Friday, 16 September 2011

Q&A with Jody Hedlund

If you love beautifully written stories, don't go past Jody Hedlund's novels, 
The Preacher's Bride and The Doctor's Lady and if you have any interest in writing her blog is a must read.  
I'm thrilled to have Jody visit today ~ enjoy!

What appeals to you most about writing fiction?

I love telling stories. I love shaping characters, putting them in impossible danger and seeing how they get themselves out of it! And I love the adventure and the challenge of putting a book together from start to finish.

Why Christian fiction?

I want to glorify God with the gifts he’s given me. And I want him to use my stories to encourage and touch lives.

Name five things you can’t live without (no need to take this too seriously!)

I can’t live without the 5 C’s:




My computer.


Favourite book ~ Favourite movie ~ Favourite TV show

Book: Anne of Green Gables because it played a role in developing my creativity as a writer.

Movie: The most recent version of The Lion, the Witch, & the Wardrobe because it was a fantastic representation of the book!

TV Show: Survivor. I’ve watched almost every season for as long as the show’s been running!

Where is the most interesting place you have been?

I lived in the Middle Ages in Germany for about nine months. I got to visit the inside of a convent, watch the Peasant War from the sidelines, and see medieval torture firsthand. Was quite an exciting adventure!

Credit: Ben Franske
Okay. I’m sure you meant real place (versus the story world I live in during the writing of a book!). The most interesting real place I’ve been is Plymouth Plantation in Massachusetts, which is a recreation of one of the first permanent settlements in the United States. It’s a fascinating place, rich in history, and of course, I’d love to write a book set there at some point!

What did you want to be when you grew up?

A famous author! (I know, boring answer! But it’s the truth!)

What are two things people might be surprised to know about you?

My dad was a twin. My husband’s mom was a twin. And believe it or not, my husband and I were still taken completely by surprise when we found out at a five month ultra sound that we were having twins! Go figure! My twin daughters are now 12.

I grew up a PK (pastor’s kid). And yes, for a while, I was the stereotypical rebellious pastor’s daughter who didn’t want to be known as the goody-two-shoes. But, thankfully God had his hand on my life, protected me, and gave me a rich spiritual heritage that has blessed my life immensely.

The Doctor’s Lady

Which character did you connect to the most?

I probably relate the most with Eli. I’m incredibly independent like he was, and think I can do a lot in my own strength. I have a hard time asking others for help but have been learning to rely on others (especially my husband) during these past few years of juggling a writing career, homeschooling, and mothering.

Which character was the most difficult to write?

I had the most difficulty with Priscilla. In the first draft of the book, I ended up making her too focused on her own problems (particularly her infertility). She was moody, somewhat helpless, and rather selfish. While realistic, she wasn’t entirely likeable! In subsequent rewrites, I worked on making her less fixated on herself.

What characteristics define a true hero for you?

I think heroes can come in all shapes and sizes. I personally like mine to have enough flaws that the average reader can relate to, but then also have qualities that rise above the problems and difficulties we encounter.

What was your favourite scene to write in The Doctor’s Lady or share your favourite paragraph?

I had a lot of fun writing the wedding night scene. Because Eli and Priscilla have agreed to a marriage in name only, they have no plans to consummate their marriage. However, nobody else knows their secret. And so after the wedding, Priscilla’s mother and sister help her get ready for her first night with her new husband. They turn back the covers on the bed, brush her hair, and give her instructions on what to expect. While they’re doing this, Priscilla gets really nervous. And a little later when Eli finally comes into the room and sees her in her nightgown with her hair down, he gets nervous too.

I enjoyed exploring the growing attraction between them, the awkwardness of being thrust together in the same bedroom (after only knowing each other for about a week), and then watching them figure out how they’re going to handle the physical aspect of their relationship for the duration of their trip West.

What’s next in your writing pipeline?

Public Domain
I’ll have another historical romance releasing next year in 2012. 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. Although the story isn’t inspired by a true person the way my first two books have been, I do include several real people, particularly a real villain by the name of James Carr who was notorious in central Michigan for his violence and for introducing white slavery into the state.

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.

Anything other than historical novels floating around in your brain?

My daughters are begging me to try my hand at a YA (Young Adult) novel. I may branch into that down the road at some point. But for now, I’m more than busy with all that I have on my plate!

I'm sure my daughters would love that as well :)  Thanks for sharing today and for your generous giveaway! 

My review of The Doctor's Lady will be posted next week but I can tell you know, I loved it.  If you adore Laura Frantz, Tamera Alexander and Julie Lessman then you will be a fan of Jody :)

For a short time, her debut novel, The Preacher's Bride is available to download for FREE to your Kindle, Nook or PC ~ don't miss it!

Relz Reviewz Extras
Character spotlight on Eli & Priscilla
View the trailer for The Doctor's Lady
Review of The Preacher's Bride
Visit Jody's website and blog
Enter Jody's 'Be a trailblazer' contest
Buy Jody's book at Amazon or Koorong


Carol J. Garvin said...

We're sharing Jody today, so I wanted to pop over here and say "hi", and check out your interview with her. Between us and the other bloggers on Jody's blog tour, we're learning a lot about her writing life, aren't we? :)

I didn't know there were twins in her family before her girls came along, either, so that was a great question. There were twins in my husband's family, too, but we escaped the trend with our children.

Great interview, Rel. Thanks!

Jody Hedlund said...

Hi Rel! Thanks for having me again! I'm sure I speak for many authors when I say THANK YOU for showering Christian authors with all of your support and love! :-)

And hello you to over here, too, Carol! I didn't realize you had twins running in your family! It's been a fun experience to have them, even if it was a bit crazy when they were babies! :-)

Sandra Heska King said...

Ah, Jody. I learned some fun new stuff about you! I'm not sure I knew you were a PK. Grace has Anne of Green Gables on her dresser right now, but I think I will steal it. And I admit I skipped over everything you said about your third book so as not to be influenced. ;)

Great interview!!

Jody Hedlund said...

Hi Sandy! Thanks for stopping by!! It's so great to see you! And yes, I'll be curious to get reactions on book 3 from my Michigan friends! Hope you're having a good fall so far! :-)

Rel said...

Hey Carol - Thanks for dropping by. I visited your blog today (finally!) and tried to leave a comment but often Wordpress dislikes me and kicks me to junk mail :(

Sandra - appreciate you commenting and encouraging Jody :)

Jody - always an absolute pleasure to have you on my blog! Anytime, my friend, anytime :)

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