Cassandra Clare’s Internationally bestselling Mortal Instruments series inspires many things. Passionate fans, a new Hollywood movie franchise and various topics that affect both the vivid characters Clare creates and her fans in the real world. Author Rachel Caine is one of the contributors who participated in the recently debuted ‘Shadowhunters and Downworlders: A Mortal Instruments Reader.’ This is a fantastic book full of deeper looks into the topics that make this series so memorable. Caine discusses the power of tattoos, an important element in Clare’s fictional world, and their meaning throughout history. In her contribution, “(Not) For Illustration Purposes Only” she shares proof as to why the Shadowhunters belief in the power they get from runes isn’t so fictional. Many cultures and societies have held similar beliefs in tattoos.
I highly recommend ‘Shadowhunters and Downworlders: A Mortal Instruments Reader’ and Caine’s “(Not) For Illustration Purposes Only.” You can read my review here. This is a must-read for any true Mortal Instruments fan. Rachel Caine was kind enough to answer some questions for me about her involvement in this project. Enjoy it below.
What inspired you to be part of this project?
I'm a huge fan of the Mortal Instruments series, and all of Cassandra's work. I was very honored to be part of this celebration!
What inspired your topic?
I always thought one of the coolest ideas in MI were the steles and how they were used. And it got me to thinking about body art, and its origins and use as ritual protection.
Why do you think 'Mortal Instruments' fans will love it?
Smart Pop has a brilliant history of producing thoughtful, interesting essay collections that are both fun and insightful, and I think it'll give MI fans lots to consider about the story, characters and universe.
What do you love most about Cassandra Clare's world and characters?
Cassandra writes beautiful, complex, powerful characters—ones that live and breathe and really stay with you. Likewise, her worldbuilding is fantastic. The world of the Shadowhunters is every bit as complex and well thought out as her modern day real-world scenes. I not only love it, I'm awed by her ability to create such lush environments and people.
Which 'Mortal Instruments' character do you most relate to?
I think probably Simon, who had what was, for me, an utterly unexpected character arc. I think I was a lot like Simon when I was younger, and I can definitely see myself ending up there.
As an author, how do you feel Clare's books have impacted the YA world?
I think Cassandra's books have really elevated the discussion—they're great stories, accessible to young adults and adults alike. And I think that their popularity has definitely driven more and more people to the YA shelves to enjoy the great and dynamic work being done there.
Tell me about your books
I write the Morganville Vampires series (currently 13 books, with 14 [Fall of Night] and 15 [Daylighters] coming out in 2013)—it features a young protagonist, Claire, whose normal new-to-university problems are multiplied times a thousand when she discovers her new home of Morganville, Texas is owned and controlled by vampires—vampires who are the last of their kind, full of secrets but still very dangerous. Claire comes to terms with the uneasy relationship between humans and vamps, and made a place for herself and her friends, but Morganville will always be a town on the edge . . . usually, on the edge of disaster.
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