Prism Book Alliance® would like to thank Tali Spencer for stopping by today.
Title: Victory Portrait
Author: Tali Spencer
Cover Artist: Melody Pond
Genre: Alternate Universe/Alternate World, Fantasy, Gay Fiction, Gay Romance, Romance
Imperial captive and former Sebboyan prince Peta Kordeun has one great wish: to meet Darius Arrento, conqueror of his country and a man he has idolized since childhood. That wish comes true the day the Uttoran emperor assigns Peta to assist the artist who will be painting the great general’s official portrait.
General Darius Arrento would rather take a crossbow bolt through his flesh than sit for a portrait, until his friend the emperor forces his hand. The notorious artist, Brazzi, uses semen and other sexual fluids to bind his colors—and Arrento is captivated by the artist’s pretty helper. Before long he is driven to possess the gorgeous young man who draws battle maps and whose naïve charm has won more hearts in Uttor than Arrento has won battles.
When Arrento learns that Peta, the slave he covets and wants for his own, is one of the despised Kordeun princes, he storms from Uttor toward a far corner of the empire—where he quickly finds himself embroiled in a plot to tear Uttor’s empire apart. His emotions and loyalties frayed, the great Arrento is in the battle of his life…and Peta may hold the key to his survival.
Ten songs to write Victory Portrait to
I’m not big on playlists and don’t use them for my writing. I’m more of a soundtrack gal when you get right down to it, perhaps because I’m more of a visual-kinetic writer than a mood one. However, there are times I yearn for musical accompaniment to the the story, a way of conveying the underlying emotion. Victory Portrait certainly inspired a few musical selections.
- March from Captain from Castile, by Alfred Newman. Why? Because this is simply the best triumphal march ever! Instead of Cortez marching off to conquer the New World, imagine Darius Arrento parading in triumph down Uttor’s grand boulevard—and there you have it: the music to which I wrote not just that scene but a few others as well.
- “The Night Pat Murphy Died,” by Great Big Sea. Why? Because it’s a hoot. I can just imagine Darius’s soldiers having a good drunk and a grand old time. He’d be right there carousing along with them.
- “Baba Yetu,” aka Theme from Civilization IV. Why? Again, it’s a n instrumental soundtrack (notice a pattern?). It’s a happy sort of tune, but also somewhat majestic and profound. In fact, I mentally use this soundtrack (along with that of Kingdom Hearts) as the theme music for many of my fantasy stories.
- Cid’s Song (Final Fantasy VII), Nobuo Uematsu. Yep, another triumphant soundtrack. I just love this bit of music for its processional vibe.
- “Pavane for a Dead Princess,” by Maurice Ravel. Why? Because this song is perfect for the essential sadness of Peta’s character arc. He’s young, he’s lost most of his family in every sense that matters, he’s been carried off to a distant land where—even if he is being treated well—he has to learn a new way of life. He has to find himself all over again. Its also a beautiful piece of music.
- “The Last Day,” Moby (feat. Skylar Grey) Why? This song rather suits the Uttoran story arc—a great empire beset by turmoil, victory, disaster, and expectations. It’s kind of a gloomy song, which the Uttoran saga isn’t, not really, but there’s also a strong fantasy element to this piece that I feel suits the story.
- “Kodachrome,” by Paul Simon. Why? Because despite being totally not medieval, it’s quintessential Brazzi. He’s all about the color. True, there are no cameras in the preindustrial Uttoran fantasy universe, so just substitute paintbrushes…except that doesn’t work with the lyrics, so don’t. Just go with buoyant beat.
- “Map of the World,” by Plain White Tees. Why? Because of maps. And because this song is another that suits Peta well. He’s a displaced prince, an imperial captive with hope of freedom but no idea what shape that freedom might someday take. Though inexperienced, he’s doing his best to keep his life moving forward while figuring it out.
- “No Surrender,” Bruce Springsteen. Why? Because No Surrender is written in blood on Arrento’s battle flag.
- “An Army Against One Man,” Anne Dudly, Skaila Kanga & Chamber Orchestra of London—Poldark soundtrack. Why? Because its gloomy and imparts a sense of impending doom that totally suits a certain point in the book where things are going very, very wrong.
If ever my story gets turned into a movie, I know who I would get to do the soundtrack. But I also think every reader hears their own version of a soundtrack when they read a book that pulls them in completely.
I did this for one of Shira Anthony’s books. For some reason I had sea chanties on my mind! At certain points in the story I would hear the strains of “Farewell to Nova Scotia” even though Nova Scotia wasn’t in the book at all. But the tune was completely suitable.
Is there a book for which you’ve created a kind of soundtrack? Would love to hear if anyone else has done this.
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About the Author
Tali Spencer delights in erotic fantasy and adventure, creating worlds where she can explore the heights and shadows of sexual passion. A hopeful romantic and lover of all things exotic, she also writes high fantasy and science fiction. If you would like to see inspiration pictures for her characters, or glimpse how she envisions her worlds, check out her Pinterest boards.
Thanks to a restless father, she grew up as a bit of a nomad and still loves to travel whenever she can. Her longest stint in one place was Milwaukee where she went to college, enjoyed a series of interesting careers, and raised three surprisingly well-adjusted sons. She later married her true love and put down new roots in Philadelphia, where she lives in an ongoing Italian American family sitcom. At least she’s learned how make good pasta. When not writing, Tali reads everything from sweet goofy romances to medical research, manages her fantasy football team—go Gekkos!—and takes long walks with her loving, if slightly neurotic, poodle.
Tali’s other books include the three preceding Uttor books: Captive Heart, Dangerous Beauty, and Adored, all with Resplendence. Her gay male high fantasy stories, Thick as Thieves, Sorcerer’s Knot, and The Prince of Winds, are published by Dreamspinner Press. She often posts free stories and excerpts on her blog.
Where to find the author:
Facebook: : http://www.facebook.com/tali.spencer
18-Apr: Prism Book Alliance
19-Apr: Decadent Delights
21-Apr: Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words
22-Apr: Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents
26-Apr: BFD Book Blog
27-Apr: My Fiction Nook
29-Apr: Oh My Shelves
4-May: Alpha Book Club
6-May: Molly Lolly
9-May: A.M. Leibowitz
10-May: Divine Magazine
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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