Saturday, May 21, 2011

Author Interview with Melanie Dickerson

I'm happy to say that I have here an author interview with Melanie Dickerson. I reviewed her book HERE.

Here's her picture:

And now for the interview:

Tell us about yourself.

I am a wife and mother of two school-age daughters and I live near Huntsville, Alabama. My life is pretty boring, which I’m thankful for, since writing seems to provide all the drama I can safely handle! I am a graduate of The University of Alabama with a degree in special education, and I spent a year in Ukraine and a summer in Germany.

Tell us about your current release.

My debut novel, The Healer’s Apprentice, is published by Zondervan as a Young Adult romance and was released this month. It’s a historical, set in medieval 14th century Germany, with a wonderful castle and medieval town as the main setting. It’s full of intrigue and plot twists, deception and loyalty, but most of all, romance!

How did you come up with the idea for The Healer’s Apprentice? Was that your original title for this book? If not, what was you working title?

I came up with the idea for The Healer’s Apprentice while watching Disney and Barbie princess movies with my little girls. I had loved fairy tales all my life, and one day when we were watching Sleeping Beauty, I started thinking, what if this story was rewritten to be more realistic? What if the hero felt duty- and honor-bound to his betrothed? What if he fell in love with a peasant girl but was horrified at the idea of betraying his betrothed in that way? After all, men want respect more than anything else, and he would lose the respect of everyone if he shirked his duty to marry his betrothed. So that was the beginning of my idea for this story. And the original title was The Woodcutter’s Daughter. I had a really hard time getting used to the new title after calling it The Woodcutter’s Daughter for three and a half years!

What first gave you the idea for this book?

I’ve always loved fairy tales, and when I started getting the idea for The Healer’s Apprentice, my two girls were very young and they watched a lot of the Disney princess movies and Barbie movies which were based on fairy tales. One day they were watching Sleeping Beauty and I started thinking how unrealistic it was that a prince, who was betrothed from childhood to a princess, would meet a peasant girl in the woods and decide on the spot to marry her. I started thinking, what would this story be like if it was realistic? If it actually happened? And I thought, if this guy was betrothed and fell in love with someone else, he would feel a lot of inner conflict. He would want the respect of his family and his people, so he’d fight his attraction to this girl he’d fallen in love with. So that’s how the idea started.

Please share how you plot and what your daily writing goals are.

It varies greatly! I don’t have a set way to plot. I usually let the plot come to me gradually. Sometimes I use the Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook or another method, article, or checklist to help me with plotting. Mostly I just lie awake at night and think about all the possibilities. And my daily writing goals vary according to whether my editor needs me to do revisions. Normally, my goal is simply to get as much done as possible between the time my kids leave for school and the time they get home!

Do you have a link to a place to read the first chapter or an excerpt of this book?

Yes! Zondervan put the whole first chapter on their website:

Can you give us a sneak peek at what you have cooking up next? Can you tell us something about it? Do you have a release date?

Well, I have a second medieval YA romance, a Beauty and the Beast story tentatively titled The Beholder. I don’t know yet if Zondervan is going to publish it. I’ve been revising it, and I think it’s a really strong story. Hopefully I will be able to announce a release date in a few months.
I also have an adult series, set in 1800’s Alabama, that my agent is working on finding a publisher for. Hopefully I can announce something about that soon, too.

Do you have advice for the beginning writer?

Keep writing and don't give up! It takes most people a long time to get published, so be persistent. Secondly, be teachable. Learn all you can about the craft of writing by reading books on writing, articles, and blogs. Thirdly, write as much as you can. Write short stories, poetry, novels, whatever you enjoy writing, and just keep writing. The more you write the better you'll become. Besides, it will give you opportunities to apply all you're learning from the books, articles, and blog on writing. Lastly, after you start submitting your work to publishers and agents, look at rejections as just another necessary step to getting published. Whatever you do, don't let a rejection devastate you. It's okay to be disappointed but you have to keep writing and submitting. A rejection is your "red badge of courage" so be proud of those rejections!

How can readers get in contact with you?

I’m on Facebook as Melanie Dickerson, on Goodreads , and you can contact me through my website,


  1. I can't wait for her next book! Beauty and the Beast is my favorite fairy tale(not counting Tangled :) I won Melanie's The Healers' Apprentice in a Giveaway, but haven't had the time to read it!I know it will be as awesome as it sounds though.I've done one interview with an author.I'm going to have to do some more.Would you, Book Blogger be interested in getting interviewed on my blog Sierra's Booklist?I would love to have you.Sierra

  2. Wonderful interview! Thanks for posting it. I LOVED Healer's Apprentice. And I'm dying to read book two.