The Mortal Instruments series author Cassandra Clare makes only Canadian book tour stop to promote her new series The Infernal Devices 3rd book Clockwork Princess in Burnaby, BC yesterday
The Mortal Instruments & The Infernal Devices series author Cassandra Clare at Metrotown Chapters March 26, 2013 for fan Q&A & autograph session
Lets start off with, I dont read books. Its not that I cant read, its that I find it mentally tiring, and to top it off, terribly hard on my eyes. I dont know if thats always been the case, or if its just since I developed an eye condition in my late 20s. In either case, I just dont read books anymore. I am sure my encounters with noted best selling authors like J.K. Rowling & Stephenie Meyer have done absolutely nothing short of cementing my resolve in not reading. After all, when you meet two absolutely cancerous personalities like that (sorry HP & Twifans, your heroes are both utter bitches) it will do wonders for your assumption all of them must be the same. So imagine my shock when a writer, that is that writes material targeted at that same age demographic as those writers came to town and was.... pleasant. It ALMOST makes me consider reading her books. Almost.
Last night, Metrotown Chapters Book Store hosted a Q&A (broadcast live on youtube.... see link below to watch it) & book signing with Cassandra Clare, best known for her book series "The Mortal Instruments" which will have a film adaptation of 1 of the books "City Of Bones" out this summer.
Currently promoting her new series of books "The Infernal Devices" which had its 3rd book "Clockwork Princess" just released, Ms. Clare answered questions about the new books and her more famous ones for 1/2 hour to a room of several hundred, mostly teenaged girls before she sat down to sign probably 2-3 times as many books as there was people there.
Not knowing anything (except what some fans in Hamilton, ON tried telling me about it when I was at the set of the film City Of Bones this past summer), I was expecting to be bored to tears thru the Q&A, but despite not knowing anything about it, was entertained at times by Ms. Clare, who clearly has a flair for storytelling & entertaining.
With another author, Sarah Rees Brennan of the "Demon Lexicon" series as her moderator for the Q&A Ms. Clare gave well thought out replies to a variety of questions, many I'm sure shes heard dozens of times before, but treated as if the asker was truly asking her something new & unique.
The fans were amazingly well reserved for a room of mainly young adult & teenage girls. As 1 of the people at the bookstore pointed out "these are readers. This isnt a Justin Bieber signing" (thank goodness).
The event started with a trailer got TMI:COB that had a failure of no audio which Ms. Clare & Brennan reacted to by suggesting they could act it out for the fans.
Cassandra & Sarah went back & forth for a minute or two spouting lines that I can only assume come from 1 of the books considering the ease of which they responded to each other. Then they moved to doing audience & online Q&A's.
Cassandra, whose real name is Judith Rumelt, talked about how she tied The Mortal Instruments & The Infernal Devices books together, a fan asked her about a rumour she planned to kill off a notable character from the TMI series, she talked about rumours fans create are often just that, rumours & how fans are so invested in the characters they will create petitions to not kill this character & send it to her. Cassandra asnswered a question about characters that are afraid of ducks that was thoroughly entertaining based on 1 of her own life experiences & it was then that I knew, she was able to make even non-fans listen to what she had to say. With City Of Bones already being made, a fan was already asking a question about if her second series of books were to become a movie, which scene would she want to see. Cassandra talks about her extra role in City Of Bones, and how she had to wear her prop ears to the airport afterwards. Cassandra talks about how an STD she created for her characters was inspired by books she read based on Victorian times where everyone seemingly had syphilis. She explains she knew that she was going to write The Infernal Devices while she was writing 1 of the TMI books. Cassandra says the more names a character has, the more important they are, which got me thinking of a TV show I watch "Psych" where 1 of the characters has been given probably 40 names over the years by his friend. he must be REALLY important. She talks about how she met her husband thru a love of books & how characters in the book both share the same love of literature. She also said who her favorite
character to write about is, why 1 of her characters has a glitter obsession, and whether she had any input on the casting for City Of Bones. Overall, it was taken in quite well by her fans, and even us non-fans observing seemed at times to be paying attention as her ability to tell stories was in fine form.
My only annoyance with the Q&A is that Cassandra insisted the actors in City Of Bones did their own stunts at the Hotel Dumort. However.... I know that is not the case, as those of us on set in Hamilton saw the stunt doubles outside the abandoned Royal Connaught Hotel washing down their mats after their jobs were done inside. Now whether Ms. Clare knew this and opted to exaggerate the casts involvement, or she just assumed it to be true, I dont know. But in an otherwise terrific presentation, it did irk me slightly that she misled the fans with this.
After the Q&A ended Cassandra signed & chatted at length with fans for over an hour & a half. When it was over, she did a few photos with the staff, then signed a quick handful of books for some of those (myself included) who didnt get a wristband despite clearly suffering from writers cramp by that point.
It would have been so simple for me to write a negative article on this entire event. There was nothing going in that made me think "this will be enjoyable". Another female author of fantasy novels targeted to teen & young adult females. My only encounters with such people prior were dreadful. A pre-dominantly teen female fanbase, again my experiences with this have been less than stellar (think squealing, crying and hyper-ventilating pop star tarts who actually think their favorite boyband member seels them as anything but a walking ATM). The fanbase of a movie based on the authors book has attacked me before. The cast & crew of the film were less than friendly. A bookstore who seemed militantly adamant that she couldnt sign going in for the 3 people waiting, and that she couldnt sign after she was done despite promising to do so when I asked her going in. (BTW - note to Chapters & all publicists. YOUR JOB IS TO SELL BOOKS...so why would you strongly discourage such things by trying to stop the author from signing books?) The idea this was going to be anything short of terrible seemed laughable.
But it actually wasnt too bad. The author was pleasant. The fans were well behaved. Cassandra kept her word, despite the staff strongly discouraging her from doing so. No complaints (except for the fact I could have been gone 90 mins sooner had the staff just allowed her to sign going in)
To the gaggle of haters I incurred without logic after my set visit this past summer. I'll give this to your author. She showed class and personality that I wish the crew & cast (Robert Sheehan being the lone exception) had shown.
Cassandra could almost make anyone a fan of her work. Who knows, maybe I might even go check out the 1st film when it comes out. In the mean time... her book will be sitting there, probably collecting dust till I sell it, or give it to someone. But she did her job, she got me to buy 1. Few other authors have had that same success.... and THAT is called just good P.R. & how you can make a fan out of a non-fan. Something other writers of this age demographic fail to see.
To see the entire Q&A check out the Official youtube video here
28 minutes is just dead space. So skip to about 28:40 or so)
Sarah Rees Brennan official Website
Cassandra Clare's official website
Day 4 started for me a bit late. I wanted to be in Toronto 1/2 hr earlier than I was, but luckily it didnt really cost me.
I 1st went to Roy Thompson Hall for the premiere of "Free Angela Davis & All Political Prisoners". Despite getting there later than I had hoped, I managed a pretty decent spot in row "1A" (thats what I call it when you are partially in the front row, but not completely there). The big draw at this showing was Men In Black star Will Smith & his family. The Smith family was invited as guests to the premiere & graced the carpet with their presence. First to show up was "Lethal Weapon" star Danny glover. After some fumbling by me to get out a photo on no notice, I got him to sign for me on a very unique photo, a still from his episode on the TV show "Psych". A bit later, I was in prime spot, and sure enough Will got out right in front of where I was. He even came right to me. However, instead of taking the sharpie & photo I had outstretched, he simply grabbed the hand my sharpie was in & shook it, then moved on. He proceeded to sign about 10 ft further away, then came back & signed about 3 ft to the other side of me. Completely missing me on both sides. I was pissed. A short while later he signed again, further down the line, and I again was shut out. It simply was just not meant to be I guess. All the regulars took off right after Will went into the tent with Jada, Willow & Jaden. I decideed "what do I have to lose at this point" & tried on the end of the tent area, a space about 5 ft wide that you can (generally without success) yell out at the celeb as they leave the press area to go into the theatre. Its about a 50 ft walk from the tent to the area the fans can wait at, and MOST celebs dont bother. But, we saw Will come, made the plea for him to come over, and he actually did. Signed about 5 or so autographs for the 10-15 fans waiting there & I managed to get 1. Righting the wrong of earlier, Will Smith managed to help be go 3 for 3 on my top 3 of TIFF 12.
My next target was the impossible. I foolishly went for crotchety miserable "House" star Hugh Laurie. As expected, the grumpy notorious non-signer stiffed everyone, despite literally being 2 ft from items & taking about a minute to stand there, look at them & then casually walk over to the carpet.
Next up was the premiere of "Writers" at Ryerson. This was a duo redemption premiere for me. I had printed for Liana Liberato 2 years earlier, but failed to go for her, then last year she was a no show. 3rd time the charm? Her castmate Lily Collins, recently had snubbed me at the set of her recent film project "The Mortal Instruments : City Of Bones". First to show up was the TMI star Lily, with her boyfriend, former Twilight Saga star Jamie Campbell-Bower, JCB hid behind the photo-op drop while Lily posed for photographers. There was 3 people there who noticed him hiding back there. A girl who was VERY aware who he was, kept asking him to look up & he eventually did, a boy of maybe 11 or 12 who only had an autograph book & a pen & me. When the woman standing on the planter finally got JCB's attention, the boy with the book asked him for his autograph. Jamie came over to him, was about to sign, then said to the boy "do you even know who I am?" and the boy with confusion & shock didnt answer immediately & Jamie denied the boys request about 1 second later & moved on. I managed an autograph from Lily FINALLY. A short time later Liana Liberato arrived and I managed 2 autographs from her, but felt I should have got more...but the publicists (as they have done all too often in recent years) rushed them into the theatre instead of acknowledging all the fans as they should. In typical diva style, the last person to show up for the premiere was the incredibly rude & cocky Logan Lerman. I have had the displeasure of dealing with this little twerp in recent months when he was filming the follow up to his only leading role, the box office flop "Percy Jackson & The Lightning Thief". For someone who seems on the fast track to being an unemployed adult actor soon, he sure acts like he has 7 Academy Awards already. He hurried past the group of fans that waited to meet him giving them barely a half assed attempt at a wave as he speed walked down the carpet, past the press and into the theatre. He also ignored the fans leaving...no shock. That being said, so did all the cast.
A bit later another Ryerson premiere for "Byzantium" saw another up & coming young actress. Oscar nominated Saoirse Ronan arroved & signed quite a few out on the street for people before she was hurried in to do press. A short time later Gemma Arterton arrived. I managed 1 autograph from each of them, but there should have been more as again, as often was the case, the publicists disrespected the fans, the actual paying public who can make or break films, in favour of media who all ask the same 8 questions over & over again. Gemma promised the fans she would come over and sign, but OF COURSE, was led away from the fans into the theatre by the overzealous career damaging publicists that TIFF used this year. Her dispresect of the fans angered many, just like earlier in the fest when Greta Gerwig did a similar thing. After the premiere, Saoirse signed a handful again, barefoot, while Gemma hurried along signing only a few. I rushed to the car door after she skipped my area & pleaded with her, reminding her of her promise on the red carpet, which was met with a very large, unenthused sigh & a quick scribble before she hopped in her car.
More than once this festival I made tweets similar to this https://twitter.com/canadagraphs/status/245009927108706304 as my frustration with people who have nothing to lose tell those who do what to do.
Day 4 - 8 autographs (31 total)
A Danny Glover
B+ Saoirse Ronan
B+ Will Smith
B- Liana Liberato
C+ Lily Collins
C- Gemma Arterton
D Jamie Campbell-Bower
F- Hugh Laurie
F- Logan Lerman
Day 5 started at the Elgin Theatre for the premiere of "Arthur Newman". Emily Blunt was 1st to show up & signed ONE total autograph & it was for a person who snuck inside the secured area. So basically, she would have signed NOTHING if someone hadnt got right up to her. Shortly after, celebrating his 52nd birthday that afternoon was Oscar Award winner Colin Firth. As a bagpiper played "happy birthday" out in front, Colin happily came down the line & signed for everyone. In 5 seconds, I got more autographs (2) from Mr. Firth than Ms. Blunt signed for everyone total. All class Colin.
My next venture was my 1st crack at the press conference circuit this fest. I went for "The Iceman" press conference. Chris Evans, Michael Shannon, Winona "the thief" Ryder & Ray Liotta arrived for it. None of them signed on the way in, but promises were made by Evans & Shannon for departures. Chris Evans came out 1st and the "Captain America" star was terrific, going down the whole line. Shortly after Michael Shannon came out & signed so many that most people left there with nothing left for the "Man Of Steel" star. Winona Ryder of course snubbed everyone, she really is 1 of the most classless bitches in Hollywood. I mean hey, your career is in shambles, your constantly mocked for being a shoplifter, you have basically 0 pull with directors, producers or casting directors now... so why not alienate the public too while you are at it. Seems smart. I dont recall when Liotta came out, but I did manage to get a couple pics of him going in, waving to the fans.
Shortly after that I tried the premiere of "To The Wonder" in front of the incredibly tough Princess Of Wales theatre (the hardest event to get autographs at IMO). Hometown star Rachel McAdams did what she does best now, snubbed everyone. How can someone in their hometown be so disrespectful of fans? I dont get it. Her co-star Olga Kurylenko stopped however & the "Quantum Of Solace" hottie signed several autographs before going in. I then waited for the premiere to end, and on the way out, I managed 2 more autographs from Olga. Rachel did sign SOME when leaving, but not many & was being pretty picky on when & what she signed. More disrespectful was the fact she opted to ignore the people people who waited the longest & went across the street and signed for the people who just showed up.
My next try was back at Ryerson for another Toronto actress, Sarah Gadon. With only THREE people waiting for the actress to leave the premiere of "AntiViral" she signed, but seemed sincerely unimpressed to be doing it, and refused to do more than 1 each despite the practically non-existent crowd. A year ago when I saw her at TIFF she was overjoyed to be asked, now, she acted like its a chore....what has she done again in the past year that won her an Oscar?
I ended my night at the Midnight Madness premiere of "The Lords Of Salem". I managed multiple autographs from both Rob & Sheri Moon Zombie. For how small the crowd was there,, they were quite loud & boisterous.
Day 5 - 13 autographs (44 total)
A+ Michael Shannon
A Colin Firth
A Sheri Moon Zombie
B+ Rob Zombie
B+ Olga Kurylenko
B+ Chris Evans
C Sarah Gadon
D- Ray Liotta
D- Rachel McAdams
F Emily Blunt
F- Winona Ryder
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