Please tell us a bit about yourself.
Hello! I am Anne Elisabeth, a lover of Fairy Tales, cats, Sri Lankan teas, classical piano, fuzzy socks, and old literature.
I am the author of the Tales of Goldstone Wood series, fantasy novels written in the Classic Fairy Tale style. My debut novel, Heartless, won a 2011 Christy Award, and my sophomore novel, Veiled Rose, was a finalist for Romantic Times Inspirational Novel of the Year and is now a finalist for a 2012 Christy Award. So, by God's grace, it has been a busy couple of years for my series!
I live with my handsome husband in a little house on a hill in North Carolina, where we enjoy gardening and music, fine tea and pastries, and lots of company.
What is your favorite Bible verse? (Translation too, please) Why?
"He hath made every thing beautiful in his time." Ecclesiastes 3:11 (KJV).
This has been an ongoing truth in my life as I have watched God's plan unfold for me. Even those events and situations that I would have avoided and would never choose to relive, God has turned to good and blessing. This verse reminds me that nothing can thwart His will, and that His will, not mine, is ultimately best and most beautiful.
What was your inspiration to write Tales of Goldstone Wood Series?
It's hard to pin down just one! I think the simplest answer is that there were not enough books being written that I liked to read. While there is a great deal of fantasy for young adults, not much of it is composed in the styles I most enjoy. Authors Robin McKinley, Megan Whalen Turner, Shannon Hale, and Sir Terry Pratchett all write wonderful YA novels that are very readable to modern audiences, but which also tap into stylistic modes of older eras, lending a richness to their work and worlds that I find exceptional.
I wanted to write a series of intricately connected fairy tale novels in the style of these authors I so love. While each story in Goldstone Wood is relatively straightforward and can work as a standalone, with every successive book read, the reader will see a bigger, more epic-scale picture unfolding.
This concept was my initial inspiration, but many more inspirations have moved me and encouraged me with each new story I've written. And ultimately, isn't every writer inspired by the simple need to tell a good story?
How much research did the Tales of Goldstone Wood Series take?
Quite a lot of research has gone into building the Tales of Goldstone Wood, though perhaps not of the usual variety. For the basic world-building, I wanted the series to have a familiar flavor, one that my readers would feel they had encountered before even if they could not place quite where. Thus I spent a great deal of time studying old fairy tales: works by Shakespeare and Chaucer and Spenser; works by Tennyson and Shelley and Browning; The Ballad of Tam Lin, several translations of Beowulf; Samuel Taylor Coleridge and George MacDonald. All of these and more have influenced the development of my world.
Specific research has been more random and pursued as needed. I took fencing lessons for about a year so that I would know how to write decent sword-fighting scenes (a must in any self-respecting fairy tale novel!). For my most recent manuscript, I found myself researching the pollination of certain types of figs, fig wasps, and the unusual species of fig known as the Caprifig. Odd, I know . . . but it will all make sense when that book releases!