Melanie Dickerson is the author of The Healer's Apprentice, an award-winning retelling of the classic fairy tale, The Sleeping Beauty. Her latest novel is also a fairy tale, retold. The Merchant's Daughter is Melanie's inspirational interpretation of Beauty and the Beast. Released at the beginning of December, it is getting rave reviews from teens and adults alike. (Stay tuned! My review will post soon!)
I recently caught up with Melanie to ask her a whole lot of silly (and a few mildly serious) questions so you can get to know this fairy tale lover -- and writer -- a little bit better.
Serena: I hate to get serious right off the bat, but there is a very pressing matter I must get to the bottom of (and I'm craving me something yummy) so: which ice cream flavor is your favorite?
Melanie: Vanilla with cherries and chocolate chips.
Serena: Yum! That sounds both delicious and pretty. Before we move to the lighter fare, our readers must know: do you eat that lovely ice cream -- even in the wintertime?
Melanie: Yes, ice cream is too good and life is too short to only eat it in the summer!
Serena: You know that's right! So while we're on the subject of treats, let's say you've just come in from a walk in the falling snow. Coffee, tea, or cocoa?
Melanie: I usually go for hot tea when I'm cold, but cocoa is great on a snowy day.
Serena: I'm a cocoa girl, all the way!-- with whipped cream and sprinkled nutmeg on top. It's so easy to do with instant cocoa and Cool Whip, but it makes me feel like I've just been pampered by the staff of a luxury ski resort. *tangent alert*(I've never actually been to a luxury ski resort -- and the thought of skiing conjures visions of snapping femurs to mind, so... I'll stick to dreaming of Greek Isle sunsets during my cold Iowa winters -- and drinking my instant cocoa when I come in from the cold!)
So, Melanie: what's the top destination on your dream vacation list?
Melanie: Germany, especially the Rhine region, because I've always wanted to visit the castles and castle ruins along the Rhine River.
Serena: Oooh. That sounds awesome -- and the perfect place for a fairy tale girl to spend some quality time! Whether traveling to Rhine castles or just to White Castle for a burger (sorry, it was there.), is there one item you insist must be present in your car (or purse) at all times?
Melanie: Lipstick. I really don't wear a lot of makeup, but I don't feel right without lipstick when I go somewhere.
Serena: I usually have clear lip balm in my pocket, but never go anywhere without hand sanitizer in my purse. I also keep a squirt bottle of it in my cup holder. But before I go all germophobe on you, I'll move to safer, less-bacteria infected ground: What are you reading these days?
Melanie: What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew by Daniel Pool, research for my new book!
Serena: Sounds interesting! While I'm reading, I like to have soft music playing in the background. Lately I've had Christmas music playing 24/7. What is your favorite Christmas carol?
Melanie: O Come, O Come Emmanuel
Serena: If you could live in one fairy tale for a month and be any character within it, which tale and character would you pick?
Melanie: I love fairy tales! But most of them are rather grisly, in their original form! My favorite is Beauty and the Beast, so I suppose I'd like to be Beauty, falling in love with a gentle, though tortured soul in a magical castle.
Serena: That sounds good, but I think I'd prefer the Beast after his magical-makeover! LOL. I don't mind kissing my goateed husband (I rather prefer the goatee to the sandpaper burn alternative, actually!) but I draw the line at slobbering fangs. (reader please note: the beastly character in The Merchant's Daughter has none of that Disney-esque animal appearance, so he fits the hero bill just fine! -- he's quite a looker under that beard and eye patch.)
So I have to ask: What is your definition of "beauty"?
Melanie: Beauty is fleeting and charm is deceptive, the Bible says, and I love the saying, "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder." (The Beholder was the original title I gave to The Merchant's Daughter.) Inner beauty is what really matters, really draws people in and makes them fall in love. Outward beauty is rather meaningless when you think about it. It doesn't last, and if a person has no inner beauty, we cease to think of them as beautiful anyway. But the truth is, humans are attracted by a pleasing appearance. What is beauty? That's a good question!
Thanks, Melanie for letting me stalk you and for answering even my silliest questions with flair!
For more information about Melanie and her books, visit her website -- and make sure you stay tuned to Edgy Inspirational Romance! I'll be posting my review of The Merchant's Daughter, as well as a more in-depth interview with Melanie, later this month!