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USA Today: Cassandra Clare has teen fiction down like ‘Clockwork’

Cassandra Clare With two international bestselling series, a film adaptation on the way and more books to come in the future, it's no wonder why USA Today dedicated an article to Cassandra Clare's impact on Young Adult Fantasy. In the article, USA Today recognizes both The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices worldwide success both in books and in Hollywood. Check out the article:

With more than 22 million copies in print worldwide of her two fantasy series, The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices,author Cassandra Clare might be considered an expert on fiction that appeals to teens.

Clare, 39, whose final book in the Devices trilogy,Clockwork Princess, will be released Tuesday, says “there’s no magic formula.”

But what she’s doing — imagining a secret society of young demon hunters, known as Shadowhunters, in a world of vampires, werewolves and warlocks — is working like magic both in bookstores and Hollywood.

The film adaptation of the first book in Clare’s first series, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, starring Lily Collins and Jamie Campbell Bower, will hit theaters Aug. 23.

Her second series, The Infernal Devices, a prequel to the first, also has been optioned for a possible series of films. (The title refers to an army of automatons out to destroy the Shadowhunters.)

And if that’s not enough, Clare and Holly Black (co-author of The Spiderwick Chronicles) are collaborating on another series, Magisterium, aimed at middle schoolers and set in a world of dark magicians where child apprentices train to be warriors. The Iron Trail, the first of five books, is to be released in September 2014. It too has been optioned, and Clare has been signed to write her first screenplay.

Clare, a former writer for The Hollywood Reporter who lives in Amherst, Mass., says there’s no simple explanation for her popularity, but she suggests that it has to do with her characters, often strong females, “whom my readers can relate to.”

She says that “readers may suspend their disbelief when it comes to the fantasy and the magic, but they need to believe in the characters — teenagers who have some of the same concerns that they do.”

Romance is a big part of both series. The first is set in contemporary New York; the second is set mostly in Victorian England.

She likes to mix “the real and the unreal, the famous and the forgotten” in her fiction. For example, in Clockwork Princess, an aesthetic werewolf named Woolsey Scott lives in London at No. 16 Cheyne Walk, which, in real life, was once shared by writer Algernon Charles Swinburne and poet/painter Dante Gabriel Rossetti.

Like Scott, she notes, Swinburne and Rossetti were members of “the aesthetic movement,” which valued aesthetics in arts over political or social themes, but they were not werewolves — or, as she puts it, “proved not to be werewolves.”

Clare cites several factors that explain why fantasy fiction aimed at teens has become so popular on page and screen:

– In a technological age “filled with computers and gadgets, readers yearn for some magic.”

– As a genre, young-adult fiction is “genre-busting.” Adult fiction, she says, tends to be labeled “either romance or sci-fi or historical fiction or literature. They’re in different sections of bookstores. But YA novels, whether it’s Twilight or The Hunger Games, combine all or most of those elements.” Clare says her own series are a “combination of urban fantasy, adventure and romance.”

– The generation of readers who grew up on Harry Potter, “the first big teen sensation, feel connected by what they read. They want to share their experiences, usually online …. I think you find a big overlap between kids who are into fantasy and sci-fi and kids who build their own online communities.”

Clare isn’t revealing much about Clockwork Princess but promises to resolve the series’ love triangle involving heroine Tessa Gray, who’s engaged to one boy but drawn to another, in “a way that no one has predicted yet.”

As for her Instruments series’ sixth and final book, City of Heavenly Fire, to be released a year from now, she says to expect “a hard-fought battle and a lot of epic romance.”

Clockwork Princess, the final installment of Clare’s international bestselling The Infernal Devices, hits stores in just six days.

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

6 Comments on USA Today: Cassandra Clare has teen fiction down like ‘Clockwork’

  1. we’ve come along a long way but just a little longer people!!

  2. I really really really hate it when people label books like this for teenage readers only, like it isn’t respectable for an adult to read YA books. Not all adults preffer Nicholas Sparks and Danielle Steele. *yawn* Booooring.

  3. I can’t for the movie to come out this August!!!!!

  4. midnightrose434 // March 14, 2013 at 11:03 AM // Reply

    @ Keri

    Agreed! Maybe that’s the reason why some book to movie adaptations aimed at adult women (One for the Money, and Something Borrowed) didn’t do all that great at the box office.

  5. Solve the love triangle between Tessa, Will and Jem ‘In a way that no on has predicted yet’. WHAT. I have a horrible feeling they’ll all end up alone;(

  6. Just finished Clockwork Princess… Gosh, I must be one of the first people to finish it this fast… Anyway, happy with the love triangle and Cecily/Gabriel thing, but soooo ticked off with the twists..

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  1. USA Today escreveu uma matéria sobre Cassandra Clare | Lâmina Serafim
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