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Interview: Tessa Gray (Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare) & Giveaway

Cassandra Clare


  • City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments Book One)
  • City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments Book Two)
  • City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments Book Three)
  • Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices Book One)

Website|Blog|Mortal Instruments Site|Infernal Devices Site

Magic is dangerous—but love is more dangerous still.

When sixteen-year-old Tessa Gray crosses the ocean to find her brother, her destination is England, the time is the reign of Queen Victoria, and something terrifying is waiting for her in London's Downworld, where vampires, warlocks and other supernatural folk stalk the gaslit streets. Only the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons, keep order amidst the chaos.

Kidnapped by the mysterious Dark Sisters, members of a secret organization called The Pandemonium Club, Tessa soon learns that she herself is a Downworlder with a rare ability: the power to transform, at will, into another person. What’s more, the Magister, the shadowy figure who runs the Club, will stop at nothing to claim Tessa's power for his own.

Friendless and hunted, Tessa takes refuge with the Shadowhunters of the London Institute, who swear to find her brother if she will use her power to help them. She soon finds herself fascinated by—and torn between—two best friends: James, whose fragile beauty hides a deadly secret, and blue-eyed Will, whose caustic wit and volatile moods keep everyone in his life at arm's length . . . everyone, that is, but Tessa. As their search draws them deep into the heart of an arcane plot that threatens to destroy the Shadowhunters, Tessa realizes that she may need to choose between saving her brother and helping her new friends save the world. . . . and that love may be the most dangerous magic of all.

Today I have an interview with Tessa Gray, who makes her debut in Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare.
So Tessa, what's your first impression of London?

It is difficult for me to believe that anyone could call this revolting weather Summmer; it has rained or half-rained on me nearly every day since I've been here. Everything is damp. The walls are damp! The English try to combat the damp by building huge fires in their grates but all that means is that if you sit by the fire your front half is roasting while your back freezes! It is like New York in that everyone is racing everywhere in a great hurry, but I suppose that is a characteristic of cities in the main. Oh and the dust - gritty and made up of coal smoke and street dirt - gets everywhere. But lest you think I detest everything about London, many of the buildings are quite beautiful, and of course it is a thrill to be in the city where great Mr. Dickens penned so many of his famous works.

Were you surprised to discover that the world is home to supernatural beings, like Vampires and Werewolves?

The greatest surprise to me was the discovery of my own power. When the Dark Sisters first told me they expected me to be able to change my form, to shift shape magically, I of course thought they were mad. When I discovered it was the truth, that was when I realized everything I believed about the world was wrong. Once you accept that one great truth, each new piece of truth that is revealed comes as a lesser shock. By now, I imagine I would believe anything!

Let's talk about the Shadowhunters...

Do you think they really plan to help you, or just use you and your powers?

I very much desire to trust them. It has been a long time — since my aunt died — since I have been in the presence of someone I trusted. But I cannot quite rid myself of the fear that they may be using me. They claim they will keep their promises, but how do I know that to be true?

What about Jem and Will, what are your impressions of them?

When I first saw Will I thought he was like one of those knights of the round table you read about in Mr. Tennyson's works, come to rescue me. He isn't like that at all, though. He shifts moods just like the wind changes. It's terribly frustrating. Sometimes I want to kick him in the shins for the cruel things he says, but then I see how kindly he is toward Jem and even Charlotte and I simply don't know. Jem of course is the soul of kindness. He is one of those people who makes you feel unworthy because you feel they have never had a bad or unkind thought!

Do you believe your brother is still out there alive?

I have to believe it. I think I would feel it if he weren't.

Knowing all that you do now, would you have rather stayed ignorant and lived out a normal life?

I think I have come to believe there is no such thing as what is commonly called a normal life. I believe in the words of the great Mr. Goldsmith: "Remain inflexible, and fortune will some day change in your favor." I intend to remain inflexible in the face of all I have learned: after all, I am still Tessa, still myself. And though this new world has brought me little but horror, I believe in the day when I will find the world the richer for its dangers and complexity.

Win an Infernal Devices/Mortal Instruments Prize pack!

What you can win:

  • A signed Clockwork Angel Poster
  • A Clockwork Angel journal
  • A preview booklet of the City of Bones graphic novel
  • A signed copy of City of Glass (pb)
  • Rune Tattoos

Official Contest information:

  • to enter, please fill out the form below
  • entrants must be 13 years of age or older
  • contest deadline is September 7, 2010
  • contest open Everyone*
  • check out my Contest Policy/Privacy Policy

*Thanks to Cassandra for providing the prizes! I'll be sending the prizes directly to the winner.

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Interview: Tessa Gray (Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare) & Giveaway + novel