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.
'IN PRODUCTION' PANEL
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:
THE CASTING PROCESS
- 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
THE ADAPTATION PROCESS
- 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 IS JACE
- 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
RELIGION IN HER SERIES
- 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
CRITICISM FROM ALEC & MAGNUS’ RELATIONSHIP
- 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
ON MOVIE CRITICISM
- 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