Author returns home for book signing

Published 2:14 am Wednesday, November 3, 2010

First-time author Melanie Dickerson arrives in Andalusia on Saturday to sign copies of her new book, she said thinks the event as a homecoming.

Her new book, “The Healer’s Apprentice,” is a Christian teen fiction novel retells the story of Sleep-ing Beauty through the life of Rose, a woodcutters daughter, who falls in love, only to be kept away because of a curse.

Dick-erson, a Hunts-ville resident, grew up in Mc-Kenzie, went to church in Andalusia and attended LBW Community College before transferring to the University of Alabama where she earned a degree in special education in 1992.

She elected to become a missionary, a decision that led her to both her husband and a writing career.

In high school, Dickerson said she spent countless hours writing stories in notebooks and passing them around to friends to read.

“I quit writing and reading fiction when I went to college,” Dickerson said. “Life got busy. I picked it back up again after the birth of my second daughter. I fell in love with writing again and decided that was what I wanted to do.”

Dickerson said it took seven years for her book to become a reality.

“I had to study how to write, how to get published,” she said. “It’s not something that I wanted to do just for a career. It’s kind of a mission, too.”

Dickerson said she was having a hard time finding books that were suitable reading material for her daughters, now age 8 and 12.

“I want good stories out there for people to read – especially teen girls,” she said. “I have that on my heart. What’s out there now is really dark. Some of the really popular books show unhealthy relationships, an unhealthy view of love and of right and wrong. I feel like my stories show a healthier view of love and relationships.

“I’m a Christian writer, and I want that aspect in all of my stories,” she said.

Dickerson is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America. Her novel has been a finialist seven times in RWA-sponsored contests, including winning the 2007 Fiction from the Heartland Contest over all categories.

The novel has gotten “good reviews” from Romantic Times and Publishers Weekly.

“It was very difficult to get it published,” she said. “I kept thinking it was going to be a miracle if it ever was, then about a year ago, I got the word. It’s made everything truly worth it.”

Dickerson will be at Tabby D’s Christian Book Store on Saturday from noon until 2:30 p.m. to sign copies of the novel.

Additionally, the book is available on and at other book retailers.