Author Interview & Giveaway - The Healer's Apprentice by Melanie Dickerson

I'm so excited to be putting up the first of our monthly author interviews! Today we will be spotlighting The Healer's Apprentice and it's author, Melanie Dickerson!

Thanks so much for being willing to do this interview with us! To start out, tell us a bit about yourself! 
I am a wife and mother of two school-age daughters and I live near Huntsville, Alabama. My life is pretty boring, which I’m thankful for, since writing seems to provide all the drama I can safely handle! I am a graduate of The University of Alabama with a degree in special education, and I spent a year in Ukraine and a summer in Germany.

Germany and Ukraine?! That's too cool! 
Tell us a bit about your latest realease - The Healer's Apprentice. 

My debut novel, The Healer’s Apprentice, is published by Zondervan as a Young Adult romance and was released this month. It’s a historical, set in medieval 14th century Germany, with a wonderful castle and medieval town as the main setting. It’s full of intrigue and plot twists, deception and loyalty, but most of all, romance!

I must agree when you stated it was full of intrigue! But I'm curious; how did you come up with the idea? Was "The Healer's Apprentice" your original title for this book? If not, what was you working title?

I came up with the idea for The Healer’s Apprentice while watching Disney and Barbie princess movies with my little girls. I had loved fairy tales all my life, and one day when we were watching Sleeping Beauty, I started thinking, what if this story was rewritten to be more realistic? What if the hero felt duty- and honor-bound to his betrothed? What if he fell in love with a peasant girl but was horrified at the idea of betraying his betrothed in that way? After all, men want respect more than anything else, and he would lose the respect of everyone if he shirked his duty to marry his betrothed. So that was the beginning of my idea for this story. And the original title was The Woodcutter’s Daughter. I had a really hard time getting used to the new title after calling it The Woodcutter’s Daughter for three and a half years!

That's our favorite way to learn history: through books! :-)
Who was your favorite character to create?

I enjoyed creating all the characters, except maybe the bad guy. I didn't like writing scenes in his point of view at all! Very creepy! I enjoyed all the main characters, especially Rose, Hildy, Lord Hamlin and Lord Rupert, who I tried to name Rudolf, but he just wouldn't let me call him anything but Rupert!

That's cool! Who ever knew that Barbie movies could inspire such an amazing book? :-)
What made you decide to write the book in the medieval time period?  Was it hard to learn information about that time?

I have always been fascinated with the middle ages. I read books like Ivanhoe and Robin Hood and savored all the medieval details. But when I decided to write a book set in the middle ages, I knew I'd have to really do my research well. So I checked out lots of medieval history books from the library, bought books on the time period, and did a lot of the more specific research on the internet.

Were there any event/s that inspired you to write this story?

There are many events that inspired different story lines and scenes in the book. If I tried to tell you all of them, it would be a very long interview! But in general, I was inspired by the Sleeping Beauty fairy tale, particularly the Disney movie version, and by the German town, Hildesheim, where I stayed one summer while I was still in college. But who really knows where writers get their ideas? Even the writers sometimes don't know--or at least, I don't, or don't remember. But I am often inspired by real life events, either experienced by me or by someone else who told me about it.

That's cool!  It's amazing where inspiration comes from at times.
Can you give us a sneak peek at what you have cooking up next? Can you tell us something about it? Do you have a release date?

Well, I have a second medieval YA romance, a Beauty and the Beast story tentatively titled The Beholder. I don’t know yet if Zondervan is going to publish it. I’ve been revising it, and I think it’s a really strong story. Hopefully I will be able to announce a release date in a few months.
I also have an adult series, set in 1800’s Alabama, that my agent is working on finding a publisher for. Hopefully I can announce something about that soon, too.

How can readers get in contact with you?

I’m on Facebook as Melanie Dickerson, on Goodreads , and you can contact me through my website,

Thanks SO much for allowing us to interview you, Mrs. Dickerson!

I hope y'all enjoyed our interview with Melanie Dickerson! But the fun isn't over yet! Melanie Dickerson has been generous enough to give away a copy of The Healer's Apprentice to one of our readers! :-D The Healer's Apprentice was a GREAT read and I'm so excited that we're being able to giveaway a copy! Following are the rules for entering to win a new copy of The Healer's Apprentice!

Giveaway Rules: You must be/become a follower of Book Ponderings AND include your email address with your initial comment. USA only, please. This giveaway begins today and ends Friday, the 5th of November. The winner will be randomly chosen and announced on the the 6th. This winner will be notified by the email address they leave in their comment. If the winner doesn't respond within 5 days, we will randomly pick another winner. Have fun!

For Extra Entries:
Subscribe to this blog(+1)
Grab our button(+1)
Post about our giveaway on your blog(+2)
Twitter this giveaway(+1 per tweet per day)
Comment on our weekly book discussion posts that occur Mondays and Wednesdays(+2)

Please seperate each entry with a comment!

Thanks again, Mrs. Dickerson!


Amber Holcomb said...

What a fun interview! I've heard a lot of great things about this book, and I would LOVE a chance to win it! :D

And it's funny you should mention that about men wanting respect above all else. We talked about that recently in my Petrine Epistles class here at college, interestingly enough. ;)




P.S. I am a follower. ;)

Katie said...

Please enter me! Sounds great! I'm a follower! :)

God bless!

~Katie G.

katiegalyean (at) yahoo (dot) com

Ariel Wilson said...

I already have a copy, so don't enter me :) I just wanted to say I am SO looking forward to reading this book! (Once I get through my mounds of homework... yuck.)

Trinity Rose said...

I've been wanting to win this book for quite a while. Thanks for the giveaway.
Many blessings,
Trinity Rose
wandaelaine at gmail dot com

Trinity Rose said...

I Subscribe to your blog
Trinity Rose
wandaelaine at gmail dot com

amber said...

I've wanted to read this book!! It looks really good!!

Amber (

Jennifer said...

This sounds like a great book. I lived in Germany for 3 years and visited many castles while I was there. Thank you the chance to win this book. I am a follower and a subscriber.


jmschwindt at cox dot net

Cindy W. said...

I have been wanting to read The Healer's Apprentice since the first review. Would love to win a copy. Thank you for the chance.

Cindy W.


Cindy W. said...

+ 1 I am a GFC follower.

Cindy W.


Melanie Dickerson said...

Thanks so much for having me on your blog! And I love these pictures you put up! I'm positive I've been to that first picture. It's in Kiev, Ukraine. I think it's the Lavra, an old monastery that is soooooo cool. If you ever go to Ukraine, you must see the Lavra!

April said...

I read the part where Melanie watches Barbie movies... and paused. I DO TOO! I watched them with my little sister. I confess my favorite is the 'Princess and the Pauper'. The songs and stuff are the best in that one! Though the villain is kinda weird... anyways, I would love to read this book because I love tales and make believe stories with a prince thrown in the mix! It makes for an exciting read!
apeygirl at gmail dot com

Kathy Habel said...

I'm a follower on GFC.
bkhabel at gmail dot com

Casey said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Casey said...

I'm so excited to read this book! It looks incredible! Please enter me in to win :)

Jennifer said...

I would love to read this book! I enjoy reading books set in this time period.

jenmmcclure at yahoo dot com

Thanks for the chance to win it.

Jennifer said...

I follow with Google Reader.

jenmmcclure at yahoo dot com


Lexie@BookBug said...

I can't wait to read this book! Please enter me in the contest. I am a follower.

Ammy Belle said...

Great giveaway and interview! Thank you for this, it's gotten me very excited to read this!

apereiraorama @

Melanie said...

I'd love to read this book.
I follow the blog.

Read for your future! said...

This book intrigues me. I would lvoe to win it.

sablelexi said...

Please enter me, this book sounds great.
I'm a new follower

jlynettes @ hotmail . com

Aik said...

I'd love to enter! This book sounds awesome!

aikychien at yahoo dot com

Aik said...

I tweeted:

aikychien at yahoo dot com

Aik said...

I subscribed via Google reader.

aikychien at yahoo dot com

Pam said...

I would love to win this book for my daughter (though I would read it too). I just became a follower and a subscriber.

Carol M said...

I would love to read this book and then pass it on to my granddaughter! It sounds really good! Thank you for the giveaway!
I follow on GFC
mittens0831 at aol dot com

Carol M said...

I subscribe by email.
mittens0831 at aol dot com

Vivien said...

I would love to read this book. Especially since I'm from Germany. I live in the US now. Thanks for the giveaway!!

deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

Vivien said...

+1 GFC follower

deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

Vivien said...

+2 commented on Book Discussion - Kingdom's Dawn post

deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

lgm52 said...

I'm a follower..would love to win

Michelle said...

Thank you so much for entering me to win this wonderful book! : )

I am a follower.

scraphappy71 at sbcglobal dot net

Michelle said...

I am now an email subscriber.

Thank you!
scraphappy71 at sbcglobal dot net

Unknown said...

Thanks for the chance to win. I am a new follower

kissyjensen at gmail dot com

Katie Marie said...

Hey Chris! Thanks for becoming a new follower! Unfortunately, this giveaway is already over, and Book Ponderings is on an extended Hiatus at the time begin.

But! If you check out my blog, Legacy of a Writer, I have giveaways going on weekly, as well as talk about anything and everything related to BOOKS!! :-) (my url is Kait, also, has her own personal blog you can check out.

Thanks for following Book Ponderings! :-)

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