Author of The Infernal Devices – the prequel trilogy to the bestselling The Mortal Instruments.
All text courtesy of Walker Books.
1. The first book in The Infernal Devices, Clockwork Angel, ended on a cliffhanger as Will went to seek help from Magnus Bane, but we weren’t told why. Can you tell us where Clockwork Prince picks up?
Clockwork Prince picks up about two weeks after the end of Clockwork Angel. We still don’t know why Will went to Magnus, and a Council is being held to determine whether Charlotte should get to keep her position as the head of the Institute after the disastrous events of Clockwork Angel.
2. You mentioned that Will is hiding a big secret that might be revealed in Clockwork Prince. Can you give us any clues as to what this might be?
That would be telling! I can only say that it is a secret that has shaped much of his life, and that it is why he is so unpleasant to everyone. We do find out what it is in Clockwork Prince, and Magnus was definitely the right person to go to for help!
3. In Clockwork Angel, Tessa is torn between moody and mysterious Will and devoted yet drugaddled Jem. Will Tessa be forced to make a decision in Clockwork Prince?
Oh, dear, poor Jem. He isn’t really addled by his drug – he’s more like a diabetic that needs insulin. The real downside is that the drug doesn’t even get him high; it just keeps him alive, poor thing. But I would say that in Clockwork Angel, Tessa is drawn to Will but he pushes her away. She doesn’t really notice Jem. In Clockwork Prince Jem steps up and demands to be noticed. She definitely will be clear on both boys’ feelings by the end of the book.
4. You often carry out real urban explorations and do a lot of research to inspire the settings for your books; for Clockwork Angel you read nothing but Victorian literature for six months. Can you tell us what kind of research or preparation you did for Clockwork Prince, and if there were any particular areas or real-life settings that you used?
Well, for both Clockwork books I traveled to London. For Prince, I also went to Yorkshire, because some key chapters of the book take place there. I took the train to York, as Will, Jem and Tessa do, and explored the city. The Institute in York is based on the Holy Trinity Church just off Goodramgate in the centre of York. I also drove around the area a great deal to get a sense of the countryside and used a particular house, Nunnington Hall in North Yorkshire, as Ravenscar Manor.
5. The Infernal Devices is a prequel trilogy to the bestselling The Mortal Instruments series. Did you set out to do a prequel series to The Mortal Instruments from the start, or was this series a story that became apparent after you’d began writing The Mortal Instruments?
I had the image in my head for a long time of a boy and a girl in period costume, standing in the middle of Blackfriars Bridge on a misty night. From one end of the bridge a group of clockwork automatons was advancing silently. For a long time I didn’t know what the story was with those two, but I played around with it in my head and somewhere between City of Bones and City of Ashes the idea of The Infernal Devices happened.
6. Finally, The Mortal Instruments is set in modern-day New York, and The Infernal Devices is set in Victorian-era London. If you had to choose one of these settings to live in, which would you choose, and why?
Much as I love the Victorian era, I would still choose to live in modern day. One word: antibiotics.