Professor David Friedman, a member of the School of Law and School of Business faculties will be signing copies of his novel, “Harald,” on Wednesday, April 5, 2006 from 4:00 p.m. -5:50 p.m. in the Panelli Moot Court Room in Bergin Hall on the Santa Clara University campus. Copies of the book will be on sale at the event for $24.00.
Professor Friedman is a prolific scholar and author of several books on law, science and technology, and modern and medieval cultures. His latest book, “Harald,” however, is a novel, Professor Friedman’s first.
“Harald” is a fantasy without magic, or perhaps a historical novel with invented history and geography. Most of the technology and institutions are based on medieval and classical models, with institutions lifted from societies as diverse as the
When asked how he came to write a novel, Professor Friedman gave the following explanation:
“Writing the novel began, oddly enough, as an insomnia cure. Daydreaming is a poor way of falling asleep, since you are the hero of your daydreams, and so too involved to drop off. Plotting pieces of novels in my head turned out to work much better. Eventually I had a complete plot for one of them. Our house custom at the time was that when I put one of our two children to bed, I had to make up and tell three stories. I mentioned to my daughter that I had worked out a plot for a novel, so she suggested that I tell her that instead.
“One problem with telling stories to my daughter is that she remembers them better than I do–with the result that, when I introduce a difficult problem in one episode, she points out that the magic item obtained in a story I told her three months earlier provides an easy solution. So this time I kept an outline, writing it up each evening after I finished telling her the story. As I got near the end, I started thinking seriously about turning it into a written novel. I wrote out the final scene, liked it, and spent a month or two turning the outline into the first draft of the book. I almost completely quit playing computer games during that period–writing was more fun.”
Currently Professor Friedman has ideas for two sequels, a prequel set about two hundred years earlier, and an unrelated fantasy with magic. All of which, he says, helps him to fall asleep.