hot boys in books
Hello again Cassandra! I don’t know if you remember, but I sent a fan mail a few days ago. But this one is on behalf of my sister (who sadly doesn’t have a tumblr.) I showed her one of your comments (from Twitter, I believe) saying that Julian was going to be a “sex god” and he was basically going to be hotter than the other boys. (Including the fantabulous William Herondale, who I love!) So basically her question is how?! She is a huge Jace fan, and she doesn’t believe that anyone can be better than him, so she wants to know how will Jules be hotter. Thanks and much love, Ashley P. (The Doctor’s Shadowhunter from 221b) — thedoctorsshadowhunterfrom221b
First I should say: I was joking about the sex god thing. I think someone asked me if Julian was going to be a sex god and I said yes. But mostly because I was being silly and also because I don’t think I’d say “no” about any of my characters except the evil ones. Sometimes even the evil ones. Sex God Status is almost entirely in the eye of the reader. These are book characters, they live on the page: they look how you imagine they look. What you love about them is their characterization, and each character is different. It is down to the preference of the reader who they find sexiest.
I’m glad you mentioned Will because there is also a thing I think of as New Character Syndrome. Before you have met a character — as in read a substantial amount of a book about them — you can’t imagine how you will feel about them, or how you could possibly like new characters as much as the old ones.
When I announced that I was writing Infernal Devices, while many of my readers were excited, just as many were entirely full of trepidation. They did not think they would like Will or Jem as much as Jace or Simon, or Tessa as much as Clary; they didn’t think they could possibly be as invested in the romance. There was a lot of “please, no, not these new characters, I am sure I will hate them, and Will especially" (being a Herondale, but not Jace.)
It took the first book, and maybe even a book and a bit, for me to start getting lots of letters from people who were just as invested in the new story and even liked Will and/or Jem better. So I guess what I would say is: there’s nothing I could tell you that would make you feel like you’ll love Jules (or James or Matthew or Jaime or any new, boy characters). There’s a reason “Show, don’t tell” is a (somewhat overused) watchword in writing: people don’t react to being told a character is awesome. They have to be shown it, in the pages of a book. I know this because I am a reader as much as I am a writer and I react exactly the same way. :)
The only way to find out how hot, or lovable, or whatever, you find Julian and/or Mark and/or Diego and Jaime, is to read Lady Midnight. I mean, I think they’re all hot and adorable in different ways. But my word will never carry the weight of a story, nor should it. I love Jules and he’s very different than any boy character I’ve written before. Whether you will love him as I do remains to be seen!