24 February 2013

Anne Elisabeth Stengl interview

Anne Elizabeth Stengl

Anne Elisabeth Stengl is the author of Starflower, and the award-winning Tales of Goldstone Wood series. Her first two novels, Heartless and Veiled Rose, have both been honored with Christy Awards. Her fifth novel, Dragonwitch, is due to release summer 2013.

Anne Elisabeth, welcome to Overcoming With God.  We appreciate your willingness to share your testimony of overcoming with our readers. 

Would you tell us about the most difficult thing in your life you have had to overcome, with God’s help?
 The first few years after college, I was deeply involved in my local church. As a lonely, single girl living across the country from my family, I threw myself into this church and invested in the people there. Sadly, however, I didn't quite fit, and before long, gossip began to circulate about me. Unfair and untrue gossip. Bitter and hurt, I stayed on at the church for a few more months before finally throwing in the towel and leaving. I was so angry and so lonely, for most of my friends had been at this church, and only a few of them maintained any contact with me after I left. I tended to blame God and was very angry.

And yet, through that difficult time, God was faithful. He opened doors for my writing career, provided me with true friends, and always the love of my supportive family back home. Eventually, He led me down the path to meet my darling husband . . . whom I would never have met if I had remained in that church and life to which I had been clinging. He taught me that my relationship with Him was not about what church I attend. It's a personal relationship, one that can grow and thrive both in loneliness and in community.

Disability friendliness: Do you have any works available on audio?  Do your e-books have audio capability? Do you have any in large print? 
The Tales of Goldstone Wood are not yet in audio format, though my agent is currently looking into that possibility. I can happily say that they are available in Braille editions through Verbatim Braille Transcriptions

In this latest work, do you have any topics useful for bibliotherapy, or therapeutic influence through reading about a disorder or situation?
I believe that Starflower would be an excellent book for bibliotherapy. The title heroine of Starflower is a young woman from an oppressive society wherein all women have their powers of speech stripped away. They are, quite literally, mute in a country of chauvinistic dominance. But despite this disability, the women, and my heroine especially, demonstrate great strength and love, developing their own silent language among each other. Starflower herself grows into a strong character able to overcome the most terrifying odds. But her strength comes through the love she learned from her mother, and the guidance she receives from the "God-figure" of my fantasy world. She is not a warrior maiden wielding a sword, but a much stronger heroine, wielding great faith and truth in the midst of oppression and adversity.

I think Starflower's is an excellent story for young women with difficult pasts. I have had a number of dear fans write and thank me for the story, telling me how it blessed and encouraged them in the midst of difficult circumstances. Which is, in turn, a tremendous blessing to me!

Thank you, Anne Elisabeth, for agreeing to answer these questions.  Have a blessed day and keep on writing!!

Thank you! I appreciate you hosting me on Overcoming with God!

Purchase link for Anne's books on Amazon (click here.)


Giveaways: Anne Elisabeth is offering a signed copy of Starflower this week in addition to our giveaway of ANY of her books, choice of format (international winners--ebook format only.) Leave your email address and your comment to enter. 

41 comments:

  1. ANNE welcome to OWG we're so glad to have you with us today. Thank you so much for sharing with us. It is a terrible thing when the one place we should be safe from evilness has people that hurts us, but from my own experience God uses it for our good. He always knows what's best even when we can't see it.

    Can't wait to hear more about your books. :)

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    1. What compelling characters, Anne! Being misjudged is a terrible thing, something that most of us have experienced at one time or another. It's a true test of our faith and trust in God. I'm happy to see that you're standing strong! Joy Ross Davis

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    2. Thank you, Teresa! It's amazing to me how God will always create joy out of heartbreak and good out of evil. And it's wonderful to be able to share that joy with others!

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  2. Thank you for sharing your testimony and for being with us on OWG this week, ANNE! Unfortunately I can totally identify with your experience...a place of healing became a place of much hurt to me about 10 yrs. ago. But God was on my side and He delivered me and turned a bad situation into good. But I had a mighty supernatural dream (that awed me) full of spiritual symbolism concerning that church a few yrs. back. That church is in trouble and needs much prayer.

    The covers on your books are just beautiful, by the way!

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    1. I'm afraid far too many people can relate to my story, Diana. It breaks my heart. Yes, the church needs lots of prayer! And thank God that our church family means so much more than a group of people meeting in one building!

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  3. Anna Elizabeth thanks for sharing your testimony with us . I don't think I have read any of your books ,but would love to. I don't know what i would do if i didn't have my lord.
    lizd225(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Hi, Elizabeth! I hope you will find opportunity to read my stories, and I pray you'll be blessed by them! :)

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    2. ELIZABETH, You are the winner of a signed copy of Anne Elisabeth's new release: Starflower. CONGRATS!!! And welcome to OWG, I don't know that I've seen you here before! Blessings!

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  4. Anne, thank you for sharing your story. It is a wonderful testimony. The covers of your books are gorgeous, they really catch your eye.....and yes, God is always faithful. God bless.
    debsbunch5[at]jesusanswers[dot]com

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    1. Thank you, chaplaindebbie. :) I have been blessed with some wonderful covers, and I am so thankful!

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  5. I'm looking forward to learning more about Anne and her books! This is a great review!
    makeighleekyleigh at yahoo.com
    OWG

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    1. I hope you'll find a chance to read the Tales of Goldstone Wood, Megan! :)

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  6. ANNE, so great to finally have you on OWG!! I'm looking forward to everyone getting to know your books... they are truly impressive!
    I've yet to read the last 2 but I hope by reading the reviews of the first 3, people will get their curiousity whetted and experience the magic of these stories!!

    Thanks for sharing your story. Isn't it wonderful how God works ALL things together for good?! And sometimes I believe, we really are meant to move along, for our own growth and to move into His will.

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    1. Amen to that, Noela! And if God has to use hard circumstances to push us along, then it is ultimately for our good.

      I'm glad you enjoyed the first two Goldstone Wood stories, and I hope you'll get a chance to pick up MOONBLOOD and STARFLOWER very soon! :)

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  7. This series sounds so intriguing! I'd love to win. shopgirl152nykiki(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. If you like fairy tales and lots of adventure with a dash of romance . . . these stories are probably for you, Veronica! Blessings.

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  8. I just started reading Heartless, and I'm enjoying it. After this post, I'd really love to read Starflower. Sounds like a really good topic. dinasleiman at gmail dot com

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    1. I hope you'll enjoy STARFLOWER when you get a chance to pick it up, Dina. It was a challenge to write, but so satisfying! I am excited to share it with readers. :)

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  9. It is truly sad how gossip tears us apart and ruins relationship. The worst of it is that so much of it is untrue and gets so twisted as it spreads between people. It is a shame when this happens in a church. But it is truly amazing how God can use our trials for not only His good but so often our good in the end.

    I have been very interested in this series, but just haven't gotten around to getting it and reading.

    Jen W.
    jen.whitney08[at]gmail[dot]com

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    1. I hope you'll get a chance to pick up my series soon, Jen! And yes, gossip is so brutal . . . and I know I struggle with the temptation as much as anyone! Thank God for His grace.

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    2. JEN, you are the winner for an extra drawing--Veiled Rose is yours! Congrats!!!

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  10. I love this series and have read the first 3 books. I can't wait to read the rest and know they will be just as good. My email is dice777@earthlink.net

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    1. I hope you'll get to pick up STARFLOWER soon! It's my husband's favorite so far (though he just read my very newest manuscript and cried at the ending . . . so it might be the new favorite!).

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  11. I was sad when I read of your church experience, and emphasized for you when you felt lonely and disappointed. I am glad you were able to come through that bad time, and can now look back and see the good that came from leaving there.

    I look forward to reading your books!

    ischu9@aol.com

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    1. The experience has also taught me to lean on God so much more when new trials come. If I continue to look back on the good He brought out of that pain, each new pain is much easier to deal with!

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  12. I believe I have heartless on my Nook I'll have to look and see and read :D . Would love to win, Please enter me.

    winterrose (at) comcast (dot) net

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    1. Hoorah for Nook! (I used to work at a Barnes & Noble, so I'm a Nook supporter!) :)

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  13. Dear Anne,
    I can relate to your story. Bless You for sharing it with us. Thanks for entering me in your giveaway.
    Janet E.
    von1janet(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. I hope that everyone will be able to relate to the story of God's grace in painful circumstances! Blessings, Jannet. :)

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  14. Hello Anne Elisabeth and welcome to one of my fave blogs, it's so good to "see" you here!! Thanks so much for sharing your story :) I'm sorry you to had to go through that with the church, but I'm so happy that God brought you into better things because of that journey, how wonderful!

    Please don't enter me in this giveaway, I just had to say hi to this lovely author who loves cats as much as I do :) I'm so grateful I had the chance to review Starflower and learn about these unique characters, it is a powerful story full of beauty and danger. Loved the interview, Anne Elisabeth, hugs and blessings to you!

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    1. Hi, KARA, bless you for stopping by with your words of cheer and encouragement! And thank you for showing your support of ANNE'S book, Starflower!

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  15. Anne, what a wonderful testimony to God's faithfulness! Thank you for sharing that on OWG. Your books all have lovely covers. I'm not much into reading that genre but a couple of my children would sure be interested. Thanks for the opportunity to win a book :)
    Many blessings in your continued writing career!

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    1. Hoping today finds you well, ANNE! Is it as gloomy and cold in NC as it is in SC today? I agree -- the covers are very lovely and I hope one of your children will benefit from you winning this neat sounding book! Should you win, of course....;)

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  16. I would love to read Starflower. Thanks for the review.

    Katie J.
    johnsonk133[at]yahoo[dot]com

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    1. Hi, KATIE! Tossed your name in our cyber hat here on OWG!

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  17. I have the first four books but would love dragon witch if that was an option

    ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

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    1. Wow, APPLEBLOSSOM, that's great you have all four of Anne's books! You must have loved them. I'm not sure about Dragon Witch being offered in the giveaway since it doesn't come out until summer (July), but Carrie would be the one to make that decision should your name be drawn. Thanks for stopping by! :)

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  19. Great interview! It is sad that their is so much hurt within our churches due to gossip and such, however, I'm glad you were able to grow through the experience and come out better on the other side. So many people end up mad & bitter and afraid to get involved in a new church because of the bad taste left in their mouths over the hurt. This is a different type of book than we usually see here on OWG, but it sounds interesting.
    Vicki OWG

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  20. This looks like a really interesting series and I'm always looking for Christian authors/books. thank you for the interview and getting to know you and the books better.

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    1. CONGRATS to you, RHONDA--you are our overall winner per random.org and you get to pick any of Anne Elisabeth's books, choice of format (if you are outside of the USA ebook.) Blessings!

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