Book Giveaway and Author Interview: Jody Hedlund

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I’m in two places at once today. You’ll also find me posting about sources of power on The Pastor’s Wife Speaks blog. After enjoying today’s interview with Jody Hedlund (and leaving a comment to be eligible for a free copy of her new book) perhaps you’ll click over and join me there.

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Jody Hedlund

I’m honoured to welcome author Jody Hedlund to my blog. I’ve been sold on Jody’s writing since before she published her first book. Her blog caught my attention back somewhere in mid-2009 as she shared her writing journey with great transparency and wisdom. Her faith also shone through each post, and I remember thinking that she was destined to have a ministry through her words.

Her debut novel, The Preacher’s Bride, was published last year by Bethany House, and her second book, The Doctor’s Lady, has just been released.

I thoroughly enjoyed The Preacher’s Bride, so was surprised to discover I liked The Doctor’s Lady much more. Its writing is tighter, the story line is smoother, credible conflict immediately captures attention and builds throughout.  It’s quite an adventure! Once I started reading, I couldn’t stop, and believe me, that isn’t usual for me with an inspy historical romance.

The blurb about The Doctor’s Lady says, “Priscilla White knew God wanted her to be a missionary, not a wife. Then, the missionary board declares the only way she can serve is to be married. Now, married in name only [to Dr. Eli Ernest], her epic journey west will test her spirit… and the new longings of her heart.”

INTERVIEW

Jody, what was the inspiration behind The Doctor’s Lady?  

This book is inspired by the true life story of Narcissa Whitman, the first white woman to brave the dangers of overland trail and travel west. In 1836, she married Dr. Whitman, and then the next day left her childhood home and would never return for the purpose of starting a mission among the Nez Perce natives.

It was my hope in this story to bring Narcissa Whitman to life. This heroic woman has often been ignored and at times even disparaged. In reality, she exuded incredible courage to attempt a trip many proclaimed foolishly dangerous. It was called an “unheard-of-journey for females.” Because of her willingness to brave the unknown, she led the way for the many women who would follow in her footsteps in what would later become known as the Oregon Trail.

What message do you hope readers take away from TDL?

I hope readers are inspired to try new things and brave dangerous prospects in the pursuit of their dreams. When we go after the things that matter, we’ll have to take risks and we’ll experience setbacks and obstacles. But if we persevere, we can reach our destination and do great things along the way.

I know you’re busy working on another book. What’s coming next? 

In 2012, my next historical romance releases. I’m really excited about this story because it’s set in my home state of Michigan. It takes place during the 1880’s at a time in history when the lumber era was at its height. The heroine of the story is a young woman, Lily Young, who is looking for her sister who’s caught up into the degradation of lumber camp life. While Lily searches for her missing sister, she fights against the evil that runs rampant around her, and she fights not to lose her heart to the lumber baron who turns a blind eye to the lawlessness of the lumber business.

People always seem curious about the life of a writer, so I have to ask, what do you like most (and least) about writing and being a published author?

As a writer, I love telling stories. I especially like the feeling that comes as I near the end of the book when everything looks hopeless, the characters are in big trouble, and somehow I’m able to wrap up the book in a satisfying way. I call it the first-draft love affair! I fall absolutely and madly in love with the story and think it’s the best thing I’ve ever written.

As a published author, I love hearing from readers. I’m always thrilled to get emails or hand-written notes from readers telling me how much my story touched them.

I struggle the most during the editing phase of each of my books. The love affair that started during the first draft comes to an end. I fall out of love with my books. By the last edit—called the Galley Review—I finally reach a point where I loathe the book, think it’s the worst thing I’ve ever written, and wish I could just throw it away. During the Galley stage, I’m fraught with insecurity and fear. My agent did a great job of talking me off the cliff during my fears with The Doctor’s Lady. She encouraged and inspired me to keep going no matter what happens.

Now for a more personal question… one that our family always seems to toss around during summer picnics and BBQ’s: “If you knew you were going to be stranded on a deserted island for a month and could only take multiples of one meal with you, what would it be?” Our children always choose something very different from the adults. What would you take? 

If I were going to be completely honest, I’d have to say I’d bring nachos–the kind piled high with cheese, taco meat, sour cream, salsa, guacamole, lettuce, and tomato.

However, my motherly responsible answer would be to say that I’d bring a big taco salad–with lots of lettuce, tomato, taco meat, cheese, and chips. I think this would be a bit healthier than the nachos, and of course it would be one that included most of the food groups.

Could I sneak in a pan of gooey brownies too? =)

Of course! I think all writers depend upon chocolate to fuel their inspiration, don’t they? I like your food choice; nachos with cheese is my absolutely favourite snack!

Many of my readers are aspiring authors. Do you have any advice to share? 

Write a couple of books first and unleash your creativity. Then start reading books that explain how to write. Study techniques, practice them, and keep writing. When you begin reaching a level in your writing where you think you’re ready to start querying, get a critique partner to read your work, vamp up your online presence, and immerse yourself in the writing industry.

Thanks, Jody. I’ve loved having you here today. If readers would like to connect more with you, where can they find you? 

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GIVEAWAY!

I received a copy of The Doctor’s Lady from the publisher to review for this post, and I’m going to give it away to one lucky reader who leaves a comment here between now and midnight next Tuesday — that’s 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, September 21. Be sure to leave your e-mail when prompted so you can be reached. I’ll announce the winner Wednesday morning. The draw is limited to addresses in Canada and the USA.

UPDATE!

The draw has been done (see here) and Susan J. Reinhardt is the winner. Congratulations, Susan!

(The Doctor’s Lady can also be purchased at Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-Million, Borders, and ChristianBook.com, as well as at most of your local bookstores.)

CONTEST!

Jody has an incredible contest running on her website. The Be a Trailblazer Contest has a pioneer prize package valued at $300! The contest is limited to residents of the USA, age 18 and older, but visit her contest page for all the details.

AUTHOR BIO

Jody Hedlund is an award-winning historical romance novelist and author of the best-selling book, The Preacher’s Bride. She is represented by Rachelle Gardner of the WordServe Literary Group. Jody received a bachelor’s degree from Taylor University and a master’s from the University of Wisconsin, both in Social Work. Currently she makes her home in Michigan with her husband and five busy children. Her second book, The Doctor’s Lady, was released earlier this month by Bethany House Publishers.

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35 thoughts on “Book Giveaway and Author Interview: Jody Hedlund

  1. Laura Best says:

    A great interview, Carol and Jodi. I have to say, Jodi’s is one of the few blogs that I faithfully read, Carol you’re is another. There is always some bit of wisdom to be gleaned from both you ladies.

  2. Jody Hedlund says:

    Thank you, Laura! You’re so kind!

    And thanks for having me here today, Carol! I’ve gleaned so much wisdom from you and have appreciated your encouragement!

  3. Wonderful interview! Jody , I was surprised to hear how much you struggled during the editing process. I guess my own difficulties with editing aren’t so rare after all.

    I’d love to win The Doctor’s Lady. Please enter me in the giveaway.

    susanjreinhardt AT gmail DOT com

  4. Katt says:

    Thanks for this great blog! I’m anxious now to read everything she writes!

  5. Jody, I’ve enjoyed following you on Twitter–that’s what lead me to this great interview. (And it IS a great interview; thanks, Carol.) I gain so much hope when I read other author’s journeys to publication because, contrary to popular belief, novels don’t spring to life perfectly formed and ready to be published. Thanks for the encouragement.

  6. carla says:

    Wow, this is exciting that she writes the different time periods of how godly women lived and breathed like we do today !! What an encourager and inspiration for us , to continue writing and doing our own mission work!! Thank you Jody and Carol!! sincerely, Carla J. Altland

  7. The Preacher’s Bride was one of my favorite books last year. I’m so looking forward to this latest by this author.

    Blessings on this latest, Jody.

  8. jlippo says:

    I would so love to win The Doctors Lady!! I am looking foward to reading it…. Loved the interview on your blog as well ..

    have a blessed day

    mrslippo@hotmail.com

  9. Kirsten says:

    Great interview- good questions and thankful and encouraged by Jody’s honest responses. Can’t wait to read this book!

  10. Paula Osborne says:

    Hello Carol and Jody, I always try to visit areas where I see Jody is, I have become a great fan of her writing and look forward to the next book. This young woman is amazing with a family of 5 she writes and researches for her books so well. I am spreading far and wide for others to read Jody’s great stories.
    Thanks for sharing today with us.
    Paula O(kyflo130@yahoo.com)

  11. jennifer says:

    I would love to win this book! I have 3 copies of her The Preachers Bride.

  12. I loved The Preacher’s Wife & would really like to win The Doctor’s Lady. I’ve read a sample & it is really good.
    Wilma M.

  13. Loved hearing about Jody’s journey. I can certainly connect to the feeling at nearing the ending a first draft. It’s awesome the way all writers feel this passion for writing. We’re so different yet in that one respect we’re all the same.

    Off to visit you at the other site, Carol. Thanks for sharing Jody’s work.

    cluculzwriter@yahoo.ca

  14. Keli Gwyn says:

    An enjoyable interview ladies. I especially liked the one meal question, Carol. I didn’t know you’re such a fan of souped-up nachos, Jody. =)

    Please don’t enter me in the drawing. I’ve got an autographed copy of The Doctor’s Lady in a place of honor on my writing desk.

  15. Good morning to all of you. It’s early for me. I’m SO not a morning person, but I’m happy to welcome you. Coffee’s on, so help yourself to a mug. Thanks, Jody, for sharing your story with us this morning. I think Suzanne said what many think — that reading of one writer’s journey provides encouragement to the rest of us.

  16. Jill says:

    I would love to win the book. I haven’t read any of the authors’ books, but do look forward to checking her books out a my library. Thank you.

  17. Wendy S says:

    LOVED the first book! Not often I connect with a writer and when I do it thrills me. Most fiction books bore me with predictability, but this one did not disappoint! Loved the history details, kept me intrigued and being a Homeschool mother if 6, the storyline was right up my alley. I have a busing baby right now and I could so identify with her yearnings to keep the baby fed. Great job! Can’t wait to read the next one!

  18. Jody Hedlund says:

    Hi everyone! Thank you so much for swinging by Carol’s blog and joining in all of the excitement over the release of my new book! I hope that you’ll all have the chance to read it at some point! And I too really find it encouraging to read about other authors and their experiences. It reminds me that it’s tough for all of us (and not just me, like I sometimes believe!) 🙂

  19. Swinging in to say hi over here, too. Jody, your advice to write a couple books to unleash creativity and then read about how to write stopped me in my tracks. I never thought about it that way. Sometimes I think reading about the “how” sometimes gets in the way of the actual doing. I’m filing that one away.

  20. This looks like an AWESOME read!

  21. Sheila says:

    Just read her first book last week and loved it, so now I’m looking forward to the second. And the description of the third has me excited for it as well!

  22. Marie Ferland says:

    Yummm, nachos and brownies……..a perfect combination! Great interview!!! I’m so looking forward to reading The Doctor’s Lady! Please enter me in the giveaway!

  23. Darlene says:

    I enjoyed this interview Carol and would love to win a copy of the book. I love books about strong women. darlene.foster@telus.net

  24. Welcome to old and new friends today. I’m glad you’ve been enjoying this opportunity to learn a bit more about Jody and the writing of her newest book. Good luck to all of you when time for the random draw for a free copy comes up Tuesday night.

  25. davidebright says:

    2 dozen comments – all wimmin. I’m always outnumbered, but I’ll press on with 3 questions.

    Nachos? Really?

    19th century settings – Titles & topics aside – I’m curious as to why you were drawn to that era.

    Final question: Nachos?

    Very nice interview, Carol. Glad to see your blog has recovered its readership from my “visit”. And best of luck with your books, Jody.

    (nachos …. tugs absently at beard & hits send)

  26. Jody Hedlund says:

    Hi David! Yes. Nachos. I’m a terrible nacho addict. 🙂 And it’s a good thing I don’t live in the 19th century, because then I wouldn’t be able to satisfy my nacho cravings. 😉

    No seriously, I wasn’t drawn so much to the era as I was to the story. I found Narcissa Whitman’s story to be especially intriguing and wanted to write about it. She was a strong woman who did something very courageous, and I thought her story needed to be shared.

    Thanks for asking!

  27. Norma McGuire says:

    would love to read this book, but not sure that I qualify!

  28. Great interview, Carol! I simply CANNOT imagine how Jody has written a novel a year AND raises 5 kids. Boggles the mind. All 3 of these sound like great reads!

  29. Loved the interview with Jody Hedlund, Carol.

    I’ve been reading about her books and would love to read them.

    I enjoyed reading that even Jody has that same love affair with the first draft and then the fear and loathing during the editing stage. I’m sure all we writers can relate so much. It’s always reassuring to me to hear that published writers go through the same ups and downs that I do.

    Jody’s books sound just like the kind of book I like with the history and strong heroines who overcome immense obstacles. I can’t resist the romance and historical setting as well. Sounds great!

    Love both your blogs!

  30. Lynn says:

    This was an interesting interview, Carol. I enjoy historical fiction so this book could fit the bill nicely. Congratulations, Judy, and I wish you continued success.

  31. We’ve now reached the midnight deadline for comments that will be eligible for the book draw, and I’ll announce the winner later (much later) in the morning.

  32. Lynn says:

    I guess it would have been nicer had I not typed Jody’s name wrong. My apologies! Congratulations, Susan R.

  33. Rel Mollet says:

    Carol – my apologies for taking so long to drop by your blog after you visited my interview with Jody on the same day you posted yours! It was great reading your Q&A with her, too 🙂

    Have a great day!

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