Hello there! I’m C. K. Heartwing, a homeschool graduate with a heart for stories that shine light in the darkness and that point to the redemption found in our precious Savior Jesus Christ.
Introduce your character to me—who is she? What story is she from?
Today I am excited to introduce you all to Annwyl McKeiran, one of my lead characters of my current WIP A Wood So Great and Terrible! She is the daughter of the chieftain of the Siobhite Clan that borders an unclaimed stretch of land known as the Wilderwilde to the east and the kingdom of Acton that lies to the west. Her mother, however, came from a far southern kingdom and had to flee north to Acton when her kingdom was overthrown.
Give a synopsis of her past
At the start of the story, Annwyl is twenty. She spent her childhood exploring and playing in the glens and highlands of her Clan’s territory with her dear cousin Felim. She lost her mother when she was a young girl, and so she was mostly raised by her father, but her cousin Felim was a constant companion for her, always by her side and intent on keeping her safe.
What gave/gives you inspiration for her?
If I’m honest, I don’t entirely remember what was the initial spark of inspiration for Annwyl’s character, but I do remember that she was there from the start with my very first ideas for A Wood So Great and Terrible. I knew the chieftain’s daughter that had come along with the plot idea would play an important role, and so I set out to learn more about her. Images of glens, tartans, lone grey castles, highlands, and ball gowns from the 18th century would definitely fill up a moodboard for her.
Her mare picked her way up the wild trail with a sure foot, and Annwyl looked out at the great expanse of rolling meadows and wooded glens that stretched below. There was some sort of rugged beauty up here in the highlands that tugged at her heart in a way that the forest could not. Here all was rough and wild. When storms rolled through, the winds and rains whipped through the moors without a shred of mercy, but even in its harshness, it brought wonder to her heart.
How has her past shaped what she is now? What is that personality?
During her childhood, a strange illness swept the Clan, which claimed her mother’s life. Annwyl remembers little of her, but from what she does remember and from the stories from her father, she aspires to have the same quiet strength and kindness that her mother possessed. Annwyl is also fiercely loyal, and after losing her mother at a young age, that loyalty and protectiveness can quickly harden her kindness towards any that cross or threaten those she holds dear.
What are her strengths and weaknesses?
Annwyl is a very strong character who is not afraid to speak her mind, but at the same time, she has a kind heart. Like mentioned in my previous answer, she is loyal to those she loves, but that loyalty turns to fierce protectiveness if she feels that her loved ones have been wronged in some way. This protectiveness paired with stubbornness can sometimes make it hard for her to forgive at times. While she can handle temporary changes, anything that would keep her from her family and homeland would devastate her.
Give a few examples of how she needs to/will grow throughout the story. (Without spoilers )
Near the beginning of A Wood So Great and Terrible, Annwyl goes to the neighboring kingdom of Acton to serve as ambassador for her people. This is a large change for her, and fearing change, it forces her to learn to adapt and to trust God with the unexpected paths in life. She also is faced with having to learn to truly forgive later on in the story, but I won’t say any more on that front. Spoilers. 😉
“I know,” she looked away. Hot tears burned the backs of her eyes and she blinked them away in a fury. “But I have never been apart from all of my kin before. I’ve always had you by my side like a faithful brother. And you steady my temper when it rises with its furies.”
What is her greatest struggle or fear? What is she most afraid of losing?
After losing her mother as a child, Annwyl most fears losing those she loves. She struggles sometimes with not worrying about them, and being away from her family for the first time while she serves as ambassador to Acton is very difficult for her.
…and fear of what? The future? Leaving her father’s home? She closed her eyes. ..and things will be different than they have been. Her shoulders slumped. Why must I fear that… that change?
Character Appearance: Hair? Eyes? Height? Other?
Annwyl has long dark curls and a darker skin tone like her mother, but she has her father’s green eyes and freckles. She’s a little over average height at 5’7”.