The lovely folks over at Pure Imagination and The Nerd’s Wife are hosting some of the mini-challenges for the day. (The others are a bit more complicated/going to take me longer to answer – look for posts later.)

So firstly, from Pure Imaginationthe challenge is:

Which two authors would you pair up to co-write a book, and what would it be about?

To be honest, I had some trouble with this one. While I like telling my own stories, I have trouble making up unrealistic things for answers like this. But I finally convinced myself that the idea I love best could, if the world and space/time continuum hiccuped particularly badly, potentially happen, so I’ll give it my best shot. My nomination is:
Herbie Brennan (a la Faerie Wars) and Rick Riordan in a modern retelling of
A Midsummer Night’s Dream

This would likely follow Riordan’s style of “new hero for the gods” but Brennan would bring a dark fantasy element that Riordan needs to bring his novels out of the YA over-hyped realm and into mainstream. Riordan could keep Brennan’s tendency for attempting high fantasy a little too often into check, while their collective sense of humour would combine into something extremely awesome. To allow them their space (if they should need it) Brennan would write from the perspective of Puck, and by extension the faerie courts. Riordan would then write a new, young character, who has to work with Puck to save Oberon and Titania from “mythicism” (people believe, but they believe in a storybook kind of way) because Oberon and Titania are too busy fighting over something or other. (ooh, OR Riordan could write from the point of view of the little “Indian” boy the two are supposedly fighting over at the beginning of Shakespeare’s play – and he has to work with Puck, even though he hates all faeries… not sure why they’re working together yet though).

And secondly, from The Nerd’s Wife we have:

Choose a character from the book you’re currently reading and answer the following questions in the comments of this post.
  • What historical figure do you think they could have been in a past life?
  • Why did you choose this figure?
  • What similarities do the two share?
  • Be sure to tell us the book and the character you chose.

Aw man, this question really sucks when your current novel is Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell! They’re already in a past life! lol

As I’m not very far into the book, and therefore have a restricted cast of characters, I’m going to choose Mr. Norrell himself. I think in his past life, he was an unknown student of either Plato or Socrates. His absolute desperation to believe that the only truth is one that can be found academically, either in a book (though several books spout blasphemy) or through one’s own research, is very strict. This makes me think he had a very, very learned teacher, who read a lot of books, from which Norrell (or his former self) got the idea that that was the only way to learn. I know my choice is a little unorthodox, but I really think that’s the best way to describe him.

Just a short update on progress – I’m nearing a 3rd of the way through Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell I hope to actually finish it tomorrow, though that’s pushing it. Cross your fingers!

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