Q & A with novelist Melanie Dickerson: Sharing God’s love through magical tales

6 Jun

Inspirational novelist Melanie Dickerson is having a great year.

Her latest book, The Orphan’s Wish, is due any minute from Thomas Nelson Publishers–and it adds to the impressive list of fairy tale novels that have become fan favorites and critical successes.

The Orphan’s Wish is a creative “retelling” of the Aladdin story, and follows such novels as The Silent Songbird (a retelling of the the Little Mermaid), The Golden Braid (a retelling of Rapnuzel), the books in the “Regency Spies of London” series and many more. She’s made it on the New York Times Bestseller List and also won the 2017 Christy Award for Young Adult fiction.

Melanie earned a bachelors degree in special education of the hearing impaired from The University of Alabama and has worked as a teacher in Georgia, Tennessee, and Ukraine. She lives with her husband and two children in Huntsville, Alabama.

Melanie will be one of the keynote speakers at the Southern Christian Writers Conference this weekend, and I got a chance to talk with her about her writing–and what she’s planning on talking about at the workshop.

Question: Tell us about what you right and the message behind your novels.

Answer:  I write Christian historical novels. Most of them are written specifically for teens or young adults, but they seem to appeal to people of all ages who like adventure stories and clean, inspirational romance. I try to write books that will encourage–encouragement is my spiritual gift–and will help young women in their decision-making and thought processes. I tend to write the stories that I needed when I was a teen, about 16 years old, and struggling with my thoughts and feelings about myself and about God and life. I desperately want to get the message across that God loves each person, that he has good plans for your life, and he longs to bless and help you. But our part is to pray and believe and trust him in every circumstance, and to make wise decisions.

Of course, the main purpose of any story is to entertain. Without lots of excitement and all the necessary elements of a good story, no one would read my novels! But it’s almost impossible not to let the truth about God and his message come through! That’s my philosophy, anyway.

Q: How did you become a novelist? What was that journey like?

A:  I became a novelist when I wrote my first novel at the age or 13 or 14. I wrote a second novel before I finished high school. I loved making up stories, and I wanted to be an author as my career, but when I realized how difficult it was to get published, I quit writing in favor of getting a “real job” and getting out on my own. Thankfully, God brought me back to writing in 2003, when I caught the writing bug again, and I’ve never looked back.

Q: What sort of inspiration and information are hoping to bring to the SCWC?

A: I am teaching a workshop on Conflict and Tension, which are essential to every good story. It’s such a broad subject, I hope I can at least scratch the surface and share some helpful tips. And I’ll be speaking about how to be a successful writer. I hope I can share some encouragement for all the writers there not to give up on their dreams. I have 3 key characteristics every writer needs, and they all start with “T.”

We can’t wait to see Melanie this weekend.

Let us know if you need more information about the Southern Christian Writers Conference.

Learn more about the conference here.

Learn more about Melanie at her website.



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