Author Anne Elisabeth Stengl
Anne Elisabeth Stengl makes her home in Raleigh, North Carolina, where she lives with her husband, Rohan, a passel of cats, and one long-suffering dog. When she's not writing, she enjoys Shakespeare, opera, and tea, and studies piano, painting, and pastry baking. She studied illustration at Grace College and English literature at Campbell University. She is the author of HEARTLESS, VEILED ROSE, MOONBLOOD, and STARFLOWER, with DRAGONWITCH due to release in 2013. HEARTLESS and VEILED ROSE have each been honored with a Christy Award.
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?
The book blast will begin on January 15th and be for a $50 Amazon Gift Card
Who designed your book cover?
Paul Higdon, the head of the art department at Bethany House Publishers. He has been in the book-designing business for a long time, and he really knows his stuff! He is also great about taking input, and I always have an opportunity to send him a document full of ideas and character suggestions. I love what he does!
How do you market your work? What avenues have you found to work best for your genre?
I've found that the blogging community is the best place to market the YA fantasy genre, at least for me. There are so many lovely networks of fantasy lovers out there, so book tours (such as this one!), interviews, sneak peeks, etc. have been great marketing avenues for me.
I also spend a lot of time working on my own blog, and I try to keep it very interactive with the fans. Makes it more fun for all of us!
What inspired you to be a writer?
I have always wanted to be a writer. I love good books, and I love good storytelling. I think I was born for this job.
What inspired you to write this book?
You know, I had the original idea for Starflower back when I was in high school, and I don't exactly remember what first sparked it! I think it was at least partially inspired from a scene in George MacDonald's very strange book Phantastes, in which the protagonist of that story sees a village offering sacrifices to a mysterious dark god. The scene was chilling, and it definitely inspired aspects of Starflower later on!
The story is also based off the classic Fairy Tale motif of Maiden and Wolf . . . a motif so ingrained in our imaginations from the time we are children, it feels totally natural to us. As though these two--like Red Riding Hood and her wolf--are destined forever to be pitted against one another. Starflower is my own contribution!
What will you release next?
My next novel is Dragonwitch, due to release July 1, 2013. So, coming up pretty soon now! I'm very excited to share this next story with you. Here's the back cover write-up:
Submissive to her father's will, Lady Leta of Aiven travels far to meet a prospective husband she neither knows nor loves--Lord Alistair, future king of the North Country.
But within the walls of Gaheris Castle, all is not right. Vicious night terrors plague Lord Alistair to the brink of insanity. Whispers rise from the family crypt. The reclusive castle Chronicler, Leta's tutor and friend, possesses a secret so dangerous it could cost his life and topple the North Country into civil war.
And far away in a hidden kingdom, a fire burns atop the Temple of the Sacred Flame. Acolytes and priestesses serve their goddess to the limits of their lives and deaths. No one is safe while the Dragonwitch searches for the sword that slew her twice...and for the one person who can wield it.
What books are in your TBR pile?
The Big Over Easy -- Jasper Fforde
Heroes of the Valley -- Jonathan Stroud
And a Georgette Heyer novel, the name of which escapes me at the moment . . .
What advice do you have for aspiring writers?
Read! And read, and read, and read some more. Read things you love, read things you hate. Read tons of material from the genre you want to write. Read the classics, as many of them as you can get your hands on. The more you read, the more the writing world will open up to you. The more you read, the more other writers who have paved the way for you will reveal their secrets. So read!!!
What is one of your favorite books and why?
I just read Jasper Fforde's completely fabulous dystopian/comedy, Shades of Grey. It was so . . . weird. And wonderful. And completely unlike anything I have ever, ever, ever read! I was so confused the first two or three chapters, and then I stopped trying to make everything make sense, and it was absolutely phenomenal. I can't recommend that book enough!
Please provide a favorite excerpt from your book:
The girl did not stir when Eanrin lifted her into his arms; her sleep was profound indeed. Her head lolled over his arm, and he was obliged to part her thick hair to uncover her face. It was an uncommonly beautiful face for a mortal.
However, this girl’s beauty was different from any he had ever before seen. For one thing, her skin was rich dark brown, and her hair glossy black. For another, she was imperfect. Her teeth, visible between gently parted lips, were a little crooked. Mud stained her skin, making it darker still, and her brow, even in sleep, was puckered with anxiety or fear. Her dreams must be wicked indeed.
Eanrin grimaced at the sight and almost put her down again. After all, a princess with dreams like those probably had a tale of woe to match. She would certainly wake with expectations of a handsome hero to aid her. As far as Eanrin was concerned, a dash of heroism was one thing, but commitment to a cause? Never. Rushing off to the rescue of Lady Gleamdren was different, for he had determined that she must be his wife and the sole inspiration to his life’s work. Besides, he loved her.
This creature meant nothing to him.
But blood oozed from the abrasions on her wrists. And her body, mortal and vulnerable, lay in his arms. Eanrin rolled his eyes heavenward as though to seek some holy aid. Then he braced himself and wiped the mud off her lips with the edge of his cloak. She frowned in her sleep and stirred, but did not wake.
“Nothing for it,” he muttered. Closing his eyes and trying not to smell her any more than he must, he leaned in and kissed her . . .
~But you'll have to pick up Starflower to see what happens from there!~
Please list 4 facts about you and/or you book:
I am a classic crazy-cat-lady. I spend my free time rescuing wild kittens, taming them, and finding them homes. It's a fun and rather furry pastime.
I met my husband at fencing class! I was researching for my debut novel, Heartless, and lo and behold, Prince Charming himself was studying at the same club. It was all very swashbuckler.
I used to be an art teacher/portrait painter before I took up fulltime writing.
When I was in high school, I practiced the piano for three hours every day, religiously. I almost went into music, but ended up pursuing literature instead. The rest is history!
What is a quote you find inspiring?
“Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp, or what's a heaven for?” -- Robert Browning
Are there any fictional characters that you've had a secret crush on?
Oh, yes. I had a major crush on Sherlock Holmes when I was fourteen. Later on, I fell madly in love with Howl from Diana Wynne Jones's Howl's Moving Castle. I also had quite a passion for Eugenides from Megan Whalen Turner's Queen's Thief series. There were more, but these are the first to come to mind . . . .