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YALL Fest Recap: Cassandra Clare talks CITY OF BONES movie, literary friendships

Cassandra Clare attended the 2nd annual YALL Fest, a YA book festival in South Carolina, on Saturday (Nov. 10), where she was on two panels.

Clare kicked off the festival with the keynote with friend Holly Black. She then closed the festival with a YA in the Movies 2013 panel with Beautiful Creatures authors Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl.


Photo: YALL Fest

Cassandra Clare joined Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, authors of Beautiful Creatures, for a panel focused on the YA books hitting the big screen in 2013. Clare talked about everything from the casting process to the adaptation process. The crowd was treated to exclusive videos from the set of THE MORTAL INSTRUMENTS: CITY OF BONES and Beautiful Creatures.

Here are the highlights:


  • Cassie was very much involved in the casting process 
  • Cassie wasn't supposed to have the casting director's number because they worried she'd harrass her about casting. But she discussed ideas for actors
  • 11 people would be sitting in on an audition
  • Cassie wanted Robert Sheehan as Simon from the beginning
  • Everyone didn't agree on Simon at first so it was narrowed down to four, who then read with Lily Collins and Jamie Campbell Bower
  • Cassie recalled being on the phone with the casting director with Lily and Jamie in the background and she asked them who they preferred and they both said Robbie
  • The established actors didn't have to audition. They spoke to director Harald Zwart on Skype about the role. Then the video would be put on the server and everyone would watch it. The actors did not know about this, which made for funny dinner conversations

Photo: YALL Fest


  • Cassie liked that the adaptation process allows for a chance to see a book in a different way
  • Cassie praised The Hunger Games adaptation for the positive changes it brought from the book to the movie like the different point of view.
  • In the film we will get to see scenes that Clary isn’t in, which is a departure from the book, but also something Cassie liked
  • Cassie was adamant about the studio not changing important things in the book that would upset fans, like Alec and Magnus’ relationship


  • Jamie has read all the books and is an expert
  • He memorized all the runes. So when they put a wedding rune on him he was like, “I’m not married. Take it off.”
  • Jamie learned a Bach piece on the piano, which Jace plays in the movie. This happens in the book when Clary goes looking for Jace after waking up in the Institute


  • Cassie incorporated different mythologies, including Christianity and Judism, because she didn’t want a specific religion in the books


  • Cassie gets characters names from hotel registries and patient logs from the doctor’s office


  • Not from her publishers, but definitely from some reviewers
  • Cassie hasn’t heard anything bad from libraries, etc. about it, which she takes comfort from
  • Alec and Magnus’ relationship is indeed “preserved” in the film


  • Cassie doesn’t read book reviews. She sends them to her husband. She steers clear of Amazon, Goodreads, etc.
  • She doesn’t plan on reading any movie reviews



Cassandra Clare joined fellow author and friend Holly Black for the keynote that kicked off YALL Fest. They discussed their writing process, friendship and briefly discussed the five-book middle grade series they are co-writing together.

Here are some highlights:

  • Back when Cassie began writing she didn’t have the Internet. She showed her friends her stories
  • On her joint Magisterium series with Holly: “We’re writing a five book series which means five years of punching.”
  • Cassie has based several characters off of friends
  • Cassie stresses that it’s important for literary friends to treat each other with respect
  • Cassie and Sarah Rees Brennan were kicked out of a graveyard
  • Cassie to Holly: “”This idea is dumb’ is not subtle.”
  • Cassie starts the writing process with a couple of characters, works out their relationship and their character arc. She then adds subplots, actions and choices and the story expands from there
  • CITY OF HEAVENLY FIRE is indeed the conclusion to THE MORTAL INSTRUMENTS, but THE DARK ARTIFICES will incorporate some characters from THE MORTAL INSTRUMENTS. You’ll find out who married and who survived CITY OF HEAVENLY FIRE


About Alyssa Barbieri (2800 Articles)
Alyssa is the Managing Editor for Bears Wire. You can reach her at or follow her on Twitter @AlyssaBarbieri

14 Comments on YALL Fest Recap: Cassandra Clare talks CITY OF BONES movie, literary friendships

  1. I really hope Jace and Clary get married!

  2. AWildFangirlAppears // November 11, 2012 at 5:11 AM // Reply

    They ARE keeping Simon Jewish, right? O__O

  3. please please don’t let Simon die, I could handle other characters except Magnus or Jace as he’s the hero and no-one can kill the hero ‘right?!’ or his girl … please Cassie Simon is my ideal man…

  4. They were planning to take the Mapec relationship out of the movie??? I would refuse to watch it then Thank goodness for Cassie! Hearing about the cast makes them seen even more perfect *sigh* 😉 Loved the bit about the marriage rune, go Jamie!

  5. Jace campbell lightwood (; // November 11, 2012 at 8:22 AM // Reply

    She said 2,3 or 4 main characters would die online once…. Oh no… Jace died and almost died once. He cant die. I wont allow magnus, alec, clary, isabelle simon or jace to die. And they all have to stay together. They haveeeee to. I want this book so much.
    And hahhahaha “im not married take it off” and people dont like jamie as jace hahaha hes so perfect as Jace!

    • It’s not fair that authors do that, but it’s one thing that they have to do to finish off a series. And “The Mortal Instruments”, is a huge one. All if us fans say we don’t want anyone to die, you think Cassie wants them to die either? She’s the one that has to write them dieing in the book, and even worse choose who dies in it.

  6. Jamie is the one and only PERFECT Jace. Haha – that would be something he would say. It’s so Jamie!! I just love him. I can’t even begin to imagine anyone else as Jace.
    I agree – I don’t want anyone to die, especially NOT Jace.

  7. I am very excited about this piano scene. Thank God that Harald realizes that character development is important.

3 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Upcoming Literature Inspired Movies | WriterGurl INK.
  2. 2012 Year In Review: THE MORTAL INSTRUMENTS: CITY OF BONES « TMI Source
  3. Teen Book Review « TeenGirlsthatWrite

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