INTERVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Starflower by Anne Elisabeth Stengl
by Anne Elisabeth Stengl
Tales of Goldstone Wood Series, Book 4
When a cursed dragon-witch kidnaps the lovely Lady Gleamdren, Eanrin sets boldly forth on a rescue mission…and a race against his rival for Gleamdren’s favor. Intent upon his quest, the last thing the immortal Faerie needs is to become mixed up with the troubles of an insignificant mortal.
But when he stumbles upon a maiden trapped in an enchanted sleep, he cannot leave her alone in the dangerous Wood Between. One waking kiss later, Eanrin suddenly finds his story entangled with that of young Starflower. A strange link exists between this mortal girl and the dragon-witch. Will Starflower prove the key to Lady Gleamdren’s rescue? Or will the dark power from which she flees destroy both her and her rescuer?
1. Tell us a little about yourself.
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.
2. What made you want to become a writer?
I grew up knowing that I wanted to be an author. My mother was a professional novelist with sixteen published titles to her name (including the award-winning Faithful Traitor), so professional writing always seemed very possible to me. I wrote my first “novel” when I was nine, enjoyed it very much, and never stopped!
I wrote my debut novel, Heartless, the summer after I left college, found an agent a year later, who found a publishing house a year after that. In the professional publishing world, that’s lightning speed! I was very blessed to have all the right doors open at the right times . . . and to have a story I wanted to tell as much as I wanted to tell Heartless!
3. Who or what gives you inspiration?
Great writing! I spend a lot of time reading the classics as well as current favorites, and a well-written book never ceases to excite and inspire me. It reminds me why I want to do what I do, keeping present in my mind the thrill of a story well told. This is why I think the most important thing an aspiring writer can do is read, read, read, read, and read!
4. Tell us about Starflower.
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 all his better judgments, Eanrin chooses to wake the girl . . . and finds himself caught up in an adventure far more dangerous than he ever imagined!
5. What’s the hardest part of being a writer?
I think every professional writer faces the terrible question: “Can I do it again?” It’s so wonderful to finish a novel, to rewrite it, to polish it up and know it’s been done well. But then comes time to start a new novel. And it’s frightening! Sure, I’ve written multiple novels, sold multiple contracts, won multiple awards and critical acclaim, etc. But . . . can I do it again?
This is why beginnings are always the toughest for me to write. The great fear factor must be overcome before I can start enjoying my work again!
6. What do you need around you to write (special drink, lucky items, etc)?
I drink lots of tea while I write. Strong, black Ceylon tea with a little cream and sugar. I don’t know if I could successfully write novels without it! I also need a cat or two present. Cats are very motivational (for one thing, when they sit in your lap, it keeps you stationary until naptime is over. Great writing time!)
7. What are some of your favorite books?
I love anything by Sir Terry Pratchett (of Discworld fame). Every time I open one of his novels, I sink into a happy world of beautiful writing, clever storylines, unforgettable characters, and general awesomeness. I adore Diana Wynne Jones’s Howl’s Moving Castle and almost everything else she ever wrote. C. S. Lewis’s amazing Till We Have Faces is a book I want to read over and over again because there’s always something new to grasp. The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle surprised me by both its depth and humor, and I’ve read it three times in the last two years. George MacDonald’s The Princess and the Goblin was a childhood favorite that continues to charm me to this day.
8. Are your characters based on anyone you know?
All of my characters, both heroes and villains, are little pieces of me. Even those whom I might think are based on people I know ultimately are based only on my impressions of people I know . . . which means those characters are still pieces of me.
9. What, if anything, are you working on right now?
I am just about to finish drafting the sixth novel (as yet untitled) in the Tales of Goldstone Wood, which will release spring of 2014! I am also about to begin a round of rewrites on Book 5, Dragonwitch, which will release summer of 2013. So there are plenty more Goldstone Wood stories in the works!
10. Why do you love writing?
Storytelling is in my blood. I come from a family of storytellers, so creating a tale is as natural to me as breathing. And I love solving the puzzle each novel presents, with all its characters, all their motivations, all the threads of plot weaving together. It’s thrilling to discover how a story is meant to be told . . . thrilling and challenging!
About the Author
Anne Elisabeth is the award-winning author of the Tales of Goldstone Wood, a series of fantasy adventure novels told in the classic Fairy Tale style. She is married to the handsome man she met at fencing class and lives with him, a gaggle of cats, and one long-suffering dog in NC.
Anne Elisabeth has generously offered one winner a signed copy of Starflower, along with some swag!
Comment below with your favorite fantasy book, or one you wish to read.
Giveaway winner will be chosen November 21.