What literary pilgrimages have you gone on?
Adryanna – I haven’t been on one of those.
Amanda – I drove five hours each way to take photographs of an old town before it got demolished. It’s safe to say, I still haven’t written that story but at least I have the photos. Ha!
Brandon – While in Savannah, Georgia, I attempt to see the gravestone on the cover of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, by John Berendt, before I knew it had been relocated. Otherwise, none. I hope to make a trip to New Zealand at some point in my life to pay homage to Tolkien, and London for all things Harry Potter.
Brittany – Ummmmm. Well, we were like two hours from London for almost two years but never tried finding Platform 9 ¾…I know, I know, I’m kicking myself too. Also…I really, really wanted to visit Canterbury, but it was just not in the stars at that time.
Debi – I haven’t been on any pilgrimages per se, but there are two that I dream of making. The first pilgrimage is to England, specifically to Oxford and The Eagle and Child where Tolkien and Lewis worked and wrote. The second pilgrimage would be to New Zealand, where I would do the whole Lord of the Rings tour, and my companions would have to drag me kicking and screaming from Hobbiton.
Ilona – I think every day is an opportunity as a literary pilgrimage but I do have fond memories of my 2017 trip to Ireland where I stayed in a castle for a Writers Retreat. It was wonderful and if someone asked me what I would do if I won a million dollars, that would be it!
Jay – I’m travelling through a few lists. The Times 100 Novels, I’m up to about 60 of them, and had already read 9 when I began the list. Everything written by Philip K Dick. When I was in England in 2018, I visited the oldest book shop in the world. I have been to New Zealand, or as I call it “the real Middle Earth.”
Kieran – None. I would like to go to New Zealand though, does that count?
Laura – Oh, if I could go on one, I’d want to tour the Lord of the Rings set, just to say I’ve been to the Shire.
I guess you could say I’ve been on a Lord of the rings movie-location tour for years, but since they are only from a book, I don’t know if it qualifies. I did hear that Tolkien loved our country though.
Vicky – None at this point but I would absolutely love to explore any of the real-life locations that Robert Langdon visits in the Dan Brown books. And obviously a LOTR tour but that’s a given. Who wouldn’t want to explore New Zealand?
As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?
Adryanna – My mascot would be a phoenix.
Amanda – A black dragon that flies through the air and leaves a trail or dark smoke swirling through the clouds.
Brandon – Raven. Just as ravens can mimic human speech, I hope my writing can mimic the ebbs and flows of everyday society with a twist of magic and monsters. Also, just as ravens, I hope to implement their omenly connotations, while staying true to the playfulness of the craft.
Brittany – Dragonfly. They are already my spirit animal so might as well bring them here too. That, or an obsidian wolf or horse. I don’t know why… but they must be obsidian.
Debi – Dragon, specifically, a dragon black as ink. I have always loved how beautiful and powerful dragons are, how misunderstood they could be.
Ilona – I would probably choose a Unicorn as an Avatar/ Spirit Animal. They are rare, magical and have healing properties in the Alicorn. They are kind, helpful, gentle and pure. What more could I ask for? I am sure my Unicorn would look after me and bring me Books, Baileys and Blessings.
Jay – My spirit animal IS the fox. They were always so cunning and ill minded in kids stories, but then you’ve got good foxes like in Disney’s Robin Hood, Fox Mulder from X files, or even Fox McCloud from the Nintendo 64 (Starfox/Lylat Wars games) days. I enjoy the cleverness of the wiley fox, and the fact that no one knows whether they can trust you or not…
Kieran – Some kind of spider. I’ve always thought they were really cool, with all the crazy tricks and adaptations they have. They’re great animals for inventors and artists, because they’re pretty prolific inventors and artists of the animal world. Mine would be a smaller one though, maybe a jumping spider. Big ones freak me out.
Laura – I would choose a cat, a little black one. They are always misunderstood and treated as bad luck, when they aren’t. And most writers have a mascot in a cat anyway, right?
Serena – oh that’s a hard one! I think I’m tied on either a horse, a cat or a unicorn. Oh, but then there’s Pegasus as well, lol.
I think I will have to go with the horse. They are strong but gentle, brave, loyal and intelligent.
Vicky – Scrap the animals, I want the TARDIS. You can travel anywhere, any time and be home in time for dinner. What would be better for a writer? Plus, it comes with a fez. Fezzes are cool.