Cassandra Clare and Holly Black re-cap

It was a sunny Friday afternoon when this lovely blogger and her #entourage signing friends (Gail, Nikki, the other Danielle and Jen) hopped in the car for a two-ish hour ride to South Hadley, MA. This cutesy little bookstore called The Odyssey hosted a signing for two big-time authors, Cassandra Clare and Holly Black.

It was my Cassandra Clare signing—and I’m a huge Cassie Clare fangirl, so I was pretty excited. I’m still excited. I was also excited for Holly! I’m knee deep in White Cat and loving it. If you’ve never been to a Cassie Clare/ Holly Black signing—it looks a little something like this. Well, that's the line. It was packed out! ---->

And if you didn’t know this, Cassie is super hilarious and Holly is probably the sweetest lady I’ve ever met in my life. So they are both winners—and you can tell they’re friends because they bounce comments back and forth like it’s second nature. I love it. It made for a thrilling event.

Cassie and Holly both did readings. Cassie from Clockwork Prince (WOW!) and Holly from Red Glove.  I got a small snippet from Cassie before my camera freaked out.

Cassie reading:

They also did q&a from the audience. Here are some recaps from that!

What’s harder about a series: the first book or the last?

Holly: The first book because you have to do so much world building.
Cassie: The last book because you have to pay-off everything you’ve set up.
Holly: The last can be difficult if you didn’t figure out something you thought you would by then.

Where did the idea for Shadowhunters come from? Which side has more in the uprising? Which book was your favorite to write?

Cassie: Shadowhunter idea came after visiting with a friend and seeing tattoo designs and then playing the “what-if” game. That friend still does the drawings for all the runes in the books; The Clave because they had warning and enough time to gain help from the Downworlders; City of Glass because of the pay-off.

Do you like writing Jace or Will more?

Cassie: “That’s hard. Jace is comfortable. I’ve known Jace longer and better; he's very easy and familiar. Will is crazy!”
Holly: “Crazy as a bedbug!”
Cassie: “He’s very fun because you don't know where he will go and there's pleasure in that.”

Do you feel bad for killing off characters and have you ever not killed a character?

Holly: Cassie doesn't feel bad ever! I've never planned to kill someone and not killed them but I have given more scenes because I liked them.

Cassie: I've put off killing them (like the character that dies in the third book) because I thought it would be more upsetting to the readers if he was around longer. I enjoy slaying. And if they didn't die it'd remove the conflict from the story and happy people are boring.

Favorite character from each other’s books?

Cass: Rioban in Tithe; Jarrod, Ian and Cassel’s grandpa in White Cat.

Holly: Luke and Will. I love Luke. She’ll tell me about something and I’ll always ask “Well, what about Luke?” or “How does that affect Luke?” And Will but not in a shipping way. I love Will because he’s crazy. There’s a scene in the new one where he chases a demon in a circle at a party. There are guest and everything and he’s chasing the demon around and yelling.

Cassie: It’s a small circle

Holly: That’s worse!

Why do you change POVS in the book? (Someone also asked specifically about “more Alec in CoLS” and “why Holly switched between Tithe/White Cat”)

Cassie: You get the most interesting things that way from all the characters with the back and forth. Otherwise, you’d be watching people sleep and eat pizza. And yes, there will be more Alec in book five because he follows up on an offer made in CoFA.

Holly: Book two (of Tithe series) was supposed to be new book about kids who live in subway and deal with addiction with the twist of a modern tale about a girl who wants to be a knight. Then, as I wrote it I ended up putting in the same world as Tithe.

With Curse Workers, I wanted to try something new so I did first person and present tense. But hard things are hard—and you can try them but they are still hard. Now, I have to keep going on it but I may not do it again.

Where did Magnus come from?

Cassie: I was clubbing with my friend John in NYC and he was encrusted with glitter. We went Sbarro’s to some Coke to drink and the lady behind the counter says, "Never in my life have I seen such a shiny man!" And there was Magnus. John, like Magnus, is very intelligent, rounded, wise, fun and sparkly. Initially Magnus was only supposed to appear at the party but I liked him and he got more screentime.

*Possible spoiler for CoB-CoG* How did you get the idea to have Jace and Clary believe they were brother and sister?

It was a real-life story that she saw in a hotel in England. A boy and girl were married and both were adopted. So, they did genetic screening to see if they carried any factors that could affect their children. The results came back that they were brother and sister. The country made them get divorced but the idea that you loved someone that you absolutely couldn’t was really appealing.

What advice do you have for writers?

Holly: We have a list for this. I handle advice and Cassie handles writers block.

1. Read everything and read outside comfort zone to learn new ways to do things. 2. Write a lot and figure out your style, plot and characters. 3. Get a crit partner at the same level you are how can tell honestly how it is and ask you hard questions. The accountability is important so they can ask, "Why didn't you do this?"

Some other tidbits of information:
  • Would Holly and Cassie ever co-write a book? Yes! They have written shorts together and would be interested if schedules worked out.
  • In the overall series of Infernal Devices you will find out where/what Tessa's parents are any why/how she was in City of Glass with Magnus.
  • In original draft of City of Glass, Alec and Jace kissed but she took it out because it didn’t work. It’s online somewhere though if you are curious.
  • Cassie has no tattoos of her own, but she’s really honored that people get them because of her books. “You’re always obsessed with things you don’t have yourself.”
  • Weirdest fan encounters: someone threw water on Holly but no one knows why. Cassie met a couple who were naming their baby Jace. When she asked the father if he was okay with it he said “That’s a badass name!” And thought it was cool that Jace has a flying motorcycle and kills demons. 
  • Holly said: “I knew I wanted to write b/c I looked around one day and everyone else had grown up and stopped but I hadn’t.
It was a great event! They did the signing after and we spent two hours waiting in line for Cassie, but it was fantastic. I got to chat with Holly some while we waited; we talked about make-up, writing and I even convinced her to read CLARITY. The time passed quickly.  Plus, since we were the last ones up to see Cassie and they ran out of chapter samplers and TMI postcards, Cassie gave each of us some Shadowhunter goodies! The other Danielle and I now each half a friendship rune necklace--so that's all sorts of awesome. The other perk? We got to get a group shot!


  1. This was awesome. I'm a huge TMI fan.


  2. This was such an awesome event. And I love our friendship rune necklace!

  3. Awe, I'm totally jealous! I wish I could've met them, it looks like you had lots of fun, and thanks for recapping their Q and A's, that was pretty awesome of you...I'm just live vicariously through your author's event with these two until I can somehow get to one of my own. :P haha

    Thanks for sharing. :D


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