What drew you to writing fantasy?
I grew up reading fantasy. My father was a big fan of fantasy and science fiction, so those were the books we had in our house. Obviously there’s a large fantastic component to children’s literature anyway, and when I was a kid, my favorite books were those by Edward Eager, Susan Cooper and E. Nesbit. I was also big fan of fairy tales — the original grim ones — and folklore. So when I moved on from children’s books, I moved on to Tolkien and Terry pratchett instead of moving on to realistic contemporary fiction. (The one thing I made an exception for was historical fiction.) So when I decided I wanted to write, it was natural to write fantasy. You write what you love to read.
You’ve written about vampires, werewolves, shapeshifters, etc. Do you have a favorite fantasy character that you love to bring to life?
As in a favorite sort of creature? No, not really, though I find writing faeries difficult. They seem very removed and archaic and their doublespeak — they can’t lie, but they love to mislead — is a pain. I always have to run my faerie dialogue by Holly Black before I can send it out.
Who are your favorite young adult fantasy writers? Do you have any books you would recommend to your fans?
I don’t really believe in favorites. When I was a kid I did, and I was always rearranging my booksholf in order of what my favorite was down to my least favorite, until eventually I realized I was being silly because different books were my favorites in different ways, and appealed to me at different times. That said, I would recommend two books that haven’t come out yet as books to look for: The Replacement, by Brenna Yovanoff, and Bitterblue, the new Graceling book by Kristin Cashore.
What was the best writing advice anyone ever gave you?
I was once advised that once you’re done with a book, read the whole thing aloud to yourself. It takes a long time but it really lets you hear things like overused words, awkward sentence construction, and the like.
Read the rest of the interview here: http://www.yafantasyguide.com/author-interviews/cassandra-clare.htm