1. What is name of your character? Is he/she fictional or a historic person?
There are two main characters in Curses and Smoke: A Novel of Pompeii, and their voices alternate. However, today I’m just going to focus on Tages or Tag, a medical slave in a gladiatorial school because…well, just look at the pic of how I imagine him. Tag falls in love
2. When and where is the story set?
The story is set in the weeks before the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in Pompeii in 79 CE.
3. What should we know about him?
Tag’s ancestors came from noble Etruscan stock but his family was thrown into slavery when Rome took Pompeii during the “Social Wars” generations before. He is bitterly resentful of the Roman “occupation” of Pompeii (even at the time of the city’s destruction, the Romans still called Pompeii their “colony”).
Although in his heart he is a healer, Tag dreams of training to fight in the arena as a means to win his freedom.
4. What is the main conflict—what messes up his life?
The main conflict is that he falls in love with the daughter of the man who owns him. Any kind of relationship between them would’ve been seen as a major taboo. In addition, his father is beginning to lose his faculties and he is desperate to keep the master from noticing because he is afraid his owner would throw the aged healer out on the street once he lost his usefulness.
5. What is his personal goal?
Tag’s personal goal is to earn his freedom. The quickest way to do that, he thinks, is to train like a gladiator. If he wins enough bouts, he could be freed—or die trying. When he and Lucia get together, his goal changes and he dreams of running away with her, even though he knows he would be crucified for touching her.
6. What is the book’s title and when will it come out?
The title is Curses and Smoke: A Novel of Pompeii. It is published by Arthur A. Levine/Scholastic and releases May 27.
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Check out other "Meet My Main Character" Posts in the coming weeks by authors