1) What is the name of your character? Is he or she fictional or a historic person?
Her name is Lainie Banfrey. She's fictional (but don't tell her that!).
2) When and where is the story set?
The story is set in the Wildings, a fantasy world inspired by the American West of the 1880s. Non-magical people have fled from persecution in the mage-ruled civilized land of Granadaia to settle in the wide-open Wildings.
3) What should we know about him or her?
Lainie is the 19-year-old daughter of a moderately prosperous (though far from wealthy) cattle rancher in Bitterbush Springs. It's just her and her father; her mother died when Lainie was 6 years old, and her older brother was killed in a shootout between feuding miners and ranch men. She's a hard worker, tending to both ranch chores and housekeeping, and she's an excellent cook. She's proud of her full 6-year education at the Bitterbush Springs Town School, and she loves to read all the penny-thriller novels she can get her hands on.
4) What is the main conflict? What messes up his or her life?
Lainie was born in the Wildings to Plain (non-magical) parents, but she inherited magical power from a grandmother who was a mage. Mages are hated and feared by the Plain settlers, so Lainie has to hide her power. She's torn over her power: she wants to be able to use it to do good, but she's been taught all her life that wizards are monsters with no heart and no soul.
When a dangerous renegade mage comes to Bitterbush Springs and stirs up a feud, Lainie meets Silas Vendine, a bounty hunter on the renegade's trail. To her, he seems like the man of her dreams, even though he's a mage. Lainie's power is discovered by Silas, who is legally required to either Strip her of her power, which would leave her a helpless, mindless shell, or to take her to Granadaia to be trained in magic, a process that would probably destroy the young woman she is and turn her into the monster she's afraid of becoming. Lainie refuses to go along with either option, and Silas can't bring himself to force her.
Lainie teams up with Silas to stop the renegade mage. The renegade discovers her power, and then the whole town finds out about it, with the result that her whole life is uprooted and sent in a direction she never imagined.
5) What is the personal goal of the character?
She wants to learn to use her power while remaining herself and not becoming a monster like she's always been taught mages are, and to use her power to protect the peace and freedom of the people of the Wildings. At the same time, she wants to convince the settlers that not all mages are evil, and eventually make it so that mages and Plain folk can live together peacefully.
6) What is the title of the book(s), and where can find out more?
The series is Daughter of the Wildings (click to go to the series page for book extras, buy links, and more information).
Book 1: Beneath the Canyons (now available)
Book 2: Bad Hunting (now available)
Book 3: The Rancher's Daughter (coming soon)
Book 4: To the Gap
Book 5: City of Mages
Book 6: For the Wildings
7) When was the book published?
Beneath the Canyons was published November 2014, and Bad Hunting was published just a few days ago, Feb. 20. Anticipated release for The Rancher's Daughter is May 2015.
Update: The next stop on the Meet My Character blog hop is Cora Buhlert, discussing her hero Richard Blakemore. Cora Buhlert was born and bred in Bremen, North Germany, where she still lives today - after time spent in London, Singapore, Rotterdam and Mississippi. Cora holds an MA degree in English from the University of Bremen and is currently working towards her PhD. Cora has been writing, since she was a teenager, and has published stories, articles and poetry in various international magazines. When she is not writing, she works as a translator and teacher.