Melanie Dickerson joins us today with an interview and giveaway! *grins* I've read two of her books (The Healer's Apprentice and The Merchant's Daughter) and loved both of them! Definitely recommend! :)
Here's an excerpt from Melanie's first book, The Healer's Apprentice:
Welcome to Christian Bookshelf Reviews, Melanie!! Will you tell us a little about yourself?
I am from a small town in Alabama, not far from Harper Lee’s hometown. Now I live near Huntsville, Alabama, also known as Rocket City, as it is the location of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center and numerous rocket scientists. I’m married and have two wonderful daughters. I have a bachelor’s degree in special education from the University of Alabama, which I have put to good use in my new book, The Fairest Beauty. (You’ll see what I mean when you read about my Seven Dwar—well, you’ll see.
What is your new book, The Fairest Beauty, about?
Here’s a short summary my publisher prepared:
In The Fairest Beauty, a fairy tale retelling of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs by Melanie Dickerson, a woman arrives in Hagenheim claiming the young woman who is betrothed to the duke’s son, Valten, is still alive. With Valten injured, his younger brother, Gabe, defies his family and travels to find Sophie himself. Meanwhile, Sophie hopes to escape her evil stepmother, believing she will be safe at the Cottage of the Seven. When Gabe arrives at the castle claiming she is to be married to his brother, Sophie must make a choice: try to make it to the cottage alone, or trust the handsome stranger who seems ready to do anything to keep her safe.
What is something the average reader wouldn't know about you?
I was named after Melanie in Gone With the Wind, and my father was named after the western writer, Zane Grey.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
When I was probably around twelve or thirteen, when I started writing stories for my friends to read.
How many books have you written/published and do you have a favorite?
I have written six books, two of which have been published and two soon to be published. I am now working on my seventh and eighth, with plans to write several more! It’s enough to make my poor brain spin. But so far so good, I guess. I could never pick a favorite, though. I love them all. Except maybe my first book, which is not my best.
What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?
I have trouble writing my original draft unless I am either sitting in a noisy restaurant, or listening to Andrea Bocelli sing in Italian.
That is really interesting! Where do you like to write?
The best part is the creation of new stories and characters who become very real to me. And another favorite part is all the writer friends I’ve made. The worst part is just the weirdness of it, I suppose, the marketing myself and my stories, the negative reviews from total strangers who read things into my stories that I never intended. But it’s all part of the business, and one must take the bad with the good.
What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I am currently addicted to making paper beads and subsequently, making necklaces with said beads. I also have my family I take care of, driving my girls to school and volleyball practice, and I’m very involved in our church.
Is there a place you’d like to visit, but haven’t yet?
I’ve been to Germany, which is where my novel is set, but I’d love to go back and visit more ancient castles and castle ruins. I’d also love to visit England’s castles.
Do you have a favorite song and/or movie?
I love Taylor Swift’s songs and I plotted most of The Fairest Beauty while listening to Enchanted and Love Story. It’s a Wonderful Life is my favorite movie.
I love the song "Love Story"! What is your favorite dessert?
I love anything chocolate.
Do you have a favorite holiday?
I guess I don’t really have a favorite holiday. I like them all.
One of my favorites is 2 Timothy 1:7 “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love, and of self-discipline.”
Here are a few this-or-that questions:
Snowstorms or Thunderstorms? Since we have a lot of tornadoes here, which is evil and deadly, I’ll have to say snowstorms.
Tea or Coffee? Tea, both iced sweet tea and hot tea, which I learned to love when I lived in Ukraine for one year.
Movie Theater or DVD? DVD. I’m a homebody.
Early-bird or Night-owl? Neither. But I guess I’m more of an early bird than a night owl. I love my eight hours of sleep!
Cats or Dogs? Dogs
Are you currently working on any new novels? If so, could you give us a hint?
I have a fourth fairy tale retelling, a Cinderella story, and right now I’m working on a Regency, which I love. It’s kind of a hodgepodge of Jane Austen stories. The book started coming to me a couple of years ago when I decided to accept a challenge to read all six of Jane Austen’s novels—or I should say, re-read them, because they are my favorites—in six months. I also watched at least one version of each of the movies versions. I thought it would be fun to try to write a story based on various situations from Jane Austen’s books. So that’s what I’m doing, and I’m loving it.
Both of those books sound great! Thanks so much for being here! Is there anything else you’d like to tell readers and where can we find you on the web?
Please come visit me at www.MelanieDickerson.com and on facebook.
Enter to win a copy of The Fairest Beauty by Melanie Dickerson! Giveaway is only open to residents of the continental US.
Enter via the Rafflecopter below. The mandatory entry is to leave a comment on this blog post, after you do that, the optional entries will become available. :)