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Kids' Q&A

Cassandra Clare

Describe your new book.
City of Bones is the first in a trilogy. It's an urban fantasy about a sixteen-year-old girl named Clary Fray, whose search for her missing mother leads her into an alternate New York filled with mysterious faeries, hard-partying warlocks, not-what-they-seem vampires, an army of werewolves and the demons who want to destroy it all. She also finds herself torn between two boys — her best friend Simon, for whom she's developing new feelings, and the mysterious demon hunter Jace. She becomes a part of the secret world of the demon hunters, or Nephilim, and as she does she discovers that rescuing her mother might mean putting their whole world in jeopardy.

  1. City of Bones (Mortal Instruments #1)
    $21.99 New Hardcover add to wishlist

What is your favorite family story?
When I was about eight years old I went on vacation with my parents to England. I was really fascinated at that point by English history, especially stories about the royal families. We hit all the usual tourist spots, like the Tower of London and Buckingham Palace, and my parents would tell me stories about various incidents in the lives of the kings and queens, and I was totally enthralled. They kept saying to each other, "She has such a vivid imagination!" Then we got to Westminster Abbey, where a lot of famous historical figures are buried, and my dad started telling me who was buried where, and how they died. I guess he didn't notice I was turning slightly green, because eventually he dragged me over into a corner, pointed at the ground, and said, "And this is where Mary Queen of Scots is buried...IN TWO PIECES." At which point I immediately threw up on the floor. After that my parents were like, "Maybe her imagination is a little TOO vivid."

What fictional character would you like to be your friend, and why?
Maybe Egg from Cecil Castellucci's Boy Proof. Egg is a nerdy girl who loves science fiction and fantasy, has named herself after her favorite sci-fi heroine, and is totally proud to be different. She's prickly but you get the sense she'd make a terrific friend. Plus, there aren't enough books out there about girls who don't want to fit in, but rather relish their own independence and imagination.

Introduce one other author/illustrator you think people should read, and suggest a good book by him/her.
Megan Whalen Turner, the trilogy that starts with The Thief, then finishes with The Queen of Attolia and The King of Attolia. Some of the best fantasy that's being written right now, and not just for teens. Her characters seem so real and her plot twists just leave you breathless in that good way.

What is your idea of bliss?
Being on a plane or a train headed for some fabulous and exciting destination I've never visited before. My favorite thing, aside from reading, is travel.

Why do you write books for kids?
I write books for teenagers because when I was a teenager, that was the best reading time of my life. It was the time I experienced reading the most intensely and read the most widely and with the most excitement. I wanted a chance to experience that again through writing for teens.

Tell us about your pets.
See, this is what every pet owner secretly longs for, a chance to talk about their pets to a captive audience. I have two cats — both were rescue adoptions — named Lucy and Linus. Linus is the fat, crazy tabby cat and Lucy is the calico who uses her cuteness to get extra tuna. Also, as soon as this interview goes up my boyfriend will call me and complain that Linus isn't fat, he's big-boned.

What's your favorite holiday and why?
Chanukah. Almost all Jewish holidays center around food, but Chanukah has the best food with the potato latkes and the chocolate gelt. Also with dreydl playing you have religiously sanctioned gambling which allows you to take your parents' money away. I should mention Ellen Kushner's The Golden Dreydl here, which is a terrific performance piece, soon to be a book, that re-interprets The Nutcracker as a Chanukah fable about a little girl and a magical dreydl. spacer

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