Minneapolis, MN—With the release of her debut this summer, author Anne Elisabeth Stengl
welcomes readers young and old into a magical and mysterious world infused with
Tolkien-esque sensibilities and a strong dose of dragons. In the tradition of Donita K. Paul or
Bryan Davis, Heartless is an exciting read full of action, adventure, and romance.

According to Stengl, the story began as a short, semi-autobiographical piece written to help
understand and cope with hurt in her own life. The piece broadened to deal with “the death of
dreams—about letting go of the dream and the bitterness.”

Though a personal story, she found it had many undertones that readers of all ages and
backgrounds could relate to. A discovery that early readers corroborated, as she posted small
parts of her initial manuscript on her blog.

“I was surprised at the reader response to the plot. There was a lot of enthusiasm and curiosity
about where I was taking it,” says Stengl.

Such reactions were the catalyst that led her to take this therapeutic exercise and turn it into a
full novel for publication. But the process wasn’t smooth sailing. “There is a surprising amount of research that goes into writing a fairy tale, even though it is set
in my own invented world,” said Stengl, who immersed herself in the writings of Spencer and
Shakespeare and, of all things, the sport of fencing. “At first I simply read manuals on fencing
and a few classic swashbuckler novels. Later on I started taking fencing classes myself, which has
turned into an exciting hobby!”

Such diligence in crafting her story helps to make Heartless the perfect blend of fantasy and
adventure with a love story for the ages, a combination sure to resonate with the emerging
generation of readers.

Check out more great articles

About The Author

Anne Elisabeth Stengl makes her home in Raleigh, North Carolina, where she enjoys her profession as an art teacher, giving private lessons from her personal studio, and teaching group classes at the Apex Learning Center. She studied illustration at Grace College and English literature at Campbell University.