There are a lot of reasons to read City of Bones, book one of Cassandra Clare's Mortal Instruments trilogy. The young adult urban fantasy is set in New York, a great back drop for all the supernatural elements. The main character, Clary, is a normal teenager when the world she knows it changes. Her mother, an artist with the temperament to match, is attacked by a demon. Clary comes home to find the demon still there and barely survives the encounter.
The story that follows is gripping. The scale is truly epic, the ultimate battle between good and evil. Filled with likeable characters as well as a bad guy you can love to hate; and, my personal favorite, a cat by the name of Chairman Meow. There is humor here as well as heartbreak, sadness and excitement, even love.
Ms. Clare was kind enough to answer some questions about City of Bones as well as her experiences as a newly published author. She even hints at what the future holds for Clary.
Where did you first get the idea for City of Bones?
I got the idea one day when I was walking around the East Village in Manhattan with a friend of mine. She showed me the tattoo parlor where she used to work. They had a tradition there of having their staff step in paint and then track their footprints across the ceiling. It looked to me like some supernatural battle had taken place with people running across the walls and ceiling. I started working from there on a book that centered on tattoo-based magic.
What about young adult urban fantasy, instead of adult, drew you to it?
I didn't originally think of City of Bones as young adult, just as a fantasy novel. The characters simply happened to be teenagers. At some point I was approached by a publisher who was interested in publishing the book, but they wanted me to "age up the characters" and make them adults. I toyed with the idea for a while, but I knew it wouldn't work. I wanted to tell a story about characters at that crucial life stage just between adolescence and adulthood, where every choice seems possible. I knew it had to be a coming-of-age story; that was just how I envisioned it.