Authors face their fans

Author Holly Black took part in a panel discussion at Brookline Booksmith.

By Kara Noonan

Book lovers of every age came out on March 11 for a panel discussion featuring the author of “The Spiderwick Chronicles,” Holly Black. A great many people turned up in the basement of the Brookline Booksmith and it wasn’t for the food, as the dips and breads were barely touched. They came to have their questions answered by Black and fellow writers Kelly Link (“Pretty Monsters”) and Cassandra Clare (“The Mortal Instruments” trilogy).
Black, Link, and Clare were seated behind a table in front of shelves of books, answering questions ranging from their writing process to how the three met. The tight bond the women shared allowed them to give answers that were both informative and humorous.
Laughter filled the tightly packed room as Clare remarked that she had met Black and Link “under a bridge.” The laughter erupted again as she went on to say that she met Black when she “wanted to go shoe shopping, but had no one to go with.”
The most exciting part of the evening was the “lightning round,” when the writers had to respond to questions with lightning speed. Black asked, “What is your favorite television show?” and Clare immediately answered, “Tool Academy,” a reality show on VH1 where people enter their respective partners into a competitive charm school.
The round also included a shoe-modeling session where Black and Clare, in matching blazers, showed the audience the “cute” shoes they were wearing.
The event closed with a raffle, snacks (including chocolate donated by Franciscan Hospital for Children), and book signings. The signing line stretched the length of the room, with eager readers holding stacks of books.
The friendship shared by Black, Link, and Clare made this event much more entertaining than a standard reading, as the women offered the audience a peek into both their social and professional lives.