If you could co-write a book with one author – living or not – who would it be and what would the book be about?
Now, there are many authors with whom I would love to collaborate – from Suzanne Collins and J.R.R. Tolkien to Maggie Stiefvater and Roald Dahl – but since I couldn’t write about all of them, I settled for the next best thing. I picked the top two.
Agatha Christie would be an amazing writing partner. Her stories are simultaneously simple and complex. Her characters seem so ordinary but no one is what they seem and just when you’re sure you know “who did it,” she surprises you by declaring the culprit to be the person you’d already ruled out. She had an amazing mind – I struggle just to plot a basic fantasy story but she wrote dozens of mysteries, which are much trickier because you have to be careful not to reveal the secret too early.
Christie experimented with other genres (romance and autobiography) but mostly she wrote mysteries, and that’s what I’d want to write with her. I’m not too picky about plot or characters or whatever, but I do have some general ideas for the book.
First, I’d want to set it in modern-day Britain and see what she’d do with all the possibilities. Many of her books are set in the thirties and forties; mysteries in the present day could involve things like computer hacking (or projectile acid vision, or… Engie, stop mixing your fandoms) that didn’t exist back then.
The second thing is something I want to avoid rather than achieve. I would prefer to co-write a mystery that wasn’t intended for children, teenagers, or adults. It would be for everyone, like Christie’s own books. Her books may not have young protagonists, but they’re very engrossing and easy to read no matter your age, so I wouldn’t worry about trying to appeal to a YA audience or whatever.
And now for something completely different!
When not discussing the sneakiest ways to murder someone with Dame Agatha, I would love to co-write with Oscar Wilde. I think we’d get along quite well – I mean, Clever Sarcastic Gay Writer is basically who I want to be.
I’d love to make up for my lack of specificity for the Christie book with a bunch of ideas about what I’d write with Wilde but to be honest, I have no idea what we’d write together. Well. A comedy, obviously, but I’m not sure if I would prefer a short story or a book or even a play. Actually, all three sound good.
Actually, now I do have an idea: a sequel to The Importance of Being Earnest!
I admire many humor writers, but Wilde is my favorite because he makes me laugh the longest and most often. Just as creating mysteries requires you to be sharp, so I think being funny – really, truly, hilariously funny – requires a lot of talent. And it would be great to work with someone that talented.
What do you think of my choices? Would you like to write with them? And would you rather read my Christie mystery or my Wilde comedy?
P.S. I think it’s time for some blog miscellanea.
To start, I’m taking part in the 2014 Goodreads Reading Challenge and if you scroll down the right-hand column of my blog, you’ll see a widget-badge-thing for it (just below the tag cloud). As you can see, I can’t get it to display my progress. Any suggestions? Does it not display properly on WordPress sites? It says I haven’t entered the challenge but I have – I can see the progress bar filling up on Goodreads.
In other news, my bloggy friend Miriam Joy is trying to earn money by selling poetry (and evidently her soul as well) so I thought I’d promote that here because it’s what I’d like people to do if I wanted to publish.
Want to follow our blog chain? Here are the participating parties, day by day:
10th – [Andrea. No link for her yet.]
18th – http://teenscanwritetoo.wordpress.com/ (We’ll be announcing the topic for next month’s chain.)