Author Spotlight: Melanie Dobson

Welcome to Author Spotlight! Each week will feature a different author. We’ll get the scoop behind their writing life and dish a little. The authors will also be giving away a copy of their latest book. FUN.

The winner from last week’s Author Spotlight with Dorothy Love is Diane Lankford! Please email my assistant Christen with your mailing address. (

This week please welcome back Melanie Dobson in the spotlight! To win a copy of her new book Where the Trail Ends, leave a comment on this post! 

What was your biggest break?
In 2008 an author friend told me about an upcoming line of novels from a new publishing company called Summerside. They wanted to publish novels set in small towns across the country. I had published three contemporary novels at the time, but my desire was to write historicals and I loved small towns. I contacted the editor about a story that had been burning inside me for awhile about a woman who hid runaway slaves in her home. It turned out the town of Liberty, Indiana had been a major hub on the Underground Railroad. My first “Love Finds You” book was published in 2009, and I’ve been writing historicals with Summerside ever since.

What is the smartest writing advice you ever got?
I’ve gotten some wonderful advice at conferences over the years, but there is one piece of advice that I still think about almost every time I sit down at my computer—don’t edit as you write your first draft. I find that if I critique my writing at the same time I’m putting my story on paper, I can paralyze mentally. It’s best for me to write out of passion first and then clean up the story on the second round (my edits usually happen the morning after I’ve written the first draft).

I’m inspired by…
Deadlines! ☺ I’m also inspired by old houses, abandoned towns, crumbling tombstones, a great story, and a salted caramel mocha.

My great adventure has been…
My husband and I spent a month backpacking Europe in 2003. We didn’t know it at the time, but while we were trekking through seven countries, a birthmother was in the midst of selecting us to adopt her infant daughter. Within weeks of our return home, we were parents of a beautiful girl named Karly. Europe was an amazing adventure, but I would have to say that parenting has been the greatest adventure of my life.

If I could go anywhere, it would be…
New Zealand. It’s been my dream since I was a kid to go there and explore.

If you have only…an hour…
I love quiet hours to sip tea and read. Or take a long walk as I work through the plot of my latest novel.

Describe yourself in one word

If your house were on fire, what one thing would you save?
My laptop (for my pictures, emails saved from friends, and all my writing)

What has been your most surreal, “pinch-me-I’m-dreaming” moment so far?
On my wedding day when our pastor said, “Jon has written a song for you.” Standing there, listening to the man I loved sing about his love for me, in front of my friends and family. Well, that was almost fifteen years ago, and I still get goose bumps thinking about it.

What drives you to succeed?
The story that Jesus told in Matthew about the talents. My desire is to be faithful with the talents and gifts God has given me. I may fail as much or even more than I succeed, but I pray I’ll never be accused of burying His gifts.

Best Surprise
My 40th birthday party. My husband pretended we were road tripping for the weekend and then he drove our family to the airport. We ended up in Colorado and had a fondue dinner with our closest friends. One of the best nights and best surprises of my life.

Best Sunday Afternoon Read
I love curling up on the couch during our family’s “Sunday afternoon quiet time” with a mug of green tea and Jan Karon’s Mitford series.

Best Way to Break a Sweat
Line dancing

Best Indulgence
An afternoon at the peaceful Allison Spa. This involves a yummy salad of hazelnuts and veggies grown in their garden. Resting in the steam room. Sipping tea as I read in a most comfy chair. And then a massage. I start feeling relaxed just thinking about it….

About Suzanne

Suzanne Woods Fisher writes bestselling, award winning fiction and non-fiction books about the Old Order Amish for Revell Books. Her interest in the Plain People began with her Old Order German Baptist grandfather, raised in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. Suzanne's app, Amish Wisdom, delivers a daily Amish proverb to your phone or iPad. She writes a bi-monthly column for Christian Post and Cooking & Such magazine. She lives with her family in California and raises puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind. To Suzanne's way of thinking, you can't take life too seriously when a puppy is running through your house with someone's underwear in its mouth.


  1. Jasmine Blaylock says:

    this book would be a great start for me to read your books. 🙂

  2. Katie Lafferty says:

    I love Christian fiction books! Have a blessed day!

  3. Cheryl Yates says:

    Looks like a great book to read. I love reading about the Amish people, their life is so layed back and different from the people now days.

  4. Kaye Whitney says:

    Melanie Dobson sounds like a delightful author. I don’t have any of her books yet, and would love to win one.

  5. C.E. Hart says:

    Melanie, I love that you refuse to bury your talent. 🙂 What a beautiful legacy to leave to your children as well.

    I read the description of Where the Trail Ends on Amazon, and Samantha’s story sounds fascinating! Thank you for the opportunity to win your book. 🙂

    nicnac63 AT hotmail DOT com

  6. Debbie Curto says:

    would love to win! I love Christian fiction books!

  7. Carol Ellmore says:

    The sweet mild personality of the writer comes through in her interview and her love for reading is great. A person who reads usually writes the best books.

  8. Kristin says:

    Ooooh, I’d love to go to NZ as well! It looks like a beautiful place to visit 🙂 I will have to put this author on my every growing “to read” list!

  9. Shari Larsen says:

    I love your books Melanie!

  10. Linda McFarland says:

    Wow…sounds like a book that I would definitely read.

  11. Karen Schulz says:

    Love your books, this one looks wonderful!

  12. Sharon Holweger says:

    this sounds like a really intersting book and I would love to have it

  13. Sue Hess says:

    I love to read books by new authors.

  14. Kathy says:

    Love finding out about new authors! Thank you 🙂

  15. Marilyn White says:

    Sounds like another great book that depicts what life must have been like on the frontier. I can’t wait to read it!!

  16. Kim F says:

    What a wonderful interview – I have found a new author to add to my reading list!

  17. Connie Saunders says:

    Such n interesting interview. I really look forward to reading this book and my own copy would be even better! I wish you much success.

  18. Jean Smith says:

    Great interview. I would love to win a copy of your book.

  19. Dana Spille says:

    Love to read so I would love to win a copy please .Thank you ,Dana”Girl” Spille

  20. pat cowans says:

    wow it sounds wonderful

  21. Hi Sue Hess from your prior assistant, Kathleen.

    I would love to be chosen for a copy of your new book, Melanie! Historical Fiction is the genre I read and review! I loved Jane Kirkpatrick’s novels about the Oregon Trail. Kathleen

  22. Lisa says:

    Sounds like a good book! I would love to win this one!

  23. Susan Fryman says:

    I love these cameos of different authors. Loved the story of back packing in Europe and then being selected to adopt her child. Blessings to all. Susan

  24. Kathy Faberge says:

    This book sounds so good!

  25. Megan Parsons says:

    I would love to win! Thanks for the interview and the chance to win! makeighleekyleigh at

  26. karenk says:

    thanks for the chance to read this beautiful story 😉

  27. Pam Burke says:

    A great interview! Would love to win your book!

  28. Wilma Frana says:

    I love Suzanne’s books, and I’d love to win this one.

  29. Kathie from CA says:

    Really enjoyed reading about Melanie. Would really like to have one of her books.

  30. Tammy Neill says:

    ♥ Thanks for the interview and the opportunity to win the book. ♥