Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Talismans and Emblems - Joan Lennon

I love reading about writers' quirks, superstitions and rituals.  I like to think I have some myself, but I'm too inconsistent to be really good at it - pesky life keeps getting in the way, and then I forget, and then ... But one thing I do do, quite a lot, is have an object that symbolizes the book I'm working on, that I like to have around when I'm writing.  For Silver Skin, I had two:

a broken Stone Age spearhead from Belize, brought back by a son who'd spotted it just lying beside a path deep in the rain forest


an amber necklace that I bought in Norfolk while attending a FCBG conference about a gazillion years ago. 

Silver Skin is a YA sci-fi/historical/adventure/romance, mostly set in Stone Age Orkney, at Skara Brae, in the time just before it disappeared.  The spearhead may be from the other side of the world, but holding it in my hand gave me a frisson of connection to another time.  And there is a much more spectacular version of the amber necklace in the book (though I can't say who's wearing it as that'd be a spoiler).

So now it's your turn.  Do you have talismans or emblems for any of your books?  And if so, indulge our curiosity and let us know what they are! 

Joan Lennon's website.
Joan Lennon's blog.
Silver Skin website.


Susan Price said...

I have a ghost drum - bought after I'd published The Ghost Drum, though.

You post made me realise that I don't use objects in this way so much as images - photographs or paintings - and music. Whatever works!

Anne Booth said...

The book sounds great!

Lari Don said...

I don't think of myself as the sort of writer who has rituals or talismans - I have school age children, so I just get on and write whenever I have a minute! But looking round my study, I realise that I do have objects which remind me of certain books. For example, a tiny knitted red riding hood puppet sitting on an old metal paperweight shaped like a woodcutter's axe, from when I wrote a version of Little Red Riding Hood; little models of a wolf and a seal, a tiny plastic first aid kit and chestnut conker, and the very shell which inspired First Aid for Fairies; and for this year's novel, a beautiful glowing alabaster egg. I don't NEED these objects, I often happily write a book without a physical reminder of the story or characters or feel of the book. But I have little pockets of space under my computer monitor, and on the edges of my bookshelves, so I might as well have clutter that makes me smile and reminds me of stories. Lovely post Joan, and fantastic stone blade!

Sue Purkiss said...

Yes, I have reminders rather than talismen. I had a cake for the launch of The Willow Man, and my sister got a model of the actual Willow Man made - I kept that for a long time, till it started to disintegrate.