Every Friday here at The Mortal Instruments Source is Fan Friday, where we feature a fan who has demonstrated creativity and passion for Cassandra Clare, The Mortal Instruments or The Infernal Devices.
Meet Zoe Johnson. Also known as Alice Invictus. She writes songs about books.
And they’re pretty awesome.
“Mortal Instruments” fans might recognize her song “A Message For Alec Lightwood,” as author Cassandra Clare shared it on Twitter last week and rather enjoyed it herself.
“It’s really an honor,” Johnson said of Clare’s mention of the song that has over 5,000 hits on YouTube. “When I saw the tweet, I ran around the house flailing and freaking out. I think my mother thought I’d gone insane.”
Johnson first started writing and singing songs about the Harry Potter series when wizard rock, a community of bands who wrote songs about the series, popped up.
After listening to wizard rock bands, like The Whomping Willow and Harry and the Potters, Johnson decided to give it a shot.
“‘Hey, I sing, I could do this,’” Johnson recalled. “So one night I sat down and wrote a song about Draco Malfoy, and kept doing wizard rock from there on.”
Then she decided to branch out.
Her first post-Potter song?
“A Message for Alec Lightwood,” of course.
“I am in love with the ‘Mortal Instruments’ series,” she said. “My friend lent me ‘City of Bones’ and I tore through it in about a day and read the next two books on my family’s road trip to [Washington] D.C. on Spring Break. I also bought ‘Clockwork Angel’ the day it came out. I really like Ms. Clare’s writing style; it reminds me of my own a little so I enjoy the structure, diction, and cadence of it.”
Who is her favorite character?
“Magnus Bane, hands down,” she said, noting that his romance with Alec is her favorite subplot. “When I was reading the books and I saw him enter a scene, I was like “This is going to be a fun, intense, amazing scene!” He really has a dynamic to him that is unlike any of the other characters, or a lot of characters really.”
Johnson joins the legion of Cassandra Clare fans who are reeling after reading “City of Fallen Angels,” the fourth installment of “The Mortal Instruments.”
She admits that she was worried about the continuation of the series, following “City of Glass,” but she was pleasantly surprised in the end result.
“I lovelovelove how [Clare] continued,” she said. “The characters were brilliant as always, and I just felt like I was returning to Clary’s world that I’d grown to love.”
It’s her love for books that makes her so passionate about her writing and recording these songs.
So what exactly goes into the process of crafting an original song for a book?
“Usually I’ll find a really cool chord progression, or a melody will pop into my head that I like. Then I think, ‘Okay, I can work with this. Which series/character/conflict does this match?,’” Johnson said. “I always start with the music because I am a lyrics person, so I can always make lyrics to fit with a good solid melody base, but if I try to make music to fit lyrics it always sucks.
“Then I normally let it sit for a couple days and come back to it to make sure it wasn’t just in the heat of the moment I thought it was good. If it still sounds good, and if I’m having a good singing day, I’ll record it.”
Johnson has also recorded a couple of other songs for some of her other favorite book series, including “They Don’t Own Me (Berries)” about The Hunger Games.
Does she have any other Mortal Instruments songs in the works?
“Actually,” she said, “yes. I wrote a memoriam song for little Max Lightwood. Well, it’s more of an ‘in the aftermath of Max’s death’ about how the rest of the family and Jace and Clary have had this terrible tragedy, but in Max’s memory they have to continue on fighting the good fight.”
That song is recorded and mixed and should be up on her YouTube channel within the next week (and we will post it here, as well).
Johnson also said that she eventually wants to write a song about Simon because “Simon is a complete badass.”
Clare would wholeheartedly approve.
Are you a fan who has demonstrated creativity and passion for Cassandra Clare, The Mortal Instruments or The Infernal Devices and want to be featured on the site? Email mortalinstrumentssource [at] gmail [dot] com and tell us all about it.