Okay, Listen Here

Okay, Listen Here

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Melanie Dickerson

We are very excited to have our friend Melanie Dickerson join us under the tulip tree today.

Please join us in welcoming her as she talks about her upcoming book,  The Merchant's Daughter.

Melanie says:
Who doesn’t love a good Beauty and the Beast story?

I’ve always been fascinated with the traditional Beauty and the Beast fairy tale. I even wrote my own short-story version when I was still in high school. I found it last weekend when I was visiting my mother. She made me go through some old boxes of stuff that had been shoved under my bed for the past twen—okay, we won’t say exactly how many years. A lot. Anyway, there was my Beauty and the Beast story, along with a cover letter in an envelope, addressed to a magazine editor. Yep, I was already trying to get published way back then. Too bad I gave up writing right after that, for about fifteen years. Who knows how many books I’d have out right now if I hadn’t quit? Oh well.

As I was saying, Beauty and the Beast has always been a favorite story. I love its themes of inner beauty overcoming the shallowness of external beauty, of character being more important than wealth, and love overcoming evil. And those are some of the themes that surfaced in my version of the story. (I don’t add themes deliberately to my stories. They just seem to show up.)

When I was, ah-hem, quite young, my favorite TV show was Beauty and the Beast, with Ron Perlman and Linda Hamilton. And Disney came out with a great version of the story.
I have also read a few novels that are wonderful versions of the story. A great YA version is Beauty by Robin McKinley. In fact, when I read it I didn’t think I would ever be able to write a Beauty and the Beast story because hers was so good. But mine is completely different in that it is strictly a Medieval romance, no magic, just straight historical romance. Beastly by Alex Flinn is a more recent, contemporary version, also now a movie.

So my book is in good company, I guess. I am always interested in how other authors tweak this classic story. I love taking a classic fairy tale, a few of its basic elements, and expanding on them and making my own romantic story out of them.

So, if you read The Merchant’s Daughter, I hope you like it. I would love for you to friend me on facebook,  or visit me on my website ( http://www.melaniedickerson.com/ )  and check out the trailers for both my books, The Healer’s Apprentice and The Merchant’s Daughter. The guy who does my covers did the trailers, and they are wonderful.

For those who are in the area, I’ll be speaking at the Monrovia branch of the Huntsville-Madison Country Library on November 29th at 6:30 p.m. I should also have some copies of my books to sell if you’d like to get autographed copies for gift giving.

Please leave a comment and let me know what you think of Beauty and the Beast, if you’ve read any good Beauty and the Beast stories, and, if you are a writer, how you deal with themes in your books.


  1. I love the Beauty and the Beast theme, and I was a faithful viewer of the TV series too. Small world, huh?

    Congrats on the second book. The trailer is just WOW! Your art guy is terrific.


  2. Thanks, Marilyn! Zondervan decided to hire a freelance artist, Mike Heath of Magnus Creative, to do my covers. He was a friend of the Zonderkidz publisher, he lived in Colorado Springs where she used to live, and she knew there was a chapel there that looked like a castle. So that's where he shot both these covers and trailers. I honestly thank God, because I can't imagine better covers! They are so perfect.

  3. Oh, and come back tomorrow, because I'll be sharing my recipe for scones and Devonshire cream, in honor of my English setting. :-)

  4. Melanie--Thanks for being with us today. You have the most luscious covers.

    Beauty and the Beast, the TV show. . . that takes me back. When The Guy and I were dating, we'd lay on his beanbag chair and watch. Why the beanbag? It was the only piece of furniture he had--apart from a desk chair and bed. Why his place and not mine, were there was furniture? He had a state of the art television and stereo system.

    Loved the show! Thanks for the good memory.

  5. You art and trailers are awesome! The artist is very good. I have my copies pre-ordered for Christmas and I can't wait to get my hands on mine to read it. B&B is one of my fav's as well, just about any version. I think it's because of all the fairy tales it was the one I could identify with the most, more with the Beast... :) but Disney's version of Belle and her selflessness and love of books really connected with me as well. I'm sure your story will ring just as true, Melanie. The Healer's Apprentice was great, I know this one will be to.

  6. Thanks for visiting with us today! Beauty and the Beast is my favorite fairy tale. I don't think I will ever grow tired of reading it again and again!

  7. I absolutely love when Fairy Tales are re-done this way!!! The Healer's Apprenctice is on my favorite books of all time list...absolutely LOVED it and the Merchant's Daughter is on my Christmas list, can't wait to read that one!! I've yet to read a Beauty and the Beast re-telling

  8. I just discovered that The Merchant's Daughter is now available to download on your Kindle! YAY! That means it's also possible for people to start posting reviews. Yikes! :-)
    The official release date is tomorrow, so, yay!!!

  9. Oh, Jean, that is so funny that your future hubby had an amazing TV and sound system but no furniture! ;-) But you guys have great taste in TV shows. :-)

  10. Thank you, April! One of the very first people to read The Healer's Apprentice, in its rough, early form, no less! I hope you like The Merchant's Daughter!

    Thanks, Stephanie, for having me on the blog!!!

    Thanks, Courtney, for saying that you liked The Healer's Apprentice so much! I hope you will like my Beauty and the Beast story just as much! You'll have to let me know. God bless!!!

  11. Melanie!!! So good of you to come sit a while with us. How exciting!

    You know how much I absolutely LOVED The Healer's Apprentice. I'm on pins and needles waiting to get The Merchant's Daughter. Will have to run out and buy it tomorrow. Ever since I saw you told me about this book, I've been anticipating its release. Then, when I saw the cover and that wonderful mirror... Youza!

    I'll be honest. I've got the Beauty & The Beast with Ron Perlman and Linda Hamilton on VHS. Loved that show, but was heartily disappointed when they killed off Linda's character and brought in Julianne Moore. Pooh! Not that Moore wasn't a good actress, I just didn't like the fact that they produced a baby and killed Linda off. Grrr!

    What? Oh, I digress. Sorry. I have a penchant for doing that. Where was I? Oh yes! Yes! Yes! I'm headed over to Facebook now.

    Can you tell us a bit about the journey of this book? I'm sure our readers would like to know how long it took you to get from conception to finished product.


  12. Hi, Melanie. I loved the TV series. And I never tire of watching the Disney version. As a matter of fact, the Beauty and the Beast show at MGM Studios was a favorite of mine.

    I will definitely add your books to my shopping list. They come highly recommended so I'm sure I will enjoy them.

  13. Hey, Kathy!!! You know, I stopped watching Beauty and the Beast around the time Linda Hamilton had the baby. I was off at college and didn't have much time to watch TV. But yeah, I would have hated them switching the actress.

    I can't wait to hear what you think of my new book, Kathy! The paperback may not be in stores yet. I just got my copies yesterday!!! But the e-book is already available!!! I'm starting to get reviews. It's nice to see the five stars lined up on Amazon... :-)

  14. Hi, Jo!!! It's nice to meet another Beauty and the Beast fan! Thanks for friending me on facebook and Goodreads! You'll have to let me know what you think of my book! God bless!