Questioning AUTHORity is a weekly blog feature here at Bookish Serendipity involving—you guessed it!—YA and MG author interviews. This week’s featured author is Melanie Dickerson, author of multiple YA books, including The Healer’s Apprentice, The Merchant’s Daughter, The Fairest Beauty, and more! Thanks so much to Ms. Dickerson for participating
About the Author:
Website |Twitter | Blog
Melanie Dickerson is an award-winning author who earned her bachelor’s degree in special education from The University of Alabama. She has taught in Georgia, Tennessee, Germany and the Eastern European country of Ukraine. A member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and Romance Writers of America (RWA), she now spends her time writing and taking care of her husband and two daughters near Huntsville, Alabama.
ME: I love your writing style. How has your writing process changed from your first novel to your latest books?
MD: Thank you. 🙂 I don’t really think of myself as more than average, as a writer, but I think my strength is in my storytelling ability. 🙂 My writing process has become more efficient, for the most part. I try to brainstorm with friends, to get a visual image of the characters in my mind, and to know several key scenes and turning points that happen in the story before I start writing. Now I try to write the first draft quickly, then go back and edit and revise, instead of editing and revising as I go.
ME: You write retellings of classic fairytales, but your stories are clearly different from the original version. How do you manage to write a unique story, while still managing to capture the essence of the classic? This seems to be something you do especially well.
MD: Thanks! I take the original germ of the story and try to twist it and focus on certain aspects of it. I also make it as realistic to the time period as possible. I try to work with the existing political and social climates of the time and place–usually 14th or early 15th century Germany–and create the premise of the fairy tale story as it might have actually happened. I love fairy tales, and I love the Disney movies based on the fairy tales, so it’s really fun if I can incorporate things for the original story and/or the movie into my stories.
ME: Do you have any advice for teen/ aspiring writers?
MD: Read as much as you can about how to be a good writer. And just write. Never give up. Keep writing and persevering and it will pay off some day.
ME: Do you have a designated writing space? What is it like?
MD: My designated writing space seems to change with every book I write! At the moment, I am writing in my study, in a comfy armchair where I sit with my laptop on my lap, my bookcase beside me with my research books, and my cut of hot tea.
ME: Can you tell us about current/ upcoming writing projects?
MD: I’ve just finished the first book in a new series that I’m writing for Thomas Nelson. It’s already available for pre-order. It’s called The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest and it’s a cross between Swan Lake and Robin Hood. But I am also writing more stories in my Hagenheim series. The Princess Spy comes out November 4th, which is a continuation of that series, with Margaretha as the heroine. The hero is the grandson of Ranulf and Annabel from The Merchant’s Daughter, which is how that book gets tied in to the rest of the books. And I will have two more books set in Hagenheim, or at least connected with the Hagenheim books, coming out in the next couple of years.
Ms. Dickerson has kindly offered a copy of her upcoming book for a U.S. only giveaway!
– The Princess Spy (early finished copy)
About This Book:
Margaretha has always been a romantic, and hopes her newest suitor, Lord Claybrook, is destined to be her one true love. But then an injured man is brought to Hagenheim Castle, claiming to be an English lord who was attacked by Claybrook and left for dead. And only Margaretha—one of the few who speaks his language—understands the wild story. Margaretha finds herself unable to pass Colin’s message along to her father, the duke, and convinces herself ‘Lord Colin’ is just an addled stranger.
Then Colin retrieves an heirloom she lost in a well, and asks her to spy on Claybrook as repayment. Margaretha knows she could never be a spy—not only is she unable to keep anything secret, she’s sure Colin is completely wrong about her potential betrothed. Though when Margaretha overhears Claybrook one day, she discovers her romantic notions may have been clouding her judgment about not only Colin but Claybrook as well. It is up to her to save her father and Hagenheim itself from Claybrook’s wicked plot.
Rules and Conditions
- -You must be 13 or older, or have your parent’s permission to enter this giveaway.
- -This giveaway is open to residents of continental U.S. only
- -The Rafflecopter system will randomly pick a winner. This will be the only winner.
- -Neither I or the author are responsible for lost or damaged items.
- -When the contest is over, I will send you an email telling you that you won. You have 48 hours to reply to this email or, unfortunately, I will have to pick another winner.
- -One entry only per person please. If I find that anyone is trying to cheat the system, I will have him/ her blocked from both this and future giveaways.
Find the giveaway here: a Rafflecopter giveaway
Thank you very much to Ms. Dickerson for the interview as well as providing the book for the giveaway. Much appreciated!