- Lately you’ve written most of your fairytale retellings for the YA market, what made you switch to the adult market with this retelling?
I’ve always written my books with both adults and young adults in mind. I’ve always intended to write for both, and this book is geared just slightly more to adults. So I don’t really feel like I’m making much of a change.
2. How much research did you have to do, or rather how many tales did you have to read to prepare for The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest?
I did the usual research based on the story, characters, and setting, to make sure the historical details were correct, and I reviewed the Swan Lake story and its origins. I base my stories very loosely on the their fairy tale counterparts, so I don’t usually go into great depth when researching the fairy tales.
3.Of all the fairytale retellings that you have written, which was one was the most challenging? Is there one that you would describe as the easiest?
The most challenging was The Merchant’s Daughter, since I had to do so much research into the legal system of the English countryside in the 1300’s, which was fairly complicated, since I’d never read about it before. Also, it was challenging because of all the emotions the main characters have to deal with. It was my most difficult book, but also the one I’m the proudest of. The easiest might be The Princess Spy, simply because the heroine, Margaretha, was so much fun to write. Her point of view just seemed to flow.
4. What is your favorite fairytale of all times?
My favorite fairy tale is Beauty and the Beast. I don’t know why, exactly, but I love that story.
5. Can you tell us, will you be writing any more fairytale retellings in the future?
Yes, I have a Rapunzel story, The Golden Braid, coming in November, which I’m extremely excited about. It takes place in Hagenheim around the same time as The Princess Spy. And I have plans to write a sequel to The Merchant’s Daughter, which will be a Little Mermaid story, set in England. And I have two more stories to write in the Thornbeck/Medieval Fairy Tale series. The Beautiful Pretender is a sequel to The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest and features the margrave and is a mash-up of Princess and the Pea and Beauty and the Beast. It releases next May. Then for the third book in that series, I’m doing a Prince and the Pauper/Goose Girl story.
“Melanie Dickerson’s The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest is a lovely romantic read set in one of the most fascinating time periods. Featuring a feisty, big-hearted heroine and a hero to root for, this sweet medieval tale is wrapped in a beautiful journey of faith that had me flipping pages well after my bedtime. Delightful!”
—Tamara Leigh, USA Today bestselling author of Baron of Godsmere
“Melanie Dickerson does it again! Full of danger, intrigue, and romance, this beautifully crafted story will transport you to another place and time.”
—Sarah E. Ladd, Author of The Curiosity Keeper and The Whispers on the Moors series
In THE HUNTRESS OF THORNBECK FOREST, Odette Menkels spends her days as a simple maiden teaching orphans and being courted by the most notable gentlemen in the community, but at night, Odette takes on a new and dangerous persona as the region’s most notorious poacher. Killing and stealing deer to feed the poor, Odette has always been careful about her double life, but the stakes are raised when she meets Jorgen Hartman.
Jorgen is the margrave’s forester charged with the job of keeping the land free of poachers at any cost. Raised by a man who was murdered by a poaching fiend, Jorgen has his sights set on capturing the thief decimating the margrave’s herds.
When Odette and Jorgen meet for the first time at the Midsummer festival, there is an instant connection between them . With Jorgen growing closer to her by the day, can Odette keep her secret? And with Jorgen’s hatred of poachers, would he ever be able to accept Odette for what she does under the cover of night?
Melanie Dickerson is a two-time Christy Award finalist and author of The Healer’s Apprentice, winner of the National Readers Choice Award for Best First Book in 2010, and The Merchant’s Daughter, winner of the 2012 Carol Award. She spends her time writing medieval stories at her home near Huntsville, Alabama, where she lives with her husband and two daughters. The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest is Melanie’s first historical romance for adults.
Twitter: @melanieauthor/ Facebook: MelanieDickersonBooks
Excerpt from Melanie Dickerson’s
The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest
She and Jorgen danced the next song together, and the next and the next. Perhaps she should have excused herself and danced with someone else, but Mathis did not return. The longer she danced with Jorgen, the more she was able to enjoy it and forget that he was the forester.
In fact, they danced until the Minnesingers began to play closer to the bonfire, now lit and starting to roar at the other end. They agreed they did not wish to join the drunken merrymaking around the fire. Jorgen kept hold of her hand a bit longer than was necessary. His touch made her heart flutter.
She caught her breath. How could she be foolish about this man she had just met? Had she forgotten what he could do to her? She must be a lack wit.
Uncle Rutger came toward them. “What a merry party you four make, dancing and laughing. Jorgen, you must come to our home for Odette’s birthday feast in two nights. You will be most welcome. Peter and Anna will be there as well.
Oh, dear heavenly saints. Uncle Rutger must not know Jorgen was the forester.
Jorgen consented to come, and after the details were conveyed of the time and location of their house, Jorgen turned to Odette. “Until then.”
Would he kiss her hand? But he only smiled, bowed, and walked away.
As Peter and Uncle Rutger escorted Anna and Odette home, Odette couldn’t help but wonder what the reaction of Peter, Anna, and the handsome young forester would be if they ever discovered that she was poaching the margrave’s deer and giving the meat to the poor. The fact that Jorgen’s adoptive father, the old game-keeper, was shot and killed by a poacher a few years ago would make Jorgen hate her.
Her heart constricted painfully in her chest. There was only one thing to do: never get caught.
Additional Praise for The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest
“Melanie Dickerson weaves a tantalizing Robin Hood plot in a medieval setting in The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest. She pits a brave heroine with unique talents against a strong, gentle hero whose occupation makes it dangerous to know him. Add the moral dilemma and this tale makes a compelling read for any age.”
author of She Shall Be Praised and The Rogue’s Redemption
“The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest is a wonderful romantic tale filled with love, betrayal, and forgiveness. I loved this book and highly recommend it for readers of all ages. ”
—Cara Lynn James, author of A Path Toward Love
“The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest reminds me why adults should read fairy tales. Author Melanie Dickerson shoots straight to the heart with a cast of compelling characters, and enchanting story world, and romance and suspense in spades. Reaching The End was regrettable – but oh, what an ending!”
—Laura Frantz, author of The Mistress of Tall Acre
“For stories laden with relatable heroines, romantically adventurous plots, once-upon-a-time settings, and engaging writing, Melanie Dickerson is your go-to author. Her books are on my never-to-be-missed list.”
—Kim Vogel Sawyer, author of When Mercy Rains