Los Angeles, 2012. It’s been five years since the events of the Mortal Instruments when Nephilim stood poised on the brink of oblivion and Shadowhunter Emma Carstairs lost her parents. After the blood and violence she witnessed as a child, Emma has dedicated her life to the eradication of demons and being the best, fastest and deadliest Shadowhunter since Jace Lightwood. Raised in the Los Angeles Institute, Emma is paired as a parabatai with her best friend, Julian. As Emma hunts those who caused the death of her parents, the trail they’re following leads back to those they’ve always been taught to trust. At the same time, Emma is falling in love with Julian — her closest friend and, because he is her parabatai, the one person in the world she’s absolutely forbidden by Shadowhunter Law to love. Set against the glittering backdrop of present-day Los Angeles, Emma must learn to trust her head and her heart as she investigates a demonic plot that stretches from the warlock-run nightclubs of the Sunset Strip to the enchanted sea that pounds the beaches of Santa Monica.Clare spoke with out friends at Hollywood Crush about her new Shadowhunter series and even shared a snippet.
Hollywood Crush: How will the events of "The Dark Artifices" mesh with the world of "The Mortal Instruments"? Cassandra Clare: I realized that as long as I was writing "The Mortal Instruments" I would be stuck in 2007, 2008, because anything beyond that and the main characters age out of teenagerhood, which is the life period the books are about. But I wanted to push forward into the current day, so "The Dark Artifices" takes place in 2012. Five years after the events of "The Mortal Instruments." That would make the characters of "TMI"—Clary, Jace, Simon—22, 23 years old (well, the ones who survive, anyway!). We'll be able to check in with them and see who's still together and who broke up, who's married, who has what job, what they're like as adults.
What’s the inspiration for the series title?
The inspiration for the title! Okay, this is so dorky. The main family, the Blackthorns, of “The Dark Artifices,” have a father who is a classicist. He is obsessed with Greek and Roman mythology and history. So “The Dark Artifices” comes from “The Annals of Imperial Rome” by Tacitus. “It would have been less ignominious to die by the dark artifices of Tiberius or the fury of Caligula.” I just liked the phrase. And all the kids in the family have Greek or Roman names—Helen, Julian, Marcus, Olivia and even Tiberius. (Poor Tiberius.) As for the individual books, the working title for the first book is “Lady Midnight.”
New York and London are such integral elements—almost characters in and of themselves—in your series. How will moving the action to L.A. affect the goings-on? Should we expect surfing Shadowhunters?
Los Angeles is my hometown! Now, I have nothing against surfers. Surfers are hot, and the beach and the ocean play a huge role in “Dark Artifices.” But there is a wonderful darkness to Los Angeles that people often don’t see unless they live there. There are the wonderful sea caves up by Leo Carillo, the deserts just outside the city, and there are supposed to be ghosts haunting the Hollywood Hills.There’s the whole genre of “sunlit noir” and the tradition of hard-boiled detectives like Phillip Marlowe. Los Angeles is this place that has a glittering, glamorous surface but below it is this machine that grinds up dreams and crushes them. Which is so much fun to work with when you’re writing!
There’s a lovely description of the Santa Ana winds, the hot winds that blow out of the desert, by Raymond Chandler: “Those hot dry winds that come down through the mountain passes and curl your hair and make your nerves jump and your skin itch. On nights like that every booze party ends in a fight. Meek little wives feel the edge of the carving knife and study their husbands’ necks. Anything can happen.”
How much have you written of the first novel?
Well, we’re years out! But I have the first book outlined, and quite a few scenes written. Here’s a little bit: “The cycle hit the beach and spun out. Emma came to a stop on her back, her body shaking, her hair and clothes full of sand and her ears full of the sound of the wildly crashing ocean.”
How excited are you for The Dark Artifices?
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