Friday, October 31, 2014

Exclusive: Our Behind The Scenes look at Morganville: The Series

Happy Halloween!

There's nothing I love more than to share some exclusive goodies, especially when it comes from somewhere as exciting as Morganville! Make sure to scroll down for exclusive Behind the Scenes photos from the set!

So, if you haven't heard until now, New York Times best selling author Rachel Caine is adapting her Morganville Vampires books - 15 in all - for a hilarious fright fest of a web series. The first season is freely adapted by Rachel from the first novel Glass Houses

Nothing is strange about the direction or production of Morganville: The Series. A show with a little more bit than most because well... the Morganville Vampires own their town and everyone in it and there's not really anyone stopping them. And for the fictional characters they are not backing down or backing off the new girl in town. Everyone's suspect to Claire Danvers.

Which makes it all the more sweet to see the behind-the-scenes movies and photos, because the reality of this web series is a long haul many books have made transitioning to another format. A realness steeped in long nights, insane shooting schedules (only 10 days!) and a fun-loving cast who were and are dedicated to making Morganville: The Series a wonderful treat for fans this Halloween season!

If you loved Rachel Caine's Morganville Vamps in their book form, she is really hoping you love how Morganville: The Series captures the spirit and heart of her vampires in a whole new way. She cannot be more pleased with the results and wants especially the Kickstarter fans to know it wouldn't have been possible without their generosity and faith in the project. And could not be more thrilled that Felicia Day's Geek & Sundry believed in the project enough to match the giving and hosting Morganville: The Series on their awesome YouTube channel.

As a newbie to the series, I have loved what I've seen of the characters so far and will be starting a live tweet #MVliveread -along for the Morganville book series on Saturday, November 1 on our @TMI_Institute Twitter account. Make sure to join us! 

But just in case you can't read just yet, here's what you need to know about the show:

A brave teen (Claire Danvers) moves to the very isolated West Texas town of Morganville to (a) attend the local university, only to run afoul of the local mean (very mean) girls and (b) move to the safety of off-campus housing with three strangers. But the plot thickens when she discovers that her new housemates aren't crazy: Morganville really is run by vampires. They own it, and every one in it. Any now ... they own her.

Get to know the cast of Morganville: The Series 

Ben Easter (Michael), Shane (Jordan Farris), Claire (Lindsay Seidel), Rachel Caine, Oliver (Robert Picardo),and Amelie (Amber Benson) all pose for fans at MCM London Comic Con. (Photo credit: Tez Greenwood)

The show stars fan favorites Robert Picardo as Oliver (Star Trek: Voyager) and Amber Benson ( Buffy The Vampire Slayer) as Amelie, as well as Lindsay Seidel (Claire), Jordan Taylor Farris (Shane), Haileigh Todd (Eve), Ben Easter (Michael), Nikki Donley (Hanna), Afomia Hailemeskel (Monica), Jessie Mechler (Gina), Taylor Murphy (Jennifer), Gregory Connors (Brandon) and Chase Ryan Jeffery (Myrnin). It is directed by Blake Calhoun, known for his award-winning and groundbreaking digital series Pink and Continuum. The show was filmed on location in Texas on a Blackmagic camera.

Even though web series are seen as non-traditional formats, the casting process and scouting for film locations remained normal. Auditions were held in Dallas, LA, Austin, New Orleans and some digital (to give fans of the books a chance at the spotlight, too). Rachel wrote all the characters monologues for the auditions. The entire show ended up being filmed on location in Dallas in four separate venues, including a coffee shop, a turn-of-last-century Victorian home, a hospital, and a university. Nearly every episode ends with Rachel's infamous cliffhanger endings!

Exclusive Behind the Scenes from Episode 1 "Glass House"

Photographer: Julio César Cedillo
Ben Easter, who plays the mysterious and swoonworthy Michael, takes a turn in the chair under the careful eye of talented makeup artists for something special in the first episode of the series. 
Lindsay Seidel, who plays Claire Danvers, gets camera ready before a scene.
It's busy on set as Amber Benson, who plays Amelie, gets ready to sport some killer heels.

Get to know the author

Rachel Caine is a fictional character herself ... a pen name of writer Roxanne Conrad. Since 2003, Rachel has written in the adult Urban Fantasy genre (the Weather Warden, Outcast Season, Revivalist and Red Letter Days series) as well as in Young Adult fiction (the Morganville Vampire series and award-winning novel Prince of Shadows). She is the author of more than forty novels and many short stories, and is regularly featured in anthology collections, most recently the Charlaine Harris edited Dead But Not Forgotten.

Switching from book to film writing was easier than Rachel expected. The very first thing she did ended up setting the stage for the adaptation process and made it easier for her to focus on the story she wished to tell. Rachel says, "The first thing I tried to do, since I wrote the book in 2006, was to write down everything I remembered from it without re-reading it. That was fascinating, because what I wrote down was really the core story, and that turned out to be what needed to be told in the show. So while I did go back to the book, I did it for the purposes of review, not inspiration."

Fans might be wondering how a 10-day shoot in April 2014 could possibly yield a story they recognize. Rachel is confident the series delivers and explains, 'For practical purposes, you can only have so many characters in a show with this running time, so some characters from the novel, while really interesting, ended up not being central to the plot (like Miranda). However, I did think it was important to introduce Myrnin,who is a fan favorite character, into the mix early, so he makes a short appearance this season."

Watch the series

 To find out more, check out these sites for the scoop on Rachel Caine, The Morganville Vampire Books and Morganville: The Series.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones gets one-hour show

Rejoice, Shadowhunters! Sounds like The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones will have an hour long show! Whether you want to fangirl dance in your seats at school, at work or wherever you may be, we have cause to celebrate. Deadline shared the big news.

Based on Cassandra Clare’s bestselling YA book series, the series will reboot the chronicle of the Shadowhunters led by Clary Fray and Jace Wayland in one-hour episodes beginning with the first book, City Of Bones, and expanding into later books as the series progresses.

Ed Dector will man the helm as writer/exec producer for the series. His credits include Unforgettable, The Client List, and In Plain Sight.

“Ed Decter brings a tremendous track record to the table,” said Robert Kulzer, co-president of Constantin Film in LA and one of the original film’s producers. “As a showrunner we wanted someone who shares our passion and love for these characters and stories, and Ed has a remarkable ability to form narratives.”
What do you think of the news that we'll get a one hour show? Share your thoughts below or with us on Twitter at @TMI_Institute.  

Monday, June 9, 2014

Drop Dead interviews Jamie Campbell Bower

Drop Dead, the UK based clothing company owned by British rocker Oliver Sykes (Bring Me The Horizon), did an interview with Mortal Instruments star and musician Jamie Campbell Bower.

As a big fan of both Jamie and Bring Me The Horizon, it's awesome that the two collabed for this interview. It's also fun to note that you can see Jamie wearing Drop Dead apparel at almost all of his Darling Buds gigs.

Take a look!


Describe yourself in 5 words…Some Kind Of Dancing Unicorn.
Highlight of the last year?Recording my bands (The Darling Buds) debut EP in Copenhagen.
What can we expect from you in the next year?Our first single comes out in the Summer. We're playing shows around the UK and the US. A new movie and possibly a video of me drinking milk.
Current inspiration?Dragons.
What’s your favourite city?London.
When you’re creating what’s your daily routine?If I'm doing a movie its normally, wake up at the crack of ass, throw on what clothes I have on the floor, get picked up then get made to look pretty and do some pretending. If I'm writing or recording its pretty much the same just without getting made to look pretty.
Top albums on rotation at the minute?Of Mice and Men - Restoring Force
A Day To Remember - Common Courtesy
and anything by The Xcerts
Burrito or burger?Burger hands down. Nothing better than some juicy bun action.
Top 3 films?The Great Escape
The Princess Diaries
How To Train Your Dragon
Pick one celebrity to Drop Dead…Anyone who refers to themselves as a celebrity.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Fan predictions for CITY OF HEAVENLY FIRE

Well, lets hope not!!! It's time to talk fan predictions for City of Heavenly Fire!!!

First, lets share the #TMI videos from Walker Books UK and the British Nephilim with Cassie Clare...

I had several responses on predictions and I wanted to share some of my fave ones.... so here we go!

Nichelle says:
I hope this :
Sebastian turns good and hands over the mortal cup and like everyone will make out and get marries and malec will have a son named jace or will and everyone would be happy the end.How it probably will end: BOOM POW BLOOD DEATH BYE MALEC BYE SIZZY BYE CLACE NO HAPPIENESS DEAMONS EVERYWERE DEATH BLOOD SADNESS
And that is my description of CoHF

Dorothy says:
I don't blog myself but I love yours! Ok so my character predictions are:Alec and/or Simon will die.Jocelyn and Luke will get married but one or both might die.Clary will stop Sebastian.I don't know what will happen to Clary and Jace I really hope they end up with a happily ever after. I'm so excited/nervous/scared for the book I can't wait!!!!
Thanks for being awesome and in love with TMI too!D.S.

Ashia says:

Okay so, I've been thinking for a while about the deaths in cohf, and I'm practically convinced that Luke will die, along with a few other council members, and maybe Maia, because there's loads of theories of her betraying everyone to Sebastian so... *shrug* . What I'm scared of at the minute is the chance that malec could get split up, I think I would die if that happened, or if sizzy got split up! My days I couldn't handle it. If simon doesn't make it.. I will go to war.
That is all.
Ashia Xx 

Here's some predictions from Twitter fans!

What 6 characters do you think will die in CoHF?

The conclusion based on these answers and more I've received make me think that Robert and Sebastian are the two characters that fans most likely believe will die followed by Maia, Simon, Luke and Jocelyn.

I'll share my last minute predictions on Monday!!! Until then, keep calm and love Shadowhunters!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Shadowhunter Mission: Saying Goodbye to TMI (avi and hashtag challenge)

The countdown for The Mortal Instruments final installment, City of Heavenly Fire, is winding down to the final week, and we at The Mortal Institute are chomping our nails in frightened anticipation.
Thanks to one of our awesome followers, @_urebriviel_ on Twitter, there is something cool we’d like to do to promote to come as one in celebration and in loss of our beloved TMI characters.. We are asking all Shadowhunters to post this mourning rune on as your avatar on social media accounts on May 27th. You are welcome to decorate it with any words that remind you of TMI. We will be following several hashtags as we say goodbye to our beloved series, and we’ll be doing our own: #AveAtqueValeTMI. 

Make sure to join us!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Walker Books, Cassie Clare hosts #TMIParty on Twitter

Are you as excited for the sixth and final installment of The Mortal Instruments as we are? Like us, we bet you can't wait! 

We have some exciting news for you!!! Are you ready?????? We are inviting you to an amazing event!!!!

To celebrate the release of City of Heavenly Fire, we are inviting you to join Walker Books and Cassie Clare for their Twitter #TMIParty On Saturday, 24th May from 7pm till' late (That's 2 pm EASTERN) we will be staging an online tweet along to The Mortal InstrumentsCity of Bones whilst releasing exclusive Cassie Clare videos, exciting new content, rune-reading, Shadowhunter nail & make-up tutorials and amazing comps

...and we want you to join us!

You can stage your very own #TMIParty while you follow along with us!
- Invite your BFF, a group of pals or have a pampering evening in
- Prep your perfect snack with our exclusive TMI recipe cards
- Press play on City of Bones *swoons over Jamie Campbell Bower*
- Keep an eye out for exclusive Cassie Clare content, comps, rune-themed treats
Keep Tweeting: be part of the worldwide TMI Twittersphere

Follow the fun using the #TMIPARTY hashtag - 24th May / 7pm till late!

Stay here at The Mortal Institute and on Twitter at @TMI_Institute for all the details as they come!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

First look at Simon and Maia, plus inside cover art for 'City of Heavenly Fire'

Cassie Clare revealed her newest secrets in this week's edition of #TMITuesday. This week we see the inside art for the City of Heavenly Fire jacket by artist Cliff Nielson. We also are getting a closer look at the art for Simon and Maia, along with some revealing quotes.

Anyone else the least bit freaked out by the imagery discussed in Simon's quote?

Maia sounds like either she is dying or someone she is holding onto is dying. What are your thoughts? Could it be Jordan or possibly someone else?

Simon just gave me a case of the major feels!! He loves Izzy, and it sounds like he's having some major heart-to-heart scenes in the book with her.

Also, here's a look at the earlier reveals Cassie has shared so far for #TMITuesday.

April 15th:

April 22nd:

April 29th:

Stay up to date on everything Shadowhunter by following us on Twitter at @tmi_institute@TMI_Institute.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Robert Sheehan CONFIRMED for Star Wars: Episode VII

It's an AMAZING day for Shadowhunters (and us Jedi) and fans of The Mortal Instruments star Robert Sheehan. Sheehan, who played Simon Lewis in the TMI movie has been confirmed to star in STAR WARS EPISODE VII.

Even more epic and a little ironic is that (SPOILER) Sheehan will play Jacen Solo! Jacen is the son so Hans Solo and Princess Leia and Irish actor Robert Sheehan was today confirmed as one of the lead actors in the upcoming Star Wars: Episode VII. The 'Misfits' and 'Love/Hate' actor will also play the dual role of Darth Caedus when Jacen Solo turns to the dark side).

Here's the info from the
It's no secret that director JJ Abrams is a fan of the hit RTE show 'Love/Hate' and previously expressed an interest in directing an episode. Speaking about the casting Sheehan revealed "You could say that 'Love/Hate' has been great training for 'Star Wars', there are huge similarities between the drug wars of Dublin and the intergalactic battle of the Jedis. Just swap my handgun for a light saber and essentially you have the same story"
In other Irish news, JJ Abrams revealed that at least 50% of Star Wars: Episode VII will be filmed in Ireland. Principal photography begins this May at Pinewood Studios before moving to Ireland in July.
Irish locations today revealed as part of the movie include : 
The Burren in county Clare which will be used to recreate the planet Anoth, where Jacen, Jaina, and Anakin Solo will spend their early vulnerable childhood years.
Trinity College Library will once again be featured in Star Wars, where it takes the form of the Jedi Archives.
The Ringsend Waste Water Plant will be used for the interior shots of the iconic Millennium Falcon ship. Director JJ Abrams was spotted in Dublin last year on a location hunt and the water plant was one of the highlights of his visit.
The Stephens Green shopping centre will double up as the Star Temples and Infinity Gate on Dathomir. Director JJ Abraham's was blown away by the architecture in the Dublin shopping centre and revealed that he hopes to use some local shoppers as extras in the film.
Due to the movies Irish location, Abrahams revealed that at least 30% of the cast will be Irish. The production team held two days of casting at Dublin's Croke Park earlier in the year and during that time held auditions with some of Ireland's greatest actors including Ronan Keating, who is tipped to play Lowbacca, a wookie nephew of Chewbacca and the Jedward twins who are tipped to play Ewoks in the highly anticipated movie.
Star Wars Episode VII will open in Irish Cinemas on April 1st 2015
Keep an eye on for more legitimate Star Wars news over the coming months 


Monday, February 24, 2014

ICYMI: Cassie Clare clears up Malec comment and more!

In case you missed it, here's the latest info from Cassandra Clare, clearing up the statement made about Malec at the recent Mexico City signing, as well as giving us some tidbits about the Herondale last name and a some juicy spoilery details about City of Heavenly Fire and The Dark Artifices.

[COFA SPOILER]Question: Cassandra, I heard that you said in Mexico City that Magnus would forgive Alec, is that true? 
Cassie: There seems to be a lot of semi-true stuff floating around based on my appearance in Mexico City — remember everything I said had to be filtered through a translation headpiece! I said, in fact, “Magnus forgives what Alec did but that does not mean they get back together.” I mean, Magnus is not a bitter grudge-holder so I never thought it would be a surprise that he would not be furious with Alec forever. :) So their chances of getting back together are exactly the same as before.

Question: Hello! Um, so I was wondering: does Jace ever begin to use Herondale as his surname(even if just on paper)? Or at least does the Herondale name exist outside of Jace? It just makes me sad to think that the Herondale line will disappear after getting so attached to Will and Cecy.— aquilaswing 
Cassie: All I can say is that the continuing existence of the Herondale name is addressed in CoFA!

Question: I know a lot of people on the Shadowhunter wiki, including me, are Downworlder sympathizers, and we were wondering, will we be learning more about them (like almost as much as we know about the Nephilim) in the future series? I’m optimistic that since Mark & Helen are half-fey, we’ll learn more about the Fair Folk in TDA. But more about warlocks would be pretty cool, too.
Cassie: You are definitely right that you will be learning a lot more about the Fair Folk in TDA. They’re a big part of the story. They’re also a big part of CoHF, maybe in ways you might not expect? There have been some hints scattered through CoFA and CoLS about the part they play. And there is a big political issue that has to do with them toward the end.
TDA also features a new warlock character — the High Warlock of Los Angeles.

Question: Ms. Clare, I recently read the snippet of Julian and Emma from COHF and the writing with their fingers really stuck with me. When I was younger, there was one year when my cousins and I went to about five funerals and to console each other in the pews we would do the exact same thing as Julian and Emma, and we still do to this day. Thank you for that detail, and for the books that brought magic back into my life. — make-dreams-your-master 
Cassie: Aw…I teared up a bit . .. It is a thing I used to do with my best friend when we were kids. Though we sucked at figuring out the letters we were tracing half the time and were like “What do you mean, is there any newts?” “Not newts! NEWS!”

Question: * 1234 is etched on the base of Raziel’s statue, along with the Shadowhunter motto, above the entrance to the Silent City. What’s the year’s relevance to their history? 
Cassie: That is the year that Shadowhunters began looking better in black than the widows of their enemies. Previously when wearing black they looked only equally as good, or worse, than the widows of their enemies.

MUSIC MONDAY: Read-along song picks for 'City of Ashes' book prologue

I know many of Shadowhunters I've talked to are patiently waiting for something. Whether it be news about City of Heavenly Fire (91 days to go), The Bane Chronicles, or even ANYTHING on the City of Ashes movie, we are all needing something to get us by.

I know many sites to read-alongs, so instead of being a copy-cat I'd provide a new soundtrack for you to listen to as you read City of Ashes. Each Monday I'll post a new set of songs. You can listen to all the songs or just pick out the ones that remind you the most of the particular chapter.

This week we delve into Prologue. Here's the synopsis from Shadowhunters Wiki:
Valentine Morgenstern and a Warlock named Elias are summoning the Greater Demon, Agramon. After the summon is successful, Agramon kills the young warlock. Valentine then speaks to him, telling him that he will obey him as he has the Mortal Cup, and Agramon "kneels" to him in allegiance.
I felt with the creepiness and ominous prologue to the book that we'd go equally dark. Like I said, take a listen to the songs and let me know if you think this matches the darkness of Valentine Morgenstern raising Agramon.

Song 1: "Voices" by Crown the Empire:

Song 2: "The Depths" by Of Mice & Men:

Song 3: "Heaven Knows" by The Pretty Reckless:

Have a song for our next Music Monday, Chapter 1 from City of Ashes? Share with us in the comments below or on Twitter at @TMI_Institute.

Pre-order City of Heavenly Fire NOW!

 The final instillment to Cassandra Clare's The Mortal Instruments series, City of Heavenly Fire is on pre-order NOW!

You can order book six from Barnes and Noble and Amazon now - just click on the links provided!

City of Heavenly Fire releases on May 27th of this year.

Shadowhunters and demons square off for the final showdown in the spellbinding, seductive conclusion to the #1 New York Times bestselling Mortal Instruments series.
Darkness has descended on the Shadowhunter world. Chaos and destruction overwhelm the Nephilim as Clary, Jace, Simon, and their friends band together to fight the greatest evil they have ever faced: Clary’s own brother. Nothing in this world can defeat Sebastian—but if they journey to the realm of demons, they just might have a chance…
Lives will be lost, love sacrificed, and the whole world will change. Who will survive the explosive sixth and final installment of the Mortal Instruments series?"

Sunday, February 23, 2014

'The Last Hours' character portraits

NOTE: The Last Hours series has spoilers for The Infernal Devices series.


Lucky for us, The Last Hours news keeps on coming! Cassandra Clare shared a few character portraits by Cassandra Jean of the prominent characters in the upcoming series. Meet Cordelia!

Cordelia by Cassandra Jean

There are 9 more characters on Cassandra's tumblr page. Were you immediately drawn to a particular character? Let us know in the comments!

Friday, February 21, 2014

TLH Series Title and Book Titles Revealed

Shadowhunters have been guessing for months now what the letters of Cassandra Clare's book series TLH stand for. The Bookseller spilled the beans today when they announced that Walker Books has acquired rights for the new trilogy, The Last Hours.

Clare took to her tumblr blog to share the news with her fans. She explained the title for the new trilogy, which is set in 1903, comes from the book Great Expectations. The titles of the three books - Chain of Thorns, Chain of Gold, and Chain of Iron, are also a reference to great expectations. The first book is set for release in 2017.

Although set in different time periods and locations, The Last Hours trilogy will be interconnected with The Dark Artifices trilogy.

What do you think about the new series title? Let us know in the comments!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

'The Bane Chronicles: The Course of True Love (And First Dates') out in 1 month

Magnus Bane and Alec Lightwood might fall in love—but first they have a first date.

When Magnus Bane, warlock, meets Alec Lightwood, Shadowhunter, sparks fly. And what happens on their first date lights a flame...

UPDATE: The new release date is March 18, 2014. 

The latest installment of The Bane Chronicles: The Course of True Love (And First Dates) by Cassandra Clare will be out in one month exactly!!!

Have you orderd your e-book today? If not, here's links to purchase:

Sunday, February 16, 2014

SHADOWHUNTER WRAP-UP: 'City of Heavenly Fire' snippet, TLH news, and more

There's lots of news in the Shadowhunter fandom and here's a rundown of the latest!

Cassandra Clare shared a very special Valentine with fans: a brand new snippet from City of Heavenly Fire. This snippet features Julian Blackthorn, one of the Los Angeles Institute characters from the highly anticipated series The Dark Artifices.

Take a look:

“Julian,” said Jia, in the same gentle voice, “would you do something for us? Would you take up the Mortal Sword?”
Clary sat up straight. She had held the Mortal Sword: she had felt the weight of it. The cold, like hooks in your skin, dragging the truth out of you. You couldn’t lie holding the Mortal Sword, but the truth, even a truth you wanted to tell, was agony.
“They can’t,” she whispered. “He’s just a kid —“
“He’s the oldest of the kids who escaped the Institute,” Jace said under his breath. “They don’t have a choice.”
Julian nodded, his thin shoulders straight. “I’ll take it.”
Robert Lightwood passed behind the podium then and went to the table. He took up the sword and returned to stand in front of Julian. The contrast between them was almost funny: the big, barrel-chested man and the lanky, wild-haired boy. 
Julian reached a hand up and took the sword. As his hand closed around the hilt, he shuddered, a ripple of pain that was quickly forced down. Emma, behind him, started forward, and Clary caught a glimpse of the look on her face — pure fury — before Helen caught at her and pulled her back.
The book is roughly 733 pages, according to Cassie. "There’s no difference between the Walmart edition and any other edition in terms of the story, so you shouldn’t worry about whatever page number they have listed. It’s all the same book."

With all that said, Cassie also revealed that TESSA AND JEM will make an appearance in the book!

Signed copies of COHF at Barnes & Noble

There 2,000 first edition signed copies of City of Heavenly Fire for sale at Barnes & Noble, according to Cassie.
 I signed about 2,000 first editions of City of Heavenly Fire for Barnes and Noble (not that the COHF books have been printed yet, but I signed the first pages and they’ll be bound in. So you’ll be able to order them from B&N soon. I’ll put up the link when I have it. Every one will also be stamped with a rune stamp, and some of them — totally randomly — have my sketch of Church in them. That’s sort of a lottery, whether you end up with one of those, though. And you can always get signed books of mine from Books of Wonder.
There will be extras in both the first editions and regular prints, but with a little bit more for fans to rave about! Cassie says:
Well, all the first editions of City of Heavenly Fire have a portrait on the inside of Jace, Simon, Maia, Alec and Isabelle done by Cliff Nielson, who does all my covers. Only the hardcover first editions sold by Simon and Schuster in the US and Canada will have that portrait on the inside cover. All the books will also come with a note from one of the characters in the end that is handwritten and printed, and leads into the Dark Artifices series. That’s every book, not just the first editions. As to how to buy first editions — basically first editions are all the copies in a publisher’s first print run. They last until they sell out. So the earlier you order a book the more likely you are to get one. 

Bane Chronicles book set for print in November

Cassie revealed that the first edition of The Bane Chronicles will hit stands in November 2014. Cassie says:
Anticipatory and terrified is exactly how you should be! :) Yep, the Bane Chronicles will be released in print — the current publication date for the print edition of the Bane Chronicles is November 11 of this year. 
The newest story in the series, The Course of True Love (and First Dates), comes out this Tuesday. 

Name of 'TLH' project to be released

On February 25…
You’ll be finding out what TLH stands for.


Naturally, I will draw Valentine on Valentine’s Day! (The Mortal Instruments written by @CassieClare)
The flowers on the bottom are called Shooting Stars (or falling stars) and the flower on the top are called Hoya’s and look remarkably like…stars! For Morgenstern.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Cassie Clare shares thoughts on continuing Shadowhunter series

Cassandra Clare, aka our very favorite author (of course), took to Tumblr today to answer a very complicated series of questions about the continuing of her Shadowhunter books and about how people criticize successful authors when they write several books.

So, I've seen these sorts of questions posed before and always wondered how Cassie would react. If I were her, I'd ball up in a little corner and cry for fear that everyone was being mean to me. Something like this:

 Luckily, Cassie is way cooler than I am and shared why she still writes the Shadowhunter books, how she continues to write them without getting tired of them, and how successful authors pour their souls out to create great books. Take a look and let us know what you think about her comments.

On writing continuing series and a gratuitous picture of Tom Hiddleston
Is TLH yet another Shadowhunters project? Don’t you get tired of just writing Shadowhunter books? It doesn’t seem like you can really care about them anymore… if you ever did… so it’s flogging a dead horse. You and your publishers end up looking money-grubbing. Why do all these successful writers keep dragging out their series for the money? And are you ever going to write other books besides Shadowhunters books?
Wowzers. Well, let’s start with the simple stuff: TLH is a Shadowhunter project. I’ve talked about it before. Looking in the James Herondale or The Midnight Heir tags might tell you more…or you can wait till end of February when I can talk about it.
Also yes, I do plan to write other books than Shadowhunters books. I am currently working on both Lady Midnight, the first book of The Dark Artifices (a Shadowhunters book), and also the second book of the Magisterium series, which is cowritten with Holly Black; there are five books; the first one comes out this September 9th, and it is definitely not Shadowhunters. It’s a completely different world and it took us quite a few years to come up with the magic system.
And now to unpack this pile of loaded questions (which I have stripped down of identifying markers, because even though its a really problematic ask, I don’t want anyone yelling at the asker.)
Don’t you get tired of just writing Shadowhunter books?”
No. I mean, other than the obvious fact that I am not actually, in reality, in this world we currently live in, just writing Shadowhunters books, no, I don’t get tired of them.
I keep from getting tired of them by not in fact continuing the same story, but setting each series in a completely different time and place, making it about different people, and giving it a totally different tone. The Infernal Devices is a steampunk retelling of Tale of Two Cities set in 1878 London and The Dark Artifices is a noir inspired romantic mystery set in Los Angeles in 2013; the only thing that ties them together is a magic system —so saying they are therefore all the same story seems to me as stupid as asking people who continue writing realistic books set in the actual world when they are going to get bored with the actual world because it’s all the same actual world. They should write fantasy! Change it up! All their books contain carbon-based lifeforms! It’s a travesty! *headdesk* Except no one ever actually says that because it’s ridiculous. Realistic writers of fiction should not be sat on and forced to write fantasy, and continuing writing fantasy set in the same universe is not by definition an act of hackery any more than the fact that there are twelve Dance to the Music of Time books means Anthony Powell should have stopped at three. Writing books set in the same universe in fact requires you to set yourself an ever-increasing set of challenges: how do you grow the universe, develop it, find new corners, tell a wide range of stories, keep a massive mythology running and consistent in your head? These aren’t bigger challenges than building a new world or magic system from scratch (I’ve done both in the past two years) but they are equal.
It doesn’t seem like you can really care about them anymore… if you ever did… so it’s flogging a dead horse.
If I never cared about them, why would I have written them …at all? I would have written something else. There was no particular advantage to writing City of Bones when I did. It could have been anything. When I proposed The Infernal Devices my publisher was not thrilled. They told me historical fantasy didn’t sell. I had to produce a list of YA historical fantasies that had been bestsellers to even sell the project. And I had already been a bestseller. I wrote TiD because I loved the idea and I really really wanted to write them. I would actually have gotten a lot more money for a contemporary fantasy about something else. The TID books succeeded despite expectations, not because of them.
Also, I don’t think flogging a dead horse means what you think it means. Either way I break down what you might mean, it’s inaccurate:
1) Flogging a dead horse means writing books nobody wants to read, for which there is no demand, etc. That is not actually the case here, so what you are really saying is “Why don’t you take this horse that just won the Kentucky Derby out and shoot it, due to the fact that it would be IMMORAL TO CONTINUE OWNING THAT HORSE FOR REASONS I HAVE MADE UP?” You cannot both argue that no one wants to read these books and also that I am writing them for money. It is an either/or. You cannot have both.
2) Flogging a dead horse means the creative spark is gone for the writer but they will keep writing them anyway because they are all about the Benjamins and need to keep up their collection of Louboutin shoes. Although in the case of writers, it is generally more like they are all about the Washingtons and need to keep up their collection of health insurance. Writers don’t usually get paid that much.
To which all I can say is: if the readerly spark is gone for you, then I am sad for it, but it’s a valid feeling. [I do not think it is actually a feeling possessed by the person who wrote this ask, since they spelled all the characters’ names wrong and didn’t know The Infernal Devices was either historical or set in London.*  It is actually hard to fake being a fan of something if you aren’t. But I think it is a feeling that could well be possessed by someone. We all get tired of stuff.] But for me, the writerly spark is not gone.
* (I always find it odd that people who hate my writing are so obsessed with everything I do with my career — though usually clueless about the details or content to make them up — but I suspect that if you hate my books and me personally, you would not suddenly find your opinion changing if I wrote about something other than Shadowhunters.)
I’m writing TLH and TDA because I want to. I want to write about Jules and Emma because I love them and I love their story. I feel the same about James and Lucie and Cordelia and Matthew. They are all very real people to me and so are their stories. If I suddenly couldn’t write them, if my contracts were canceled, I’d be heartbroken. I’ve seen people heartbroken, catapulted into massive depressions, by that same thing. And what is enormously ironic is that then those writers actually do wind up writing something else for money because they have to write something they think will sell. They are in fact in much less of a position to be free and to experiment, to take risks, to do weird, new, exciting things with their work, than you can if you have the very tiny amount of leverage afforded you in a business that is canted enormously in the favor of publishers, not writers, by the fact that your books sell enough copies to make the publisher money.
(And also, if you have not heard, traditional publishing is skint right now. Most of the Big Six have tiny profit margins. Eighty percent of books never earn their advances back and the bestsellers and cookbooks and celebrity books that people think it’s hip to detest pay for the rest of everything — yeah, all those indie literary books, and anything where the publisher is taking a chance on an unknown quantity. That’s off the backs of the small percentage of books that do earn a profit, and so it should be, but it’s not an equation most people are ever aware of.)
So, no, I do not “not care.” I probably, as you can tell here, care too much!
You and your publishers end up looking money-grubbing.
I will now go and kidnap the Hubble Telescope, with which I will attempt to detect the interest of my publisher in whether or not people think they are interested in turning a profit. They are a media conglomerate. One wonders what you expected. If they do not turn a profit, they go out of business.
As for me personally: always interesting to see the absolute and total discomfort with the idea of writers making money, and especially women writers making money, rearing its head.
Not that long ago I was attending a panel at a convention about writing for a long time in the same world. It’s something I’ve always aspired to do — Tamora Pierce has always been one of my literary idols because she’s developed such a rich world with the five series set in the Tortellan universe.
One of the things I found most interesting about the panel was that the women writers on the panel talked about how people viewed them expanding their universes or writing more books in a successful series with deep suspicion, (and a lot of “you’re just in it for the money”) and the male writers reported — well, not experiencing that.
It’s easy enough to get on the internet and announce loudly what you think other people should do when it isn’t your money, your career, or your family’s welfare that you’re risking. Writers by and large don’t make a living wage at all; one book that doesn’t do well can tank your whole career, and all of this goes double for female writers as compared to their male counterparts who are paid more, promoted more, reviewed more, and given more second chances.
 ”She’s writing it for the money.” I see this about me, and about a lot of women writers who have created popular universes and continue to write in them. I don’t see this so much directed at men: in fact I can think of several male writers off the top of my head who are doing exactly what I am doing — creating a big universe and then writing stories in different corners of it — and I’ve never seen this critique aimed at them. Not that it doesn’t exist ever, but it isn’t common enough to have passed across my dash, twitter, etc.
People get really uncomfortable when you talk about art and money, and especially when you talk about women, art and money. They want an incredibly clear separation between art that is done for the sake of art, and art that people expect to get paid for. Tough. There’s not one. It’s complicated. People think women should be supported by their husbands and therefore free to pursue their art unburdened by financial issues. I have actually seen this. (I did not realize that one could access the internet from 1850.) I am on a retreat with four talented lady writers at the moment and all of them are the breadwinners in their families. Without the salaries they make writing, there are kids who would be going unfed, elderly relatives going uncared for, and siblings not attending college. I don’t really know what else to say about that except that there is a long tradition of making women feel like shit about the art they choose to produce, and it is not a proud one.
Why do all these successful writers keep dragging out their series for the money?
The really baffling thing about this complaint isn’t just that you assume you can intuit why a total stranger is doing what they do, or making the creative choices they’re making — which is not just arrogant but borders on the creepstery — but that you genuinely cannot see the logical  tissue that connects 1) successful series and 2) people continuing to write in that world. Let me break it down for you.
There is a reason you see people extend successful series or keep writing in universes in which they have previously written popular books.
Because they can.
And I don’t mean because they can in the sense of “I DO WHAT I WANT!”

I mean it in the sense of “because they are really really lucky, lucky enough to  get to write what they want.” Successful series get expanded and writers write more in that world because when series are successful, publishers will publish more books related to that series. This may seem blindingly obvious, but apparently not. Series that make money continue on because publishers do not publish series that do not make money. The only way you get the opportunity to continue to write in the same world is if your previous books in that world have been financially successful.
Every single one of my close circle of writing friends has had to abandon a project because it was not financially viable.
Every. Single. One.
These writers  had whole other stories to tell in those worlds. They had masses of family trees and other characters and new twists on the magic and breathtaking reveals that the world is never going to see and you are never going to get to read and that sucks, and it sucks as well that the response is to heap abuse on the people who are lucky enough to get to write what they love.
I am incredibly privileged and lucky to be able to keep writing Shadowhunter books. I write them because I love them. I love the world, and I intentionally built it to be flexible enough to allow for a range of storytelling. I don’t get bored writing them because they feature enormously different characters, different styles, and focus on different time periods. I am lucky they sell well enough that my publisher wants to continue publishing them because I would write them anyway.
I probably wouldn’t normally answer this sort of ask at all as it is generally more trouble than it is worth, and the people who ought to read the answer, aren’t the people that will. But interestingly I got it at the same time that I found out that LJ Smith was going to publish new installments of The Vampire Diaries using Kindle Worlds. Which is, as far as I can tell, an Amazon self-publishing program set up to allow fanfiction writers to write and sell fanfiction based on Vampire Diaries on Amazon. Why is she doing that? Because Vampire Diaries was a packaged project, which means it belongs entirely to Alloy Entertainment and not to LJ Smith even though she wrote every word of the books that the TVD show was based on. At some point, they fired her from the project and hired another writer. Now she’s continuing the stories in the only way she legally can.
Now, I don’t know anything about the books, or the show, or the author, but a gesture like that — when she’s a big bestseller and could just sell another unrelated series free and clear for a ton of money if she felt like it — indicates that she loves this story she invested in so much she will keep writing it no matter the circumstances. And that is how most of us feel. It is certainly how I feel. If I couldn’t get a publisher to publish TDA or TLH (or TWP when it comes to that) I might self-publish them because without those installments, the Shadowhunters world and story wouldn’t feel finished to me and I would be massively unhappy. Fortunately — again, because I am lucky —I don’t have to do that.
Asker, I doubt you got this far, but if you did: the way you think about publishing and writing is broken. I hope you’ll reconsider it, since it can’t be that much fun for you, and also it is kind of embarrassing to make a lot of assumptions about the motivations of strangers and then turn out to be wrong. Actual readers of mine, who are most of the people reading this tumblr, if you have managed to get this far, all I can say is that I love the series I have coming out as much as the ones I’ve already written. I strive to make each book the best I can make it and I will continue to do that. There is not much point suggesting I go write the books of my heart instead of these when these are the books of my heart. And that is probably all there is to say about that.
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