Even the City of Angels isn't immune to deadly demonic forces—just ask best-selling author Cassandra Clare. Known for her "Mortal Instruments" and "Infernal Devices" series—which follow the exploits of half-human, half-angel Nephilim teens tasked with keeping the world safe from dark destroyers—Cassandra has signed on to pen a third Shadowhunter series set in glitzy Los Angeles.
According to the Washington Post, "The Dark Artifices," which takes place five years after the events of "The Mortal Instruments," will introduce readers to Shadowhunter Emma Carstairs and partner Julian Blackthorn, whom Emma has complicated feelings for but which must be put aside to investigate a demonic plot that reaches from the Sunset Strip all the way to the enchanted sea in Santa Monica.
The first book in the series won't be released until 2015, but that didn't stop Hollywood Crush from chatting up Cassie about the work in progress. Check out our interview with her after the jump (which also includes a tiny tidbit from her draft)!
Hollywood Crush: How will the events of "The Dark Artifices" mesh with the world of "The Mortal Instruments"?
Cassandra Clare: I realized that as long as I was writing "The Mortal Instruments" I would be stuck in 2007, 2008, because anything beyond that and the main characters age out of teenagerhood, which is the life period the books are about. But I wanted to push forward into the current day, so "The Dark Artifices" takes place in 2012. Five years after the events of "The Mortal Instruments." That would make the characters of "TMI"—Clary, Jace, Simon—22, 23 years old (well, the ones who survive, anyway!). We'll be able to check in with them and see who's still together and who broke up, who's married, who has what job, what they're like as adults.
What's the inspiration for the series title?
The inspiration for the title! Okay, this is so dorky. The main family, the Blackthorns, of "The Dark Artifices," have a father who is a classicist. He is obsessed with Greek and Roman mythology and history. So "The Dark Artifices" comes from "The Annals of Imperial Rome" by Tacitus. "It would have been less ignominious to die by the dark artifices of Tiberius or the fury of Caligula." I just liked the phrase. And all the kids in the family have Greek or Roman names—Helen, Julian, Marcus, Olivia and even Tiberius. (Poor Tiberius.) As for the individual books, the working title for the first book is "Lady Midnight."
New York and London are such integral elements—almost characters in and of themselves—in your series. How will moving the action to L.A. affect the goings-on? Should we expect surfing Shadowhunters?
Los Angeles is my hometown! Now, I have nothing against surfers. Surfers are hot, and the beach and the ocean play a huge role in "Dark Artifices." But there is a wonderful darkness to Los Angeles that people often don't see unless they live there. There are the wonderful sea caves up by Leo Carillo, the deserts just outside the city, and there are supposed to be ghosts haunting the Hollywood Hills.There's the whole genre of "sunlit noir" and the tradition of hard-boiled detectives like Phillip Marlowe. Los Angeles is this place that has a glittering, glamorous surface but below it is this machine that grinds up dreams and crushes them. Which is so much fun to work with when you're writing!
There's a lovely description of the Santa Ana winds, the hot winds that blow out of the desert, by Raymond Chandler: "Those hot dry winds that come down through the mountain passes and curl your hair and make your nerves jump and your skin itch. On nights like that every booze party ends in a fight. Meek little wives feel the edge of the carving knife and study their husbands' necks. Anything can happen."
How much have you written of the first novel?
Well, we're years out! But I have the first book outlined, and quite a few scenes written. Here's a little bit: "The cycle hit the beach and spun out. Emma came to a stop on her back, her body shaking, her hair and clothes full of sand and her ears full of the sound of the wildly crashing ocean."
In addition to news about her upcoming series, Cassandra also had glad tidings to share this week about the big-screen adaptation of her "City of Bones" novel (including a tentative start date for shooting). Check out NextMovie for all the details!
How excited are you that Cassandra is penning another Shadowhunter series? Do you like the sounds of it so far? Tell us in the comments and on Twitter!