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Author Topic: Lee Sanders: Blood of the Realm  (Read 685 times)

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Offline georgiapeach

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Lee Sanders: Blood of the Realm
« on: April 27, 2014, 12:54:21 AM »
Our favorite TAR composer has co-written a Fantasy Novel called Blood of the Realm. It will be released next week, you can read more about it here:
http://www.thenayoransaga.com/  or here: BloodoftheRealm.com
First trailer: Music by guess who??  :hearts:
 
<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/5Go-d1kjs04" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/5Go-d1kjs04</a>
 
 
"Our fans are pretty good. They don't give away too much. Sometimes people love dropping spoilers, but our fans are good. They tend to do it in such a way that doesn't ruin it for fans who don't want to know."--Phil Keoghan


Offline Lee Sanders

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Re: Lee Sanders: Blood of the Realm
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2014, 09:32:59 AM »
Thank you so much for posting this! Hit me up with questions, gang, and I'll answer as I can. My co-author, Mike McNelly, and I are beyond excited to launch the book.

It's taken a while to finish. Scoring The Amazing Race, I have a couple of little windows in my schedule each year to use for traveling and side projects. Now (as you do in Hollywood, right?) we're getting started on the sequel.

LHS

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Offline TexasLady

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Re: Lee Sanders: Blood of the Realm
« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2014, 10:31:28 AM »
Welcome to RFF! I love the music, it's so appropriate and each episode and country have their own unique music. How do you approach finding the perfect match for an episode?

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Offline georgiapeach

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Re: Lee Sanders: Blood of the Realm
« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2014, 11:04:49 AM »
Welcome Lee!!  :hrt:

I love how you have created a whole world here... reminds me of how Tolkien had all sorts of languages and maps and things that we never even saw, just to create a world! Yours IS a little scary place though...  :ascared
"Our fans are pretty good. They don't give away too much. Sometimes people love dropping spoilers, but our fans are good. They tend to do it in such a way that doesn't ruin it for fans who don't want to know."--Phil Keoghan

Offline Lee Sanders

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Re: Lee Sanders: Blood of the Realm
« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2014, 11:07:16 AM »
It's a great question. There's quite a bit of musicological research at the beginning of each cycle, once I know where we're going. That sets the groundwork, establishes the palette of sounds for each country (and each location within that country).

Beyond that, it's just as much about creating music that plays the action and the characters as it is setting 'time and place.' Some events need music to convey a stronger sense of location; other events need music to convey a building sense of intensity, etc. It's always a matter of striking a balance between ethnic authenticity and dramatic function.

I should add that the editors actually place the music onto the scenes, and in many cases they'll find something from a previous cycle's music that works well for a new event (even if I've written something new for it). That's one way that reality TV works very differently from other TV formats.


Offline Lee Sanders

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Re: Lee Sanders: Blood of the Realm
« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2014, 11:13:45 AM »
Funny you should mention languages (re: the Blood of the Realm trailers). We actually did create two—so far—for the book. You can see hints of them in various places on the website, and in the book itself.

And yeah… people in our book are generally Not Messing Around. One of the things that we love most about George R. R. Martin's Game of Thrones series is that the naive, the idealistic and the obviously white-hat or black-hat characters tend to get swept off the board with a vengeance. The crafty prosper, at least for a while. And time and chance sometimes upend even the best-laid plains. (sort of like The Amazing Race, come to think of it—!)

I wouldn't describe Blood of the Realm as full-on grimdark, but it's in that vein. So to speak.  :)

Offline georgiapeach

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Re: Lee Sanders: Blood of the Realm
« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2014, 11:28:40 AM »
One of the things that we love most about George R. R. Martin's Game of Thrones series is that the naive, the idealistic and the obviously white-hat ... tend to get swept off the board with a vengeance.


I am in trouble here. :funny:

But I do love the sweeping scope of a whole world series. This reminds me of the worlds of Tolkien, JK Rowling, Suzanne Collins, and Diana Gabaldon so hope yours has their success.

What was the biggest challenge in this? Where did the concept come from? Is writing with someone else harder than alone or do you inspire each other?
"Our fans are pretty good. They don't give away too much. Sometimes people love dropping spoilers, but our fans are good. They tend to do it in such a way that doesn't ruin it for fans who don't want to know."--Phil Keoghan

Offline Lee Sanders

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Re: Lee Sanders: Blood of the Realm
« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2014, 11:45:00 AM »
My writing partner (Michael McNelly) is a friend since high school, so we've built up enough respect and trust to be able to criticize each other's stuff directly. Mike tends to do more plotting and I tend to do more prose-polishing, but we both work on both aspects.

The toughest part, I think, has been getting the pacing right… making sure the various twists and turns of the story balance between "character-driven verisimilitude" (which, let's face it, can get deadly dull if it's too "real") and "rock-'em sock-'em roller coaster" (which can feel contrived and cheesy).

It's fun to collaborate; my composing job has been good training in that way. Telling cool stories with friends, and getting paid to do it. Dream gig.

Here's how the book started: Mike and I were sitting around over beers one evening, lamenting some of the Bad Fantasy Fiction we'd recently read… and decided, why not step up to the plate instead of criticizing from the dugout? (…ouch. That's a terrible metaphor. Good thing I'm not a writer or anything.)

That conversation took place in 1997 (!). Turns out it's a tough thing to do, writing a big ol' fantasy saga. But I'm proud of what we've come up with. And the laughs along the way have been worth it on their own.

In terms of the iconic authors you mentioned… I will second what you said! I'd love to split my time between writing music and writing words. Leaves me just enough time for sleep and cooking dinners with my wife.

Offline Lee Sanders

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Re: Lee Sanders: Blood of the Realm
« Reply #8 on: May 02, 2014, 09:21:08 AM »
Blood of the Realm is now available—you can buy directly from the website, or search the title with my name directly on Amazon or iBooks. I'm scoring the second teaser trailer today… it's keeping me in shape for the upcoming season of The Amazing Race. :-)

Offline georgiapeach

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Re: Lee Sanders: Blood of the Realm
« Reply #9 on: May 02, 2014, 09:43:31 AM »
Congrats Lee!! Must feel like having a baby! :hearts:
"Our fans are pretty good. They don't give away too much. Sometimes people love dropping spoilers, but our fans are good. They tend to do it in such a way that doesn't ruin it for fans who don't want to know."--Phil Keoghan


Offline georgiapeach

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Re: Lee Sanders: Blood of the Realm
« Reply #10 on: May 02, 2014, 11:40:28 PM »
Huge Congrats to Lee and his partner Michael McNelly on the release of their new Fantasy novel "Blood of the Realm"!! A STAR is Born!

 You can visit the website to purchase your very own e-copy now: only $4.99!!
http://www.thenayoransaga.com/shop/

 or the Amazon link is here: http://tiny.cc/w4l8ex

There is also a preview on Amazon!
"Our fans are pretty good. They don't give away too much. Sometimes people love dropping spoilers, but our fans are good. They tend to do it in such a way that doesn't ruin it for fans who don't want to know."--Phil Keoghan

Offline tarflyonthewall

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Re: Lee Sanders: Blood of the Realm
« Reply #11 on: May 05, 2014, 10:20:13 PM »
Congrats on the book!

Quote
I should add that the editors actually place the music onto the scenes, and in many cases they'll find something from a previous cycle's music that works well for a new event (even if I've written something new for it). That's one way that reality TV works very differently from other TV formats.

Oooh, interesting. What is your take on the recent(ish) decision to put local/local-inspired music over the end credits? I really want to like the added cultural element, and I love the show's music, but often the music chosen is a little too upbeat to me given there's usually an elimination directly before.

Offline Lee Sanders

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Re: Lee Sanders: Blood of the Realm
« Reply #12 on: May 09, 2014, 10:09:23 AM »
That's a great question, Tarfly (can I call you 'Tarfly?').

We've definitely put a greater emphasis on music as a vehicle for "expressing cultural variety" (as opposed to "pushing the dramatic intensity of a situation," for example, or "emphasizing character relationships") in the last few cycles. I think the end credits music is an outgrowth of that shift.

To my mind the show has a three-ingredient recipe: A) travelogue, B) action, and C) relationships. The music has to be serving one of those at any given moment.

Last thought here: I haven't had a conversation about this with anyone in the production, but my sense is that the end credits music often sums up an episode *as a whole*. So turning the emotional corner from a difficult elimination can definitely be tricky (especially if a given locale's ethnic music has an inherently light-hearted feel).

tl;dr: Agreed that it can be a mixed bag in certain situations.

Offline tarflyonthewall

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Re: Lee Sanders: Blood of the Realm
« Reply #13 on: May 19, 2014, 02:14:03 AM »
That's definitely a good point, and there are rare occasions when it's so bizarre it works perfectly - the one that instantly comes to mind is following up Abbie & Ryan's bitter elimination with the jaunty Dutch street grinder music - so it's not as if it's awful every week. It may just be that the music is being used directly after the elimination (instead of, say, using the 'next week' preview to shift the tone and putting it on the longer section of credits afterward) that is making it feel so awkward.

I was thinking last night about what the music choice should be if the show ever comes back to Australia. I eventually came up with this, which is somehow simultaneously the most and least Australian piece of music imaginable LOL.

(Sorry for derailing the thread.)


 

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