Welcome to the blog tour for The Valiant by Lesley Livinsgton! Today we’re sharing a guest post from author Lesley Livingston on the music she listened to while writing The Valiant:
So… this isn’t going to be a typical playlist request post…
When Lauren asked me to put together a list of the music I listened to while writing THE VALIANT, I figured it would be easy. I always have a stack of go-to songs when I’m writing and this book was no different, right? Right. Except it was. Maybe because this was the first purely historical novel I’ve written, sans fantasy elements or time-travelling contemporary teens, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I didn’t actually listen to music the same way I had when I wrote my other novels. That was usually a mixtape approach of widely differing artists and styles. This book was definitely different.
It’s funny, because there are actually a few tunes that other people have strongly identified with Fallon’s story… My agent and editor both keyed into Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood” as a kickin’ anthem for the book and they’re not wrong! Also, there have been allusions made to Beyonce’s “Who Run The World”—also not wrong! And, quite coincidentally, before I sat down to write this post, I saw a tweet from a reader who mentioned Lorde’s “Glory and Gore” and how it reminded her of THE VALIANT (so VERY not wrong!!).
But, like I said, for some reason I didn’t listen the way I usually do with this one. Maybe it’s because I couldn’t have a lot of contemporary voices in my head while I was writing. I did tuck into a couple of juicy soundtracks now and then. It would be disingenuous of me to deny that I listened to the Gladiator score on occasion, but I’ve been listening to the Gladiator score once or twice a week at least since that movie came out—didn’t matter what I was writing! In fact, I think I actually cut down my regular consumption somewhat because it was starting to feel TOO Roman for Fallon’s perspective.
The more I write about this, though, the more I realize that there was actually one album that I was listening to more than anything. And it’s one you should all check out because it is kind of amazing: Eliot Sumner’s Information. Eliot is descended from musical royalty (her father is Sting!) but her talent and style are all her own. The whole album is great—moody and intense, tough/vulnerable and driving—but four songs in particular resonate for me as they relate to Fallon in THE VALIANT. “After Dark” is all the times Fallon thinks about running away from how her fate seems to be unfolding. “Dead Arms and Dead Legs” could be the theme for the whole journey to Rome. “Information” could be about more than one of Fallon’s relationships. And “Halfway to Hell” could be a rock version of the music playing when the Achillea gladiartix girls charge into battle in the Circus Maximus!
So there you have it! A not-quite playlist for THE VALIANT.
Thank you, Lesley, for a fun “not-quite” playlist!
About the book:
Fallon is the daughter of a proud Celtic king and the younger sister of the legendary warrior Sorcha. When Fallon was just a child, Sorcha was killed while defending their home from the armies of Julius Caesar.
On the eve of her seventeenth birthday, Fallon is excited to follow in her sister’s footsteps and earn her place in her father’s war band. She never gets the chance.
Fallon is captured by ruthless brigands who sell her to an elite training school for female gladiators owned by none other than Julius Caesar himself. In a cruel twist of fate, the man who destroyed Fallon s family might be her only hope of survival. Now, Fallon must overcome vicious rivalries, deadly fights in and out of the arena, and perhaps the most dangerous threat of all: her irresistible feelings for Cai, a young Roman soldier and her sworn enemy.
Lesley Livingston is the author of Once Every Never, winner of the inaugural Copper Cylinder Award and shortlisted for the CLA Young Adult Book Award and the BC Stellar Book Award. She is also the author of the Wondrous Strange and Starling trilogies. She lives in Toronto.
Enter for a chance to win one (1) of five (5) copies of The Valiant by Lesley Livingston (ARV: $17.99 each).
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on February 13, 2017 and 12:00 AM on March 13, 2017. Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about March 15, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.
Find the rest of the blog tour:
2/13 – Tales of the Ravenous Reader – Gladiator Makeup
2/14 – Two Chicks on Books – Author Interview
2/15 – Alexa Loves Books – Weapon Spotlight: Bow & Arrow
2/16 – Novel Novice – Review
2/17 – Arctic Books – Review + Book Look
2/27 – Oh the Book Feels – Author Interview
2/28 – Seeing Double in Neverland – Weapon Spotlight: Gladius
3/1 – No More Grumpy Bookseller – Review
3/2 – The YA Book Traveler – Weapon Spotlight: Trident & Net
3/3 – My Friends Are Fiction – Author Guest Post
2/20 – Brittany’s Book Rambles – Author Guest Post
2/21 – What Sarah Read – Review + Mood Board
2/22 – Mundie Moms – Weapon Spotlight: Shield
2/23 – ButterMyBooks – Author Interview
2/24 – Fiction Fare – Weapon Spotlight: Dimachaerus
3/6 – The Reading Nook Reviews – Weapon Spotlight: Spear
3/7 – A Page with a View – Like/Try/Why
3/8 – The Young Folks – Author Guest Post
3/9 – Icey Books – Quote Candy + Review
3/10 – Book Addict’s Guide – Bookish Scents