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My local newspaper, The Courier-Times in New Castle, Indiana, ran a story about me and my book on Saturday, August 11. It is reposted here, with permission.–Kim

‘The Cross and the Dragon’ is new novel written by New Castle resident

Donna Cronk
Neighbors Editor

Kim RendfeldWriter Kim Rendfeld has never lost her love of reading about legends and fairy tales.

In fact, she enjoys them so much that she crafts her own stories. She is the newly published author of a work of historical fiction, “The Cross and the Dragon.” The novel, available now in the Friends of the Library Gift Shop in the New Castle-Henry County Public Library, is $18.95 plus tax. Copies purchased in the gift shop benefit local reading programs, Noteworthy concerts and projects not covered by tax dollars.

The printed book is also available through Amazon and Barnes & Noble for around $20 and e-books are $7.50.

The novelist received a boost in 2011 when Publishers Weekly reviewed her pre-publication manuscript in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award competition. It was named a quarterfinalist. In a review for the periodical, Rendfeld’s unedited work was called “a pleasure to dive in to …” Other terms the publication used to describe her work include “beautifully crafted” and “elegant.”

Rendfeld describes her story as that of “a young Frankish noblewoman who must contend with a jilted suitor bent on revenge and the anxiety that her husband will be killed during the coming war in Spain. It is set in eighth-century Francia, which included today’s France, Germany, Holland, Belgium, Luxembourg and Switzerland.” More information about the author’s fiction is found on her website, www.kimrendfeld.com.

She finds the Middle Ages a fascinating period in which the political and personal intertwine. But she’s not longing for a time machine. “I am really, really glad to be living in 21st century America, when family scandals among leaders is fodder for the tabloids, not cause for war.”

A six-year New Castle resident, the author moved to town with her husband, Randy, managing editor of The Courier-Times. She has enjoyed an extensive career in various aspects of journalism and communications. Currently, Rendfeld is senior manager of editorial services at Ball State University where she copy edits university communications through publications, news releases and Web copy.

Roots

A native of Silver Spring, Md., the author was reared in Ridgefield, N.J. where she resided with her mother. Summers were spent in Kansas with her father, stepmother and brother. Her bachelor’s degree in English and journalism is from Indiana University and her newspaper career includes editor of the weekly Dunkirk News and Sun; education reporter for The (Muncie) Star and a decade at the Journal and Courier in Lafayette as editor of the Communities Page. There, she supervised a staff responsible “for almost anything readers cut out and pasted in their scrapbooks.” She was also interim editorial page editor.

Rendfeld has a grown stepdaughter, Suzanne Thomas and is grandma to Caitlin, age 11 and McKell, 3. At home in New Castle, she enjoys gardening and cooking, serving on the Friends of the Library board and attending First United Methodist Church. She sometimes volunteers at the library.

Fairy-Tale Fun

“I’ve been interested in fairy tales as long as I can remember,” Rendfeld says. “When I was little, my mother read books with the Disney versions of Cinderella and Snow White and I had those beautifully illustrated Flower Fairy books. When I was a teenager, I became engrossed with the folk tales collected by the Grimm brothers, much darker than Disney, and I enjoyed The Enchanted World series, which covered various myths, legends and folk tales.”

As a teen, her interest turned to the The Lord of the Rings and Mary Stewart’s Crystal Cave series.

Still today, she reads a lot in the historical fiction genre. “One reason is the simple enjoyment of getting lost in another time and place, which might be why I also have a soft spot for fantasy and science fiction. Another reason I read historical fiction is to support the genre in which I wish to write.”

What’s Ahead

Her next project is polishing the manuscript for her next book, tentatively titled “The Ashes of Heaven’s Pillar,” also set in eighth-century Europe.

But for now, Rendfeld is enjoying the ride as a newly published author. She would be happy to speak to groups about her book. If interested, contact her at kim (at) kimrendfeld (dot) com.

When her work was accepted for publication … she says she was “ecstatic.

“My journey to publication took several years and many, many revisions,” Rendfeld says. “When the contract was negotiated and signed, I at first had a feeling of disbelief. Another writer describes the feeling like the Velveteen Rabbit saying, ‘I’m real.'”

Rendfeld says she has more people to thank for their help than there is space in an article. “But I cannot say enough of the support Randy gave me as I spent hours and hours at my computer, my mind centuries and an ocean away.”

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