We are happy to present to you an interview with Cassandra Clare, author of City of Bones and the upcoming City of Ashes (you can read our review here) Enjoy! (That was obnoxious, wasn't it? Enjoy? Since when do any of us say things like enjoy?)
PS City of Ashes comes out on March 25! Read it, it's good! Also, Cassandra Clare is going on tour soon-- look here for dates. And now, for our feature presentation...
1. What made you want to write urban fantasy/YA?
It is quite simply the best genre there is. Okay, maybe that's entirely subjective, but urban fantasy is my favorite genre. I like the incursion of magic and the supernatural into the world we know. Urban fantasy incorporates a lot of my favorite fictional tropes: the Secret World, the Secret Society, the Alternate History, even the Creepy Town or Creepy Neighborhood.
2. Zombies or unicorns?
3. You were a popular fan fiction author before you became a popular non-fan-fiction author. What's the biggest difference, for you, between writing fan fiction and writing original fiction?
Well, fanfiction is in large part a community experience — it's an act of fanship, of appreciation for a particular canon or media property. It's a dialogue, in a way, and the readers and writers of it are by and large the same people (I'm generalizing here.) Writing original fiction is not a community experience, not in the same way. It's not about sharing a world, but creating your own world. It requires you to exercise a different writing skillset than fanfiction does — worldbuilding, character creation, etc.
4. Who would win in a fight: Optimus Prime, or Sailor Moon?
Optimus Prime would crush Sailor Moon like a bug. Also I used to have a roommate who was in love with Optimus Prime. She used to claim that he was so good-looking. I was really disappointed when I found out he looked like a truck. I mean, EXACTLY like a truck.
5. Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
A lot of people think "learning to write" is about acquiring this one monolithic skill, but it's actually about the acquisition (and hopefully mastery) of an interlocking set of skills. So you don't have to burst out of the gate perfect at everything. Maybe you're great at dialogue, but your pacing needs work, so work on that separately.
6. What was your favorite book as a teenager?
I would like to say it was something really awesome like Jane Eyre, and I did absolutely love Jane Eyre, but when I was thirteen it was totally Flowers in the Attic. Oh, what a bad book that was.
7. What was your favorite YA novel of 2007?
I'm going to answer the question "What was your favorite YA novel of 2007 that was not written by someone you know?" instead. In which case it was probably Skin Hunger by Kathleen Duey. A better title for it might have been 'You Are So Owned, Hogwarts' except I think that would infringe copyright. It's all about the most brutal magic school in history, where the professors basically murder the students.
8. What book-to-be-released-in-2008 are you most looking forward to?
The sequel to Octavian Nothing by MT Anderson is due out this year. Also Paper Towns by John Green.
9. Create your own question! And answer it, of course.
"Do you have a demon hand?"
10. If you were to take over the world, how would you do so?
I'm a big fan of slipping hallucinogenic drugs into the world's water supply and then taking advantage of the resulting confusion. And then I want to rule from one of those island strongholds that's shaped like a head, except I don't want it to be my head. I want it to be someone else's head.
11. Would you prefer to travel via magic carpet or flying motorcycle? Explicate.
Carpet, so I could nap while I fly. I'm all about those fully reclining airplane seats on overnight flights.
12. If you could spend a day with anybody (living/dead/fictional, etc.) who would it be and why?
My grandfather. He died right before I sold The Mortal Instruments and I'd like to be able to tell him how great everything's been going with it. That's why I dedicated the first book to him.
13. What is your favorite kind of cookie?
Snickerdoodles all the way.