11 December 2011

Interview with Melanie Dickerson

Melanie Dickerson is the author of The Healer’s Apprentice and of The Merchant’s Daughter.

Interview by Carrie Fancett Pagels

I met Melanie Dickerson through HisWriters, an online group for those who have either published or planned works with European characters. I have also been blessed to get to hang out with her at the ACFW conferences.

Melanie, welcome to Overcoming Through Time – With God’s Help.
Would you share either the most difficult thing in your life you have had to overcome, with God’s help, or the most tragic situation or circumstance one of your character’s has had to get past?
Wow, where should I start, Carrie? LOL! I grew up poor in a very poor area in south Alabama, but it made me determined to succeed and escape my circumstances. I definitely have that in common with my heroine, Rose! God blessed me and has brought me through some very lonely times into a place of trusting God completely (or at least, complete trust is my goal when I’m not trusting as much as I should). I’m thankful for my husband and two kids, and I have confidence in God that I can overcome anything, any disaster or tragedy, that might come my way. For years I was trapped by fear and low self-esteem, but I feel God healing me, and he has healed me, to a great extent. God is faithful!

One of the most difficult things we have gone through as a family is the loss of my husband's job over fourteen months ago. Then, on April 27th, our area was hit with several tornadoes in one terrible day, but God spared us.In this difficult economy, we are clinging to God's assurance that He will provide. He has provided, in so many ways, and he has blessed me with seeing my first book receive lots of acclaim, including being a finalist for a Christy Award. And then a dear friend told me, just days before the ACFW conference, that God nudged her and told her to help me get to the conference. In a matter of a few hours, she had raised, through ACFW members, enough money to send me to the conference. I was blown away by my friends’ kindness and generosity, as well as with God’s provision. God is amazing. Absolutely amazing. But I know many families out there are suffering like we are with the head of our household unemployed. It’s hard to see your husband go through this. We certainly are not alone.

What is your favorite bible verse and why?
“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” I Peter 5:7  This used to be my favorite verse because I used to be so riddled with anxiety! But as I said, God has healed me of this problem, to a great extent.

A current favorite is “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1  Whether you are a slave to sin or a slave to guilt or a slave to legalism, God wants to set you free in Christ! This is a theme that I have set for my life, as I have struggled with these things, and still struggle at times.
And I also love “Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” Ephesians 5:1-2 That’s pretty much the whole gospel right there! And what romance writer doesn’t want to claim the verse that says “live a life of love.”

Disability friendliness:
Is this latest release available in audio format or do you have any other works available on audio? 

Wow, I wish it was available on audio! How cool would that be? It is on Kindle and all the other e-book formats. There is also a large print version available.

What has been the most important thing you hope your readers will get from your books and why?
I really hope they will get the message that Jesus is the name above every name, and is more powerful than the darkest power. I also hope they will see that trusting God and listening to his leading will serve them well! God has a wonderful plan for your life if you allow him to work things out. So many times we get in the way because we want our own way, we think we know best, and we just mess things up. But God loves us and he has a good plan for us.

Carrie Fancett Pagels and Melanie Dickerson at ACFW Conference
As you researched your books, did you learn anything that particularly touched your heart?
I actually was surprised that things haven’t changed as much as people might think since the middle ages. People always wanted love, always wanted to succeed and be happy. That never changed. People always wanted to connect to God and wanted to learn about him, and that hasn’t changed either. Emotions and conflicts are the same, but it was also fun to write in the middle ages because some of their values are different, and their laws and society were different, making great fodder for conflict and angst—for any writer with an active imagination!  

In this latest work, do you have any topics useful for bibliotherapy, or therapeutic influence through reading about a disorder or situation?
The Merchant’s Daughter deals a lot with overcoming fear, overcoming feelings of betrayal and relational pain, and learning to trust God and rejoice in the Lord. I think it can be helpful for someone who’s going through emotional trauma of some kind.

CFP note:  In The Healer's Apprentice, Melanie also addressed these issues: Self esteem, trust, abandonment, adoption.

Thank you Melanie Dickerson for agreeing to answer these questions.  Have a blessed day and keep on writing!!

Giveaway:  Leave your comment and your email for a chance to win a copy of one of Melanie's books!


  1. Would like to read both of these books, thank you for the chance to win one.

    wfnren at aol dot com

  2. Again, a new author I haven't read yet. I'd love to win either one of these.

  3. ooopppsss. email address...
    cllane2 at liberty dot edu

  4. What a wonderfully moving interview, Carrie and Melanie! Melanie, no wonder your books have such a strong spiritual thread throughout. You live your life every day as a testimony to others of God's provision, healing, and delivering power! I love Melanie Dickerson and her love and appreciation of her readers is quite evident.

    The Healer's Apprentice was a wonderful book, and Carrie, if you can believe it, Melanie's, The Merchant's Daughter is even better. I loved it and ladies, if you don't win this book, buy yourself a treat for Christmas (you deserve it) and order it for yourself. You won't be disappointed!

  5. CARRIE!!! LOVE Melanie and LOVE her work and, most importantly of all, I am blessed to call her my friend. WONDERFUL interview, as always, and do not enter me in the contest as I am already fortunate enough to own both of Melanie's books. I have always loved fairy-tales, and Melanie writes with the same captivating style, magical tales that carry you away to long ago and minister to you there. The Healer's Apprentice is OUTSTANDING, and I cannot WAIT to dive in to The Merchant's Daughter!!


  6. What a great interview! I really would love to read both of these books. Please enter me.


  7. Wfnren and Jo, we will put your names in the random.org pot!

  8. CHARITY thanks so much for coming by! Don't miss Diana's review on Wednesday! DIANA, you are such a blessing to me! Thank you for your kind words. Not feeling so good today, maybe I will sneak a peak in my Kindle at The Merchant's Daughter!!!

  9. JULIE!!! We are so glad to have you visit with us today! I hear my Kindle calling my name and am off to start reading a little before I get ready for the eye specialist's appointment today. I think my borrowed Julie Lessman Kindle copy of A Heart Revealed should be back soon, so I will have all kinds of great Christmas reading if my eyes cooperate!

  10. Hey, everybody!!! Thanks so much for stopping by!

    wfnren and Charity, thank you for leaving comments! You can always request my book at your local library. I love getting my books in libraries!

    Thank you, Diana! You are such an encouragement to me! And thanks to Carrie for being such a great friend! Love you two!

  11. JULIE! My sweet friend! Thanks for coming by! You are such a blessing to me. HUGS!!!

    Jo, thank you! God bless!

  12. Carrie, you will feel so much better reading Annabel's and Lord le Wyse's lovely story, I'm certain! But I'm praying for you, too. :)

  13. Prayers are said for all.
    The interview is great.
    Both books sound fantastic
    Thank you for the chance.
    Bless you and yours,

  14. Thanks for the wonderful interview ladies!
    I'm always interested in reading those interviews. It's so good to know a bit more of authors. And many a time I decided to read a new author, because I like what I read about the person in interviews.

    I haven't been able to read Melanie's books yet, but I sure hope to do so. So please put my in the hat with the others :)

  15. Carrie, praying that you're feeling better soon! I'm not feeling very well either. I have spent the most of the afternoon in bed.

  16. Thanks, Marian! You get better, too. You HAVE to read her books. They are set not far from where you live - in Germany.

  17. Thanks so much, Wendy! Melanie is a sweetie.

  18. Diana, I cannot find it on my Kindle. Am going to see what happened.

  19. Carrie, I meant to say, I hope you get to feeling better, and everything gets better with your eyes!

  20. Thanks, Wendy!

    Thanks, Marian! Actually, The Healer's Apprentice is set in Germany and The Merchant's Daughter is set in England. My next two books, a Snow White story and a Cinderella story, are both set back in Germany and are sequels to The Healer's Apprentice!

  21. Oopsies - Well still closer to Netherlands than we are! Oh, I can't wait to read the sequels, too!

  22. Well, no I had not loaned it - somehow I had not yet purchased The Merchant's Daughter, but I have now. Hey, if you own this book you need to get your review up on Amazon for Melanie, please, it would make a great Christmas present!

  23. What a beautiful interview Carrie and Melanie.

    Melanie I love that you are so wonderfully honest about your trust in God. I think we all struggle with that at some time in our lives. I remember as a child there were times my dad would give his last dollar (usually our school lunch money) to someone who was in need in our church, trusting God to replace it, and HE ALWAYS CAME THROUGH.

    I hope one day to have the trust that Job had, when he said "Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him..." Job 13:15 If we remain faithful to Him, he will take care of our every need.

    Melanie, I can't wait to read your books, I know I will be blessed.

  24. Teresa, Do you have this book? I am already 25% through it today and loving it! Wow. Another Christy nomination on this one I am thinking!

  25. Wow, Teresa, what a testimony! God is so good. He loves his children, so why do we not believe he will take care of us? Of course he will. Thank you!
    And thanks, Carrie!

  26. Got my reviews up on Amazon and CBD, about a month ago, Miss Carrie, and on here this Wed., y'all! I was on the ball with this one. lol Another Christy nomination and winner this time is what I'm thinking! Inside of every woman there is still a young girl and Melanie's books bring her out in us. They grab you from the first chapter, and I felt like I was in high school again, reading a wonderful classic! Then my family came home and I had supper to cook and laundry to catch up on, and reality hit. Sigh...

  27. I live between Germany and England, so it's close indeed!

  28. Carrie, don't have it yet, but I have on my TBR list. :)

  29. Carrie I spoke too soon...my secret santa sent it to me! WOOHOO!

  30. Thank you for a beautiful and encouraging testimony, Melanie. Praise God, He is always there for us!
    I'd love a chance to win The Merchant's Daughter. Thanks.
    worthy2bpraised at gmail dot com

  31. Thanks ladies! What a treat to see Miss Melly here. Can you believe I just finished The Healer's Apprentice? I'm pretty far behind aren't I? Once I got started I didn't want to put it down. Now I know why it has had so many Honor's. Congratulations Melanie. Its wonderful!

    So of course I really want The Merchant's Daughter now.
    Debraemarvin ( at) the big Yahoo
    Your interview was a blessing.

  32. I would love to win one of Melanie's books. I have The Merchants Daughter, but that is the only one I have.
    Thanks for the giveaway

  33. I am so proud of you DIANA! MARIAN, do you have a copy of this book? TERESA I am so glad Santa blessed you with a copy! Does Santa have blonde hair? LOL!

  34. MERRY, you are so right. DEBRA, I believe you understand about employment and lack of it and the difficulties of waiting on God.

  35. JOY you will love this book! I finished it yesterday afternoon. I gave it 5 Stars. DIANA's review should be up late tonight.

  36. LOL, Carrie. And a belly that bounces like a bowlful of jelly.

  37. I would love to win Melanie's latest book! I have The Merchant's Daughter already and it is one of my favorites of all time!! Thank you so much!

    kcmelone at yahoo dot com

  38. ...or is a belly that WIGGLES like a bowlful of jelly, either way is not good!

    Courtney, The Merchant's Daughter IS Melanie's latest book, dear. Did you mean to say you have The Healer's Apprentice already? I get the titles mixed up, too.

    Carrie, my you finished that one quick! Wasn't it great!

  39. I would love to win this book. It sounds good. Thanks for offering it.

  40. Carrie, no I don't have this book. That's why I hope to win it. LOL

  41. Carrie, isn't that amazing???? All this time people thought it was white but it's a beautiful blonde! There has never been a more beautiful Santa! Hope that puts me on the nice list! :)

  42. Thanks, Merry! God amazes me all the time!

    Deb, my friend! Thank you for coming by. You are a treasure, girl. So glad you liked my book! :-)

  43. I would love to win a copy of "The Merchants Daughter". Through a surgery gone bad a year & a half ago, I ended up with a huge wound a colostomy. I had the wound and abdominal hernia repaired in Sept this year, but the colostomy is with me for life. I think that there are people that have hidden disabilities (covered with clothes) that are just as dificult to overcome as visable ones. It is very hard to have great self-esteem with an ostomy bag on your abdoman. My whole life has changed. I praise God that I have a loving husband who cares more about me than about how my abdoman looks. :) Please enter me in the drawing. Thanks for the chance to win.
    Debbie Clark

  44. I'm so sorry, Debbie. That must be hard. Some day we will exchange these old bodies with all their flaws for a heavenly one, and we will not care, because we'll be in the presence of God. I was just thinking about this tonight. What an awesome thing that will be, and eternity with God will make this life seem like a tiny moment.

    God's blessings on you, Debbie.

  45. Great interview! Would love to win a copy of either book.

  46. a wonderful posting/interview....thanks for sharing :)

    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

  47. Wow this book sounds SO good!
    I LOVE the cover!
    I would love to win a copy of "The Merchants Daughter" as I have read The Healers Apprentice.
    (LOVED IT!!)
    Thanks for the interview and the chance to win!

  48. LEAH that is a beautiful cover and what is inside is even better! KAREN and SHARON, thank you!


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