with the world building that takes place right from the start of the first book.

Also, Unique Features’ Bob Shaye and Michael Lynne, who served as executive producers on the film, will executive produce the television series.

Production on The Mortal Instruments television show is set to get underway in 2015.

Stay tuned for all of the latest updates along the way.

Julian is jealous in new ‘The Dark Artifices’ snippet

Art by Cassandra Jean

Ask and you shall receive (at least this time). A fan and Jemma shipper asked Cassandra Clare for a Julian and Emma snippet and Cassie was kind enough to oblige:

“I know things haven’t been exactly right between us since I got back from England,” he said. “And I don’t know if it’s because I’m a little jealous of Cristina, or a lot jealous of —“

“JULIAN,” Emma said.

Cassie also noted that “it’s not much but i shouldn’t encourage the idea of asking for snippets, i was in the mood though!.

In another recent tumblr post, Cassie talked about the release date for Lady Midnight:

Late 2015/early 2016 is my guess. We are leaving room because we don’t want to end up with a crunch situation like we did with the end of Heavenly Fire. It almost killed like six people at my publisher, as well as me.

Fingers crossed for a late 2015 release date and no almost casualties! We want everyone to be healthy!

What do you think of the new snippet and who do you ship in The Dark Artifices? Sound off in the comments!

Constantin Film exec praises ‘Mortal Instruments’ showrunner Ed Decter

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Following news at Mipcom that The Mortal Instruments would be revived on the small screen, Constantin Film gave the official word on Monday.

“We are thrilled to give this epic tale of good versus evil a brand new dimension,” Constantin Film Chairman Martin Moszkowicz said in a press release.

Things are looking up for the small screen adaptation with Ed Decter tapped to serve as showrunner for the series.

Constantin Film co-president Robert Kulzer praised Decter, whose credits include “There’s Something About Mary,” “Unforgettable,” “The Client List” and “In Plain Sight,” for his “passion and love” for the series, in this Deadline article.

“Ed Decter brings a tremendous track record to the table,” said Robert Kulzer. “As a showrunner we wanted someone who shares our passion and love for these characters and stories, and Ed has a remarkable ability to form narratives.”

The Mortal Instruments show is slated for 2015.

Cassandra Clare talks ‘Mortal Instruments’ television series

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In case you’ve been living under a rock, news regarding The Mortal Instruments‘ transition from film franchise to television series has been the hot topic in the fandom this past week.

Cassandra Clare took to Tumblr to answer some more questions about The Mortal Instruments television series, including her thoughts on if the original film cast might return for the show, where they might pick up in regards to City of Bones or City of Ashes and the future of an Infernal Devices show.

On learning about TMI TV series:

Well, here’s the thing. I pretty much know what you do. I knew there was discussion about whether to continue with making TMI films or explore the avenue of television. I didn’t know about the definite decision, or who the writer/show runner would be until it was announced at Mipcom and reported in the Hollywood Reporter.

I have no idea what channel it will be on, or what countries it will be shown in (though I have seen some fretting that it will be “only in the US” which seems wildly unlikely since the production company isn’t even American) and no idea at all about …

On if the film’s cast will return for the television show:

So clearly the biggest question about the TV show is “Will they keep the same cast from the film?”

And the answer is unfortunately I don’t know. 

I mean, I can look at the history of television. There are hundreds of movies that were adapted into television shows, some based on books (Friday Night Lights) some not (Buffy the Vampire Slayer.) I can think of only one where they kept anyone from the feature film, and that’s MASH, in which Radar was played by the same actor in the film and the show.

Now that I look at what I just said, I see I’ve made somewhat the same phrasing mistake I see all over, which is about whether they’ll “keep the cast” as if the cast definitively wanted to be in the show, when I am pretty sure none of us knows any such thing. So there’s that.

Now keep in mind I have absolutely no idea whether the cast wants to return, and no idea what the plans of the production company are — but usually the cast of a feature film changes when it becomes television because 1) movie actors often don’t want to do TV 2) contractual obligations can prevent it 3) they may have other commitments that would prevent them from being able to do something as time-consuming as television 4) the ages of the characters in the TV show may not be the same as the ages of the characters in the film 4) any of a million reasons. To be able to keep the same cast a million factors would need to line up perfectly: desires, times, contracts, availability, etc.

So I have no idea. The only position of authority I am speaking from here is as someone who used to work for an entertainment magazine and knows something about the business of TV and movies. That’s it.

On whether the show would start from City of Bones or pick up with City of Ashes:

I have no idea about this one. Buffy started up after the first movie, placing the events of the film squarely in the show’s past, and rarely referring to them (since they didn’t really track with the show.) Teen Wolf recaps the events of the film with a different spin. They could go either way, with the caveat that they’d have to start the show somewhere where people who’d never seen the film could understand it.

On having to wait for an Infernal Devices television series:

There was a rumor that TID was going to be a TV series. I never encountered a single piece of factual evidence that that was happening. (Like, for instance, in this case, when they are developing a TMI TV show, there are multiple articles about it.)

It’s only been about 2 years since TID ended – not much of a wait really. We live in an odd media moment where we expect everything to be fast-tracked, but that’s not really the norm. I think Game of Thrones and Outlander both took about 20 years to become television shows.

If there was a TMI series, and it was successful, it would dramatically increase the chances of a TID film or TV show. If you want a TID show or movie, this is the best news you could get, not the worst. Because I saw no signs a TID show was happening otherwise.

On getting to see characters from the books that didn’t make it into the movie:

One of the nice things about there being a TV show is the opportunity to see characters like Raphael, who was cut from the film, and Maia. I admire both those actresses and would certainly want Maia to be played by an actress of color.

On the fans’ concern about the television series changing things:

I understand being scared about the idea of a TV show instead of more films. You got used to the cast of the films and the look and settings. I like the film cast a lot. I like them as actors and as people.

However I do think that TMI is a better fit for TV than movies because it has a huge amount of backstory, which is nearly impossible to fit into a film, which is why for instance unless you read the books you would never have found out in the first film what the Mortal Cup actually did. TV gives you a chance to see the Circle in detail, the backstories of characters rendered visually, more time for more minor characters (like Magnus) etc. It really gives you time to wallow around in a world. And whatever actors they cast, if they were good choices, I am confident you you would come to love them as well, in the same way it is possible to love both Robert Downey Jr. and Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes, or Martin Freeman and Lucy Liu and Jude Law as Watson. No one actor is ever the only one in the world who can interpret a character — that’s not how acting is supposed to work, really. Even when they are amazing and lovely, as the TMI cast was and is.

I’m not trying to convince anyone to like the idea of a TV series if you don’t. I’m just saying that as someone with no more control over the situation than you, I think this is a good thing. Maybe they would have made a City of Ashes movie. Maybe not. I’d rather know something is happening than not know if anything is happening. And in Hollywood, what breeds development is success. If a TV show were successful, they’d probably be more likely to make a CoA or TDA or TID movie, not less. If what you want is to see movies and TV of the books you like, than the worst thing that can happen isn’t a movie when you wanted a TV show or a TV show when you wanted a movie, or a radio play when you wanted a musical. It’s nothing.

Anyway, I’ll be going out this November to see the production company and TV folks, so I may have more information then. We will see!

Sounds like maybe we’ll hear some more news come next month!

Cassandra Clare shares a guide to ‘Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy’

We sure are having a busy week in our Shadowhunter fandom! Cassandra Clare just took to her tumblr to share summaries for all of the 10 Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy ebooks and also answered two questions regarding ‘TSA’:

Cat was kind enough to give me the heads up that pages to buy the first seven novellas of Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy, along with summaries, have been posted on Amazon. So here I give you the masterlist, 1-10, with short summaries.

About Tales from The Shadowhunter Academy.

Simon Lewis never thought he’d become a Shadowhunter…and now he has the chance. Ten novellas, each released as an individual e-book over the course of ten months, make up Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy. The series will launch with one story a month beginning in February 2015 with:

Story 1: Welcome to Shadowhunter Academy.
After living as a Mundane and a Vampire, Simon never thought he would become a Shadowhunter, but today he begins his training at Shadowhunter Academy.

2) The Lost Herondale: Simon learns the worst crime a Shadowhunter can commit: desertion of their comrades. In the early nineteenth century, Tobias Herondale abandoned his fellow Shadowhunters in the heat of battle and left them to die. His life was forfeit, but Tobias never returned, and the Clave claimed his wife’s life in exchange for Tobias’s. Simon and his fellow students are shocked to learn of this brutality, especially when it is revealed the woman was pregnant. But what if the child survived…could there be a lost Herondale line out in the world today?

3) The Whitechapel Fiend

Simon learns the truth behind the Jack the Ripper murders—“Jack” was stopped by Will Herondale, his former parabatai, and his institute of Victorian Shadowhunters.

4) Nothing But Shadows: Simon challenges the setup of the Shadowhunter Academy and in doing so learns the story of James Herondale and Matthew Fairchild and the unusual way that they became friends and parabatai.

5) The Evil We Love : The story of Valentine’s Circle at the Shadowhunter Academy.

6) Pale Kings and Princes : Simon has an encounter with Downworlders and is reprimanded for not following the rules for Academy students interacting with Downworlders. A story within a story: Andrew Blackthorn, while a student at the Academy, becomes enthralled by a faerie and has two children with her: Mark and Helen.

7) Bitter of Tongue : When faeries kidnap Simon he encounters a member of the Wild Hunt, the former Shadowhunter Mark Blackthorn.

8) The Fiery Trial : Emma Carstairs and Julian Blackthorn become parabatai. Simon and Clary both act as their witnesses, so they can see what a parabatai bond forming looks like as they want to become parabatai as soon as Simon graduates — and because Emma asked Clary. The ritual goes unexpectedly …

9) Born to Endless Night:  Simon, like the rest of the Academy, is stunned when a navy-skinned warlock baby is found on the Academy steps. They hand the child over to guest lecturer Magnus Bane, who has to bring a child home… temporarily, of course… to his man!

10) Angels Twice Descending: Someone lives and someone dies at Simon’s Ascension ceremony.

Cassie, by the Angel! How is Tobias Herondale related to Edmund who was born in the 1830s? Will we find out in The Last Herondale or do we have to wait until The Wicked Powers? Please picture Loki’s “Tell me” gif here. I am so, so excited for more Simon and more Herondales! Just because Tobias was worse than Stephen doesn’t mean that future (maybe same generation as Jace) Herondales are! — catreadsbooks

Well, Tobias could have been maligned! Who can say? Herondales, they’re either awesome or awesomely terrible. All I can tell you is that you will find out who the Lost Herondale is before The Wicked Powers.

cottoncandybeefalo said: Hi Cassie! Do you know if The Tales of the Shadowhunter Academy will be out in print edition like The Bane Chronicles?

Yes, it will.

;) We’re super excited about Shadowhunter Academy and we hope you are too!

I think it’s safe to say that we’re also super excited and cannot wait for Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy!

Which installmemt are you looking forward to most? Sound off in the comments while I’m off to fangirl that Cassie mentioned yours truly in her post :-D

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