Sunday, July 14, 2013

Dragonwitch blog tour: intreview with Anne Elisabeth Stengl

I am excited to have Anne Elisabeth Stengl here today for an interview for her newest fantasy novel, Dragonwitch. There is also an awesome contest you can enter. First, here is a bit about the book:

Who Will Dare to Face the Dragonwitch?

Submissive to her father's will, Lady Leta of Aiven travels far to meet the future King of the North Country and a prospective husband she neither knows nor loves.

But within the walls of his castle, all is not right. Vicious night terrors plague Lord Alistair. 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 entire nation.

And far away in a hidden kingdom, a flame burns atop the Citadel of the Living Fire. 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 hero who can wield it.

Why did you decide to become a fantasy writer?
Fantasy is my favorite genre to read, so it was a natural fit for me to write as well. I was twelve years old when I wrote my first fantasy novel, a funny little adventure story about a wish-granting cat and all the various baddies who wanted to capture and use him for their own nefarious purposes. With fantasy, I discovered there were so many options for adventures; I wasn’t limited to what was realistic or feasible in our world because, hey! It wasn’t our world.

All your published novels so far have been fantasy - could you ever see yourself writing a book in another genre?
Not so much. I’ve toyed around with both historicals and contemporaries, but neither has suited my style particularly well. I’ll get the barest inklings of an idea, but the moment I try to put them to paper, they vanish. That’s not to say that I’ll never write in a genre other than fantasy . . . but fantasy suits me rather well.

Your novels are similar to fairy tales - what is your own favorite fairy tale?
Yes, I like to think of my novels as new fairy tales, containing many of the themes and styles of the old tales we all grew up reading. My own favorite fairy tale might be George MacDonald’s “The History of Photogen and Nycteris.” It is a wonderful little story, full of beautiful imagery, powerful themes, and George MacDonald’s own brand of humor. Highly recommended!

What are some of your own favorite writers - either fantasy, or other genres?
Well, George MacDonald is one, particularly for his short fairy tales. C.S. Lewis is another. Sir Terry Pratchett and Diana Wynne Jones might be my two absolute favorites, but that might just be for the moment! For something other than fantasy, I recently discovered a love of Georgette Heyer’s mystery novels, which are fantastically well-written, hysterical, and intriguing all at once. I always dismissed her in my mind as “just a romance novelist.” I was so wrong! She is much, much more than that, and I am glad to have discovered her.

When you aren't writing, how do you enjoy spending your time?
I enjoy drawing and painting, playing the piano, walking my dog, reading aloud to my sweet husband (especially while he cooks . . . he’s by far the better cook of the two of us!). I also work with wild kittens, rescuing, rehabilitating, and finding them new homes. That can be quite a time-consuming hobby, but so rewarding!

Thank you for having me on your blog today, Rebecca. It was lovely to stop by! :)

Anne Elisabeth Stengl is the author of the award-winning Tales of Goldstone Wood series, adventure fantasies told in the classic Fairy Tale style. She 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.

Tour Schedule
July 14 - Day 1
July 15 - Day 2
Crafty Booksheeps - Interview
Young Adult Books - Sneak Peek
Darling Diaries - Interview
Blooming with Books - Interview/Sneak Peek

July 16 - Day 3
July 16 Evening
Blog Tour Finale and Prize Awarded back at the Tales of Goldstone Wood!

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