Yes, that’s right! You read correctly. MELANIE DICKERSON is chatting with me today about her new fairy tale retelling The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest! I have pinched myself so many times that I’m starting to bruise lol.
The queen of fairy tale retellings. (All of which I adore.)
A two-time CHRISTY AWARD finalist, for crying out loud!
And she is here. Talking to me. And you, my lovely readers, by extension.
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 American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and Romance Writers of America (RWA), she now spends her time writing and taking care of her husband and two daughters near Huntsville, Alabama.
THE HUNTRESS OF THORNBECK FOREST by Melanie Dickerson
SERIES: A Medieval Fairy Tale #1
GENRE: Historical Romance / Fairy Tale Retelling (Christian)
PUBLISHER: Thomas Nelson
RELEASE DATE: May 12, 2015
In the Robin Hood reimagining, a beautiful maiden poaches to feed the poor, while a handsome forester is on a mission to catch her.
The margrave owns the finest hunting grounds for miles around—and who teaches children to read, but by night this young beauty has become the secret lifeline to the poorest of the poor.
For Jorgen Hartman, the margrave’s forester, tracking down a poacher is a duty he is all too willing to perform. Jorgen inherited his post from the man who raised him . . . a man who was murdered at the hands of a poacher.
When Jorgen and Odette meet at the Midsummer festival and share a connection during a dance, neither has any idea that they are already adversaries.
The one man she wants is bound by duty to capture her; the one woman he loves is his cunning target . . . What becomes of a forester who protects a notorious poacher? What becomes of a poacher when she is finally discovered?
From New York Times bestselling author Melanie Dickerson, The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest is a story of danger and love.
Hi Melanie! Welcome to the blog! I can’t even begin to explain what a tremendous honor this is for me. If I tried, I might scare you … so we’ll just move right along to my traditional “fast four” questions.
Melanie: Apples, because citrus is bad for my acid reflux. LOL! I’m getting old.
Carrie: haha! I feel this.
Melanie: M&M’s, because if candy is not chocolate, why bother?
Carrie: this is definitely the predominant opinion!
Melanie: Neither because I just don’t have the patience or the stamina to clean up after another living creature besides my kids, husband, and my guinea pigs, and I make my kids do most of that. (That sounds terrible, I know, but it’s true.)
Carrie: After some discussion, Zuzu has agreed to let me continue with the interview because, after all, you didn’t pick cats. 🙂
Melanie: I’ve always been a Coke girl, but I like whichever one I’m used to drinking. Honestly, I hardly ever drink Coke anymore, though, because a. I can’t have much caffeine anymore, b. I’m trying to stay away from sugar, and c. I’m scared of diet drinks because they have so many possible side effects—and they taste disgusting.
Carrie: You are a stronger person than I am. I have a slight (ok. more than slight.) addiction to McDonald’s diet cokes. Not their food (yuck!) just their sodas.
Q: Since you are all about the fairy tales… Cinderella or Snow White? Why?
Melanie: Cinderella, because I’ve always just loved that story of rags to riches, kindness triumphing over meanness, and the nice girl getting the prince! I love Snow White too, but there’s just something about Cinderella, you know? We all can relate to that feeling of having been mistreated or unfairly having to do all the work while someone else gets to go play. Unless it’s just me!
Carrie: Nope! Not just you! 🙂 Little known (and little cared-about) fact about moi – I collect versions of Cinderella. Books, movies, etc. I have not yet seen the newest movie and it’s killing me! Must correct that soon-ish. But who has time for movies when there are books to read!!!
Q: What was your favorite fairy tale growing up and has it been retold in one of your books yet?
Melanie: I think Cinderella was probably my favorite when I was really young, but Beauty and the Beast has been my favorite for a long time. I retold that one in The Merchant’s Daughter, but there are a lot of ways you could retell it.
Carrie: *dreamy sigh* I loved The Merchant’s Daughter. It was actually the first book of yours that I read! While we’re talking about The Merchant’s Daughter, I should mention that it was a 2012 Christy Award finalist as well as a Carol Award winner. Well-deserved!!
Q: In your Fairy Tale series, which story did you have the most fun writing?
Melanie: Probably The Princess Spy, just because Margaretha was my favorite character to write so far. I thought she would be the most difficult heroine to do well, since she likes to talk so much and has a tendency to ramble on and on. I was afraid that might slow the story down or make it boring, but I don’t think it did. It was just fun to let her talk! It worked. I really fell in love with her.
Carrie: Margaretha was hilarious! Her talkative nature really added to the story, in my opinion. She was one of my favorite characters to read. (You can read my review of The Princess Spy here.)
Q: Which of your Fairy Tale stories touched you the most while you were writing it? I was most touched by The Merchant’s Daughter – cried several times reading that one!
Melanie: Aw, thank you, Carrie! I think it was probably either The Merchant’s Daughter or The Healer’s Apprentice, although I just finished my Rapunzel story, The Golden Braid, and I have to say, I think it affected me more than the others. God really spoke to me through this story and the characters. I hope it will be the same for my readers!
Carrie: I am intrigued! I know it will be amazing because all of your other books have been, but now I am even more excited to read it and see how God speaks to me through it too! And that cover is GORGEOUS! Also – The Healer’s Apprentice is my other absolute favorite. It’s right up there with The Merchant’s Daughter. And that’s saying a lot because Sleeping Beauty is my least favorite fairy tale in general, but your version of it brought new perspective to the story for me.
Q: Which fairy tale has been the most difficult to retell in your series world(s) so far? (As I said in my review of The Princess Spy, Germany doesn’t exactly exude warm, cozy feelings… Yet you deliver them every single time!)
Melanie: I know what you mean about Germany, Carrie! It doesn’t have the warmest reputation or connotation in America, but I fell in love with it when I went there. It is such a perfect place to set fairy tales. I’m not sure which fairy tale was the most difficult. They all had their challenges. I thought I came up with a brilliant idea for The Frog Prince when I brought in a foreigner, an Englishman, and he was impeded by not being able to speak German but was still able to become friends with the heroine. To me that was the perfect alternative to him being an actual frog! But a lot of readers didn’t get it, apparently, as I’ve seen from some reviewers who said they did not see the connection to The Frog Prince.
Carrie: Well, I personally thought it was hysterical! And his clothing selection made me literally laugh out loud! Genius!
Q: How is The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest different from your previous books, and who are you most excited about your fans encountering as they read?
Melanie: This one is slightly different as it is based on a mash-up of two different stories instead of just one. The heroine is also slightly older and in a more independent situation in life. This new series is still teen friendly, but it is geared more toward adults who want a clean, inspirational romance. The first book, The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest, was inspired by Robin Hood and Swan Lake and introduces the reader to a new Medieval town and its lord, The Margrave of Thornbeck. I’m really excited about my readers getting to see how this book ends, as there are a few surprise twists near the end. I also am excited about my readers’ interest in the margrave’s character, as they are already saying how much they liked him and hoped he’d get his own story, since he is the hero in the next book. 🙂
Carrie: Ack! I haven’t made it to the end yet! If there are surprise twists in store, then I foresee more dramatic flailing on the horizon. Somebody warn Eric & Zuzu. 🙂
Q: What one thing about you would most surprise your readers?
Melanie: I’m really a vampire. No, no, just kidding. I’m afraid of bridges. (Actually, that’s kind of true, but only really long, really high bridges.) Would you believe, I’m a spy? No? Okay, I really can’t think of anything especially surprising about me. LOL! I’m kind of boring.
Carrie: Yeah. I don’t believe that for a second 😉
What about you? What makes you want to read The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest by Melanie Dickerson