About the Other Professional Fanfiction Author, Cassandra Clare

Every time I post about 50 Shades of Grey, I feel like I should do something useful like plant a tree or donate money to the BCSPCA or vow to stop making posts about 50 Shades of Grey. But since I’m a terrible person, let me make things even worse by instead turning my attention (briefly) to the other professional fanfiction author everyone’s crazy about: Cassandra Clare.

Clare has been somewhat newsworthy of late since the first book of her Mortal Instruments series, City of Bones, has been optioned for the big screen and is slowly chugging its way toward a production date. Among the cast for Clare’s supernatural young adult series (as though it would be anything else), is Lily Collins, Jamie Campbell-Bower, Godfrey Gao, Lena Headey and Jared Harris — all of whom (though especially the last two) give surprising weight to a fantasy movie based on a cult-hit book. Particularly when that hit book has what might be the most generic-sounding plot in the world:

When her mom is attacked and taken from their home in New York City by a demon, a seemingly ordinary teenage girl, Clary Fray, finds out truths about her past and bloodline on her quest to get her back, that changes her entire life.

And yes, it’s about vampires and witches.

If you’re not familiar with Clare, she describes herself on Tumblr as follows (in allcaps):

I’m Cassandra Clare. I write books centering on the adventures of the demon-fighting Nephilim (also called Shadowhunters). The Mortal Instruments series is set in modern New York: City of Bones, City of Ashes, City of Glass, City of Fallen Angels, City of Lost Souls, and City of Heavenly Fire. The prequels to the Mortal Instruments series are called The Infernal Devices (Clockwork Angel, Clockwork Prince, and Clockwork Princess). The last book of the Infernal Devices, Clockwork Princess, will be released March 19, 2013.
What Clare doesn’t mention is that she shot to fame thanks to the wonderful world of Harry Potter fanfiction, and gained a certain amount of notoriety from writing explicit Ron/Ginny fiction. So there’s that.
Between Clare and EL James, there’s a certain amount of hand-wringing going on at the moment about what the “Rise of the Fanfiction Author” means for the future of literature.  Which is silly, given that two authors hardly a revolution make, but more so because people have been heralding the downfall of literature for forever. If it hasn’t collapsed yet, I’d say we’re probably going to be fine. Ultimately, if a large portion of the population is reading, I consider that a success for the “future of literature,” even if I don’t give my personal (very snobby) stamp of approval to what they’re reading. You read what you want to read, you special snowflake, and let others do the same.

5 thoughts on “About the Other Professional Fanfiction Author, Cassandra Clare

  1. UGH. This book. I remember hearing about it during the online drama about how MARY SUE it is. And I can’t say I’m swayed that it isn’t. Why, publishers, WHY? Isn’t there enough GOOD writing to make money off of? (…off of which to make money. meh.) I can’t wait to rent the movie. I sure hope, though, that the next “big series” is actually good. As in good story, good characters, good world building, and good WRITING. Harry Potter at least had three of those. Thanks for the mini article! The rant was not against you or your post, btw. 🙂

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