1. Who inspired you to finish your novel and publish?
When I started writing the manuscript that turned into my debut novel, Heartless, my mother was my biggest cheerleader. She is a multi-published and award-winning novelist (best known for the Carol Award-winning Faithful Traitor), so she was able to give me practical guidance as well as encouragement about the story itself.
Since then, my mother has continued to be a tremendous encouragement as I write more books in my award-winning Tales of Goldstone Wood series. My newest release, Dragonwitch, was a particularly difficult novel to write. I spent countless hours on the phone with my mother, brainstorming various ins and outs of the project. She was very patient and very supportive, and loved the story even when I hated it! Definitely an inspiration to this young novelist.
2. What advice would you give aspiring authors regarding the publishing and marketing process?
I always advise the young writers who come to me for help to take the time to do their research. Be aware of what is happening in the genre you prefer to write. Know which authors are selling, and research the kind of marketing and media those authors pursue. Also, take the time to research agents and publishing houses carefully before submitting your work.
And, most importantly, don’t rush into publication. Don’t sit on your book forever . . . but also don’t start sending it out to agents before it is truly ready. Take the time to edit properly, and get plenty of beta readers to check it out. Also, once you finish one manuscript, start another one. The more you write before you start publishing, the better. Each new manuscript will teach you so much about your craft!
In this budding new market with the option to self-publish looking better and better, it’s all too easy for writers to rush ahead with publication before they are truly ready for it. Publication is a big commitment, and it’s a brutal, competitive market out there. If a young writer rushes in too fast, the craziness of the publishing world could easily kill the love of creative writing . . . which is such a shame!
3. What would you tell authors to “Start Now” concerning social media?
Start blogging! Seriously, I wish I had been much more active in the blogging world before my debut novel released, and I have been making up for lost time ever since. Connect with other bloggers, host fun events, invite your favorite novelists to come for interviews and features, join blog tours and blog hops . . . all of this will help to build your platform long before you even start trying to promote a book on the market place! It’s also a lot of fun. I have found blogging to be the most effective and rewarding form of social media for my particular brand. I can’t recommend it enough to young writers trying to build toward a publishing future!
Thank you, Anne, for an inspiring interview! Your wisdom is appreciated by many. Everyone, check out the Dragonwitch. It is a wonderful book written by a very talented and accomplished author, Anne Elisabeth Stengl.
Anne Elisabeth Stengl makes her home in Raleigh, North Carolina, where she lives with her husband, Rohan, a kindle of kitties, and one long-suffering dog. When she’s not writing, she enjoys Shakespeare, opera, and tea, and practices piano, painting, and pastry baking. She studied illustration at Grace College and English literature at Campbell University. She is the author of Heartless, Veiled Rose, Moonblood, Starflower, and Dragonwitch. Heartless and Veiled Rose have each been honored with a Christy Award, and Starflower won the 2013 Clive Staples Award.
You can find out more about Anne Elisabeth and the Tales of Goldstone Wood at:
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 one hero who can wield it.