Author Cassandra Clare has been celebrating Pride Month by releasing snippets of her LGBTQ+ characters, including this one regarding Magnus and Alec.
Ever an advocate for LGBTQ+ characters playing significant roles in books, Cassandra Clare made sure that those characters got a chance to shine more than once from the very beginning, starting with the first of her Shadowhunters books, City of Bones. Since then, she’s made a point to give them a story arc worthy of reading.
So it’s no surprise that she ended off the month with a snippet about Magnus and Alec from her future book, The Red Scrolls of Magic, the first book of The Eldest Curses series.
“What was that noise?” Alec asked, mildly alarmed.
“Oh, it’s just Jace,” Isabelle said dismissively. “Hands off, Jace! He called me.”
“No, the sound like a thousand trashcan lids falling out of the sky.”
“Oh, Jace was swinging a big axe on a chain when you called,” Isabelle said. “Jace! Your axe is stuck in the wall. Don’t worry about unimportant things, Alec. Update me on the important stuff. How is Magnus, and I don’t mean his wellbeing?“
“I mean, how are his skills, and I’m not talking about the magical ones,” Isabelle clarified.
“I understand what you mean!” said Alec.
Alec did not exactly have an answer for Isabelle on that particular topic. When he and Magnus had been dating in New York, there had been several times when Alec really wanted to take things farther, but he wasn’t sure of how he felt. He was scared by the immensity of how much he felt. They had only ever made out. Magnus had never pushed. Then the war came, and after the war Magnus asked him on vacation to Europe, and Alec said yes. Alec had presumed they both understood that meant Alec was ready to go anywhere and do anything with Magnus. He was nervous, but he wanted to try all of it: having a future together, going as far as they could go, in every sense of the word.
Only Magnus had not made a move. Magnus was always so careful with Alec. In this case, Alec wished he was being less careful, because Alec was not very good at conversations, especially awkward conversations about feelings—which were all conversations about feelings—and he could not work out how to ask.
Surely Magnus wanted to. Didn’t he?
Recently, Cassandra addressed a certain matter about so-called “fans” threatening to boycott The Eldest Curses, claiming that the author is only writing these books to make more money, thus making her desire to write stories for these characters for any other reason seem apathetic. Here’s what she had to say about it:
I guess there are a few things to talk about here: one is the realistic situation of LGBT+ kids’ publishing and one is about women’s writing. In terms of the first, it’s very strange to suggest I wrote these books for money when I did, as you say, take a pay cut to write them. I was paid a third of what I was paid for the Dark Artifices to write them though they are the same number of books. I was paid less than what I was paid for my adult Sword Catcher series which features a world and characters no one has any familiarity with at all — a completely unknown brand. Many of my international publishers still won’t publish TEC. One bought it and has as of now cancelled the deal, though they have bought different books from me since. There are a thousand things I could have written or done that would have made me more money. That’s the stark reality of the “cash cow” the boycotters are discussing.
She goes on later in her response about writing LGBTQ+ characters as main characters:
Before I ever had attention or money, I had the joy of creation. One of the most amazing feelings when writing is to make up people, and to have real people invest in your inventions. I created Magnus and Alec, building them into characters I could love block by block, and yesterday I got to see other people love them too. I have been awed by and grateful for the support of every reader who has embraced the diverse world I have tried to create, and the increasing diversity I try for as I keep on writing and am allowed to have more freedom in what I write than when I first began and was turned down by publishers because I wouldn’t remove Alec from my books. I am hoping to help change attitudes and create, along with many writers and readers who believe that diverse media makes a difference, a world in which a book with a main LGBTQ pairing will be judged purely on its literary merits. We’re not there yet! I wish we were. But the increasing call for and support for diverse literature makes me hope we are getting there. I trust in my readers. I have to believe that anybody calling for a boycott of The Red Scrolls of Magic is in a small hateful minority who has lost sight of how their actions would be perceived by the world, and the effect their actions would have on the world. I have to believe that there are far more people who are open to loving and supporting diverse stories.
Money and attention are great. But in the end, I write because I do believe words have the power to change people, and change the world. Ultimately, I have to do what I think is the right thing, and trust that other people will too. My readers haven’t let me down yet.
You can read the full blog post on Cassie’s Tumblr.
We are huge fans of Cassandra’s books, and it shows in her writings that she truly puts care into writing her characters, knowing how much people relate to them, and we look forward to reading The Eldest Curses series.
The Red Scrolls of Magic is scheduled for publication on April 2, 2019.