I guess I had this coming when I said I was open for tags for the next month. I suppose I’m really lucky it took a week for people to get the ball rolling— I love hanging around here, but three weeks might be my limit on tagging sanity. So cram them in if you want them answered, people.
Katie at Spiral-Bound tagged me with the Extraordinary Means tag. Six questions full of high costs, and I have to decide which author or character or book is worth such a price. I’m going to say right now, however, that I take issue with some of the questions, so I’ll probably spend more time arguing them than actually answering them. Anyway, here goes. Forgive me if I’m a bit rusty.
1. I would give up the internet for a month for a signed first edition of this book.
First of all, seriously? The internet gives you connections, resources, and best of all, friendships— it’s not just a playground. Signed first editions are objects that won’t fail to perish eventually. I can tell you right now that there isn’t a book in the world that would do this for me. I enjoy owning books, but that’s for the practicality of being able to read them, and to support the authors. Signed books? Useless. First editions? Even worse.
So I’ll just take it to mean, What is your favorite classic? Because that’s a question I’m fine with answering. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas. I’ve said it before, and I’ll continue to say it. Favorite classic ever.
2. I would give up pizza for a year if it meant I could sit next to this author on a long plane ride.
This is assuming that I won’t someday be famous and sharing a publicity tour with that very author. Also, it assumes that knowing authors is the epitome of life. Also, it assumes that pizza is really important to me. All of these things are enjoyable, but the lack of them will not kill me. So let’s just translate this question into its actual meaning: What author has the best personality/experiences out of your favorites? That’s what you’d need to know if you’re going to spend hours next to them, presumably talking.
Unfortunately, he’s passed away, but Brian Jacques will always be my favorite author for life in general. Maggie Stiefvater is crazily productive in all areas, Joss Whedon has a brilliant work ethic, but Brian Jacques lived an amazing life. Plus, he’s a great storyteller. Listening to him talk for hours on end would be amazing.
3. I would sit through a thousand hours of commercials if it would ensure Hollywood made this book into a movie.
This assumes that commercials are bad. On the contrary, commercials have their own intricate structure and style of storytelling that I have spent hours trying to figure out. I could learn as much from commercials as I do from movies or TV shows. A thousand hours is a lot, but reasonable. At the end of it, I’d probably make my own commercial, because that’s how I work. Honestly, I’d sit through a bad movie for a thousand hours of good commercials. So let’s translate this. What movie adaptation would captivate you with curiosity for its spin on the book? That’s the real question. Not, which book would be greatest at a movie, or which you’d most like to see as a movie— which book would become something different, something fascinating, as a movie that it couldn’t be as a book? This automatically means the movie is going to diverge from the book, but the assumption is that the movie makes good on its promises.
So, captivating curiosity? How will the movie ever tell this story? It took a while for me to think of one, but I’ve got it. Ballad, by Maggie Stiefvater, sequel to Lament. The story would work fairly well, but there are dynamics that cinema can’t capture. The same is true for any book, really, and definitely any Stiefvater book, but a Ballad adaptation would be amazing if done right. (It would have to diverge from the book. I said that before, but it needs stressing. The movie needs to tell a good story.)
4. I would never read a new book again if it meant I could live inside this book.
Pfft. I think it’s obvious why this question is ridiculous. First of all no, books are not things in which to live, in general, and second of all, no, everyone needs new books. I’m not talking just fiction, or even nonfiction. Open up a new outdoor grill and a little booklet falls out telling you how to use it. If you weren’t allowed to read that book because you were living inside the Divergent world or something, you’d probably kill yourself. (Hey, let’s try igniting the gas to see if it works!) So let’s translate. What world is so interesting and worthy of exploration that you’d never be bored living there?
Roshar, the world of The Way of Kings, by Brandon Sanderson. I’d have picked Scadrial, the Mistborn world, but it’s only fun if you’re a mistborn or a Feruchemist. Yay being born into the upper class! It would still be interesting, but in The Way of Kings, there are so many lands and cultures— it essentially mirrors our own world’s diversity, except with magic. So that would be fun. Other worlds of note would be that of The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss, and the Inkworld of the Inkheart trilogy by Cornelia Funke.
5. I would let my Google search history be made public if it meant I could be best friends with this author.
So here’s the thing. This assumes search history would be an embarrassment (which it probably is for most people, writers in particular), and they assume that’s the only way to become friends with an author. Which is nonsense. But anyway, let’s translate. What author would be such a great friend that you wouldn’t care what anyone else thought of you?
And honestly, this is not my favorite question because you don’t know how great a friend anyone is until you actually meet them. As Katie said, I have a lot of great friends right now who are in different stages of publishing. You honestly don’t know until you’re there. But also as Katie said, Maggie Stiefvater. She’s spontaneous and creative and all around awesome, and anyone who wouldn’t want to be her friend doesn’t know her dark side. But also, Alexandre Dumas. Although he is dead, and he’d be a truly horrible friend judging by his history, he’d have the same kind of spontaneous drive for adventure. Both would be fun.
6. I would donate everything I own to Goodwill if it meant I could date this book character in real life.
The possibility of fleeting love is greater than material possessions! Either that, or getting someone else to buy you dinner is better than actually having a home, or clothes, or food for after the first date goes downhill. “Oh, what do you do for a living?” “I’m homeless, because I just gave everything away so I could date you!” “Why was this either/or…?”
So let’s translate. This is very similar to the last question, actually, but instead of giving away your public appearance, you’re giving away all your possessions. What fictional person would be so important to you that you would need nothing else to live? And of course this is going to be figurative, unless your date is an alien who acts as shelter and secretes water and edible substances. Which would be an odd date.
First choice, myself, because (complete disclosure) I am all I need to live. I would totally date myself. For practicality reasons but also self-esteem. Some might call it narcissism, but nah. I have yet to find another person I can’t live without. That said, however, I am not fictional. (Except in some fanfictions, apparently.) Otherwise, Vin from Mistborn, or Blue from The Raven Cycle. Because Brandon Sanderson and Maggie Stiefvater are the correct answers to all questions. Katie knows what I mean.
Now, tagging. I haven’t done this in a while, so can I just say whoever reads this? Consider yourselves tagged. I know I’m cheating, but if you accept, I’ll add your names to the post right here.
[Names many and diverse]
This has been the first tag post in several years. Congratulations me, thank you Katie, and thank you all for letting me translate the questions. Without that, I doubt I’d have made it through.