Have you ever wanted to visit the worlds and characters of your favorite books? Well, come and walk into our beautiful vast library and let us get you stuck in the pages!
If you’d like to try this feature out, please contact us for further details!
Stuck in the Pages is a brand new feature I created for the Asylum 5th anniversary bonanza, and I honestly had a lot of fun with it. I didn’t plan to create anything new, hell knows I have enough as it is, but since this happened, Bjørn Larssen, the author of historical fiction, and Norse mythology-inspired Fantasy novels, officially introduces you to it!
Bjørn Larssen is an award-winning author of historical fiction and fantasy, dark and funny in varying proportions. His writing has been described as ‘dark,’ ‘literary,’ ‘cinematic,’ ‘hilarious,’ and ‘there were points where I was almost having to read through a small gap between my fingers.’
Bjørn has a Master of Science degree in mathematics, and has previously worked as a graphic designer, a model, a bartender, and a blacksmith (not all at the same time). He currently lives with his husband in Almere, which is unfortunately located in The Netherlands, rather than Iceland.
He has only met an elf once. So far.
Connect with Bjørn Larssen
You are an esteemed guest in the Asylum and you are currently browsing the books in our vast library, when you spot a familiar title you really enjoyed once upon a time. You pick it up, nostalgia rushing through you. Which book did you lift from the shelves?
Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding.
Turn to page 268 and pick up a passage that’s not spoilery. Share it with us!
‘OK, everybody,” said Dad, in a tense, serious, manly sort of voice. ‘There is a dangerous criminal upstairs using Pam as a hostage.’
‘Oh, she didn’t seem to mind, if you asked me,’ piped up Granny in a rare and most untimely moment of clarity. ‘Oh look, there’s a biscuit in the dahlias.’
Oh no! Our pet demon just got too excited by your presence, opened a portal into the book and now you are stuck in the pages. Describe yourself as a character! What is your theme song in this situation?
Oh dear. I am a nervous wreck unsure whether to conquer (as in, swoon into arms) of Tom, the token but v. handsome gay, or determine whether Mr Darcy is gay or not without asking, as might not appreciate my attraction in case is not gay, and the swooning might end up with me hitting the floor rather than landing in masculine arms.
After the initial shock wears off, you assess your environment. What do you see? How the other characters react to you, if there are any?
On this particular page, Mark Darcy is ‘sweating, dirty, his hair was unkempt, his shirt unbuttoned.’ Swooning is performed, making sure not to hit the table. Nobody notices due to presence of dangerous criminal, Mark Darcy’s unbuttoned shirt, and Una’s gravy either requiring Magimix or not. Swoon wasted. I lift myself up from floor and try to look nonchalant and confidently unavailable, as men always go for the unavailable types. Granny shows me a sugar-coated bun and says ‘oh look, it’s a penis.’
Since you are stuck, you have to decide whether you stay where you are or go and find a shelter. What do you do?
With THOSE people around?! I run back to pages where Shazzer rants about how all men (except for Tom and myself) are hopeless, Bridget sshhhs at her due to perpetual singledom and feminism being unattractive to men, Jude drinks one (two) glass of wine too much and rings Vile Richard, and Tom drinks one (three) glass too much, then professes his feelings. To the devastatingly muscular and brutally manicured waiter. V. heartbroken. Need one (four) glass more. Still prefer to Una’s gravy. Oops. Tumbled over.
Your decision made, time to think a step further. You need food and drink. Can you find some in nature, buy some, barter or require it any other way? How?
I sure hope somebody else is paying for all this wine, because my credit card is 1) still in drawer in my apartment, 2) maxed out. I wouldn’t mind bartering with the waiter, except he ignores Tom (good news for me?) for the Goddess that Shazzer apparently is now that her exclamations about feminism (‘ssshhh, ssshhh’ – Bridget) temporarily paused due to manicured muscles of waiter. Hope to steal some cocktail nuts. Remember I’m designated driver and 1) don’t have a driver’s licence 2) or a car. We decide to get an Uber. Generously offer that Tom sits in my lap due to not enough space. Shazzer and the waiter depart in the waiter’s red Porsche. Bridget offers me a Mars bar that is only six months past expiry date. Tom sitting in front and not in my lap. Disaster. Need a little drinky.
Once you are full, a creature approaches you. What/who it is and is it dangerous?
Oh dear. Exactly sixteen seconds after Bridge suggested a cup of tea (wine, I hope) in her apartment and I gracefully accepted, we find out her horrible boss, Daniel, has been lurking outside her house. Not sure what she finds alluring about Daniel. Perhaps Bridge has a secret slime fetish. Realise I’m the fifth wheel even though technically there are only three of us here. Uber left. Daniel dangerous to my prospect of tea (wine) and sleeping on the sofa (with my head in the loo). And, judging by the look of his face, to his fist becoming covered with blood from my nose. Even though I only said the slime fetish part to self. Daniel v. rude to listen to private conversations.
While interacting with this creature, you discover you have magical abilities. What are they? And can you use them at all?
Huzzah! Daniel suddenly turns into a spider. As not cruel, I don’t kill the spider, encouraging it gently with a stick to move somewhere else. Undeterred spider follows us into elevator. Both Bridget and I scream. Spider suddenly turns back into Daniel. I turn into a puddle of tears.
How does your encounter end with the creature?
Barely noticing, Daniel steps into me (in form of tear puddle) and now some parts of me are on the soles of his shoes. V. embarrassing, especially as parts contain eyes and ears, and now I am going to witness way more than I would have liked. Should not have shapeshifted into liquid, but a Dwayne Johnson. Wish Mr Darcy would suddenly bang on the door. Banging sounds follow, but not on the door, and without Mr Darcy. Magically restored to my usual form I end up holding sobbing Bridge in my arms after Daniel declares her underwear to be hilarious, which it actually is, but if he was going to stalk her mysteriously, he should have rang first with a warning. Turns out her invitation to tea actually meant tea. And as Bridget currently in one of her wellness routine phases, tea is boiled kale. Now I need the loo.
Meanwhile, the Asylum staff realizes what happened and finally manages to figure out how to get you out of the book. How much time do you think passed?
TOO MUCH. BUT THANK YOU. *tries to give Paul manly hugs, Paul traumatised for life*
While the staff fusses over you, your thoughts are whirring. How do you think your character would have changed the story going forward? What impact your short stay had on the world?
It had absolutely no impact on anything but the cash register of the bar (not sure who paid, but was not me – v.g.) and my self-esteem (currently at -3.38 – v. bad – do you have medicinal wine?) I would have changed the story greatly by telling Granny bun was not, in fact, a penis… okay, maybe that wouldn’t be a massive contribution, but still. Did I even have a name in this book? I DID NOT. No wonder Mr Darcy didn’t notice me. *bursts into tears*
The Asylum staff escorts you to a cozy room with a window to our garden and puts you in bed. When you wake up from your nap, you find the book on your nightstand. What’s your first thought? What do you do?
GAAAAAH! Check the last pages to see if I’m on them in either Tom’s or Mr Darcy’s arms. Also, did I acquire a name. V. devastated to discover Mr Darcy is in someone’s arms, just not mine. Name not detected. Decide not to enter the book ever again. This one or any of the sequels. Will start pumping iron and get a manicure right after I sober up. Typo! After you let me out of here.
The Asylum staff, concerned with your behaviour decides to keep you under our careful watch indefinitely. We assure you this does not makes us happy but we will let you play with our pet demon whenever you wish. We hope you enjoy your time with us!
Is the pet demon handsome?
Bjørn Larssen‘s latest book, a collection of humorous Norse mythology-inspired stories, Why Odin Drinks is available for purchase!
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Haha, what a treat to read! Awesome post 🙂
Thank you! I certainly laughed out loud when I read it 🤣