Cassandra Clare was born to American parents in Teheran, Iran and spent much of her childhood travelling the world with her family, including one trek through the Himalayas as a toddler where she spent a month living in her father’s backpack. She lived in France, England and Switzerland before she was ten years old. Since her family moved around so much she found familiarity in books and went everywhere with a book under her arm. She spent her high school years in Los Angeles where she used to write stories to amuse her classmates, including an epic novel called “The Beautiful Cassandra” based on a Jane Austen short story of the same name (and which later inspired her current pen name).
After college, Cassie lived in Los Angeles and New York where she worked at various entertainment magazines and even some rather suspect tabloids where she reported on Brad and Angelina’s world travels and Britney Spears’ wardrobe malfunctions. She started working on her YA novel, City of Bones, in 2004, inspired by the urban landscape of Manhattan, her favourite city. She turned to writing fantasy fiction full time in 2006 and hopes never to have to write about Paris Hilton again.
Here are the answers to the Paperback Proust she shared with the Dolls earlier this year:
WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST FEAR?
Airplanes. Which is unfortunate as I have to fly a lot.
WHAT IS YOUR CURRENT STATE OF MIND?
Nervous — I’m always nervous before a new book comes out.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE OCCUPATION?(WAY OF SPENDING TIME)
WHICH LIVING PERSON DO YOU MOST ADMIRE?
My editor, for putting up with me. (See, I always say nice things about her in interviews in the hopes she’ll go easy on me, but she never does. Then again, whipping my books into shape is her job.)
WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE FICTIONAL HERO?
Francis Lymond from the Lymond Chronicles by Dorothy Dunnett.
WHO ARE YOUR REAL-LIFE HEROES?
Librarians and teachers.
Probably when I got engaged to my fiance in Quebec City. It’s actually a cute story but I won’t bore you with the details!
WHAT IS YOUR MOST OBVIOUS CHARACTERISTIC?
Probably bright red hair.
WHAT IS THE TRAIT YOU MOST DEPLORE (HATE) IN YOURSELF?
Tendency to procrastinate.
WHAT IS THE TRAIT YOU MOST DEPLORE IN OTHERS?
Judgementalism — is that a word?
WHAT DO YOU MOST DISLIKE ABOUT YOUR APPEARANCE?
I used to really hate my freckles but I’ve gotten fonder of them over time.
WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER THE MOST OVER-RATED VIRTUE?
Self-righteousness. As HG Wells said, “Moral indignation is jealousy with a halo.”
ON WHAT OCCASION DO YOU LIE?
My fiance has this t-shirt with a picture of a giant carrot on it that I am required to pretend I like.
WHICH WORDS OR PHRASES DO YOU MOST OVER-USE?
IF YOU COULD CHANGE ONE THING ABOUT YOURSELF, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
I’d be taller.
WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER YOUR GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT?
Actually finishing that first novel, probably. Something like 98% of people who start writing a book never finish.
WHERE WOULD YOU LIKE TO LIVE?
London. Or Paris. It’s a toss-up.
WHAT IS THE QUALITY YOU MOST ADMIRE IN A MAN?
I like boys who read fiction. There aren’t enough of them!
WHAT IS THE QUALITY YOU MOST ADMIRE IN A WOMAN?
Openness to new ideas.
WHAT DO YOU VALUE MOST IN YOUR FRIENDS?
HOW WOULD YOU LIKE TO DIE?
Er . . . not at all?
IF YOU WERE TO DIE AND COME BACK AS A PERSON OR AN ANIMAL, WHAT DO YOU THINK IT WOULD BE?
Maybe a macaw. They get to fly, they live a hundred years, and they never lose their looks.
IF YOU COULD CHOOSE AN OBJECT TO COME BACK AS, WHAT WOULD YOU CHOOSE?
WHAT IS YOUR MOTTO (WORDS YOU LIVE BY OR THAT MEAN A LOT TO YOU)?
De gustibus non est disputandum.
WHO HAS BEEN THE GREATEST INFLUENCE ON YOU?
Probably my grandfather. I’d try to think of an particular inspirational thing he said, but he cursed a lot, so you’ll have to take it as read that he was a very supportive guy.