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Stahlfeld, who is 18 years old, began writing "Darkwoods" when she was twelve; it was published in April 2011. The newly released "Pasadagavra"
Like the popular "Redwall" and "Warrior" series, all the characters in The Darkwoods Series are animals.
"Darkwoods" begins with the death of the foxes' ruling oracle, Scythe, freeing the foxes to leave their home in Darkwoods determined to conquer the world. Standing in their way is Princess Zuryzel of the Wraith Mice, with the ability to fade undetected into the shadows, and her allies among the Squirrel Tribes, Ranger Mice, and River Otters.
As with any good epic tale, "Darkwoods" and "Pasadagavra"
"I have always loved fantastic stories," says Stahlfeld. "Reading for me is a way to travel to different worlds and different times, and to have adventures I could never have on my own. Once I start a good book, it's hard to put it down and I can't wait for the next in the series to come out. If my stories can hook another kid on reading like I got hooked, that would be great!"
Stahlfeld crafts her tales without resort to graphic details or langauge inappropriate for her intended audience. "The books I enjoyed the most when I was in middle-school and now do not include a lot of gory details of battles, and they do not have a lot of swearing or bad language. Those things aren't necessary to tell a great story."
She is a voracious reader and has long been fascinated with WWII history. In fact, the Ranger Mice characters of the "Darkwoods" series were inspired by the U.S. Army Rangers who scaled Pointe du Hoc on D-Day, which Stahlfeld visited on the 4th of July. It was shortly after that when she began writing "Darkwoods."
Irish dance and Irish history are two other interests Stahlfeld enjoys and tries to incorporate into her stories.
Stahlfeld graduated from high school last June, and this fall will begin studying English Literature at Wisconsin Lutheran College in Milwaukee. She plans to be a novelist for her career, but is also interested in teaching. "Sharing with teens and middle-grade kids, whether through a good book or in a classroom, is something I look forward to doing."
"I want to really encourage kids to read. Reading opens up the world, and lets you use your imagination. If you don't like fantasy novels like mine, that's fine, there are lots of other books for teens. Just pick one up and start reading!"
Stahlfeld can be contacted at DarkwoodsBooks at AOL.com or on Facebook at the DarkwoodsBooks fan page (http://www.facebook.com/