Anne Elisabeth Stengl!! She is here with a giveaway!!
Anne-Elisabeth, welcome to Homeschool Authors. Would you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Hullo, all! I am Anne Elisabeth, a newlywed cat-loving writer of fairy tales who lives on a steady diet of Sri Lankan teas, lots of prayer, and good fiction. I am the author of the Tales of Goldstone Wood through Bethany House Publishers. These are YA adventure fantasies written in the classic Fairy Tale style . . . and always with a spiritual twist!
I met my handsome husband while researching fencing for my first novel, Heartless. We dueled at a fencing tournament, fell in love, and were married seven months later. It was all rather swashbuckler! We live in NC with our sixteen million (as my husband says) cats and one longsuffering dog.
My first published novel, Heartless, won the 2011 Christy Award for Debut Novel, and the sequel, Veiled Rose, is a finalist for the Romantic Times Inspirational Novel of the Year. The third in the series, Moonblood, releases this spring, and will be followed by book four, Starflower, this coming autumn. I live in a constant state of drafting, researching, and revision, and the line between Faerie and Reality has never been more blurred!
What was your favorite part of being Homeschooled?
I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to tailor the curriculum to my specific interests. Of course, I was required to study all the basics and to do them well . . . but where my interests and talents were keen, I could drive forward at whatever pace I liked! For me that meant all things literary and writing-related (though I also practiced piano a compulsive three hours a day and studied drawing and painting). Because of this individualized education, I was also able to graduate early and begin taking classes at the local tech college before transferring to the college of my choice.
Home schooling taught me the fine art of self-motivation which has contributed significantly to my ability now to meet deadlines and to succeed in the professional writing world.
What caused you to start writing?
I have always been a writer/storyteller, sprung from a family of writer/storytellers. My mother, Jill Stengl, has sixteen published inspirational romances to her name (including 2005 Carol Award-winning Faithful Traitor). I grew up coloring pictures on the backs of her discarded manuscripts, so noveling always seemed very present and very possible to me. I wrote my first "novel" when I was eleven, my first fantasy when I was twelve. And I began developing the first ideas for the Tales of Goldstone Wood when I was fourteen. I scarcely remember a time when I was not writing.
Which book was your favorite to write and why?
My favorite book to write is always the one just finished. Each one has been more difficult than the one before . . . which I take as a good sign, indicating that I am growing as a writer! But that often means the initial "fun" of drafting is not what it was back when I wrote as a hobby. It is now my job, a job I love, and a job I take very seriously.
Possibly the easiest one to write was Heartless, my debut novel, though it went through close to ten major revisions before reaching final published form. Veiled Rose was the fastest, but it was drafted on an intense two month deadline which I would never choose to repeat! I really love my most recent novel, Book 5 in the Tales of Goldstone Wood (as yet untitled). Now that it is finished, I would claim it as my favorite . . . but the writing process itself was often heinous. A good reminder to me that I do this work entirely by God's grace and sustained by His strength!
4. What is the inspiration for your latest book, Moonblood?
Moonblood, as the third in the Tales of Goldstone Wood, continues storylines from both Heartless and Veiled Rose and brings them to a dramatic resolution while leaving the door open for many more books in the series. It picks up the story of Prince Lionheart, who has dug himself a pretty dreadful hole lined with good intentions . . . and he's about to dig it deeper! The crux of the plot was inspired by the heroine, however, veiled Rose Red, an outcast with a secret past that even she cannot guess.
The inspiration for these characters and this plot--as in most of my plots--is the beauty of broken people in God's hands. Looking through Scripture, it never ceases to amaze me how all the primary characters in the history of God's people were broken, sinful, frustrating, and frustrated men and women. Men and women like you and like me. But God chose them and worked powerfully through them to accomplish His will. That's what I like to write: Broken people, unbeautiful people, frustrated, frustrating, loveable, pathetic people who must be rescued from themselves before they can hope to face the monsters in their lives. With characters like these, I never lack for plots!
Where can people get your books?
My books are available wherever books are sold. You can get them through Amazon, Barnesandnoble.com, CBD, or your local Barnes and Noble, Book World, or Christian book stores. You can also visit me at anneelisabethstengl.blogspot.com and keep your eyes open for various name-drawings and giveaways. I'm running several in the next few weeks to promote Moonblood's release, so don't miss out!
Do have any final thoughts?
If God has given you a passion for something, He intends for you to use it. Pursue your passions, pursue your dreams, be open to learning from many different sources, and remember that every experience, whether good or bad, can be used by God to shape your life in amazing directions as long as you are submitted to His leading. He uses broken people, not perfect people. And His grace is sufficient.
For those of you aspiring writers out there, my best advice is this: READ! Read a lot, read in many genres, read things you disagree with, read things you love. Study what you read, figure out why you love it or why you don't. Then WRITE! The only way to finish a novel is to write it. No excuses. Put words down on the page, good, bad, or indifferent. Foster a teachable spirit . . . remember that we are called to lives of courageous humility, and the writing world is a top-notch arena in which to practice that lifestyle! *preaches to self*
Feel free to contact me via my writing blog. I love to interact with my readers. And I hope you will pick up Tales of Goldstone Wood and disappear with me for a time into the strange and wonderful realm of Faerie!
Anne-Elisabeth is giving away a copy Moonblood.
The winner will be chosen randomly on Mach 31