Friday, December 02, 2011

The Hun Has Marched!


Please welcome a regular visitor to LauraceaTristram La Roche.
Didn’t I say he’s an up and coming author?  He’s outdone himself this time because on Thursday December 1st the Hun marched, so watch your backs! His new novella “The Hun and The General” was published by Etopia Press.
What do I think of when I hear the name Attila? Barbarians, vandals, conqueror of much of Europe (oh? Is he back again?). Wasn’t he called the Scourge of God?  Let’s see if Tris thinks he was.

Welcome again, Tris, great to see you back with yet another outstanding book published. Congratulations.

Thank you, Sue. It is always a pleasure to visit you, you’re very kind.


Sue: Tell us your version of Attila. What kind of man was he?

Tristram: To the outside world he was a fearsome and fearless barbarian; an ogre, a tyrant, a marauding, raping, pillaging thief who ate the babies of his victims. He was, of course, not all these things. Legends are never accurate. The true Attila, at least for my story, was tormented by the duality of his character. He had to appear all these things to the enemies of his people, but deep inside all he wanted was to be loved and needed. The true Attila was caring, loving and filled with self-doubt. He was tired of having to keep up the public display of infallibility.

Sue: What’s the new novella about and why should all lovers of M/M literature read it?

Tristram: The Emperor of the eastern Roman empire has gone back on his deal with the Huns by cutting off all payments and supplies. He has erected a huge wall around Constantinople and turned it into a fortress, believing he can win any stand-off  with the barbarians. Yet he is not sure, and recalls his best statesman, Livianus, from his retirement in Gaul to pay one more visit to the Hun King to try to broker a new peace. The emperor is unaware that his own sister plots against him, and that Attila the Hun and Livianus once had feelings for each other that, if ignited again, may change the course of history. Of course, when Livianus arrives in Pannonia he is welcomed by Attila with more than open arms! This is a work of fiction woven around true events and characters. It explores the human, frail side of otherwise immensely strong and ruthless men to show how love can change things for the good. The idea of a tough old tyrant like Attila needing to be dominated was just too tempting.

Sue: Let’s imagine that you’re going to spend the day in Atilla and the General’s company. Since you’re the host, how would you entertain them? (And keep it PG15 or less, please! Sorry to be a spoilsport…) 

Tristram: To be honest, from what I’ve seen, they can entertain themselves quite well without my interference! I know they like to bathe, so a little party around the pool would be a must. Maybe before that we could make use of Attila’s mud pit for little knock about. As Attila is keen to turn Livianus into an accomplished Hun archer, I would arrange an afternoon of horsemanship and games. In the evening we could feast on fruits and Hun cheeses, all washed down with Pannonian ale or fermented mare’s milk.

Sue: Anything new on the horizon Tris?

Tristram: I had four books published this year. Once I’d finished The Hun and The General I decided it was time to take stock. I am very concerned to deliver writing of the best quality I can. I don’t believe an author can turn out books as if they are a production line and maintain quality. So, right now I am going to enjoy December and the New Year, continue to knock ideas around in my head, and then have something new to offer my readers later in 2012, maybe in the spring. But I am willing to say that I have begun adapting The Hun and The General for the screen.

*** Buy The Hun and The General here: Amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/Hun-General-ebook/dp/B006GHC3HE






Livianus is bored and longs for action. His reward for serving Rome is the governorship of a quiet corner of Gaul, but as he whiles away his days at his sumptuous villa, his thoughts turn to Attila the Hun, the feared barbarian with whom Livianus once enjoyed an intimate friendship. When a desperate emperor asks him to return to Pannonia to broker a truce with Attila, Livianus’s old passion flares.

Attila is losing the will to go on. He is tired of being a tyrant but his people’s future depends on him. The arrival of Livianus renews Attila’s spirit as he prepares to march on
Constantinople. Livianus has nothing to bargain with, but when the emperor’s sister delivers a proposition for Attila, a new and brighter future seems to lay directly ahead. For the people, and especially for the two men.

But the deadly hand of the emperor isn’t interested in peace, and as their plans are destroyed, only one course of action remains open to the Hun and the general.

*** And, just because you deserve it, here’s an excerpt. I’m afraid I asked Tris to give me one that’s PG13 (which probably doesn’t do the book justice LOL).

Pannonia, 5th Century AD
Attila smashed his fists into the table, toppling his cup of mare’s milk. “They call me The Scourge of God and yet dare to question my orders?”
The warrior held his king’s gaze. “Your Highness—”
“Don’t Your Highness me, you blubbering fool. I’m sick of your groveling, Barbax. Speak frankly to me, without fear.” Attila rounded the huge table and brought himself up close to the trembling warrior. “Or shall I have you impaled and left out on the plains as a warning to others?”
Barbax shook his head. His lower lip trembled and his voice wavered. “N-no, Attila. I beg you, not that. If I am to die, let it be by your hand, with your sword.”
Attila flung his arms wide and Barbax flinched.
“How could I kill you?” Attila laughed and slapped Barbax on the shoulder. “Of all my warriors, you are the one I need at my side when we take Constantinople.”
“Yes, Attila. Of course.” Barbax shifted from one foot to the other, his eyes averted.
“But?”
Barbax stared at him blankly.
“I’m waiting for the but. Come on, man, show me your guts. Tell me why we shouldn’t seize what’s left of the Roman Empire once and for all.” Attila turned to the table and saw the fallen goblet, the milk dripping off to soak into the mat on the floor. He bellowed to the far side of the room. “Girl, fetch ale.” He perched on the edge of the table and smiled. “Let us drink, my friend. See if the barley loosens your tongue more than your king’s wishes seem to.”
A slave girl scurried in, carrying a jug and two goblets, which she set on the table.
“Hurry up, woman, or I’ll tear your womb from you with my bare hands.” He grabbed the girl from behind as she bent over the table to pour the beer. He pulled her by the hips until his cock pressed against her buttocks. “Or maybe you’d like us both to give you a good fucking?” He let her go and laughed. “Away with you. We can pour our own ale.”
Attila filled one silver goblet and gave it to Barbax, then shook the dregs of milk from his wooden cup and served himself. He took a long swig and wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. “Well, get on with it then.”
Barbax swallowed hard. “Theodosius has made Constantinople impregnable.”
“Nothing is impregnable, except that Visigoth wife of yours.”
“The walls he’s built around the city are like nothing else on earth.”
“And nothing on earth has ever stopped us.”
“But this is different. Constantinople is weeks away.”
“We’ve marched farther.”
“But not with the machines we’ll need if we are to even break one brick. We’ll need battering rams and towers and—”
“And we’ll take them. We’ll take all we’ve got, ironworkers and carpenters too, and then we’ll take Constantinople. I’ll personally impale that snake Theodosius before I piss on his throne.” He drained his cup and slammed it onto the table. “Start the preparations. I want to leave before the rainy season.”
“But Attila—”
“But nothing! Now get out of my sight before I put you over the table and do what I should have done to that serving wench.”
Attila stroked his fine beard with his fingers and watched Barbax leave. Pillaging had served their people well, but they had need of greater wealth now. Yet despite his bravado, the warrior king hoped for an alternative to the march on Constantinople. Barbax spoke the truth. With so much to transport, they would move slowly. Word of their approach would reach Constantinople long before they did, and Emperor Theodosius would have time to prepare. What Attila needed was a miracle.


*** You can find Tristram la Roche here:

6 comments:

  1. Great interview Tris and Sue! The Hun and The General sounds great. I'm looking forward to reading it

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  2. Catherine you beat me to posting because Blogger is a bugger today! So thanks to you both.

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  3. That's putting a new spin on the tale.

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  4. Hi Tris-- So excited to have you and the Hun on my blog on Sunday/Monday. Great interview. : )

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  5. Effective verbal communication is equally important, but nonverbal communication in the form of copy writing, article writing, press release writing, and more requires a certain level of expertise and experience.visit site

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