Today I’m going to be wittering on about the Holly Black and Cassandra Clare King and Queen tour event that I attended recently. Join me in a cuppa?
Ha. This week I am not drinking coffee. I have a raging ear infection (that is requiring two kinds of antibiotics to treat) and they’re not playing nicely on my stomach, so I am drinking chamomile and mint tea from Rosie Lea, which is delicious and very soothing.
Yes, I am a week-ish late writing this up. Sue me. The event took place on 24th February at Newcastle Library, hosted by the lovelies of Waterstones. It was part of The King and Queen Tour for The Wicked King by Holly Black and Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare.
I have met the undisputed Queen of Faerie, Holly before; I got to introduce her onto the stage (!) and heard her talk about her books and love of faerie at last years NYA Lit Fest, but this was my first time seeing Cassandra Clare, and I was very excited. I have been a huge fan of Cassie’s work since a friend first shoved City of Bones into my hands during a reading slump and I didn’t look up until the last pages of City of Heavenly Fire. It is a source of perpetual disappointment to me that I am not a Shadowhunter.
The two authors together are hilarious, and if you ever get the chance to see them together, I highly recommend it.
They began by talking a little about what drew each of them to writing about faerie, about drawing on the myths and folklore where the idea that faeries can’t lie, that iron hurts them and that time moves differently in faerie come from.
Holly: Where do your faeries come from?
They then opened the floor to questions so most of the evening was them answering audience questions, and expanding on things relating to those which was great. A lot of the audience questions were focused on Cassie and the Shadowhunter books, but Cassie made a lot of effort to draw Holly into the questions so it didn’t feel one-sided.
They talked a bit about their planning and writing processes, which are very different and made me wonder how on earth the two manage to write books together. Cassie is a big planner and outlines her books right down to the detail of each chapter; Holly is…not. Apparently Holly has a different scheme for planning every new book, and is seems to be a running joke between the two:
Cassie: Holly was going to take a dictaphone into the woods and walk whilst planning her book…and I was like ‘Holly is going to die in the woods’.
When asked about their favourite part of the writing process, Holly gave one of the best answers of the night:
“Mine is revising. It’s like cleaning the toilet. You can’t make it any worse.”
Both authors talked a little about books and reading, and what books meant to them.
Holly: Books have the ability to teach you who you want to be. I found a path through books to being who I am. Through books, I had friends who were in jail and friends who were dead.
Cassie: “we read to know we’re not alone” and that’s why I read. I was a bit weird growing up, but I could look at books and think ‘these are my friends’.
If I haven’t mentioned it yet this post, I love these two. Their answers to the questions were really thoughtful, they shared some great anecdotes and they are both hilarious. Holly really topped off my night with my favourite comment of all:
“We all have a little piece of ourselves that wants to burn the world down”.
Yes Holly, yes I do.