In the latest game of tag for historical fiction authors on the blogosphere, we introduce the main character of our work in progress or soon to be published novel. Of course, I just had to introduce the heroine of The Ashes of Heaven’s Pillar. My thanks to Tinney Heath, author of A Thing Done, winner of a much-deserved Sharp Writ Book Award, for tagging me.

1) What is the name of your character? Is he/she fictional or a historic person?

My main character is Leova, a pagan Continental Saxon peasant and mother of two, Deorlaf, age 12, and Sunwynn, age 9. They are products of my imagination, but the story is set against historic events.

2) When and where is the story set?

It’s set in the 770s, the earlier years of Charlemagne’s reign, when he was merely Charles, king of the Franks. The story starts in Eresburg, Saxony, (today’s Obermarsberg, Germany) and moves to several locations in Francia, including Nevers and Le Mans in today’s France. In the course of the story, Leova and her son go to Paderborn, only a three-day journey by foot to Eresburg, but then return to Francia. You’ll need to read the book to find out why.

3) What should we know about him/her?

Leova is an ordinary woman but not a typical heroine. She is a peasant, not royalty or even an aristocrat. At 28, she looks good for her age but is not a blooming maiden. Disease and the possibility of bad harvests make conditions for medieval peasants tough by our standards, yet at the beginning of the novel, Leova considers her life good, with a loving, faithful husband, two healthy children, a small farm, and a freedom she takes for granted.

4) What is the main conflict? What messes up his/her life?

War and betrayal. In 772, Charles’s Franks invade Saxony, conquer Eresburg, and destroy the Irminsul, a pillar sacred to the Saxons, all historic events. With the defeat of the Saxons, Leova loses her husband, her faith, and her home. When the relatives obliged to protect her instead sell her and her children into slavery, she even loses her freedom. All she has left are her children.

5) What is the personal goal of the character?

Leova will protect her children at any cost, even her own honor and safety, and she wants justice against the relatives who betrayed her.

6) Is there a working title for this novel, and can we read more about it?

It’s The Ashes of Heaven’s Pillar, and oh yes, can you read more. Visit kimrendfeld.com for an excerpt and the first chapter.

Thanks for visiting. I have tagged five authors to follow me; they will post about their main characters about a week from now:

D.M. Denton, author of A House Near Luccoli

Elizabeth Caulfield Felt, author of Syncopation: A Memoir of Adele Hugo

Susan Keogh, author of the Jack Mallory Chronicles

Jessica Knauss, author of Seven Noble Knights and the Providence Trilogy

Susan Spann, author of the Shinobi Mysteries