Sunday, July 14, 2013

Dragonwitch Release Day Blog Tour: Interview with Anne Elisabeth Stengl!

Welcome, dear friends and imps to the Darling Diaries Blog! You have all been traveling to various different blogs, and I beg you will rest your tired bones here, have a nice cup of tea, and enjoy an interview with the creator of our favorite series, Anne Elisabeth Stengl! 
 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.

Just because the covers of the Tales of Goldstone Wood novels are so stunning, here is the full cover of Dragonwitch.

Oooh....this cover just gives me shivers!

Ready for the interview? Here we go!

Welcome, Anne Elisabeth, to the Darling Diaries! Thank you so much for stopping by. My first question for you is this:

                  I know that characters from The Tales of Goldstone Wood represent people from the Bible. Who, if anyone, inspired Dragonwitch? (She couldn’t have been inspired by Minerva Louise…could she?)

 (AE) Oh, Minerva Louise wishes she inspired the Dragonwitch! But, though she would never admit it herself, she is much too fluffy at heart . . .

The Dragonwitch wasn’t actually inspired by a single Biblical character. She emerged first as an image in my head when I was seventeen. I was working away at some research notes, doodling in the margins of my notepad, when suddenly I saw an image of a fiery woman standing on the peak of a mountain as water roared up surrounding her. I tried to draw it, failed, and decided to write down the image and who I thought this woman was instead.

Thus the Dragonwitch was born.

In this novel, I found her to be in many ways an exploration of what would have happened to Una if Una had been a little more powerful to begin with. Her personality is much like Una’s. But Una is younger, weaker, and, in her weakness, more vulnerable to grace. The Dragonwitch, by virtue of her strength, is far less capable of receiving grace.

              Ah...poor darling-er-I mean- evil- Minerva!    Your books are full of exotic kingdoms and worlds…in Dragonwitch, will we be visiting some familiar places or delving into a brand new society?

(AE) Yes to both!

You will be once more visiting Southlands and the country that eventually becomes Parumvir . . . but this time, you’ll be visiting them many hundreds of years before Heartless takes place! Parumvir isn’t even called “Parumvir” yet, but is simply the North Country, made up of a few dozen loosely-connected earldoms. And Southlands is simply called the South Land, or the Land Behind the Mountains.

So locations in Dragonwitch will likely feel both familiar and brand new all at once!

                   Oh, I just can't WAIT for all the new characters and places we will see! We all know that Sir Eanrin is madly in love with Imraldera, whether he wishes to admit it or not. Are we going to see Imraldera develop some feelings for our beloved poet in Dragonwitch?

(AE) Can’t say!

But I do think Imraldera is going to take a little longer to process her feelings for Eanrin. Eanrin, while he hates to admit it, is such an all-or-nothing personality! When he loves, he loves hard. And Imraldera is the first person he truly has loved other than himself.
Imraldera, however, is more loving by nature, but also more cautious. You’ll have to read the book yourself and decide if she is developing feelings for our favorite poet or not . . . .

                   Aw...I had a feeling you weren't going to divulge any juicy information. Now I know that you love tea, (yay for tea!) but is there another food or drink that gets you energized and ready for writing?

(AE) I go through what my husband calls “food kicks,” where ALL I want to eat is one thing for about a week . . . and then I never want to eat it again! Recently, I had a hotdog food kick. Before that, I really craved peppers and spinach wrapped up in a tortilla with a certain dressing. Before that, I really, really, really wanted to eat fresh avocado on crackers!

So I suppose it depends on what food kick I am currently on. Right now, I think I am craving samosas, which are a delicious Indian savory pastry. Mmmm. I made Rohan pick up some for me just this evening!

                 Samosas? That sounds incredible! Is anyone else getting hungry? 
             Does Dragonwitch take place immediately after Starflower?

(AE) Dragonwitch takes place almost exactly a hundred years after Starflower. For immortals, of course, that doesn’t seem like any time at all! For mortals, however, it’s a different story.

                  One more question before you go…Do any of your heroes have characteristics of your dashing husband, Rohan? I just had to ask…

(AE) Why, of course! In fact, when I wrote Starflower, I was so pleased to be able to use my handsome Rohan as a reference for Eanrin. When he read the book in its first draft, he particularly liked it because he thought Eanrin—all dash, drama, good humor, and a touch of vanity—was him, while Imraldera—all earnest, hard-working, and single-minded—was me. I thought that was sweet of him. He and I do balance each other out rather well. Which might mean the same is true for Eanrin and Imraldera! I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

I thought as much! Thank you so much Anne Elisabeth for stopping by! It’s been lots of fun for me, and I hope everyone else has had a good time as well!

Before you move on to the Blooming With Books blog, I think it would be fun if all you fans told me what movie stars you think would resemble any of Anne Elisabeth’s characters. And be sure to enter your name into the contest!

<3 Clara Darling


Don't forget to stop by the next blog!


  1. I'd rather imagined Jude Law as Eanrin...I've never personally experienced his acting, but from pictures I've seen, he just IS Eanrin.
    I saw a post Anne Elisabeth did where she picked out some actors but I couldn't find it again! But I agreed that Shay Mitchell (or someone a lot like her) would be a good match for Imraldera.
    I was a little excited when I saw a picture of Ian Harding, because he looked a lot like how I imagined Lionheart looking like.
    But I have no idea who on earth could be Athaelbald! I wonder who Anne Elisabeth would pick...

    Thanks for the Interview, Limwen! Love ya!

    1. In a previous interview I read of Anne Elisabeth's, I saw that she had picked out Jude Law as being her PERFECT Eanrin! I agree with both of y'all. He is perfect. What is Ian Harding off of? Have I seen him in something? Because I don't think he sounds familiar. I thought Tom Hiddleston would be a superb Aethelbald, but you know how I love him:)

      Love you too! I'm probably coming over to your house Friday, so be sure to be there:D

  2. Hi Clara! Great questions! I haven't watched a real movie in forever, so I don't have actors/actresses in mind for the characters. Must remedy this. :-)

    1. Thank you so very much Mrs. Mbewe! I had a good time coming up with the questions:) And there's nothing wrong with not watching very many movies...I think I probably watch entirely too many!

  3. I think Ian Harding is off some TV show or whatever, I don't really know. He just looked as I imagined Lionheart would.
    ACK how on EARTH could I have forgotten! Tom Hiddleston would be GREAT. I've only seen him as Loki and as Captain Nicholls, but he absolutely broke my heart in War Horse. (nothing else in the movie did, just him. No lie.)

    WHAT!!!!!!! Is there any particular reason you're coming over? I'm wondering how long you're staying...I had no idea! Of COURSE I'll be there, silly. I wouldn't miss it!! :D

  4. Mmmm... hungry.... I loved your interview with Anne Elisabeth Stangl (and was excited to see another post). And I think Clive Owens (um... I THINK that was his name...) would be a perfect Aethelbald. And the woman she, Anne Elisabeth Stengl, picked out for Imraldera was her exactly!

    1. Oooh! I love Clive Owens! He would be a good Aethelbald. And you're right, the woman Anne Elisabeth picked out is perfect!

      I'm so glad you liked the interview:) And I will be doing another blog post soon! Promise!