Why The Mortal Instruments Series is Important to Me

Pre-warning: there are NO City of Heavenly Fire spoilers in this post! 

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This past Tuesday, shop May 27th was the day that City of Heavenly Fire hit bookshelves. It is the very last book of The Mortal Instruments series. While we are going to be in the world of Shadowhunters for years to come, sale what with The Dark Artifices and The Last Hours series coming to bookshelves, this series is the one that started it all. I will get to read more of Shadowhunters and the Shadow World but it was bittersweet to say goodbye to Clary, Jace and the rest in this series. If you haven’t had a chance, you can check out my spoiler free review here, or my spoiler filled vlog here.

I haven’t been this sad of a series ending since the day that I finished Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and that’s because I think the Mortal Instruments come in at a close second to the Harry Potter series, in what they mean to me and what they have done for me. The Mortal Instruments will NEVER touch Harry Potter for me, but Harry Potter has been in my life since I was 10 years old so…I highly doubt anything will ever be as important as that book series.

But the Mortal Instruments. I first picked up the books about four years ago. Four years ago, my life was….difficult. Not really hard. I have always been fairly lucky in the life that I’ve had, even during the hard times, even during the struggles. But four years ago, I went through something that was pretty hard for me. My boyfriend and I both went through something hard, and instead of turning to each other, we turned against each other. We stopped showing affection to each other, we were fighting all the time, it was awful. We broke up. And what was the worst about it was…I not only had the task of dealing with the heartbreak but no one understood, really, why it was more than just a normal heartbreak. I was dealing with so many emotions. My boyfriend had gone on tour with his band, so he was well distracted but I was at home, stuck in my own thoughts, miserable.

So what do I do when I’m miserable?

Head to a bookstore, of course. I went on a trip to Borders. (Oh Borders, how I miss you). I needed to get out of the house, I needed a distraction, to get out of my own head. Back then, I wasn’t a blogger so I wasn’t as involved with the book world as I am now. Now I go into a bookstore and I recognize so many titles that I despair that I can only purchase one or two. Back then, I had to rely on just looking on titles and things like that. I was wandering the Young adult section and the title “City of Bones” jumped out at me. I read the back, decided that I liked it well enough and purchased it. I went home that night, and dove into it for the first time.

The next time, I was at the bookstore and purchasing City of Ashes. I went back the VERY next day to purchase City of Glass. I read the snippet of Clockwork Angel at the end, and waiting eagerly for it to come out a couple months later. I waited patiently for the release of Fallen Angels the next year, and met her for the very first time. The speed in which this books came crashing into my life and stayed there permanently is incredible and it still kind of blows my mind. Only one book series had done that since then, and still not with the way that this series did.

I loved the story, I loved how it weaved the familiar world that we know with this beautiful fantasy world. I wanted to be a Shadowhunter. I love tattoos and the fact that they could bring you strength and agility and things like that blew my mind. I loved the weapons and the Institute. I loved Idris and this country tucked away from everything else. Everything about this world was fantastic to me. There was romance and action and lots of humor and sarcasm. I fell in love with all the characters.

But I especially fell in love with two.

First off, I love Alec Lightwood. The person that Alec Lightwood is…unsure and scared, afraid to be the person that he is, afraid to share the emotions buried deep within him…it all felt so familiar. He felt like the most real character in the books. I know people didn’t like him at first, because of the way he treated Clary, and the obsession he had with Jace but I thought he was real and raw and genuine. His story reached out to me and watching him grow and change over the course of six books.

And then there was Jace Wayland Morgenstern Herondale Lightwood, whatever you want to call him. I don’t know if I would have fallen in love with as much as I did as a fictional boyfriend and a fictional character if I wasn’t in the middle of a breakup with my boyfriend. But I loved everything about him. I loved that he was this badass warrior, and that he was raised to not believe in love and Clary was changing that in him, and that he said the sweetest things and that was also kind of crazy. Come on, let’s think about…going into Hunter’s Moon and picking fights with werewolves? That’s kind of crazy. He’s been one of my absolute favorite characters since then, and definitely my number one fictional crush.

But he was also kind of my escape, from the misery that I was feeling at the time. It made me think that boys could say still say cute things, even when they mess up, and I lost myself in the romance of Jace and Clary. It kept me sane. I devoured those books and they kept me from wallowing in even more misery that I already was. I wouldn’t say they saved my life, because I had never considered that my life was over, but they saved my emotions, my sanity, my well-being. I was a wreck and these books helped to put me back together.

And they still do that.

When I’m having a really bad time, a tough time, there are two book series that I turn to: Harry Potter and the Mortal Instruments. They both can make me feel better even on the darkest of days. Even when I feel the worst.

But the books did more than just be books that will sit on my shelves forever, and stories that I’ll dive into again and again. They inspire me to be a better write, they inspire me to write beautiful books. I want to write books that have characters that are loved like these, and have stories that are addicting and stories that make people cry the way I cried while reading City of Heavenly Fire. I am inspired every day by Cassandra Clare.

She also taught me so much about fear, about accepting your fears, in order to overcome them. This is a huge part of the first trilogy in this series. Clary’s fear of fitting into the Shadowhunter world. Isabelle’s fear of love. Jace’s fear of letting anyone. Valentine’s fear (and jealousy) of the Downworlders. Jocelyn’s fear for Clary’s safety. Alec’s fear for being himself. Simon’s fear of being left behind. SO much fear, but by the time we reach the end of City of Glass, they have either accepted those fears, are working on them or have conquered them. She shows us that we don’t need a Fearless rune to do this but that courage and bravery come from inside of us, to overcome those things that make us so afraid. This is why I have a fearless rune tattoo, to remind myself that I can strong enough and brave enough to over come anything.

They have also brought me into a world I never expected. I had been blogging for nearly a year when I met Cassandra Clare for the second time. I was able to interview her (you can check out that video here), and it opened a lot of doors for me as a blogger. Then I met her about three weeks later, at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, and put together a Shadowhunter meet-up, where I met some new friends, most importantly, my fangirl bestie, Sylvia from Fangirl Feeels.

Not only did her books bring me to some amazing friends BUT they in turn introduced me to a world bigger than the one I had known. I showed them the beauty of all the book events and they introduced me to movie premieres. Without that meetup, and meeting all those friends, I would have never even thought to go to premieres like City of Bones, Catching Fire, Vampire Academy and Divergent. These books have given me a community of friends all over the world. I’ve been messaging online and texting on my phone nonstop for the last 48+ hours about the release of City of Heavenly Fire, and I love this community and what it has given to me, and what I hope I have given back. I have met so many amazing friends because of it.

So some people think I’m crazy and some people probably look at me and think “its just a book”. But its so much more than that, so much more. I loved the finale of the series, though I admit I did have some beef with the ending, but whatever I feel for this book, it is so sad and bittersweet to see it end. I know that we will continue into the lives of Lucie and James Herondale in The Last Hours and the lives of Emma Carstairs and Julian Blackthorn in The Dark Artifices. I know that we have not yet left the Shadowhunter world but leaving behind the world of Clary, Jace, Alec, Magnus, Isabelle, Simon, Jocelyn, Luke, Maia, Jordan, and so many many more is heartbreaking. I will miss them and their romances and their antics and their adventures. Its hard to say good bye because of how much this series meant to me.

Check out some pictures from my TMI adventures over the last couple years, including meeting Cassie, the cast of the movie, the red carpet premiere of the movie, hanging out with TMI friends, and my tattoo.

And don’t forget to share what The Mortal Instruments mean to you in the comments! 

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My Reserved Seat when I met Cassie at her Clockwork Princess Launch in Mission Viejo and I interviewed her!
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March 2013: Myself and Cassandra Clare after I interviewed her. Im pretty sure I’m dying inside right now…
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Meeting Cassandra Clare in April 2013, at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books. You can see her husband Josh on the right, and Vivi Hebel, the brains behind Hebel Design, on the right
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Sarah Rees Brennan, Cassandra Clare and Maureen Johnson, March 2013, at the Mission Viejo event
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A really bad picture of me and my sister in front of Cassie’s epic tour bus after the Mission Viejo event. There were NO lights in the parking lot so this is how the pictures kept turning out haha
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The Shadowhunter Meet Up at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books in 2013. I met SO many amazing friends here.
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Myself and Jamie Campbell Bower aka Jace Wayland at the City of Bones World Premiere
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Myself and Godfrey Gao (and my photobombing friend Jane haha) aka Magnus Bane and my Magnus Bane doll at the TMI World Premiere
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My sister and I at the Clockwork Princess Mission Viejo event. I was so nervous before interviewing Cassie that I just kept taking pictures
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Myself and Cassie Clare at the TMI City of Bones World Premiere
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Sylvia from Fangirl Feeels, Harald Zwart (Director of City of Bones), myself and our friend Jane, camping out for the TMI City of Bones World Premiere
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Me and the beautiful Aidan Turner, aka Luke Garroway, at the TMI City of Bones World Premiere
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Kevin Zegers, aka Alec Lightwood, came by in the morning and brought cookies to all of us that had camped overnight. It was a beautiful moment and a beautiful way to wake up
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Meeting Jamie, Cassie, Lily and Kevin at WonderCon 2013. I won a VIP meet and greet with them, got a book and poster signed by them and got to take pictures :)
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Myself and Cassie Clare at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books in 2013. I look less like I’m freaking out in this picture…
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Jamie Campbell Bower, Robbie Sheehan, Kevin Zegers and Cassandra Clare at the Los Angeles TMI Mall Tour Stop
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A photographer asked me and Harald Zwart to pose as if he was drawing my tattoo on, and then he signed underneath. Such a weird but cool moment
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My signed copy of City of Bones from the TMI World Premiere signed by…well a lot of people
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Me and Robbie Sheehan, aka Simon Lewis, at the TMI City of Bones World Premiere
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Meeting the lovely ladies behind TMI Venezuela and TMI Colombia while waiting for the TMI Mall Tour in LA to start!
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Me and my fangirl bestie, my parabatai, Sylvia from Fangirl Feeels at the TMI City of Bones Mall Tour
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Me and my friends Alex, Mina, Stephanie, Jade, Cassandra, Ally and Sylvia, all friends I’ve made through TMI, waiting for Jamie CB to perform on Venice Boardwalk
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Sylvia and I showing Carmen (HomeOfNephilim) the awesome Santa Monica Pier. TMI brought us all together :)
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My fearless rune tattoo, that I got back in November of 2012

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Fictional Crush of the Week-Isabelle Lightwood from the Mortal Instruments

Character Name:

Isabelle Lightwood

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Book or Series They Appear In:

The Mortal Instruments Series

City of Bones, prostate City of Ashes, more about City of Glass, City of Fallen Angels, City of Lost Souls, City of Heavenly Fire 

Author/Creator:

Cassandra Clare

Played By: 

Jemima West

Who They Are:

Isabelle Lightwood is one of the main characters of the Mortal Instruments series. She starts off as a sort of secondary character and she becomes more important as the series goes on. She’s the younger sister of Alec, and the older sister of Max, and the sometimes love interest of Simon Lewis. She has long black hair, dark hair, and she’s beautiful and fierce. She has a great and fun sense of humor, and is a great fighter. She sometimes comes off as someone who may not be as serious because of her sense of humor and her fashion sense but she is a wicked fighter, and she is incredibly loyal to her family and her friends. She is an amazing Shadowhunter.

Why I Am Crushing On Them: 

I absolutely ADORE Isabelle. At first, Clary can be a little annoying. I definitely change my mind on this because Clary will appear eventually on this feature! But Isabelle, from the beginning, was my type of girl. She’s dark haired for one thing, and she just has a charming, sexy personality from the beginning. I like that she has that sense of humor, but she knows when to be serious, and when to act like a warrior. And she’s a badass warrior. She has the best weapon of all with the whip, seriously. I can’t even handle that weapon. Its awesome, and its sexy, and it probably takes a lot of skill and training for it to be an effective weapon. And I love that’s careful, and cautious and she’s so incredibly smart. Sometimes people think Isabelle is just looks, but she’s a fighter and she’s an incredibly clever person. I’ve loved watching her evolve over the series.

Plus have you seen Jemima West? She’s is SO beautiful, and I am major crushing on her. I was very sad when she couldn’t make it to the Los Angeles premiere of the movie :( I was hoping to meet her SO badly.

Notable Quotes: 

Isabelle shrugged philosophically. “I’m pure at heart. It repels the dirt.”

“But I watch my brothers give their hearts away and I think, Don’t you know better? Hearts are breakable. And I think even when you heal, you’re never what you were before.”

“What’s the point in wasting a perfectly good brick wall when you have someone to throw against it, that’s what I always say.”

“Isabelle chewed thoughtfully on her straw. “That new lead singer they have is hot. Is he single? I’d like to ride him around town like a bad, bad pony-” 

“Nothing less than seven inches! That’s my motto!”

izzy

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Exclusive Interview with Jewelry Designer Viviane Hebel!

Its not hard to be part of the fan girl world, prescription and not run into the awesome and talented, Viviane Hebel.

Vivi Hebel runs her own business, Hebel Design, which specializes in handcrafted jewelry based on your favorite novel series like the Shadowhunter Chronicles by Cassandra Clare, the Curse Workers and Faerie stories by Holly Black, Unremembered by Jessica Brody, the Grisha trilogy by Leigh Bardugo, the Covenant series by Jennifer L. Armentrout and SO many more.

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The first I heard of Vivi and Hebel Design is when I met Cassandra Clare back in March, and interviewed. As a gift, Cassie gave me a clockwork angel necklace, that I wear SO often. Almost exactly a month later, I met Vivi at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books when she pointed out that I was wearing her necklace. I’ve been addicted to her stuff ever since. Her family rings, rune bookmarks, and jewelry for all books are just TOO beautiful.

She’s also been featured in Huffington Post, Epic Reads, The Examiner and more!

So, of course, I had to try and get her on this blog, with an interview and I’m really excited to bring her to you guys today!

Sara: How did you get into jewelry making and jewelry design? What sort of skills did you have to learn? 

Viviane: I went to college for integral design-graphic, textile and industrial. So I had my base in materials and methods. I’ve always been more interested in 3D than 2D work so it was more of an evolution for me. Some 10 years ago, I took classes in silversmithing and so it began.

Sara: How did you get involved with all these authors like Cassandra Clare, Holly Black, Leigh Bardugo, Sarah Rees Brennan, Jennifer L. Armentrout, Anna Banks, Jessica Brody, etc? 

Viviane: I read Cassandra Clare’s 3 first books from TMI, what was published so far, and fell in love with the world and the Runes. I had some kind of vision and did some research before I contacted her to present my idea. There’s always been a market for movie props and replicas so I thought fans of the books would like them too. It’s been an evolving thing since then I thought of expanding to other series. So the process is the same, contacting the author and proposing my ideas. Since I’ve been in business for a bit, sometimes authors come to me with their ideas.

Sara: Where do you get your inspiration from? Do you read the books to design these pieces, or do the authors ask for something specific? 

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Viviane: I always like to read the book first, to get the whole context. Whenever there’s a new book in the series that is not available to read yet I have to rely on author’s descriptions. Then I try to get details of when, where, why, who…and so on.

Sara: What is your favorite part about having this business? 

Viviane: Being able to create an actual piece that an author just conjured in her head. Sometimes it’s a real challenge to go from imagination to reality, I like those the most.

Sara: Was having a jewelry making business always something you had wanted to do, or did you have other career aspirations? 

Viviane: As I said, its been an evolution as a designer. I like looking for new things to do. Jewelry has been the longest one so far, so many possibilities.

Sara: What is the process like when making a piece for your business? 

Viviane: First, I need to visualize how it would look more or less, then sketches and possible materials. Making samples and prototypes, sometimes it stops there, sometimes production of molds and such.

Sara: What are some of your favorite books to read, movies to watch and bands to listen to?

Viviane: The list is super long. I am a big fan of fantasy, paranormal and science fiction. In movies too, I like animated movies a lot! I just love their attention to detail. Music is very eclectic, if you looked at my playlist, it has all kinds of old and new, from pop to rock to latin, country, new age. All time favorites that I never get tired of are James Taylor and Prince…Goo Goo Dolls, see a pattern here? Not really.

Sara: What are some of your favorite book-related pieces that you have designed? 

Viviane: The ones that have been more of a challenge. The Clockwork Angel, the Morozova Collar, the Family rings. The Midnight Flower just came up in my head and it actually came out like I imagined. Not always it happens like that. I also like when I can reproduce exactly what’s described in a book, like the turquoise necklace. I love the new Lynburn hands.

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Sara: Do you have any pieces, or new collaborating authors that we can look forward to? 

Viviane: There’s always new stuff in the works…just to keep the interest up!

Sara: I ask this to all my interviewees, who is your fictional crush? 

Viviane: You’re allowed to have more than one, right? Rhett Butler, as a classic, growing up. Will Herondale tops this list, but there’s so many more, I could actually embarrass myself.

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I hope you enjoyed this interview with Viviane, and that you are able to head to her website, and check out her awesome work. I seriously want EVERYTHING, especially a stele pen and the Lightwood family ring. Her stuff is awesome.

All pictures are courtesy of HebelDesign.com