January 16, 2014 by Jen Cudmore
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 the American Christian Fiction Writers and the Romance Writers of America, she now spends her time writing and taking care of her husband and two daughters near Huntsville, Alabama.
What are some themes you worked into your books? I like to write about God’s love and the fact that he has a good plan for each of us. If we trust him and do what he says, things naturally go better for us. I also write about learning to believe in yourself and to fight for yourself and those you love.
What is your most effective platform-building tool—Facebook, blog, Pinterest, twitter? Why? I really enjoy Facebook, so that is the one I spend the most time on. I’m afraid to join Pinterest! I also stay away from games for the same reason, which is that I’m afraid I’ll spend way too much time on it! I have a blog, but I don’t post very much on it. I’m on Twitter too, but I don’t entirely understand its appeal. It’s hard to confine myself to so few words!
Do you have a word (or words) of wisdom to pass on to other writers? I received 32 rejections for The Healer’s Apprentice before it was accepted by Zondervan, and it was not the first book I wrote. You must be willing to receive criticism and to use it to make you better. Hard work and perseverance are a necessity for success in this business. And even more than those things, you need a tender heart toward God, willing to be humble and listen to his leading, praying without ceasing, and believing that God will work it all out for your good.
What do you think makes a good story? A good story makes the reader feel something, and makes the reader take the journey along with the main character. The story leaves a strong impression and helps the reader to ask themselves what they can learn from the story and the character’s own lessons.
Where does your inspiration come from? My inspiration comes from fairy tales and from my favorite stories in literature and favorite movies. I also pray for inspiration. Most of the time, I have no idea where my inspiration comes from. Ha!
Do you use your own experiences from real life in your books? Very rarely. Mainly, my own experiences provide me with the emotions to be able to imagine how my characters will react to different situations and what their emotions will be.
What projects are you working on now? At the moment I am finishing up my Frog Prince story, which is supposed to come out next October. The heroine is Margaretha, the sister of my last two heroes (the Fairest Beauty and the Healer’s Apprentice), and the hero is the grandson of Annabel and Ranulf, from the Merchant’s Daughter. I have a couple more fairy tale re-tellings in the works, as well as two other series that I’m working on.