Review from Cassandra Clare’s event at Hay Festival, Wales, on the 24th May

The other day Cassandra Clare attended Hay Festival in Wales with her friend, and co-writer to The Bane Chronicles, Sarah Rees Brennan.

There haven’t been many reports about the day, and even less pictures, so we had no idea what happened, what they talked about or anything!

I asked a fellow Shadowhunter who attended the event to give us a run through their day at Hay Festival and to reveal all the juicy gossip that Cassandra Clare shared with her fans at the event.

You can check out Midnights’s review below and please note that all the pictures belong to her, not us. Please credit Midnight if you use any. And PLEASE follow her on twitter – @Stopwatchgirl

The rain welcomed Ms Cassandra Clare and her fellow writer Sarah Rees Brennan to Hay. I don’t think I’ve ever truly seen the “festival scene” cliché in action as I did then. Everywhere was mud, puddles and run off. Luckily the festival talks, shops, displays and paths are all tented over, My friend Heather (henceforth known as Jem as that’s who she was cosplaying) and I arrived at Hay about half past ten. We’d stayed in Hereford the day before and were a little too eager. We spent the morning in the food tent with caffeine. But anyway I digress: to the reason for this review Ms Cassandra!

We first saw her on our way to the Hay Book store, she was in a tent not joined to the rest of the festival tents being interviewed. Still don’t know who by, and then she went for a walk. She was wearing the most unusual coat, I still can’t describe the design but it was an odd pink that I do remember.
12:40 ish we decided we’d loitered long enough and went to queue. The talk had been moved to a different tent, and when we saw it we decided we weren’t the only ones loitering with intent. So the great British tradition of queuing began our time at Cassandra Clares talk. Everyone was clasping their books, I saw so many clockwork angels you’d think Tessa’s power had been duplication. On one occasion, while she was trying to get our tickets from her bag I think, my friend Heather was recognised for her Jem bookcover cosplay, almost bringing a girl to tears. Especially when they saw the Dragon Head cane she carried.

When we were let in we found that there had been queues on both sides of the tent and that most of the front few rows were full. So we took a seat where we could see, near the middle, as the two of us are on the 5ft 5inches give or take a heel end of the scale. But to be honest it seemed everywhere had a clear view of the stage

Sarah began by asking Cassandra about the movie, had it been like she expected. To which Cassandra said no but not in the way that it had been bad, but that it had been someone else’s interpretation of her world. She did say the sets had been spot on, and the cast was good. Cassandra has a thing for glasses.
Sarah asked about filming, had anything gone wrong or right. Cassandra remembered two stories (I’ll try and recite them):
1. During one of the fight scenes between Valentine and Clary, Jonathan had thrown Lily too hard and she fell and hit her head. Jamie (dating Lily at the time) had rushed onto set and, defending Lily’s honour or just in the moment went for Jonathan, and rather than help Jonathan, Lily or stop Jamie the camera just kept rolling.
2. There had to be a lot of training for the movie, with weapons and things, and of course Aidan (who plays Luke) had just come off The Hobbit. So he was brought on to show them how it was done, there were apparently times when girls gathered around the screens. Cassandra said she once walked up to see, thinking it was new footage but it was Aidan flipping about shirtless.

It was revealed that apparently Sarah and Cassandra had been told they’d be killed with axes if they spoilered COHF so instead Cassandra had decided to read a piece from the book version of The Bane Chronicles, a piece that hadn’t been in the eBooks. It was Magnus’s Voicemail recordings from after “that breakup.” Cassandra and Sarah passed a tablet between them each taking turns reading a different piece, Sarah seemed to mostly be reading for Isabelle and got really into the part. I will say this, Isabelle makes a damn good case for Feline romance. And I will never be able to watch a certain bingo advert again without cracking up.

After the reading Cassandra threw open the floor to questions. I don’t remember them all but I do remember some of Cassandra’s answers:

1.Following the discussion that’s sprang up around Isabelle’s eye colour Cassandra was asked about her opinion, she said that Izzy can be a Lightwood and still have dark eyes, something to do with recessive genes she wasn’t going to go into, though Cassandra didn’t dismiss the possibility that she wasn’t.

2. Though she can’t pick between them Cassandra says her favourite character to write is Magnus
3. She identifies most with Simon and with Tessa
Unfortunately I didn’t get to ask my question so its saved in a little Pyxis in the back of my head for next time,

We went to queue for her signing. It was only the room next door, but when you unfurled the compact queues from before the talk it wrapped around the tented pathways at least once and vanished to where I couldn’t see. We met up with my friend Lis and her friend who were from down South, and I think I scared someone when I asked them how they got their hands on a hardback in the UK or something to that effect (its amazing what you find in “The Works” these days). We were in the queue for a while but with it was so amazing to be among other fans it only felt like ten minutes or so.

We weren’t supposed to ask Cassandra to take pictures with us so while my friends were speaking with her I took a few pics with my camera phone, which catch more of Cassandra than of Heather and Lis.

Heather was first, she was nervous as a Herondale by a duck pond, but when Cassandra herself recognised Heathers cosplay and was amazed by her Dragon Cane and Violin, she relaxed. Cassandra said something which led to the moment my friend cannot forget (I swear on the Angel). She called us Will and Jem despite my hair not being right (minor new wig malfunction) I think, I bowed :S

I stepped up to Cassandra, gifts in hand and after greeting Sarah said in less of a confidant voice than I had intended “because your tour doesn’t stop in Yorkshire I decided to represent the York institute and…” handed her the box and put the flag on the table. Cassandra loved the pin she put it on the neck of her dress and proceeded to list her stops saying she didn’t know why they didn’t let her come to Yorkshire because she loved York and it was beautiful, and she wished she could come to Yorkshire. But she went were she was directed, which, while it does make me sad I understood,

I have to mention that when Sarah Rees Brennan saw the Yorkshire flag she said “oh the rose of York, from the war of the roses.” To which I nodded and she said “my favourite war.” Which was an awesome thing to say but I was a little stunned by the two of them. I’d said earlier that Heather and I came from the North and that we were here all day, Sarah said “well Judy Dench is supposed to be around here somewhere.” I did the ultimate goofy ‘trying to be a gentleman’ thing and said “I’m only here for Cassandra.” To which they both seemed awed.

we walked away and I did kick myself a little, didn’t quiet get to say what I planned. But the best plans rarely work when faced with Women as amazing as Sarah Rees Brennan and Cassandra Clare.

– Midnight @Stopwatchgirl

Wow! That was great! Thank you so much for sharing your experience! It sounds like you had a great day!

Here are some of the pictures Midnight was able to share with us too! (Like I said before, these pictures belong to her so please credit her if you use any, and use her twitter @Stopwatchgirl)


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