If you’re like us, you’ve been counting down the days until the release of Cassandra Clare’s second installment of The Dark Artifices series, LORD OF SHADOWS on May 23. We were lucky enough to catch up with Cassie to get a sneak peek into what we can expect next from the Los Angeles-based Shadowhunters! Because sunny Los Angeles can be a dark place…
JM: To start, can you give us a sneak peek into what we can look forward to in LoS?
CC: Sea demons, a devastating sacrifice, a dangerous rescue mission, a good old-fashioned hunt for a spell book, terrifying faeries bent on revenge, revelations of family tragedies from the past, flying horses, midnight dancing and an unexpected appearance by a character from the Infernal Devices.
JM: Eeeek! As if we weren’t excited enough already! We can’t get enough of this new shadowhunter world, and one of the things we love most about it is the contrast between sunny LA and the dark world of the shadowhunters. So, what do you love most about writing for the LA cast?
CC: I enjoy that contrast, too! The Blackthorns and Emma have such a different story than Clary and Jace and their friends had. The characters of TMI faced down tremendous challenges, but they started the story as kids. Because of the tragedies of the Dark War, Emma and Julian had to grow up quickly. They share an intense determination to protect the people they love, though they have very different ways of going about it. Their story is in part about what happens after tragedy. How do you go on? How do you survive? Those themes give the story a much more noir feeling than TMI or TID had. And noir is perfect for LA.
JM: Will these Shadowhunters travel anywhere in LoS or is it set completely in LA?
CC: The characters do get to do some traveling. Some of them travel to places that have been significant to the Blackthorn family in the past. Some of them travel to places humans rarely get to go at all, that are deeply magical. Those were especially fun to write. I loved the Land of Faerie, and finally seeing the Unseelie Court.
JM: Yes! We’re so excited so see that and to see where these complicated relationships go in LoS. So much forbidden parabatai love going on between Emma and Julian! But in this book, to save Julian, Emma turns her affections to Mark. How hard is it to write a #otp and then change direction? In other words, do you get as invested as we do in these ‘ships?
CC: I have the advantage of knowing ahead of time exactly what’s going to happen. So I have a very different relationship to the characters than readers do. In other words, I already know that Emma breaking things off with Julian and turning to Mark is part of the arc of the story and of Emma’s and Julian’s plot, so I’m prepared for it. It doesn’t mean it’s not hard to write scenes where the characters are incredibly sad, so Julian and Emma’s heartbreak is hard to write!
JM: Exactly! So how does Emma’s change of heart alter Mark and Kieran’s relationship, or given their (M&K) last conversation, does it?
CC: When Kieran and Mark are reunited, there’s a huge issue that really overshadows anything going on with Mark and Emma. One not about romance, but huge nonetheless. And then Mark finds himself torn between his feelings for Kieran and his feelings for Cristina, so his love life is hugely complicated!
JM: Yes, and there are so many amazing characters in this world! Do you have a favorite character to write in LoS? We love them all!
CC: I really can’t pick favorites because I’m too close to all these characters. But I will say that we get to see a bit more of Dru’s POV, which was fun to write for a change. She’s very much the overlooked little sister, and that actually gives her a certain amount of freedom. Because no one is paying attention to her, she is able to get up to all sorts of mischief and even hides a fugitive from justice without anyone noticing!
JM: Can’t wait! And Lady Midnight was inspired by Annabel Lee by Edgar Allan Poe. Will we see a similar tribute in LoS?
CC: Yes. Lord of Shadows is partly inspired by Dream-Land by Edgar Allan Poe. The chapter titles are all drawn from that poem.
JM: To close, we have to ask the question on everyone’s mind…will we see any of Clary, Jace, Magnus or Alec in LoS?
CC: All four of them appear in Lord of Shadows! And we find out why Clary turned down Jace’s marriage proposal.