I was lucky enough to meet Melanie Dickerson at the Rocket City NerdCon last year. As soon as I met her I knew that she was one of the most endearing people I’ve had the pleasure to know. I fell in love with her personality and especially her contagious smile. She’s one of those beautiful souls that you can’t help be drawn to because there seems to be a light emanating from all around her.
Melanie Dickerson is the author of Medieval fairy tale retellings, including The Healer’s Apprentice and The Merchant’s Daughter, both Christy Award finalists, winner of The National Reader’s Choice Award for 2010’s Best First Book, and winner of the 2012 Carol Award in Young Adult fiction. She earned her bachelor’s degree in special education from The University of Alabama. She has taught children with special needs in Georgia and Tennessee, and English to adults in Germany and Ukraine. Now she spends her time writing and taking care of her husband and two daughters near Huntsville, Alabama. Visit her on the web at http://www.MelanieDickerson.com.
When did you realize you wanted to be an author?
I wanted to be an author when I was in 7th grade, or around that time. I wrote all during high school and then put it aside when I started college and didn’t pick it back up again for about 15 years.
In what genre do you write?
I write YA, historical romance, inspirational/Christian, Medieval, and Christian adult Regency romances.
Is there a genre you haven’t written in, but want to?
I think someday I’d like to write contemporaries. Although I’m happy writing historicals for now.
What is your writing process? Such as, outlining, freehand, computer vs paper and pen?
I don’t outline. I come up with a story idea, write as short a summary as my publisher will let me get away with, and then I brainstorm the main points of the story, and start writing on my laptop. When I get stuck, I will bounce ideas off someone, whoever will stand still long enough, usually.
Who are you writing inspirations, famous or not?
As a kid, I was inspired by Harper Lee, since I grew up about 45 or 50 miles from Monroeville, Harper Lee’s hometown, and I was a Lee. I thought, if she could be so successful, perhaps it was possible for me too.
How much research, if any, did you have to put into your novel(s)?
I do a lot of research on Medieval Europe, the everyday lives of people then, the language, what words were used or not used, and current events of the time.
Do you listen to music while you write or edit? If so, who do you listen to?
I can’t listen to music when I edit because it’s too distracting, but I sometimes listen to Andrea Bocelli or Medieval and Renaissance music when I’m writing the first draft.
When you’re not being an amazing author and writing away, what do you for fun?
I like watching movies with my two daughters, cooking, and . . . well, I don’t do much of anything besides write. LOL!
What has been the most exciting experience for you since starting your writing career?
I guess just signing my first contract, and some of the awards I’ve finaled in and won. I got to accept the Carol Award for Young Adult fiction in 2012. That was pretty amazing.
Who created your amazing cover art?
Mike Heath of Magnus Creative did all five of my Zondervan books, and I’m not sure who to credit for my Thomas Nelson covers, The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest and The Golden Braid.
Give us a brief description of your WIP (work in progress) or your newest novel.
My next book, The Golden Braid, comes out in November and is a Rapunzel story in my YA fairy tales collection. I think my readers will like the surprise I have for those who have read all my Hagenheim stories. 🙂
What author would you geek out over if you met them in real life?
Harper Lee, Kate DiCamillo, and Judith Merkle-Riley
It’s completely impossible for a reader to pick their favorite book. However, if you were banished to a deserted island with no hope of returning and were allowed to bring 5 books with you, which ones would you choose?
The Bible, Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre, The Confident Woman, and In Pursuit of the Green Lion.
What book would you like to see in film or do you believe that books should be left alone?
As a reader, what about a book turns you away?
If it’s boring, full of errors, or not believable.
If you find you can’t get into a book, do you put it down or be a trooper and finish it?
I put it down. Life is too short to read a bad book.
Do you stick to one genre or do you like to read around?
I read a lot of different genres.
Are you a book-in-your-hands reader, e-booker, or both?
I like an actual paperback.
National Velvet, Penelope, Pride & Prejudice (the Colin Firth version), Jane Eyre (the Toby Stephens version), Joe Versus the Volcano, and several other Jane Austen movies.
Favorite TV show?
If you could eat one dish for the rest of your life, what would it be?
What’s your favorite candy/dessert?
Lindt dark chocolate truffles
What band or musician can you listen to over and over again? You can list more than one.
What’s your hidden talent?
I am a genius at spelling.
What is your dream vacation?
Visiting old castles all over Europe, especially Germany.
Author Name: Melanie Dickerson