This is cross-posted on The Season blog.
Every keen reader knows how it feels to lose themselves in a completely different world—whether that’s JRR Tolkien’s hobbity Middle-earth, or the snappy, witty Regency England of Julia Quinn’s imagination.
Isn’t escape one of the biggest reasons genre fiction is so popular? It transports us to another time and place, inserts us into another person’s problems, and allows us to escape our own for a few hours.
That’s certainly one of the main reasons I read.
A talented author can build a world in one novel, but a brilliant author will spin that world out into several books until it’s as real as any character.
A few weeks ago, I asked you which character from a novel you’d bring to life for a week. Some people who left comments on The Season blog said they prefer to keep characters in books where they belong.
This week, I’m giving you the chance to step into any author’s fictional world. Unless you discover a magic potion, you can stay there for only a week, so don’t worry that you’ll spend the rest of your life smothered in the noxious body odors of sweaty, velvet-clad men in a Regency ballroom.
Contemporary romance is my first love, and I didn’t have to think hard about this question to know that I’d join Susan Elizabeth Phillips’ football team. Well, I wouldn’t be one of the players. That would require running, a fate worse than death.
SEP’s Chicago Stars are funny, intelligent men who occasionally act like complete boneheads. They’re exactly the kind of men I’d be friends with (hey, I’m happily married, so I can’t picture anything more than that, right?). More than that, the women they fall in love with are hilarious and down to earth.
Give me a week working in the back office with Phoebe and Dan Calebow. I want to hear Dan’s southern accent and see Phoebe’s outrageous outfits. I want to have a barbeque at Kevin and Molly Tucker’s house. I’ll even bring my own tofu to grill.
That may sound like a boring way to spend a week (and my colleagues probably wouldn’t be surprised to learn that my fantasy involves working), but I’d love to go to a game and watch the men I know beat another team.
As long as they’re not playing the Chargers.
When I was in high school, I was the statistician (aka biggest nerd in school) for our football team. I traveled on the team bus and got a huge (perverse) thrill out of recording how many yards our players made in every offensive move. The position combined my passions for math and screaming at the top of my lungs.
That’s what I would do if I stepped into the Chicago Stars’ world for a week. I’d keep statistics for the team.
God, I’m a dork.
Which author’s fictional world would you step into for a week? What would you do there? Do you think you’d want to come back to your own world after vacationing in an entirely different one?
I would love to live in a books world! That’s why I read books – as you said it’s escapism. I love that it’s possible to pick up a book and have a whole new life created. I have a friend who genuinely pretends that she is a witch (Harry Potter) and took Muggle Studies, which is why she’s at my school.
Which book world would I like to join?
Either Terry Pratchetts’s Discworld – the vigour, life and humour in that world is phenomenal, or Patrick Rothfuss’s world – the characters are brilliant and I would want to learn at the University, read in the Archives and hear the beautiful music of the Eolian.
A week is definitely not enough time for me… I would want to live in these worlds! I think that’s one of the reason why authors write such amazing places – they want to be there themselves.
I think you’re right, Jenny, that many authors write because they want to be part of the world they create. Or maybe they create the world in their head and write it down so they can escape it!
Perhaps you could spend a week in Discworld and then travel to Patrick Rothfuss’s world for a week. Just spend your life bouncing from one story to the next. Pack your bags!