Welcome back, Melanie. Why do you write the kind of books you do?
I write the kind of books I like to read—intensely romantic historical romances. I try to write the most entertaining stories I can, but with some depth to the characters and the plot issues. I love the Medieval time period, and I got into writing fairy tales because I love them but I wanted to give them more depth and make them more realistic.
Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
Hmm, it’s a really close call between my wedding day, the births of my two children, and the day I found out Zondervan was publishing my first book!
How has being published changed your life?
In some ways my life hasn’t changed at all. I still have to clean the toilets or they don’t get cleaned, still have to cook and wash dishes and do laundry and take the kids to school and go to their extracurricular activities. Now that I think of it, the only real difference is that I sometimes go on trips related to being published, do book signings and/or public speaking, and do a few interviews per year. That’s it.
What are you reading right now?
Lately I haven’t been able to get into anything. I have been doing research and reading some books on Regency England. Fiction-wise, I just haven’t been in the mood to read! Which feels strange and surprises me as much as anybody.
What is your current work in progress?
I am working on a Regency, but I have just finished a Snow White story and have a Cinderella story in the planning/plotting stage.
I must feature them when they release. What would be your dream vacation?
To go to
and tour castles. England
How do you choose your settings for each book?
Usually I just know the setting even before I know the characters or the whole plot. Setting is a huge part of the story for me.
If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
Beth Moore, because she is so spiritual and seems to have a lot of the same struggles I do.
She is an amazing woman of God. Actually, she’s going to be the main speaker at the Women’s Retreat at my church next spring. I can hardly wait. What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
I like to cook, to bake and make new recipes, and I still like to scrapbook, even though I hardly ever do it anymore.
What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
Just sitting down and writing the first draft is the hardest, because I’m so easily distracted, have a hard time concentrating, and I want to constantly go back and edit what I’ve just written. I sometimes go to a public place to write, like a restaurant, which seems to help me concentrate.
What advice would you give to a beginning author?
Persevere. And work hard. Write and read and repeat. Study the craft of writing like you’re cramming for a final exam. And pray. Commit your plans to the Lord. Ask him for guidance and help, and pray without ceasing.
Tell us about the featured book.
The Merchant’s Daughter is a Medieval romance. It’s also a fairy tale retelling based on Beauty and the Beast. Zondervan is publishing it as a Young Adult novel, but I think it appeals to anyone who likes historical romance. My hero and heroine, Annabel and Lord le Wyse, have had some devastating, painful betrayals in their pasts. Their story will help readers to discover, along with Annabel and Lord le Wyse, how to overcome their fears, how to trust God, and how to learn to love and laugh and be joyful again. I love the gradual way my two characters learn to trust each other, to trust God, and to fall in love. Isn’t that what the Beauty and the Beast story is all about?
Please give us the first page of the book.
Annabel sat in the kitchen shelling peas into a kettle at her feet. A bead of sweat tickled her hairline while only the barest puff of warm air came through the open door.
Her brother called from the main house.
He thinks he doesn’t have to help with the work, but I should abandon my task and come running whenever he calls.
She hurried from the kitchen.
Edward stood propped against the wall in the spacious front room of their stone house, scraping under his fingernails with a sharp stick. When he lifted his head, his green eyes fixed her with a hard look. “Mother was summoned this morning to appear before the hallmote. The new lord is coming to Glynval. Even if the hallmote is lenient, I’ve heard he is far from forgiving. What will happen to us? To you?” He thrust the stick at her face.
Annabel bit back annoyance at her brother’s derisive tone. For the past three years he had stood by, just like the rest of her family, refusing to do any of their required work in the fields, putting them all in this situation.
“I have decided to help with the harvest this year.” She crossed her arms as her brother moved closer to her. “We should all help.”
“Do you want to end up sleeping in ditches and begging bread? Help with the harvest? It’s too late to start doing your share now, little sister.” He flung the words at her, jabbing his stick in her direction with each phrase. “If you are wise, you will try to think whose bread you need to butter to see that you have a home after today.”
I'm so glad my copy came the other day. I will be reading it soon. How can readers find you on the Internet?
I love to interact with readers. Please friend me on facebook,
and visit me on my website, www.MelanieDickerson.com where you can watch the awesome trailers for The Healer’s Apprentice and The Merchant’s Daughter, which were shot at the same time as my covers.
Thanks so much for having me on your blog,
Lena! God bless you and your readers!
It was a true blessing to me as well, Melanie.
Readers, here's a link to the book. By using it when you order, you help support this blog.The Merchant's Daughter
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