Fantasy Friday – Introducing Anne Elisabeth Stengl

I thought it might be helpful to take a look at fantasy authors from time to time. In this case I’m getting to know a new writer right along with you all — Anne Elisabeth Stengl, recent winner of the Christy Award, New Novel division for Heartless (Bethany House Publishers), first in the Tales of Goldstone Wood series.

First, Anne Elisabeth comes from a family of writers. Her mom, Jill Stengl, is a multi-published historical romance author. Perhaps this connection with writing is what led Anne Elisabeth to study English literature at Campbell University.

She’s obviously a creative because she also studied illustration at Grace College. As things she enjoys, she lists opera, piano, painting, and Shakespeare. It turns out she quilts, cooks, and bakes, too.

But writing is her great love. Her fascination with myths and legends can be traced back to her formative childhood years growing up in England “right next to a great, wild, beautiful Common full of ancient oaks, wild rabbits, a stone church (complete with scary graveyard) and all the magic a 3-to-10 year old and her brothers could possibly hope to find” (from “Interview with Anne Elisabeth Stengl”). Not surprisingly, she identifies her writing style as classic Fairy Tale.

Another of her interests is fencing! Yep, fencing. But you have to understand — she met her husband Rohan in a fencing class she took as research for her novel. Who wouldn’t have fencing as an interest under that circumstance? 😉

Anne Elisabeth and Rohan live in Raleigh, North Carolina where she cares for her “passel of cats” and continues to write. Her second book, Veiled Rose came out this past July, and the latest in the Tales of Goldstone Wood series, Moonblood, is due out in April 2012.

About her goal in writing Anne Elisabeth says

My primary goal is to bring glory to God by writing to the very best of my ability. I believe the whole purpose of mankind is worship, and I believe each of us best worships God when doing what we do best to our very best. Writing is my great skill, a gift from God and a talent for which I know he has plans. So it is to his honor when I study and strive and work and learn to better my craft. And I hope and pray that my desire to communicate truth through these simple fairy tales becomes ever-more evident to those who read them. (from “Interview with Anne Elisabeth Stengl”)

And now the premise of the award-winning Heartless from SqueakyCleanReviews:

Princess Una of Parumvir has just come of age, and she awaits the arrival of her first suitors with much excitement. Prince Aethelbald of Farthestshore, however, is not quite what she had in mind. With a name like ‘Aethelbald’ and perfectly ordinary looks, he can’t compete with Una’s dreams of a dashing prince, and she refuses to hear his offer – or to heed the warnings of a Dragon who is seeking her. When Una gives her heart away to a man unworthy of it, she finds herself heartless and vulnerable before the Dragon King.

If you’d like to learn more about Anne Elisabeth, check out her interview with WhereTheMapEnds.

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