|Author Melanie Dickerson|
Hi, Melanie! Welcome to Linnette’s Writing Corner. I’m so happy to have you here. I’ve read your debut novel, “The Healer’s Apprentice” and absolutely love it. I can’t wait to read more of your works. Tell us a little about yourself.
Sure! I’m Melanie Dickerson - a wife and mother of two school-age daughters and I live near
. 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 Huntsville, Alabama University of Alabama with a degree in special education, and I’ve spent a year in Ukraine and a summer in . Germany
Cool! Tell us about your current release.
My debut novel, “The Healer’s Apprentice,” is published by Zondervan as a Young Adult romance. It’s historical, set in medieval 14th century
, 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! Germany
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?
|The Healer's Apprentice|
I came up with the idea for “The Healer’s Apprentice” while watching Disney and Barbie princess movies with my little girls. I’ve 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? After all, men want respect more than anything else, and he would lose everyone’s respect if he shirked his duty to marry his betrothed. So that was the beginning of my idea for this story. 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!
Do you have a link to a place where we can read an excerpt of this book?
Yes! Zondervan put the whole first chapter on their website. Click here.
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!
What's your muse? What most inspires you to sit down and really crank out the words? And what is the most effective cure for your writer's block?
|Linnette's Son, Andrew|
I like to listen to romantic music when I’m writing my first draft, like Harry Connick Jr. or Andrea Bocelli. If I listen to worship music, it distracts me because I want to sing along.
Cure for writer’s block? That’s a tough one, because it depends on what’s causing the writer’s block. Sometimes you just need to relax and daydream. And sometimes you just need to push through it and force yourself to put words on the page.
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, articles, and blogs on writing. 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 blogs on writing. Lastly, after you start submitting your work to publishers and agents, look at rejections as 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!
Why did you choose to write for the Young Adult genre? And what makes your book YA?
|Linnette's Niece, Shauna|
When I was writing this story, I felt I was writing it for teen girls as an encouragement to be careful who they fell in love with, to stay away from the guys who were just a bit too smooth and flattering. I wanted them to know that it was worth it to wait for the right kind of guy to come along, and to wait on the Lord to fulfill their dreams, because his plan is always the best plan. But truly, this was just the story that came to me, and I had hoped to publish it as an adult historical romance. I thought it would fit as a YA, but since I had been told that Christian publishers didn’t publish romance YA’s, I didn’t even try that avenue—until later.
What makes my books YA? Two things: The fact that the heroines are in their teens, and the story’s voice. My heroines have the YA voice—don’t ask me to define that! I guess they just sound “younger” than the heroines in most adult romances. To me, the teen years are such a dramatic time with lots of emotion, lots of trying to figure out your place in the world, that it makes for an interesting story. Lots of opportunities for believable angst.
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 Merchant’s Daughter” to be released in November, 2011:
|The Merchant's Daughter|
An unthinkable danger. An unexpected choice.
Annabel, once the daughter of a wealthy merchant, is trapped in indentured servitude to Lord Ranulf, a recluse who is rumored to be both terrifying and beastly. Her circumstances are made even worse by the proximity of Lord Ranulf's bailiff---a revolting man who has made unwelcome advances on Annabel in the past. Believing that life in a nunnery is the best way to escape the escalation of the bailiff's vile behavior and to preserve the faith that sustains her, Annabel is surprised to discover a sense of security and joy in her encounters with Lord Ranulf.
As Annabel struggles to confront her feelings, she is involved in a situation that could place Ranulf in grave danger. Ranulf's future, and possibly his heart, may rest in her hands, and Annabel must decide whether to follow the plans she has cherished or the calling God has placed on her heart.
Oh! Exciting! November can’t come soon enough! Do you have plans to right any adult fiction?
Yes. In fact, I have an adult series set in 1800’s
that my agent is working on finding a publisher for as we speak. Hopefully, I can announce more about that soon. Alabama
A little more on the personal side: What's your favorite food? Favorite treat? Favorite beverage?
I love food! Too much, I’m afraid. I love vegetables more than any other food group—spinach stir-fried with sweet onions and a little heavy cream ... so good!!! I love just about every vegetable known to man. My favorite treat is Lindt dark chocolate truffles. I love those things! As for favorite beverage, I drink water most all the time, but I occasionally drink sweet iced tea and root beer. Mmmm.
Hmm… We’ll have to see about getting that spinach recipe. Sounds yummy! I’m not big on dark chocolate. I know! Sinful for a woman to not like chocolate. But I do love sweet tea and root beer. Do you have a favorite Scripture verse or passage? If so, what and why?
Hmm. I have lots of favorites. The book of Ephesians is packed with favorites. I also love the Psalms. Here’s one from Isaiah: “You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.” From the Psalms: “For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor; no good thing will he withhold from those who walk uprightly.” I Peter 5:7 – Okay, this is my favorite: “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”
Excellent! What part of worship touches your heart the most and why?
I love to think about all the things God has done for me, and I love to meditate on God in heaven, with the Lamb, Jesus, at his side, the majesty and glory of God and his throne, surrounded by all the angels and the saints. I love to sing in corporate worship to God. Worship music really takes me into his presence.
Melanie, thank you so much for joining me today! I've had a blast getting to know you and hope the Lord will bless us with real face time in the near future. :D
Thanks so much for having me, Linnette! I appreciate you!
If you'd like to purchase a copy of "The Healer's Apprentice" go to Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, CBD, or your favorite bookstore. Also available in electronic forms.
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Linnette R Mullin - Copyright 2011. All rights reserved.