It’s our pleasure to welcome Melanie Dickerson to the Lightning Blog today! A bestselling author of fairy tales reimagined, Melanie lends us her talents in the latest issue of Spark with a story that proves Ancient History is still heart-pounding today. 

Who is your favorite character in all of literature and why?

I have a lot of favorites, including all of Jane Austen’s heroines and heroes, and even some of her secondary characters, but my favorite might be Margaret of Ashbury in the series by Judith Merkle Riley, beginning with the first book, A Vision of Light. She’s quirky, yet relatable, and very humble and honest about herself, which I love, and she’s surprisingly optimistic and takes things as they come. She’s also, in my mind, the medieval Forrest Gump. All of the stereotypical medieval events—forced marriage, the plague, accusations of sorcery—befall her sooner or later. And she comes through them all relatively unscathed. She’s just a fun character, and I feel as if I know her, which is a testament to the author’s skill!

What story has inspired your writing the most?

That’s a tough question. Maybe Beauty and the Beast, because love, moral character, and courage win out over all obstacles.

What classic are you ashamed to admit you haven’t read?

There are many I haven’t read, though I did read a LOT of classics, voluntarily, when I was young, because there was not a very wide selection in my high school library. I went to a tiny rural K through 12 school in south Alabama, but they had most of the classics. I read Gone With the Wind six times, but I wish I’d read Les Miserables, especially since now it’s one of my favorite movies.

If you were a teacher, what classic work would get most excited to share with your students?

I adore Jane Eyre, and all of Jane Austen’s books, but those mostly appeal to girls. But I’d be really excited to share The Scarlet Pimpernel, since I can’t imagine anyone, boy or girl, not loving it.

What are your writing quirks?

I write my stories chronologically, scene by scene, and never divide my books into chapters until I’m completely done and ready to send it to my publisher. I sometimes send my book in to my editor and an hour later have to email her and say, “Wait! I forgot to put it into the chapters!” And I spend the next hour or two deciding where to put in chapter breaks.

Tell us about your writing goals for 2017.

My goals are to finish my Aladdin story that I’m working on now and start on my Mulan story. I may also work on a book that I finished years ago but can’t stop thinking about the changes I want to make to it, as well as the sequel I want to write.

Win a copy of Melanie’s latest book, The Noble Servant!


The impossible was happening. She, Magdalen of Mallin, was to marry the Duke of Wolfberg. Magdalen had dreamed about receiving a proposal ever since she met the duke two years ago. Such a marriage was the only way she could save her people from starvation. But why would a handsome, wealthy duke want to marry her, a poor baron’s daughter? It seemed too good to be true.

On the journey to Wolfberg Castle, Magdalen’s servant forces her to trade places and become her servant, threatening not only Magdalen’s life, but the lives of those she holds dear. Stripped of her identity and title in Wolfberg, where no one knows her, Magdalen is sentenced to tend geese while she watches her former handmaiden gain all Magdalen had ever dreamed of.

When a handsome shepherd befriends her, Magdalen begins to suspect he carries secrets of his own. Together, Magdalen and the shepherd uncover a sinister plot against Wolfberg and the duke. But with no resources, will they be able to find the answers, the hiding places, and the forces they need in time to save both Mallin and Wolfberg?

New York Times bestselling author Melanie Dickerson beautifully re-imagines The Goose Girl by the Brothers Grimm into a medieval tale of adventure, loss, and love.
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Meet the Author

Melanie Dickerson is a New York Times bestselling author of historical romances. She loves God, family, romance, movies, Jane Austen, Audrey Hepburn, history, and CASTLES!