“They are very scared,” Clare laughed. “And I was like, ‘Gosh, everyone’s so scared. What have I done to terrify them so terribly?'”
That sheer terror and anxiety has come from the mention that six characters we know by name will die in City of Heavenly Fire, not to mention that the placeholder cover poses the question, “Who will survive?” Not exactly reassuring.
“To be fair, I didn’t pick that,” Clare laughed. “I recognize that it is a frightening tagline.”
City of Heavenly Fire is easily one of — if not the most — anticipated books of 2014. Fans are eager for any news or tease regarding the final book. When we spoke with Clare last week about the upcoming Blu-ray and DVD release of The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, we just had to ask about City of Heavenly Fire. Clare teased what we can expect from the last Mortal Instruments book.
“I understand why they’re scared,” she said. “It’s the last book in the series. That’s sort of the ‘all gloves are off’ book in which pretty much anything can happen. There’s obviously a lot at stake. As I’m sort of wrapping it up now, there are sad parts, there are happy parts, there are funny parts, hopefully there are exciting parts. I hope that people will find it to be a good and fitting kind of coda to the end of the story of Jace, Clary, Simon, Isabelle, Alec and the rest of them. I really hope they’ll like it. There’s nothing more I can do at this point because I sort of feel like, I wrote the best books I could and this is what I envisioned for the characters, this is how it feels right for them to end.”
Clare said she’s having fun writing her next Shadowhunter series, The Dark Artifices, the first of which — Lady Midnight — is set for release in March 2015.
“Part of the fun part of writing The Dark Artifices has been writing in some of the new characters that will be in the next series,” she said. “I’m hoping people will get to know Emma and Julian and the Blackthorns and the Carstairs of the modern world and get to like them.”
Clare was actually writing City of Heavenly Fire while on the set of The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones. She said that revisiting her characters as they were in the first book actually helped with wrapping their stories up.
“It helped me look back at the roots of the characters and kind of be like, this is where they started out,” she said. “It’s been such awhile — for me it’s been six years, actually more like eight years since I wrote City of Bones. For me, Clary is no longer the girl who doesn’t know anything about magic. And Simon is no longer the guy that doesn’t have any powers. And Alec is no longer the guy who is unrequitedly in love and doesn’t talk about his love life. They’re all completely different people with different relationships. For me, it’s good to go back and be like, ‘This is where they started out.’ And that helps me figure out where they’re going to end up.”
There were even times on set when she was writing that she pictured the actors as the characters in her head.
“While I was on set I started visualizing them as the characters, but now I’ve sort of gone back to the images that were in my head,” she said. “But they were such strong images of what they all looked like starting out. But there’s ‘movie Alec’ and then ‘in my head Alec.’ They don’t look the same, but ‘movie Alec’ I still feel like I’m watching Alec.”
Though we don’t know who is on the cover of City of Heavenly Fire, Clare has seen the final cover and she likes it. As for when the cover will be unveiled, Clare said it should be January. But don’t hold her to that.
“I’m gonna throw that out there,” she said. “I think January. It seems likely to me in terms of the way the publisher does things.”
Clare is very excited about the surprise that comes on the cover jacket, which is a sort-of pull-out mini poster featuring fan-favorite characters fans have always wanted to see on the Mortal Instruments covers.
“I can’t say what characters are on the cover, but there are lots and lots of characters that people have always asked for,” she said. “‘I want a cover with this person, I want a cover with that person.’ So the inside of the book is sort of an artist’s rendering — Cliff Nielsen’s rendering — of a whole bunch of the other characters.”
Clare isn’t sure when the full pull-out poster with the characters will be revealed as Simon & Schuster might want to do that at a different time. They’re still working on that right now.
“I’ve seen the sketches and the sort of ideas for it and it looks like it’s going to be really cool,” she said. “I think it’ll be fun to have. It’ll be like a little mini movie poster.”