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Rolandsbogen (photo by Tohma via Wikimedia Commons, used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License)

What do an ivy-covered arch, four nonfiction books, and a painting about “The Song of Roland” have in common?

They all relate to the answers to questions about The Cross and the Dragon on this Sunday’s Unusual Historicals, a blog dedicated to fiction in unusual places and times. My debut novel is a tale of love amid the wars and blood feuds of Charlemagne’s reign.

Here are the questions:

From Diane Denton: How was the idea for your novel born? Obviously, you have an interest in the period, but what moved you to focus on the characters and their story as you did?

Four great resources about the Carolingians (photo by Kim Rendfeld)

From Sandy Frykholm: I think of the early Middle Ages as a fairly dry period for source material. What variety of sources did you find? Any that particularly surprised you—either in content or the fact that they exist at all?

From Roseanne E. Lortz: How did the epic poem “The Song of Roland” influence you in your writing? Are there elements in the novel that you took from the poem?

Visit Unusual Historicals for the answers.

Roland at Roncesvalles

Roland at Roncesvalles, Odilon Redon, c.1869 (public domain image via Wikipaintings)