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.
PURCHASE ANNE ELISABETH’S BOOKS
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.
Posted on November 12, 2012, in books, free, Giveaway, interview, reading. Bookmark the permalink. 20 Comments.
I have no idea what my favorite fantasy novel would be. I kniw that I want to read the rest of Stengl’s books though. I have read the first and I loved it.
Die for Me is my favorite right now. Thanks.
A Game of Thrones has got to be my favorite
I just finished Die for Me is was really great I don’t know if I really have a favorite was a have read quite a few Thanks for the chance to win
crystaley73 at yahoo dot com
My favorite fantasy book of this year is Shadow and Bone!
Thanks for the awesome giveaway!
I have so many books i enjoy. I dont really have a favorite but I really enjoy the Iron far series. Like the iron queen. 🙂
Good Omens is my favorite- and my fave to lend out. However, anything by Sharon Lee, Michelle Sagara West, and Mercedes Lackey are always winners!
I really want to read Moonblood and Starflower!
Awesome interview! Since you got me into fantasy I would definitely say the Goldstone Woods is my favorite series
As usual, Anne Elisabeth, I enjoyed this interview, and I especially appreciated your comments on the trepidation you feel when you approach writing a new novel. I’m sure we take it for granted that writers hear that terrible little voice whispering, “What if I can’t pull it off again? What if all my good ideas are dried up?” But to hear it from you is encouraging through the simple fact that I, at least, know I am not alone.
And now for fantasies and fairytales. My favourite fairytale is a little thing tucked inside “The Yellow Fairy Book,” and that is the story of Prince Ring and Snati. (As a matter of fact, I love it so much that Snati wormed his way into “Plenilune”.) But my favourite fantasy book is E.R. Eddison’s “The Worm Ouroboros,” which did not even both to pull out a chair for me like a gentleman (even though it knew I would need it): it socked me dead between the eyes and I fell on the floor quite senseless. Hmph. But I still love it to death.
My favorite fantasy stories are the old Fairytales like Beauty and the Beast.
I have the first two books of Anne Elisabeth Stengl’s books, and can’t wait to get the rest. Would love to win this one!
I love George MacDonald books! Also Tales of Goldstone Wood. 🙂
I would have to say either Heartless or The Silver Chair:)
I hate picking favorites because there are so many great fantasy books out there. My top three are all of Tolkien’s works, Pendragon Cycle by Steven Lawhead, and Tales of Goldstone Wood.
Beauty and the Beast is probably my favorite classic fairytale, although there are many I have read and enjoyed over the years, including yours! 🙂
My favorite fantasies are Poison Study by Maria Snyder and the Raine Benares series by Lisa Shearin :).
Thanks for having the giveaway and for the heads up about the book!
dmr8888 at yahoo dot com
My favorite fantasy novel is Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier. I’ve read it over & over. It’s based on the seven swans myth.
Thank you for the chance to win!
I love The Lord of the Rings, Chronicles of Narnia, and Tales of Goldstone Wood. My daughter and I are really looking forward to the next two books in Tales of Goldstone Wood and are hoping Ms. Stengl’s books will continue to be published!
Thank you for sharing the interview and the giveaway.