Welcome! When this blog post is posted, my book will have been out for just over a month! Wow, time flies! I know at least a few of you have started reading The Cardinal War so I wanted to start talking about more specifics of the book rather than just myself, as interesting as reading about me may be ;).

So this month, we will be talking about Eileen [Aye-leen], one of the two main characters of the story as well as the first character that was created for this book. I find when I write, I tend to add elements of myself into the story or in this case opposites of myself, at least in terms of physical appearance. My hair is a very light blonde so I knew in my story I wanted the exact opposite for my main character, also I did think the dark hair color with pale skin would look striking in illuminating lightning since the beginning takes place in a storm. Now there will be no major spoilers in this post as I will mostly talk about her as a character and a bit about her past, we will save her future for a later post. I will be talking about her wings but that is a detail discussed in the first chapter of The Cardinal War, so if you have not read that far, get to reading!

I mentioned in a previous blog post that the wings was something I knew I wanted to be a central feature of the story. To start with, I created the four manors and separated them with their differing wing color focuses. That left the Emperor’s manor to be something striking and different from the others. This is where the contrast comes back in with Eileen, I wanted something to go against her dark hair and what better than pure white wings, well almost pure white. I do not go into too much detail about why she decides to cover her wings, but in an area where most wing colors fall in the brown, grey and black spectrum, even a common street thief would be aware that her wing color was unique. She would not have the knowledge of the Emperors wing color as this was kept fairly secret, especially due to the fact that the Emperor has been sick and out of public eye for some time. Eileen learnt quickly growing up that she was different, so to block the stares and whispers she created a cover, for both her wings and her life.

A simple story, a fire burning down her home, not only explained why she covered her wings but also why she was living on the streets. If anyone bothered to speak to her when she was trying to snatch a meal or some change, she could earn some sympathy as she always said this is how she lost her parents as well. Especially with everyone having something as delicate as feathers on their person, no one questioned why she would not want to show the damage. Eileen created such a form fitting cover that she had never had an issue with her true wing color being revealed, until the rain mixed with being shoved caused the edge to slip. Growing up on the streets, and being very familiar with this particular thug group, she would have quickly realized that being exposed to them would mean being exposed to everyone. You may wonder why she was so worried about the world finding out she had white wings, but remember that for pretty much her whole life, Eileen lived on the streets learning that she had only herself to trust. She had a basic knowledge of reading and writing from whoever raised her, that memory was a bit foggy, but otherwise she learnt what she knew from street sense and observation. Trusting no one, other than the minstrel group she learned to have confidence with, was a way to stay alive and fed.

The minstrel group, while they as a whole will be talked about in a future blog, I will briefly mention how she met them. One cold day where Eileen had had little success in thievery, she stumbled across the group as they were setting up. Seeing that they were distracted with their instruments, Eileen crept close and tried to steal a coin purse. Turns out the one woman, Ceridwen, was well aware she was there and stopped her before she succeeded. For some reason, instead of retreating, Eileen felt a calming presence radiating off her and stood her ground. Before long, the two were talking and Eileen had food in her belly and a few coins in her hands. She also had an open invitation to watch the group preform whenever they were in town and she could learn as well.

As I mentioned earlier in this post, I will talk about the future of Eileen in another post, but I wanted to give some background behind the young thief to go along with the story.

Thank you all for coming on this journey with me and happy reading!

Idea of what Eileen might look like

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