Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Clockwork Princess Giveaway and Authorly Discussion with Cassandra Clare, Lily Collins, and More!



Way back on March 21, Cassandra Clare's Clockwork Princess Bus Tour, in which Cassie Clare spirited across the country, spreading joy and causing mayhem far and wide in honor of the release of Clockwork Princess, the final book in The Infernal Devices trilogy, came to Los Angeles. Guess which lucky girl got to go? This girl!

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It was quite the epic day. Not because I had to wake up early to trek all the way across town (those of you who have ever been to LA know that all the way across town means many, many miles in which you must traverse freeways and battle orcs and scale Mount Doom and it is basically a Herculean task that should not be attempted by those with weak spirits). No, it was epic because I got to meet THREE of my favorite authors and a movie star or two. Just an average day in the life of Gillian. No, not really, but I certainly could get used to doing thrilling bookish things like this. Minus the traffic.

Not only was Cassandra Clare in attendance, but so were two of my FAVORITE AUTHORS, Sarah Rees Brennan and Maureen Johnson, co-authors of the of The Bane Chronicles, whose first installment was just released! And because that's not awesome enough, Lily Collins, star of The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones movie, and the director of said movie, Harald Zart, were also there, answering questions! Another fun Gillian fact: I went to high school with Lily. I was two grades below her. ISN'T MY LIFE EXCITING?

To say that the Barnes and Noble at the Grove was packed would be the understatement of my life. I had no idea what I was getting into. They started selling wristbands, basically the tickets for the event, at nine am, when the store opened. I got there at eight and the line was already a block long. By the time nine rolled around, the line was quite literally six times as long. No. Seriously. The wristbands were lettered A through K, I believe, with A's getting front row seats and K's forced to watch the proceedings for Outer Mongolia. Though I'm a Barnes and Noble member, all the A's were sold out, but I got a B and was super excited for that, since that meant I'd be near the famous people and practically within worshipful stroking distance. Then I bought a mountain of books to get signed and went home.

Fast forward to six thirty PM, and I am waging a valiant war against the frightful LA traffic, and the traffic is WINNING. I've lived in this city all my life, and I've never seen it like that. I blame it on Miss Clare, of course. Everybody west of the 405 was going to see her. Eventually I made it, but just barely. The audience was divided into three sections: those on the third floor, where the authorly discussion took place (I was here! Yay!), those on the second floor, and the poor buggers outside. I have no clue what the set up down there was like, whether they had TV screens and watched the discussion, or what. I was too focused on my own good fortune. Yes, I thought, I'll be able to watch the discussion panel directly! I can ask the hard-hitting questions like who would win in a shirtless sarcastic brood-off, Jace or Will? Can Magnus be naked for the entirety of The Bane Chronicles? Will Simon Lewis ever come to life and make me his bride?

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Because of said crazy crowds, I was sadly in a place where I couldn't actually SEE the panel. In fact, hardly anyone but the A's and the pushy B's could, due to the strange funnel-like shape of the room, and since the microphones were... less than stellar, I'm afraid, most of what I heard were the people around me going, "WHAT? WHAT DID SHE JUST SAY?" But still, I was in the presence of greatness, and I bullied myself as close to the front as possible (I have pointy elbows). I did get to shriek at the guests of honor as they walked past me. I took a few grainy cell phone shots of the back of Cassandra Clare's head. Then my phone promptly died because of course. And I did get to hear a lot of great quotes from the discussion, which covered all sorts of Cassandra Clare related things, though most of the questions were about the movie, since we were lucky enough to have two of the people who actually helped make it.

Courtesy of the awesome Youtubers Booktobigscreen and Jasmine Albitos (make sure to check out her site!), below is almost the entire Q&A session for your viewing pleasure, thereby rending my hastily and inaccurately scrawled on-site transcript obsolete! Thank the book gods, because deciphering that wouldn't have been fun. I swear I wrote this thing in runes. Be aware that you are actually seeing and hearing even more than I did, and I was physically there.

Yes, I'm somewhere in that room, far to the left, trying desperately and in vain to see through solid wall and the backs of people's heads. I particularly liked when somebody directly next to me yelled "WE CAN'T HEAR YOU" and Lily started laughing and apologizing. Bear in mind that the crowd up on the top floor was at least a hundred or so strong, and they extended away from the panel area about thirty or so yards, and there were multiple bookshelves in people's ways. So I was pretty fortunate to be as close as I was and not squashed up against a biography of Napoleon.




The tiny gap in footage can be found at Movies, Shows, & Books at this link.

**There be spoilers for The Mortal Instruments series ahead! WARNING!**

Here are some of the highlights from the thirty minute long discussion [with occasional commentary by me]:

Lily's favorite line from the film: "Is this the moment where you rip off pieces of your shirt to bind my wounds?"

Cassandra Clare on whether we will get a glimpse of Simon and Magnus in the upcoming The Dark Artifices: That’s the thing about immortal characters, right? It’s true, The Mortal Instruments is coming to an end… I was actually writing it partly while I was on set. It was kind of weird watching people act out the very beginning of the story while I was writing the very end of the story. It was very surreal. Kevin, who plays Alec, kept coming up to me going, “I die, don’t I. I die. I'm gonna get killed, I can tell.” But I can’t spoil who will show up in The Dark Artifices, because that would spoil who lived through The Mortal Instruments books, but I will definitely say that you will see at least one or two of the immortal characters from the series in Dark Artifices again.

Cassie: Book-wise, what I really wanted to capture…was the sense that the magical world was just a whisper away from the real world, that there are all of these recognizable monuments and streets and varied places that are very ordinary, coffee shops and  clothing stores… and just on the other side of them, or if you look a little bit sideways, there's this whole secret magical world… It’s a confluence of the real and the magical that I was going for.

Lily, on who she would want to play in the film besides Clary: Magnus has that cool warlock thing. He's got those awesome parties and he wears glitter. I mean, what's wrong with parties, glitter, and... you know, he's with a lot o guys! He's a fun character. Maybe we could try that out.

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Lily on what made her want to play Clary:  What didn’t make me want to play Clary, really?..You know, she fights back with the boys. She’s not just the girl in the story. She’s not in this love triangle, just kind of waiting for love, sitting there. She’s like, “You’re cute, but we have to find my mom.”

Cassie on why she chose to make Simon Jewish: Well, I’m Jewish, and I think it was because I’d never seen anybody write a Jewish vampire…He’s actually one of the few characters in the book who has a strong faith, and I thought that was a really fun character to write.

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Lily on the most difficult part about working on the movie: I think, genuinely, apart from all the training we had every day, longs hours, and we’d work out every morning, if not four thirty, five in the morning before set, that was grueling [it’s official, being a movie star is not worth it]. …Because I was a fan, like you guys, before I started (playing) Clary, I think every day I was just praying I was going to make everyone happy… I love her so much as a fan, I want her to be portrayed in the best way possible.

Cassie, when asked if Will would ever be attracted to Clary: I’m speechless, like, actually speechless! Um, okay, well, Will and Jace are both Herondales, and they’re both attracted to feisty, intelligent ladies. So I guess, if there was no Tessa, and Will was available, and he met Clary, and there was no Jace, who would instantly kill him if he tried anything, then… sure, they’d probably go out for a couple of dates, see how that went. I don’t know if it would last forever, but it’d be a great weekend.

 Cassie, on whether she had a favorite book or character: Usually my favorite book is the one that I'm working on right now... I will say that Simon and Tessa are the most like me [Same here! Which means Cassie and I are definitely the same person. Probably.] and Magnus is the most fun to write [and look at. I mean, LOOK AT HIM!].

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Fun, right? Yes.

Cassie on what it’s like to see her world brought to life on film: You’re transported into the places you’ve only imagined. There’s nothing like it.

Cassie’s top three books of classic literature: Great Expectations, Pride and Prejudice, and then it’s a toss-up between Lord of the Rings and A Tale of Two Cities.

And by far my favorite moment of the night:

Cassie, when asked if she kept up with any of The Mortal Instruments fan fiction: I have a deal with my friends where I read fan fiction of their work and they read fan fiction of my work, so we can sort of vaguely report stuff, and I sent my friend Holly [Holly Black? I hope] out into the wilderness of the fan fiction of The Mortal Instruments, and I was just like, “What’s the most popular pairing? I’m curious, like, what are people doing?” I figured it would mostly be like Jace and Clary stuff, then, you know, Alec and Magnus maybe? But no, she comes back and she’s like, “It’s all Alec and Isabelle” [audience practically vomits] and I was like, That’s so weird! I’m really upset now! I don’t want to know anything else!” Sometimes you’re punished for your curiosity.

[As someone who stared openmouthed in horror at the end of City of Bones, I’d venture to say sometimes, an author is punished for their cruelty, too! ;)]

***

Aren't they all so pretty and sweet and nice? Isn't Mr. Zant's accent wonderful? I loved hearing those behind-the-scenes tidbits, and get a glimpse at Cassie's feelings on the whole exciting movie-to-book escapade. I also greatly covet Lily's jacket/vest thing. Isn't Lily crazy insightful? I bet it's that awesome high school she went to that did it (just kidding). Actually, as she was leaving, she passed right by me and I hollered "I WENT TO (insert name of our shared high school here) WITH YOU!" and she turned around and was like, "Oh, yeah!" No idea if she actually remembers or knows who I am, but it was super nice of her to at least pretend if she didn't. THANKS, LILY! Wolverine pride!

We also got to meet the pretty lady posing as Tessa on the Clockwork Princess cover! She is really beautiful in person, and it was kind of surreal to be holding a book with her face on it while looking at her real life face with my face.

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Her book face.

Then came the signing line. Let me just say, Cassie and the other authors deserve all the awards ever for going through that. I mean, hundreds of people got their books signed. Hundreds. I was in group B, and it still tooke twenty, thirty minutes of waiting for me to reach the front. Keep in mind the groups went all the way to K, and some people were waiting on another floor, and others were waiting outside. MADNESS. It must have taken the authors hours to get through them all. I don't know how you don't all have carpal tunnel syndrome. Thank you.

Of course, I had planned everything I was going to say to these awesome people I stalk on Twitter hold in great professional esteem. The minute I got up to the table, though, I lost my head. I mean, Maureen Johnson was giving me her stare. You trying being coherent when that happens. I had all these planned witticisms, and then I got there and was like, "How you... book. Yes? If so, sign? Hair is nice. Thanks. Ngh."

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Somehow I managed to stutter out to Sarah Rees Brennan that we have CORRESPONDED on Tumblr and Twitter, and that I've drawn her a couple fan art pictures, and she squealed and said she knew me and got up and hugged me and it was pretty ridiculously awesome. I gave both Sarah and Maureen some pictures I'd made, and Sarah gave me an awesome necklace made out of a pence and THE FIRST CHAPTER OF UNTOLD, the sequel to her magnificent book Unspoken and it is so pretty and lovely and has funny magical things inside it. We chatted for a little while, and I so wish I could remember the things they said, because they were fantastically funny. I do remember I begged Sarah to sing me The Forbidden Song, aka a song she has composed about Shadowhunters and how delightfully close and inappropriate parabatai couples can be/should be. She, of course, obliged, while Maureen Johnson threatened to pelt her with pencils until she stopped. Sarah, who has a lovely Irish accent, is clearly a dedicated slash shipper.

The ladies signed my books (Maureen Johnson spelled my name wrong and Sarah corrected her, and though I said she could leave it, Maureen WOULD NOT HEAR OF IT) and I'm convinced we're all best friends now. Shut up. IT HAPPENED. You weren't there. I had a picture for Cassie, too, but I was SO NERVOUS approaching her and she had oh so many books to sign that I wanted to make things as quick as possible, so I handed her my book, said hello, and scurried out of there. After picking up some swag. Then I went home and slept for a year and a half.

So now I have this big, lovely signed copy of Clockwork Princess and some sweet CP2 swag just sitting around, taking up space? What ever to do with it? Why, I know! As part of my super cool birthday giveaway month, I'll give it away! This giveaway is international, but you must be over 13 years of age to enter. If chosen, you must respond to my email within 48 hours, or I will be forced to choose another winner. Don't let this happen to you! It will break your heart!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

35 comments:

  1. I am sooooo jealous. Except, I'm happy you got to be there. But why didn't the tour comes up here??? *cries*

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    1. It was truly awesome. But at least you can watch it, and pretend you were there!

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  2. That tour sounded/looked like TONS of fun! Why did I not live near one of their stops (esp. the LA one)! I'm so excited for the movie. I think Lily Collins will make a great Clary Fray.
    I absolutely adore Cassandra Clare!
    You're so lucky to be near such wonderful authors; Cassie, Sarah, AND Maureen!

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    1. I know, I'm so lucky. It was really amazing. The crowds were totally worth it!

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  3. This sounds insanely fun! I still haven't read any of these author's books....I KNOW I KNOW....but I'm planning on it! Sarah especially sounds very nice, but they all sound like great people. Movie stars and authors? Win. Great post, I devoured it all and couldn't help but laugh :)

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    1. I shall frown at you very much until you pick up Unspoken. And you don't want me frowning at you. TRUST ME. Of course, I love all of their books, but Unspoken is the one I like to shove into people's arms with as much force as it takes.

      I know. I lead a glamorous life full of beautiful famous people (she writes, while in her dog-hair-covered pajamas on the couch). Glad to make you laugh. That is my mission in life, after all. :)

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  4. Egad! I can only imagine the lines to get stuff signed! It's great that you had such a wonderful experience! The tour does sound like fun. I get jealous when I hear awesome book tour stories like these, but that's okay-I love reading the wrap up posts, etc.

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    1. The lines were NUTS. But you're right, I had such a great experience regardless. So much fun. But the best part was that the whole thing is on camera, so you guys can watch and pretend you WERE there! No need for jealousy! And I hope I provided enough details to help you do that ;)

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  5. Heehee. I haven't read any of these authors (horrors, I know), but it sounds like you had an AMAZING time! I'm very jealous.

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    1. I did have such a great time! It was totally crazy pants and exhausting and I'll admit to be rather cranky at times when I couldn't hear the discussion, but getting to meet them afterwards was totally worth it.

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  6. It is really awesome that you got to meet them! I really love your blog its pretty amazing and you're a very funny person with a great personality. Thanks for doing this contest because it helps people like me who did not get to go get a chance to win, being a huge fan of Cassie and of Lily myself I can say that I am a bit jealous of your experience therefore you're very lucky haha. They are all my favorite authors and I love their books!

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    1. Aw, thank you! *blushes* I'm glad I could put this post together so people who couldn't be there can feel like they were.

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  7. How cool is that?! It is AHmazing that Cassandra Clare *and* the director *and* the lead actress *and* the cover model were all on board, in addition to two other fabulous authors. Like a bonus bonus bonus on the bonus! I am couch dancing for you. :)

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    1. I mean, we got totally spoiled with who came. First it was just (*just*) Cassandra, Sarah, and Maureen, and then they informed us that Lily would be there, and then, surprise, the director showed up! And then the cover model totally snuck up there too. I'm not sure Cassie even knew she was going to be there. A bunch of us were looking thinking that exceptionally pretty girl over there looks somewhat familiar, and then someone told us who she was and it was so cool. DEFINITELY COUCH-DANCING-WORTHY.

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  8. You are so lucky you got to meet them! I hope to get the opportunity to one day!

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  9. I don't know how insightful this is but I love Lily Collins and I truly think she was the best choice for Clary. I just love how she looks like a Disney princess. Does anyone else see that? With her too huge eyes, massive brows, and wide curved lips she's spitting image of Belle or Snow White.
    Thanks for the giveaway!

    mestith at gmail dot com

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    1. That definitely qualifies as insighful! And yes, she looks just like a fairy tale. You know she actually played Snow White, right, in the movie Mirror Mirror? I think she'll make a great Clary. She was always super nice, too, when I went to school with her. As for the giveaway, it's my pleasure!

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  10. I was at the first night, the Phoenix/Tempe signing and it was RIDICULOUS. So I'm glad to know it was equally crazy for you. ;)

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    1. I had NO CLUE it would be like that! Complete madness. I've been to signings at that B&N before, but this one was on a whole other level of crazyness.

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  11. Sounds like you had a fun time! I'm kinda jealous haha. :D

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  12. Loved the gifs!!! I've never been to book signings, lucky you...

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  13. I followed Cassie, Sarah and Maureen's adventure via Twitter. I was SO JEALOUS of every single person who lived near tour stops while I was stuck in Indiana, lol. I would have given anything to meet them!! In my head, we are all best friends! ;)

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  14. I want to read it!! the previous book was really awesome!! awesome awesome!! FANTASTIC!!! :DDDDD I love it!! LOVE IT!

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  15. I love the mortal instrument series but the infernal devices are so much better!:)
    I'm so sad that it's only 3 books...

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  16. CASIE AND LILY ...the two one them in one place !!!!!!!!!!! howww!!!you ARE SOOO LUCKY !!!!!!
    WHAT YOU THIS WAS EPIC .. LIKE THE Odyssey!!!! I am so envious
    almendra in the rafflecopter

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  17. WOW!!!! You are so lucky!!!! I am so jealous :( I hope I get to meet great authors like them someday! I really love the Mortal Instruments and Infernal Devices series so much, they are so AMAZING! And you really are so lucky because you saw Lily and Cassie, I really want to meet them too :)

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  18. Cassandra Clare's books are awesome!

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  19. Oh gosh, I want this one so bad I may cry. My own copy of CLOCKWORK PRINCESS is slightly damage because my cat spilled water on it when she was running away from her diabetes shot. A signed copy... lkdjfglkdjfglkdfjg Why did you not tell me you were going?! I would have like mailed you a million CASSANDRA CLARE books! haha <3

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  20. OMG I'm sooo jealous -.- I was out of the country once when Cassie came and so my DAD got to go and get a book signed from her (for me of course) but gahhh. And Lily Collins too! Can't wait for this movie :) Thanks for the amazing giveaway!! :D

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  21. Awesome review sweetie :D Glad you enjoyed this book ;) I loved Clockwork Princess too. <3 Sigh. It was just perfect. Oh. Will. <3 He is just the best character :D In my opinion ;p

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  22. Ms. Collins is so pretty!!! Best post ever!

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  23. Thanks for the super duper awesome giveaway! I really, really like to win this one because Cassandra Clare is one of my favorite authors and I still don't have my own copy of CP. :D

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  24. Such a great post! LOVED Clockwork Princess and I would really, REALLY love a signed copy since I have yet to have Cassandra Clare sign one of my books. Anyway, thanks for this AWESOME giveaway and making it international!

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  25. Simon should have been played by an actual Jew, Logan Lerman - and not by Robert Sheehan.

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