Award-winning author Melanie Dickerson, known for her inspiring fairy tale
retellings, has a new story to share with readers this spring. The first in a
series of Medieval Fairy Tales, THE HUNTRESS OF
THORNBECK FOREST, is now available from Thomas Nelson, and Melanie is here
with Features Editor Pasha Carlisle to discuss the tale.
Pasha: Welcome, Melanie! Your new medieval fairy tale retelling, THE HUNTRESS OF
THORNBECK FOREST, is a cross between Swan Lake and Robin Hood. How did you
decide on this unique combination?
Melanie: I thought it would be fun to make these new stories a
mash-up of two fairy tales, instead of just one. I had a list of fairy tales or
familiar stories that I liked, which included Swan Lake and Robin Hood. I
remember thinking that Iâ€™d really like to come up with a Swan Lake story, since
that story has a lot of potential for emotion and romance. And then my mind
wandered to Robin Hood. Since I like to twist things a bit, I started thinking
of a female Robin Hood. At some point I hit upon the idea of having a female
Robin Hood heroine who poaches deer and a hero whose job it is to put a stop to
all poachers. Then the Swan Lake aspect came into play. How could I make my
heroine a â€śswanâ€ť by night and something else by day? Of course, if she was a
Robin Hood figure that could be her secret identity by night, while she was a
well-known lady of the town by day. It was fun trying to merge the two stories
into one, along with lots of new story details.
Pasha: As you mentioned, your heroine, Odette, poaches in the
margraveâ€™s forest to feed the poor, and the hero is a forester whose duty is to
catch her. So the hero and heroine are adversaries from the start, though they
donâ€™t know it when they first meet. Do you have any favorite scenes or
encounters between this couple?
Melanie: There is one scene where he almost catches her
poaching. He sees her and gives chase, but she gets away. Sheâ€™s not completely
sure he didnâ€™t recognize her, so the next time she sees him, sheâ€™s afraid he
will confront her. But if I tell you my other favorite scenes, it might give
away too much of the story!
Pasha: As a Christian writer, your faith has greatly impacted
your books so far. Are there any specific Bible verses or themes that inspired
the story of THE HUNTRESS OF THORNBECK FOREST?
Melanie: Mainly the idea is that it is a Christianâ€™s duty to
help the poor and orphans, which the heroine is eager to do, while the hero is
trying to uphold justice, which is also a Christianâ€™s duty. When these two
duties clash, it becomes all about seeking Godâ€™s direction, grace, and
provision, and I hope I was able to show that amid all the conflict.
Pasha: Could you tell us a bit about what is coming up next in
your medieval fairy tale series?
Melanie: The next book in this particular series is a story
about the margrave, who is a secondary character in THE HUNTRESS OF
THORNBECK FOREST, called THE BEAUTIFUL PRETENDER. When the powerful margrave
needs to find a wife in a hurry, he invites ten noble ladies to his castle, but
one of them is not who sheâ€™s supposed to be. Sheâ€™s actually the Earl of
Plimmwaldâ€™s maidservant, who is being forced to take the place of the earlâ€™s
daughter. What happens when a margrave falls in love with a noble . . . servant?
But I also have a book coming out in November, THE GOLDEN BRAID, which is
actually a continuation of my first series and is a Rapunzel story.
Pasha: Thank you for being our guest, and we have one more
question for you. Fresh Fiction readers want to know: What is at the top of your
Melanie: Actually, Iâ€™ve just started reading my critique
partner, Katie Clarkâ€™s new book, which doesnâ€™t have a release date yet. That is
my first priority. Iâ€™ve also been wanting to make time to read THE ORACLE GLASS
by Judith Merkle Riley, since I loved her Margaret of Ashbury series. Thanks!
A beautiful maiden who poaches to feed the poor. A handsome forester on a
mission to catch her. Danger and love are about to unite in Thornbeck Forest.
The margrave owns the finest hunting grounds for miles aroundâ€”and Odette Menkels
spends her nights poaching his deer to feed the hungry orphans of Thornbeck. By
day, Odette is a simple maiden 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 margraveâ€™s forester, tracking down a poacher is a duty
he is all too willing to perform. Jorgeninherited 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?
About Melanie Dickerson
Dickerson is an award-winning author who earned her bachelorâ€™s degree in
special education from The University of Alabama.
She has taught in Georgia, Tennessee, Germany and the Eastern European country
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.
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