Thanks everyone who came by or tweeted or emailed congratulations yesterday! I appreciate it. The deal for these two new books has been in place for months but I wasn't allowed to talk about it, so it's a huge relief to get it off my chest!
Now the chat we did was about an hour long and there were almost 4,000 RSVPs and I don't know how many actually taking part, but a lot of people had questions that didn't get answered. I'm going to answer a few here, and also try to clear up a few misconceptions. I picked forty that I felt hadn't been gone over in that chat; the only questions I categorically skipped are the ones about movies because the incredibly exhaustive movie faq on my site answers them all, and I have no updates or news to add.
1) "Since City of Fallen Angels was supposed to be mostly about Simon, are these latter two books also mostly about Simon?"
No, and honestly it never occurred to me anyone would think that or I would have made a special point of mentioning it in the chat! Yes, when I first proposed City of Fallen Angels to my publisher, it was going to center more around Simon. That was the plan. What I think I didn't get across during the chat is that as I sat down to write CoFA, and realized it was a much bigger story than I had thought, the focus shifted off Simon and more onto the rest of the characters. Magnus and Alec, who orginally were not going to be in the book at all, now have a major role to play. Clary and Jace have a central role to play. That stuff about Simon leaving town? Not happening; the major action takes place in NYC. While I did try to preserve a strong plotline for Simon, in which he is more than an adjunct to the larger drama surrounding Jace and Clary, it would now be very misleading to refer to it as "Simon's book" or indicate that it is mainly about him. It is not.
2) When will the other "City of" books come out? And why the staggered schedule?
April 5, 2011: City of Fallen Angels
May 2012: City of Lost Souls
September 2013: City of Heavenly Fire
And why the staggered schedule?
Keep in mind that I am still writing the Infernal Devices series. This staggered schedule was the only way I could write both series at the same time and not die. This is what my full publication schedule looks like:
August 31, 2010: The Clockwork Angel
April 5, 2011: City of Fallen Angels
September 2011: The Clockwork Prince
May 2012: City of Lost Souls
December 2012: The Clockwork Princess
September 2013: City of Heavenly Fire
3) What are the last three Mortal Instruments books about?
You can find a pretty good description of the plot of Fallen Angels — or at least as much as I'm allowed to say — here. And according to Simon and Schuster's press release:
"In Book 5: City of Lost Souls, the Shadowhunters struggle to piece together their shattered world after a betrayal by one of their own leaves them reeling. In Book 6: City of Heavenly Fire, Jace, Clary and their friends are drawn inexorably into a war that pits Heaven against Hell, angels against demons—a war that threatens to destroy our world entirely if the Shadowhunters can't end it first."
And that's all I'm allowed to say about that. :)
4) "Will we see other Institutes in the next books?"
You will see the London Institute in the Clockwork series, and later the York Institute and the Shanghai Institute.
5)"Will Clary create more runes?"
Yes. It's what she does.
6)"Is the Chapter of city of falling angel at the end of all the city of glass book in USA??"
It is in all the paperbacks in the US and Canada.
7) "Have you read any of the Mortal Instruments fanfiction?"
Nope, for legal reasons I don't, but I support the writing of it.
8) "Is the character on the front of the City of Fallen Angels that one angel Valentine had captured, Ithuriel?"
9) "The next 3 City of books will be Mortal Instrument Series or seperate series all together?"
The Mortal Instruments is all one series. Like Harry Potter was a series with seven books, this is a series with six books. (Think of Clockwork Angel as if JKR had decided to write a three-book series on the side about the adventures of young Dumbledore called The Dumbledore Chronicles.)
10)"Once both The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices are done and published, which do you think you'd recommend reading first for those who haven't read either series yet?"
My goal in writing them was to make it completely flexible. You can read either series first as long as you read in order *within* the serieses — i.e. don't read City of Glass before City of Bones. If you've read ID first, when you get to a certain scene in CoG, you'll say to yourself, "Oh, that must be ___ character." If you've read TMI first, when you get to a certain scene in Clockwork Angel, you'll think, "Oh, that must be ____ that so-and-so in City of Glass was talking about." (Keeping it vague, here.) It genuinely doesn't matter and is entirely up to your personal preference. Nothing in either series will spoil the other series for you.
11) Why did you choose Raziel for the angel in your series?
Because in Jewish mystic tradition, Raziel stands by the right hand of God and writes down divine secrets in a book called Sefer Raziel HaMalach ("The Book of Raziel the Angel"). He's said to have given it to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. When I was looking for an angel whose job was to hand over a mystic book, he seemed the obvious choice.
12) "Will the Mortal Instruments have any part in these new books?"
They have a part to play, though a smaller one.
13) "okay, I realize I'm probably the only guy here BUT I'd like to ask about the romance to action balance. I still have every intention of getting the series (City of Bonex/Ashes were way too good) but the description for Clockwork Angel got me and a few of my male compatriots worried. Sooooo, action wise is it is it like the Mortal Instrument series or is it a bit heavier on the romance?"
I'd say it's about the same — if you're reading for action, there's plenty of action. If you're reading for romance, there's plenty of that just like there was in the TMI books (you just weren't reading for it, so it kind of went by you, the same way I get the sense a lot of my readers blank the stuff that isn't about Clary&Jace. :D) I actually think in a lot of ways CA might be a better book for boys: there's a lot of central male characters, a lot of them are dealing with big issues (that are of a non-romantic nature), there is a deadly automaton army, and enough action and blood that some of the reviews I've read have warned that the book is "scary.". I mean, the first sentence of it is "The demon exploded in a shower of ichor and guts" not "Tessa wondered if she could have another teacake and still fit into the green satin gown she yearned to wear to the ball."
14) In The Mortal Instruments is the real Jonathan dead?
I can't tell you that. (I include this only because SO MANY people asked it, not because I am ever going to answer it.)
15) Do you get to decide on the cover artwork?
Nope. I get a little input — if I hate hate hate something they might change it — but no, not really.
16)"Oh and I forget my biggest question-will Clary be an awesome Shadowhunter in this book? Like trained and skilled? I'd love to see her finally fight against demons!"
She's certainly training, as those who have read the COFA paperback chapter know. Whether she will become awesome at it remains to be seen.
17) "In City of Glass when Sebastian kisses Clary (sorry if that was a spoiler for some people) why did she feel like it was wrong? Did she sense that he was her brother or was it just that she wanted it to be Jace?"
It wasn't just that she wanted it to be Jace, otherwise she would have reacted that way to kissing Simon in Ashes, and she didn't. She thought kissing Simon was fine. It had more to do with his inherent demonic nature than anything else.
18)"Hi Cassie, have any of your characters from TMI orTID featured in your dreams & if so, who were they and did these dreams or nightmares for that matter, create ideas for your books?"
Nope. I once had a dream some of them were ahead of me in the grocery store line and had too many items in their carts.
19)"i just wanted to know if it's kind of more difficult to write a character like Jace (or Will) who is all irony and sarcasm or if it just comes naturally with you because I find it extremely irritating that I won't come up with just the right witty remarks I want to say in the very moment I need them ;)"
So do I, so does everyone. There's a French phrase for it: L'esprit de l'escalier — the wit of the staircase; i.e. you can only think of a clever comeback after you've already left. But when you're writing books, you have all the time in the world to come up with that clever comeback. So no, I enjoy writing characters like Will and Jace and don't find it hard, but couldn't match their wit in realtime.
20) "theres something about me that just LOVES werewolves, so i was wondering- does Maia have a big part in the next book? or possibly- any other books?"
Yes, Maia has a good-sized part in CoFA and remains closely tied to the central cast members.
21) "The queen of the seelie court seemed suggest there still might be angst ahead for our fave couple. Is there still trouble ahead for them relationship wise?"
22) "will there be side stories about Iasabelle or Alec"
Isabelle and Alec are very central to the narratives of the next books so I don't think there's a need for that.
23) Will we learn more about Magnus Bane's past and will Isabelle get a boyfriend?
Magnus: Yes, but more in the Clockwork books than in the City books. Do you think Isabelle *needs* a boyfriend? :)
24) "Can you explain the time-line between Clockwork Angel and Mortal Instruments?"
Clockwork Angel takes place in 1878; City of Bones in 2007.
25) "Do you know what will be on the cover of the next three books?
And if you don't, what ideas do you have and what would you like to be on the cover?"
I don't know. I am also not supposed to talk about it. I will say that the idea of moving toward having two characters on the covers instead of one was discussed.
26) "What might be the side effects of the Mark of Cain on Simon's forehead?"
That will definitely be explored in the TMI books to come.
27) "What does Alec's room look like? "
Yes, we've seen Jace's room and Isabelle's room, but never Alec's room, have we? It is not messy like Isabelle's nor insanely neat like Jace's. I've always thought of him as someone who didn't really care what he looked like himself but might surround himself with books and attractive objects. And he'd probably have pictures of his family around.
28)"will it be available in audiobook? and will it have a new narrator?"
I am not sure what "it" is, and also don't know what the plans are for the next 3 TMI books, but Jennifer Ehle, who played Elizabeth Bennett in the BBC's Pride and Prejudice, is reading Clockwork Angel about which I am majorly psyched.
29)"were jace, clary, and sebastian from the book covers drawn after real people? i swear jace on the cover of city of bones looks like alex pettyfer."
He might look a bit like Alex Pettyfer now, but I can't say I think he looks much like Alex Pettyfer did in 2006, when the cover was created. Anyway, the answer is, they are photos of people that are then painted over and heavily photoshopped.
30) in COG Clary refused to help the faery queen, will we see the consequenses of that in COFA?"
Well, let's just say we see the Faerie Queen in CoFA (more than once if you count emissaries that she sends) and she isn't too happy with Clary, but as usual, her end goal is murky.
31)"I would also like to know what gave you the base for each character? Did you incorporate some of your characteristic into them or that of anyone you know?"
Writing a novel is a solitary, not a group project. When creating characters all you have to draw on is what is inside your own head. So some part of you will always go into the creation of a character — some part of your own experience, blended with what you know of other people's experiences, and what you've learned about people from history and fiction.
32) "so who is simon going to end up with? and what will simon do for school?"
Simon's back in school at the beginning of COFA. As to who he ends up with, there's three more books to find out!
33) "Do you have a plot down for City of Fallen Angels?"
Jeez, I already wrote the whole thing and am working on revisions, so I'd hope so.
34) "Is there any way to win ARCs of City of the Fallen Angels?"
There will be no ARCs of City of Fallen Angels.
35) "Tessa appears in the CofA finale, is she immortal? Shifters are immortal?"
"Shifter" isn't really a term that appears in any of my books, nor I think has it been made clear what Tessa is — though clearly, whatever it is, she's immortal or very long-lived.
36) "How did you think of sebeastion a.k.a Johnathon"
He is the dark side of Jace — what Jace would have been perhaps if Valentine had succeeded in turning him in to what he wanted him to be.
37) "Did you based some character in your boyfriend/husband?"
Of all the characters, he is most like Simon. It makes him sad that Simon is always so unlucky in love.
38) "Is there gonna be a new love interest between Jace and Clary?"
Like "Is someone going to come between them?" Hmmm.... in a sense.
39) "Who all plays what instruments in Simon's band?"
Excellent question. Simon plays the bass, Kirk plays the drums, Eric guitar, Matt keyboards, and in CoFA they add a new person as a singer...
40) "Will you please keep writing The Mortal Instruments so we see some action? YA to adult?"
I'm not exactly sure what this question means....