Hello! I am Anne Elisabeth, a lover of Fairy Tales, cats, Sri Lankan teas, classical piano, fuzzy socks, and old literature.
I am the author of the Tales of Goldstone Wood series, fantasy novels written in the Classic Fairy Tale style. My debut novel, Heartless, won the 2011 Christy Award for Debut Novel and was an INSPY Award finalist. My sophomore novel, Veiled Rose, won the 2012 Christy Award for Visionary Novel and was a Romantic Times Inspirational Novel of the Year finalist . . . so it's been a busy couple of years!
I live with my handsome husband in a little house on a hill in North Carolina, where we enjoy gardening and music, fine tea and pastries, and lots of company.
What is Starflower about?
Starflower tells the story of self-centered immortal poet Eanrin and the mortal girl he finds trapped in an enchanted sleep deep in the magical Wood Between. Against his better judgment, Eanrin chooses to wake the girl . . . and finds himself caught up in an adventure far more dangerous than he ever imagined!
Sounds like an interesting tale! What appeals to you most about writing fiction?
Storytelling is in my blood. I come from a family of storytellers, so it is as natural to me as breathing to create a tale. Novel-writing suits me far better than short stories too, since it gives me so much room to flesh out all the various characters and threads!
What are two things people might be surprised to know about you?
I'm an utter crazy cat lady. Die-hard, in fact. I rescue wild kittens out of my neighborhood, tame them, and find them homes. For a few days this last summer, we had more than twelve cats in our little house at one time! I've got traps set even now to catch two more kittens, who will then be cleaned up, loved on, and found permanent homes. That's right. Crazy. Cat. Lady.
I can't eat cilantro. It tastes like soap. And since every gourmet cook in the galaxy lives to cook with cilantro, this definitely limits my gourmet dining experience. (But I mean . . . ick! Who wants to eat soap?)
Lol! I'm not too crazy about cilantro either. I'm mexican so it's kinda hard to avoid it in my family's cooking :D What is your favorite thing to do in your spare time?
I am a bookworm. I love YA fantasy novels! Diana Wynne Jones, Sir Terry Pratchett, Robin McKinley, Shannon Hale, Megan Whalen Turner . . . they are my favorites!
I also love to bake pastries, play classical piano, sing jazz standards, paint with acrylics, sketch, and take long, romantic walks with my adored husband.
If you could have any superpower, what would you choose?
Oh, I'd fly. No doubt about it.
Name 3 things you can’t live without.
My husband, Rohan. He is my encourager and support in all things, my best friend, and my best source of amusement.
My Mummy. Though she lives across the country, we talk every day and are very close. She is my number one brainstorming partner, my confidant, and my other best friend.
KITTIES!!!!! (Told you. Crazycatlady)
Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?
Rather more often than I like to admit, yes. I usually find the best way to clear it up is to read a book. Not just any book, though! I must read a book I love, a book that reminds me why I write. Anything by Terry Pratchett or Diana Wynne Jones usually does the trick.
I also like to sketch when I'm writer's blocked. Sketching taps into the non-verbal side of my creativity, giving my writing brain a break. Piano practice helps a bit as well, but sketching is more often what I turn to.
Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
Every time I hear from a fan who tells me how much one of my books has touched him/her, I feel so blessed and rewarded. I have developed some real friendships with many of these fans, from all walks of life and from all over the world. I love them all, those I hear from only once, and those I hear from once a week!
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
In Starflower? I suppose not . . . I mean, every time I get to the very last read-through before it goes to print, I think to myself, "Dragons blast it! This is the worst piece of idiot writing anyone ever put to paper!" and I wish I could re-do the whole thing. But that's just fear talking. It's hard to let your baby go, sending it out into the world to readers, some of whom will love it, some of whom will hate it. But that doesn't mean it isn't ready to go.
Starflower was the book I was meant to write when I wrote it. I wouldn't write it that way now . . . but then, it also wouldn't be Starflower!
What was your favorite scene to write in Starflower?
I love the scene where Starflower gets awakened from her enchanted sleep . . . by an unexpected source! I had a lot of fun writing that, but I can't say more without giving anything away. :) I also really loved writing the climactic scenes between her and the villain. I have had this story in my head since I was seventeen years old, so finally writing it out and seeing it come alive on the page was a total thrill!
Can't wait to read it! What's next for you?
Come summer 2013, my fifth novel, Dragonwitch, will hit the shelves! Dragonwitch is another Tale of Goldstone Wood, and it is the closest thing to an "epic" fantasy I have written yet (the others I would call "fairy tale novels"). It was tremendously difficult to write but tremendously satisfying to finish, and I can hardly wait to share.
I am currently drafting Book 6 in the series, which will release Spring 2014. So, plenty more to come in Goldstone Wood.
Is there anything else you'd like to add? Where can readers find you on the web?
I love to hear from my readers! So please do find me on my blog (anneelisabethstengl.blogspot.com) or on Facebook under my name, Anne Elisabeth Stengl (author). You can also follow me on Twitter (AnneElisabeth Stengl), but I'm still learning the ropes of that one, so you'll have to bear with me . . .
Thank you for the fun interview, Anne! It was so great to have you here today :) I'm looking forward to reading Starflower!
Anne Elisabeth was so very kind to offer a signed copy of Starflower to give away! How nice is that?! The giveaway is open internationally and you have until October 16th to enter.
*Note: The winner will have to wait a couple weeks to receive the book since Starflower doesn't release until November.a Rafflecopter giveaway