Melanie DobsonMelanie Dobson has released fourteen historical romance, suspense, and contemporary novels. Two of her books won ACFW Carol Awards — in the same year!

She received her undergraduate degree in journalism from Liberty University and her master’s degree in communication from Regent University. Prior to her writing career, she was the corporate publicity manager at Focus on the Family and a publicist for The Family Channel.

Melanie, her husband, Jon, and their two daughters live in the Pacific Northwest.


When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

One of the first moments I knew I wanted to be an author was when I read Emily of New Moon by L.M. Montgomery when I was a little girl. Emily loved to write stories, and I wanted to be just like her.

Just as all good novels include a plot twist, the Author and Creator of our lives often writes in a twist that ultimately blesses us more than our original plan. Have you ever experienced such a “Divine Detour”?

Several years ago God put a burning desire in my nine-year-old daughter’s heart to love on orphans in Uganda. My husband, Jon, and I had been wanting to serve someplace as a family, but we didn’t think we could go to Africa until Karly was much older. God, however, had other plans.

We met with the missions pastor at our church and shared that we thought God wanted us to serve in another country as a family. The first thing he said was, “What do you think about Uganda?” Karly cheered. Jon and I smiled. And our journey began.

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As God began piecing together our plans, none of us were certain exactly what we would DO once we got to Uganda. We aren’t doctors, teachers, or professional speakers, but we were willing to do whatever He asked. Each of us found a way to use our gifts and serve in one way or another.

Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor - COVERLet’s talk about Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor (Howard Books, May 2015). Please tell us about it.

In Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor we meet young Libby Doyle, a free spirit who spends much of her time dancing with the butterflies in Ladenbrooke’s gardens. Even though she struggles socially, Libby is enchanted by the beauty of the butterflies.

Libby has captivated the heart of Oliver Croft, the young heir of Ladenbrooke Manor. When Oliver’s body is found drowned in the River Coln, authorities search for answers but find none. Soon after, Libby vanishes, and her parents, Walter and Maggie Doyle, wonder what happened between their daughter and the boy who lived next door.

Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor slips back and forth between the 1950s and a contemporary story where we meet Heather, the Doyles’ daughter. She returns to her family’s cottage to sort through her parents’ belongings, where she uncovers a string of shocking secrets that leave her wondering if anything her mother said about her childhood was true. As Heather sorts through the belongings left behind in the cottage, trying to separate truth from deceit, she has an uncomfortable reunion with her first love. Together, they unravel a mystery that will change everything she thought she knew about herself and her family.

What led you to write this particular story?

Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor was my exploration of God’s light shining through the shadows of life, along with the beauty and power of His restoration through generations. The story is ultimately about transformation — how even in the hardest situations God can weave together a story of hope and redemption and create incredible beauty from the ashes of our lives.

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A few fun questions…

When the words aren’t flowing—or when you want to celebrate if they are—what is your favorite comfort food and why?

My entire family enjoys fondue so we head to the Melting Pot to celebrate special occasions. My husband and I are traveling to Switzerland and France next week, and I’m hoping to eat fondue every night while we’re there!

This website features musicians as well as writers. Do you have musical, as well as literary, talent?

I wish I were musical. My husband was the worship leader at church when we met, and my daughters are beautiful singers. I have a great appreciation for their musical talents, but they all encourage me to stick with my writing.

I’m a dog lover. Please tell us about your pets, if any, or your favorite pet as a child.

When I was in sixth grade, I raised a Doberman Pinscher named Benji who was supposed to become a guide dog. He was extremely friendly and powerful enough to break free of his leash and eleven-year-old master whenever he wanted. People would be terrified when he came running to say “hello”…

Thanks, Melanie! It’s great to have you as a guest at DivineDetour.

Thanks for having me!

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For more information about Melanie, visit her website, “like” her on Facebook or follow her on Twitter.

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