Posts Tagged ‘character interview’

Vorgell and Madd Tell All

I’m so excited to be here at Sid Love’s blog. Sid posted the very first review of my sword and sorcery fantasy romp, Thick as Thieves, so when the opportunity arose to contribute a guest post, I thought it would be fun to have a giveaway and also sit down with the two main characters from the book—Vorgell and Madd.

There will be giveaway details later, at the end of this post. For now, let’s start with an introduction to the book and the boys.

Blurb: After Vorgell the barbarian fucks himself with a unicorn horn, he ends up in a cell with Maddog, a pretty young thief. It’s lust at first sight for Vorgell—but honestly, he can’t help it. Unicorn horn is a potent aphrodisiac, and now he can’t stop thinking about sex. Luckily, Madd is one male witch who knows how to put Vorgell’s new magical body to good use when he tricks Vorgell into a kiss that helps them escape.

Vorgell may desire sex in general—and Madd in particular—but Madd has no intention of being screwed by a man twice his size. He has problems of his own, including an enchanted collar that causes him to desire his most hated enemy. He wants that collar off as soon as possible, but that requires stealing a basilisk egg from the castle they just escaped.

Drawn together by lust and magic, the two men join forces and soon find themselves up to their necks in witches, wizards, and trouble. Vorgell and Madd might just be perfect for each other, but first they have to survive long enough to find out.


Now that you know a little about Vorgell and Madd, it’s time to put them on the hot seat.

Where were you when the story started?

VORGELL: I had just gotten thrown into a dungeon with Madd here. It was a dank and nasty cell in one of the towers of Baron Flemgu’s castle.

MADD: I wasthe baron’s sex slave, locked away in that cell andwreaking revenge by casting yet another bodily illness spell in the baron’s general direction, when this enormous, foul-smelling oaf gets thrown in with me. He’s sprouting the world’s largest erection and looking at me like I’m going to be his next meal. My day had just gotten worse.

What did you want, when the story started?

VORGELL:Madd. No doubt about it. The moment I laid eyes on him, no other thought filled my mind but enticing my new cellmate into a bout of cocks and bottoms. My cock in his bottom, because I was hard enough to screw an army and he was the prettiest man I’d ever seen.

MADD: All I wanted was to stay out of his reach. The baron was probably going to kill me, but now it looked like this barbarian would do the job before the baron had a chance. I mean, look at him. Trust me, the man is huge in every way.I needed to get out of there!

Was there a major turning point in your life?

VORGELL: Killing that unicorn in the baron’s woods, without a doubt. Oh, to be sure, my life changed when my father died, and my sister, because those events set in motion my downfall and eviction from my tribe. I descended into a life of raiding and pillage, spending stolen gold on drink and sex, and that led me to fall into the hands of a slaver and become a fugitive. By the time I reached Gurgh, I thought only of coin. But killing the unicorn… (sighs) I did not realize the consequences or that the berries sprouted from its blood would be dangerous to eat. I ate them all, and hallucinated, and used the unicorn’s horn where no unicorn horn should ever go. Next thing I know….

MADD: Just say it. You want sex all the time.

VORGELL: All the time. I could jump Madd right now, if I thought he would allow it.

MADD:He even tries when he’s asleep. Fortunately for Vorgell, I’m something of a connoisseur of cock and hisis exceptional. Not to mention the magical gifts attached.

VORGELL:Thanks to the unicorn horn, I also have magical body fluids.

MADD: And magic is something a witchkin male like myself can put to good use. So I guess you could say meeting Vorgellwas the turning point of my life. Because all the rest of my life before meeting him was shit. And now, well….

VORGELL: I’m with him. We make a good team.

What was your childhood like?

VORGELL:I had a good start in life. I was a son favored by good parents who taught me to hunt and fight and be a warrior and a man. I played with other boys and bested them at everything.

MADD: Well, balls to you. My childhood sucked rotten eggs. My mother could barely look at me. Other children either refused to play with me or they kicked me and threw things at me until I ran away. Witchkin males are forbidden to use magic, so no one would teach me anything, not even a useful craft. I was just a reminder of something wrong they hoped would go away, and then one day I did. I ran off to the city.

VORGELL: That’s behind you now, little mage.

MADD: I’m not little! And no one’s childhood is ever completely behind them.

Which living person do you most despise?

VORGELL: A witch named Ibeena comes to mind. [Looks around.] She’s frightening.

MADD: She’s all bluster and brag. I’m not afraid of her. But at the moment she tops the list of people I’d like to see get snatched by wizards.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

MADD:  I tend to say “For the love of the moon” a lot. It’s awitchkin thing, because my motherline has affinity to moon magic.

VORGELL: I call upon the Father of Wolves, my family’s god. Sometimes I invoke Ice Harpies.

MADD: I’ll tell you what word Vorgell overuses: fuck. We can’t turn a street corner without him saying he feels a need to fuck. Usually he’s referring to me.

VORGELL: [to interviewer] And can you blame me? It’s more than unicorn horn in the blood when the man at your side looks like Madd. Those pretty lips, dark eyes, and the slim, delicious body I know waits under those clothes—

MADD: We’ll talk about this later. But let’s make one thing clear right now: I’m not here for the world to fuck—and especially not you, because you’re too well hung and I like to still be able to walk after sex.

Do you think the author portrayed you accurately?

VORGELL: Mostly. I come off as rather too happy to lop off limbs—

MADD: You love lopping off limbs.

VORGELL: Only in battle. I would much rather best a man at games or in bed, but when faced with a sword, I answer with a sword.

MADD: Well I wish the damn author would have cut the scene where I cry about my mother. Because I don’t cry, not usually, and it seems to me I should be allowed to do some things in private. There’s no need to let other people see everything. Like sex. Private.

VORGELL: If she cut out all the sex, lots of what happens wouldn’t make sense. Like the magic.

MADD: It’s magic. No one expects it to make sense.

VORGELL: I don’t think that’s true. I like when you or Tagard explain the way magic works, like how witchkin magic is different from wizard magic. My first thought was all magic was the same, dark curses and wicked chants designed to cause harm.

MADD: That’s because magic gets abused a lot. Witch women are good at blessings, though, and sympathetic spells. Witchkin magic will always have a direct bond to life. Wizard magic, though, is nasty stuff because it destroys life and uses that power to summon and bind netherworld spirits. No good can come of that.

VORGELL: There you go, little mage! That’s what I mean!

What is your favorite item of clothing? Why?

VORGELL: Well, Madd had this collar—

MADD: No. We’re not talking about that.

What is the quality you most like in a man?

MADD: Is that a trick question? What I like most in a man depends on what I need him for.

VORGELL:Madd here is cynical. He doesn’t want people to know what he likes. I’ll tell you right off what I like: a man who can look fear in the eye and kick misfortune in the balls. That’s the man I want beside me.

MADD: Really? You want a man who is staring down something scary and burdened with misfortune? How about a man who has fortune on his side and vault filled with gold? That’s what I like in a man. I can borrow his fortune and make off with the gold.

VORGELL: He has a point.

When and where were you the happiest?

MADD:It was at Stormfell when Vorgell got rid of that collar!

VORGELL:And I will say straight out the happiest I have ever been was the night in Thieves Wart when Madd showed me the joys of a hard cock in the ass.

MADD: For the love of the moon! [rolls eyes]

VORGELL: Large men, such as myself, enjoy such things at least as much as other men.

What is your most treasured possession?

MADD: My life.

VORGELL: That’s a good answer. But I see life as a gift bestowed by the gods. For a possession, I would say a certain amulet, one that contains a sliver of unicorn horn that will make any man as horny as I am, if only for a night. I have visions of using that bit of horn one day. [eyesMadd]

MADD: Will you just stop with that?

Name five items you might find in your pockets?

VORGELL: I like to have full pockets. Coins, to start. Can’t have too many of those. A flint kit. Some cheese and an eating knife. A needle and bit of thread. Dice.

MADD: And a basilisk. Don’t forget to mention that.

VORGELL: Petal’s outgrown my pockets. But she still seeks them out from time to time!

Can we expect another adventure from you two (and Petal)?

MADD: Our crazy author has us in the middle of stealing some potentate’s ice harpy. And Ibeena finally decided to torture us and is calling in her debt.

VORGELL: In a word: Yes.

* * * * *

About the Author

Tali Spencer fell in love with writing at an early age and never stopped. 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 and enjoyed a series of interesting careers including respiratory therapist, airport executive, 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 Lebanese cookbooks, manages her fantasy football team—go Gekkos!—and takes long walks with her loving, if slightly neurotic, poodle.

Visit Tali’s blog at
Twitter: @tali_spencer



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Susan interviews Alexis Hall with Darian & Ash of “Glitterland”

The universe is a glitterball I hold in the palm of my hand.

Once the golden boy of the English literary scene, now a clinically depressed writer of pulp crime fiction, Ash Winters has given up on love, hope, happiness, and—most of all—himself. He lives his life between the cycles of his illness, haunted by the ghosts of other people’s expectations.

Then a chance encounter at a stag party throws him into the arms of Essex boy Darian Taylor, an aspiring model who lives in a world of hair gel, fake tans, and fashion shows. By his own admission, Darian isn’t the crispest lettuce in the fridge, but he cooks a mean cottage pie and makes Ash laugh, reminding him of what it’s like to step beyond the boundaries of anxiety.

But Ash has been living in his own shadow for so long that he can’t see past the glitter to the light. Can a man who doesn’t trust himself ever trust in happiness? And how can a man who doesn’t believe in happiness ever fight for his own?

. ≈.:.≈.:.≈.:.≈.:.≈.:.≈.:.≈.:.≈.

Welcome to the Blog of Sid Love, Alexis Hall, author of the newly released, critically acclaimed “Glitterland”!  And while we wait on Darian and Ash to get here, let’s pick the author’s brain to get some insight and insider information on the book and the quirky and beloved MC’s.

Alexis, welcome! How does it feel to have your first book released and your first blog tour underway? 

AJH: Slightly weird, to be honest. The whole experience of having a book that I wrote that is a book, like a book, a real book that people are reading, is just blowing my tiny mind right now. I know in the grand scheme of things it means absolutely nothing, the world will keep spinning, and the tide will come in, but I still can’t believe it. This is my first blog tour to match my first novel, and I’m very excited to be here.

We at Sid Love’s adored this book!  It was funny and sad, beautiful and ugly, charming and hurtful, lonely and loving all at the same time!  Can you tell us about how the idea came about and how the process of writing this book all the way to its release played out?

AJH: Wow, that’s quite a big question. The book was sort of vaguely inspired by a UK X Factor contestant called Rylan Clark. You can see his performances on Youtube, and I heartily recommend you do. Dancing fashionista pandas. Enough said, right? Anyway, when he was on the show there was quite a lot of backlash against him, both of the homophobic variety and the, in some ways more problematic, wrong sort of gay variety. So although I wasn’t trying to write about Rylan Clark, I wanted to write a book about someone who had the same sort of qualities that I felt Rylan Clark was being condemned for displaying.  But I also wanted to have the character taken seriously, not just played for laughs, which is what led me to pair him with an overly educated, bipolar depressive crime writer.

In terms of writing the thing, it went relatively smoothly, if that doesn’t sound like boasting. But I had a very clear idea of who Darian was and, actually, writing Ash’s voice came very naturally to me. I bunged it off slightly speculatively to Riptide, fully expecting them to say “no way in hell, what is this nonsense about a bimbo and an arsehole” but I guess they saw something in it.

The journey from writing to release was pretty fascinating to me. It involved a lot of things I’d never really thought about like dialogue tags, writing blurbs and having an author bio. I’m actually apparently a bit unusual because I enjoy being edited. I think that might be largely because I have really good relationship with my editor, Sarah Frantz, and I think she’s the bees knees, but there’s something kind of miraculous and humbling about a really clever, insightful person working with you to make your stuff better. The main GLITTERLAND edit was actually the end, but that’s another story and I think I’ve probably already given you far more random information than you could ever need or want.

And for those of us NOT from the UK, what does the significance or even the ‘inside joke’, if you will, of being from Essex mean?

AJH: Oh gosh.  So, Essex is a part of the UK, the population of which is stereotypically seen to be shallow, vulgar, ill-educated and materialistic.  Essex boys are supposed to be loud and drive fast cars. And Essex girls are supposed to be vapid and sexually promiscuous.  I hope I didn’t reinforce those stereotypes too much in GLITTERLAND.

Darian and Ash are so different, aren’t they?  Which do you most relate to / identify with?

AJH: Unfortunately, it’s probably Ash. I worry that I’m basically kind of an over-educated tosser like he is, and I think I share a lot of his flaws and fears. I’m quite invested, perhaps too invested, in having control over my life, and I think this can make me quite difficult to be with sometimes.  The truth is, I’d love to be more like Darian but I’m far too self-conscious.

And speaking of, here they come!  We’re very excited to have DARIAN and ASH, the MC’s from “Glitterland” join us!  Alexis, would you mind if we focused our attention on the lovebirds at hand?

AJH: Be my guest, but if you persist in calling them lovebirds, I fear Ash will leave.

*big smile*…Ok, so I am VERY excited to meet you both!!!! I’m such a fan! WELCOME! 

Darian:  Ahwight Suz. It’s well special to be ’ere.
Ash:  Hello.

Since we’re all so curious about the two of you and your relationship, let’s do a rapid-fire Q&A session, shall we?  Ok, here goes:

What is your favorite thing about your partner?

Darian:  Aw, he’s like proper classy. I nevva fought someone like him would go for someone like me.
Ash:  Well, I am mentally ill.
Darian:  You’re so funny, babes. So, yeah, he’s well funny too, and he went to like a proper university and he’s dead clever, and he’s like read like everyfing. And he keeps pretending he’s a right bell end, but he’s not.
Ash:  …
Darian:  Your turn, babes.
Ash:  This whole exercise makes me very uncomfortable.
Darian:  Oh go on.
Ash: He makes me happy. Can we move on, please?

Awwww….*smiles*. Ok, what is your biggest pet peeve about him?

Darian:  He’s a right monster in the morning. You just can’t talk to him til he’s ’ad his tea.
Ash:  He persists in dragging me along to events like these.

(I think you secretly are enjoying yourself! 🙂 )  If your flat was on fire and you could only grab one thing to take with you, what would it be?

Darian:  I’d take Ash, obvs.
Ash:  I think I am capable of leaving a burning building on my own initiative.
Darian:  Oh great, then I’d take my hair gel cos like if the firemen showed up and my hair looked a state I’d be well put out.
Ash:  There’s a photograph of which I’m rather fond. I suppose I’d take that.
Darian:  Aw, you’re so sweet, babes.
Ash:  I didn’t say it was the one of you.
Darian:  But it is though, right?
Ash:  Next question please.

(*snicker*)  If you could go shopping and purchase an outfit of your choice for your partner, what would you buy?

Darian:  Oh, he totes needs to get a onesie.
Ash:  A onesie is not an outfit. It’s a travesty.
Darian:  But they’re well cosy. Like wearing a hug.
Ash:  If there’s one thing Darian does not need, it’s more clothes.

(pssst…I love Darian’s clothes!!! Sparkly!)   Ok, now, what does the perfect date night between the two of you entail?

Darian:  We like to stay in. I know that sahnds a bit like … rubbish.
Ash:  Oh the exciting life we lead.
Darian:  We make our own excitement, babes.
Ash:  I suppose we do.

If you had to describe your partner in ONE WORD, what would it be?

Darian:  Amazin
Ash:  Orange.
Darian: Oi, that’s bang aht of order.
Ash:  Glittering.

Ha! Well, it’s clear you two are very smitten with each other and make each other happy!  It’s been such a pleasure getting to know you both…and you too, Alexis!  Which reminds me, Alexis, will we see/read any more about Darian and Ash in the future?

AJH:  I hadn’t planned on it. I think the story stands as it is. I enjoyed writing Ash and Darian, and I enjoy thinking about them, but I don’t think there’s anything more to say. There’s a 5000 word short which I’ll be releasing free on the website at some point in the future, probably around the time of Riptide’s anniversary. To be honest, it’s just a piece of fluff and it doesn’t stand alone or contribute all that much to GLITTERLAND itself, but I sort of missed the characters and I felt like indulging myself. It also kind of addresses a couple of things that didn’t end up in the published book, like why Ash dresses like he does, and how Darian feels about the tattoo.

Very cool!  Well, for the story of Darian and Ash’s relationship, written by the talented Alexis Hall, make sure to buy and read “Glitterland” (links below)!  It’s one of my favorite books of the year and I promise you won’t be disappointed!

*hugs all around*

Darian:  Aww Suz.
Ash:  Please don’t do that.
AJH:  *hugs*

hatAbout AJH

Alexis Hall was born in the early 1980s and still thinks the 21st century is the future. To this day, he feels cheated that he lived through a fin de siècle but inexplicably failed to drink a single glass of absinthe, dance with a single courtesan, or stay in a single garret. He can neither cook nor sing, but he can handle a 17th century smallsword, punts from the proper end, and knows how to hotwire a car. He lives in southeast England, with no cats and no children, and fully intends to keep it that way.

You can also find him all over the internet, on his website, twitter, and goodreads.

You can read an excerpt and, y’know, cough, buy my book, if you want, at Riptide Publishing.