Interview with Cassandra Clare, author of The Mortal Instruments

June 23, 2009 at 1:50 PM | Posted in Agents, Interviews, Publishing, Queries, Uncategorized, Writing, Writing Advice, YA | 7 Comments
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The Mortal Instruments trilogy

The Mortal Instruments trilogy

Recently TWFT got the opportunity to talk with Cassandra Clare, the bestselling author of The Mortal Instruments trilogy (City of Bones, City of Ashes, and City of Glass.) Since I’m a big fan (*ZOMGthesebooksaresofreakingawesomeSQUEE!*) I was way excited to do this interview. Thanks so much for your time, Cassandra!

KB: What are your five most loved novels of all time?

CC: I don’t have favorites! That’s a big rule with me. Five novels I love: Checkmate by Dorothy Dunnett, Brat Farrar by Josephine Tey, Gaudy Night by Dorothy Sayers, Swordspoint by Ellen Kushner, The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett.


KB: What are you working on right now?

CC: Right now I’m working on The Clockwork Angel, the first in the Infernal Devices series, which is a series of prequels to the Mortal Instruments. It’s set in Victorian-Era London. There’s more here: www.theinfernaldevices.com (and I want to show off the pretty website.)

KB: How has the popularity of the Mortal Instruments series changed your life as a writer and/or regular person?

CC: It’s allowed me to be a full-time writer for the moment, which was always my dream.


KB: Have you ever had a moment of doubt in your writing career – a moment when you were afraid you would never be published or felt like giving up? If so, how did you overcome it?

CC: I have doubts all the time. I might be having one right now. I think everyone does. I think you have to think about your work in some ways separate from your goals for publication. You just have to focus on the book, or short story, or project, as an independent entity without thinking about where it might end up, so to speak.


KB: Can you tell us about the first story you ever wrote (that wasn’t for a school assignment)?

CC: When I was about 13, I wrote a 1,000 page romantic epic called The Beautiful Cassandra based on the story Jane Austen wrote about her sister when she was twelve. (You can read it here. The Jane Austen story I mean, not my novel. ) It was terrible, but boy did I have fun writing it (and my friends had fun reading it.)


KB: If you could choose one fictional character (other than your own) to have a five minute conversation with, who would it be and what would you say to them?

CC: I’d rather have a five minute conversation with an author. I’d ask Raymond Chandler what really happens in The Big Sleep. Although I suppose it’s possible he never actually knew.


KB: What tips do you have for dealing with the wait for queries?

CC: I am the last person to ask because I only ever queried one agent and I got a reply the next day. I know, that really makes me sound like a tool, but I was very lucky.


KB: What was your querying process like?

CC: I met my agent through one of his existing clients, who had read City of Bones and recommended it to him. He suggested I query him, so I did. I knew I was interested in having him represent me anyway because his client list was impressive and I liked that he only repped kids/YA.


KB: How do you deal with writers block?

CC: I think sheer terror. I’m afraid of what my publisher might do to me if I miss my deadline.


KB: What is your ideal writing atmosphere?

CC: Writing in a big room, lots of comfortable chairs, with other writers around, also working on their projects and filling the room with a feeling of creativity at work.


KB: And TWFT’s token ridiculous interview question – What is your favorite flavor of jelly bean?

CC: Cinnamon.


Thanks again for answering our burning questions, Cassandra!
*
Check out Cassandra Clare’s bestselling Mortal Instruments trilogy for some kick-ass angel warriors, fantastic world-building, and plenty of romance.

It’s the Climb

June 23, 2009 at 11:21 AM | Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

When I first started writing, I never thought seriously about publication. If I thought about it at all, it was to tell myself that I didn’t care about seeing my story in a bookstore one day. And I didn’t. That dream did not start until several years had flown past. In fact, it did not start until I was in ninth grade, a good seven years after I first started out. What happened to turn the tide? A teacher read a story of mine and told me that, with a little editing, it would be good enough to be published. Looking back, I am fully aware that she was just being kind.

But even if she wasn’t serious, it got me interested in the publication process. I started writing another story while looking into agents and publishers. Within a couple years I was reading agent blogs like they were my food and drink. But there is more to writing than just the hoped-for outcome. There are bigger reasons why we can’t stay away from our works in progress for long. Sadly, I have to imagine that I’m not the only one who forgets that sometimes.

You may wonder where Miley Cyrus fits into this, and I’ll be nice and tell you now. It is in the very lyrics of this song. If you listen closely, and imagine your writing while you do, you will see where I am coming from. Because it isn’t the publication, the other side of the mountain, that is important. It is the writing, the climb, in itself.

Now, I know there have been other posts like this. They are scattered all over the internet… encouraging writers to remember why they do what they do. So I’m not going to go on. But I will post the video, because listening to this song this morning inspired me. And, let’s face it, we can all use a little inspiration when the dark side of writing gets us down.

Race

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