Valorie Clark is a writer and historian living in Los Angeles by way of Dallas, DC, and Paris. Her research explores the emergence of queer identity and its presentation in fiction. She hosts the Unruly Figures podcast, where she geeks out over historical rebels, rule-breakers, and revolutionaries. Her forthcoming first book Unruly Figures comes out from PA Press in 2023. When she’s not writing, she’s probably exploring an art gallery, trying a new coffee shop, hanging out at the beach, serving her cat, or being very bad at boxing.

What does a journey mean to you?
For me, ‘journey’ always elicits a more psychic or spiritual idea – it’s less about the physical space you occupy and more about the mindset you have while there. You can go on a journey in a single gallery of a museum; you can take a six-month trip around Asia and not go on a journey.

Which country or location most inspires you?
I took a trip to Iceland in 2006 and haven’t stopped thinking about it since. The meeting of lava and ice, the dichotomy of long, dark winters but a really loving and playful culture… Iceland continues to intrigue me.

Where would you go back to and why?
Paris. I’m sort of always on my way to Paris.

Top insider tip for LA
I know it’s cold in the mornings here and I know the west coast is more associated with stunning sunsets at the beach, but there’s nothing quite like watching the sun rise there instead. Bundle up and go.

What journey would you most like to go on?
For a few years now I’ve been fantasizing about a long, meandering road trip up Highway 1, from LA to Vancouver. Stunning vistas, great food, and dreamy locations to stop and write along the way.

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