Friday, 11 April 2014

The Latest Blog Hop: Meet My Character

Welcome all back to my Sons of the Wolf blog. I know we
haven't been around much as Wulfhere and I have been working on other projects but as I have been tagged by Rosanne E Lortz in this latest blog hop, I have the opportunity to revive this sleeping site and remind my followers and readers that we are still alive and kicking!

So Let us start the hop with the questions that one has been asked. So first, number one:

1) What is the name of your main character, his he/she fictional or a historical character

Wulfhere is an English thegn,  a Saxon who lives in the shire of Sussex, called the Suth Seaxa in old English. It is the area that used to be known as the Kingdom of the South Saxons. He owns the land that belongs to Horstede village and his property is documented in the Domesday book. He was a real person, but I have made in fictional because nothing is known about this man apart from what land he owned. And because I wanted to set this book in an area close to me, I chose him as the main character. 

2) Where and When is the story set?

The story, as I have said above is set in a village called Horstede, which is now called Little Horsted and lies near the town of Uckfield in East Sussex. In those days, the 11thc, a blanket of thick forest covered the land for 40 miles south of London and Horstede was set in a clearing of five hides, a hide being an ancient unit of land said to be the amount a family would need to live on.  It was listed in the Domesday Book as being land held from the king by Wulfhere before 1066. Holding their lands from Wulfhere, were 9 villeins and 6 cottars. Between them they owned 7 and a half ploughs with a team of 8 oxen each and 1 with a half team of 4. Now-a-days, it is little more than a hamlet. Aside from a single row of houses, a parish church and a school, there is also a Golf club and a hotel. Surrounding it there are farms and  fields. There is even a roundabout called the Little Horsted roundabout. According to David Howarth, whose book 1066:The Year of the Conquest, it is little changed from a thousand years ago. Mr Howarth's book is what inspired me to use Wulfhere as my main character. His wonderful description of life seen through the eyes of the ordinary people of England was what gave me the inspiration to write this story. 

3) What should we know about him or her?

Wulfhere might be a real historical character, but there is no documented record about his deeds or what he was like. What we can guess is that he was a thegn of middling nobility, owning the minimum  5 hides of land that a thegn could hold.  In my story, Wulfhere, being a king's thegn, works as a court official on a rota basis. The rest of his time is spent at home in Horsted carrying out maintenance works for the king and  assisting with training the local militia. His longhall in Horsted is host to his family whom he loves dearly, and his tenants to whom he is responsible as their lord. He is a man of great integrity, he would rather die in battle than run like a coward as he proves in the first novel Sons of the Wolf at the Battle of Hereford. He strives to be a good man, to love his wife and family, but he is also a flawed creature, whose own needs he sometimes puts before those he loves.

4) What is the personal goal of the character?

Wulfhere's personal goal is to keep everyone happy. He often feels pulled in different directions as the various people in his life make demands upon him. He prides himself on loyalty to his lord, Harold Godwinson, but even the great Earl's demands on him test his loyalty to the limit.

5) What is the main conflict, what messes up his or her's life?

Wulfhere is embroiled in a bloodfeud with his neighbour, Helghi. Helghi is not a thegn, but holds a substantial amount of land for a ceorl and has always been envious of Wulfhere. The feud first started many years before, over a horse that Helghi insisted on buying from Wulfhere for his young son Edgar. The horse is too wild and not properly broken in it and despite Wulfhere's protestations, Helghi insists on having it for his son. Subsequently, the horse throws seven year old Edgar and cripples him. Helghi stupidly blames Wulfhere and so the feud starts. Although this story is well known, some say that the feud harks back some generations, but no one can be sure of the origin. Unfortunately, the fragility of an already souring relationship between the two men is increased when Helghi sets his eyes on Wulfhere's wife's friend and she turns to Wulfhere for help. Wulfhere rescues the woman from Helghi's clutches and this causes more trouble for Wulfhere other than that he gets from Helghi. I shall not say too much more for fear of spoiling the story.

6) Is there a working title of this story and can we read more about it?

Wulfhere's current story that I am working on is The Wolf Banner, this is the sequel to Sons of the Wolf. ?You can read more about it on our Facebook page

7) When can we expect the book to be published?

Soon, I am hoping, but like Rosanne, it all depends on life, anything can happen. I am a busy mum and grandmother, fulltime nurse and help run The Review blog so life can be very unpredictable. Firstly though, it would be wise to read Sons of the Wolf then you will be up to speed to read The Wolf Banner.

Thanks for visiting this post, I have tagged 5 other authors and they will be posting about their main character on the 15th April. Well actually 6, I accidentally asked too many but didn't have the heart to turn one a way because they are all so awesome!


Linda Root said...

I enjoyed this review of Sons of the Wolf, which I had the honor or reviewing for The Review,as much as the glimpse into Wulfere's next adventure. Being all things to all who look to him for aid and guidance is a tough role. I am anxious to see how he deals with it.

Jen Corkill said...

Your story sounds really exciting. You've brought that character to life so well, making them feel so real. Great post!

Paula Lofting said...

Thank you ladies