Event Recap: Love YA Festival with Cassandra Clare & Holly Black

September 11, 2015 by Jeann @ Happy Indulgence | Books, Event Recaps, Features

I just had the most amazing bookish weekend ever, meeting fellow bloggers, authors and readers at the Brisbane Writers Festival! I’m still coming down from a high, it felt so surreal.

Love YA Festival Highlights 

  • I got a one on one interview with Cassandra Clare and Holly Black for the Brisbane Libraries! Was an amazing opportunity to chat to them in person!
  • Chatted with Holly Black at the end of the festival, where she took the time to chat to us about her trip, the White Cat folklore and gave some inspirational writing advice!
  • Met John Marsden, an iconic Aussie writer (Author of the Tomorrow of the War Began series)
  • Hanging out and meeting other bloggers and readers!

John Marsden – An Australian icon 

john marsden

I got Tomorrow When the War Began signed by John Marsden! He is such a humble, inspirational and motivating writer that I’ve grown up studying and admiring. Such an iconic Australian writer and it was glad to finally meet him!

Cassie Clare and Holly Black – The Interview 

For this event, I cosplayed as a Shadowhunter which I thought was appropriate:


Before Cassandra Clare and Holly Black were due to come on to their panel, I was ushered into their room to do a quick 5 minute interview with them. I did manage to ask them about their trip to Australia and the inspiration for Holly Black’s creepy novels, and who Cassie Clare’s favourite character is. The full interview will be posted on ibrary next week.

Thank you so much to Brisbane Writer’s Festival and Brisbane Libraries for this opportunity!

The Panel and Signing 


It was obvious that Holly and Cassandra are really good friends and they had a great chemistry with each other. It was great hearing how they got started and how they came to be today. Here’s the highlights:

  • The inspiration for Magisterium was a Rick Riordan book, and they decided that they could write one themselves! David Levithan is the editor of the Magisterium series.
  • The inspiration for the Infernal Devices was the blackfriars bridge in London, where Cassie just imagined it shrouded in fog and these creepy, metal creatures.
  • Cassie also says the movie wasn’t how she would have made it herself – but she virtually wasn’t involved in it. She liked some aspects of it, like the cast, but other things she would have done differently.
  • She also says the Shadowhunters TV series is actually less faithful to the book than the movies (they are made by the same directors as the movie).
  • Holly makes detailed schedules in the co-writing process – they both write in the same room using a laptop.
  • On co-writing, they both get along well and if they disagree on a scene, they will compromise on a third way of telling it instead of getting into a conflict and pushing their own way.

And then there was a quick lightning round where the audience submitted questions. They read out my question, if Cassie preferred vampires, faeries or mages and she said it was Vampires after some hesitation, lol. The line for the signing was HUGE! After 1.5 hours of waiting, I finally got to the front of the line, and it was totally worth it.




Chatting with Holly Black 

Holly Black was such an amazing, inspirational and bubbly person. She was totally amazing at speaking and inspiring all of us with her creativity and talent. I haven’t read any of her books yet, but I do own a lot of them, and I just can’t wait to read them now!

On Sunday, I went in for one of the panels with Graeme Simsion (Author of the Rosie Project). Unfortunately Cassie didn’t show up (it was at the end of the day, and she’d already been at the festival doing 2 other panels and signings) but we did get to chat with Holly Black for about 20 minutes. She told us about how her son accidentally ate coral and encountered a jellyfish at Port Douglas, how she loves wombats and fruit bats, and then retold the White Cat folklore which is what her Curse Workers series is based on. She then gave some inspirational writing tips, which is basically to keep on writing, because nothing promotes your backlist like your frontlist. This applies to blogging as well!

Meeting Fellow Bloggers

bloggers bloggers2

I met up with a lot of fellow bloggers, bookstagrammers and people I’ve talked to via the Aussie YA Bloggers and Readers Group (if you haven’t already, you should join by the way) and got to hang out! Had the best time ever meeting Brett, Meleika, Maddie and hanging out with SarahPhilippa and Anika. Also briefly caught up with Bec, Chiara and had a great chat with Brittany.

Last but not Least, the Signed Books


So happy to add these to my collection! There was a limit on how many books we could get signed by Cassandra Clare, but I’m still glad I got to meet her. She is so talented, such an inspirational person and a huge support to her fans!

Thank you to Brisbane Writer’s Festival for organising another great Love YA event!

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Jeann is an Aussie YA blogger and mum who loves to read and recommend books! You can usually find me fangirling about books on my various social media channels including Twitter @happyindulgence, Instagram and Youtube.

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40 responses to “Event Recap: Love YA Festival with Cassandra Clare & Holly Black

  1. Oh my gosh, this looks like it was AMAZING! That is so awesome that you got a chance to interview HOLLY BLACK AND CASSANDRA CLARE HOLY SHIT. Excuse me for a moment, my fangirl is showing terribly. Haha. I've only read one of Holly's books (Coldest Girl in Coldtown), but I loved it, as well as the TID series. I can't wait to read the interview and I enjoyed reading your recap on the event. I'm glad you had such a great time, and your outfit is so ON POINT GIRL!
    My recent post Review: A History of Glitter and Blood

  2. Rachel Lightwood

    Oh my God, this looks so, so amazing! I cannot even find the words to commute how awesome it is that you got to meet not only the Queen that is Cassie Clare – and look at all those pretty books! *cries* – but John Marsden as well! I loved his Tomorrow, When the War Began series. We actually studied them in class this year and just wow, what an opportunity! I'm glad you had such a wonderful time and got to meet some bloggy friends too.
    My recent post {Bieke Reviews} Never Never by Brianna Shrum

    • It was so amazing Rachel, I can\’t believe I got to meet her and Holly as well! I studied that same series at school, so it was really wonderful to finally meet him.

  3. Romi

    This looks like it would have been a really fun event to go to, even though I haven’t read the authors (Holly Black co-wrote The Spiderwick Chronicles, though, which I grew up with, and I’ve listened to The Rosie Project on audio- so I actually kinda have!). It seems like an amazing opportunity, especially getting to do that private interview, Jeann! GO YOU! That’s epically fantastic, and you’re so fortunate to have been able to do that. AND meeting up with other bloggers! How fabulous. Glad you had such a fun time, and awesome cosplay. xx

    My recent post The Peony Lantern by Frances Watts…

    • It was a really fantastic opportunity, I was a basket of nerves but man, they were just so amazing to talk to and so lovely. Thank you so much! It was a really amazing time.

  4. brettmichaelorr

    This was a great recap Jeann! It was amazing meeting you and the other bloggers, and hearing such inspirational stories about getting published – plus Cassie Clare and Holly Black were so incredible, generous with their time and really friendly.

    It was a great weekend, thanks for the shoutout too!
    My recent post Interview: Sophie Overett

    • Thanks Brett, I liked your recap as well! It was definitely an amazing weekend meeting you and other bloggers as well, and hearing such inspirational words from the authors!

  5. AHHH! How amazing that you had the opportunity to meet these two authors! It sounds like you had a great time and learned a lot of fun facts from the panel, so I'm so glad to hear you had a great time. Thanks for sharing this wonderful recap with us Jeann! <3

  6. keionda

    I AM SO JEALOUSING OVER HERE JEANN. Grr. I wish I had money so I could attend one of these awesome events! They both seem like amazing people and I can't wait to meet some of my favorite authors. I know you guys has a blast just from the pictures you took! Maybe that will be me next time. Teehee *crosses fingers*

  7. AHHH THIS IS SO SO AWESOME I WISH I COULD'VE GONE. XDXD Holly Black and Cassandra Clare are just SO EPIC and omg I couldn't love their books more. And they sound super nice IRL too. :')

    *whispers* Although I'm super worried about the Shadowhunters show now. >_<

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