Karen: Thank you so much for joining us at Write Now. Congratulations on the release of your novel, The Preacher’s Bride. I thoroughly enjoyed it! How did the idea for this book come about?
Jody: I homeschool my children and during the course of teaching them history, I began to learn more about some of the great heroes of the faith. I was particularly fascinated with the little-known women who helped shaped these great men. These wives were strong, courageous, and faithful. I decided their inspiring stories needed to have a voice and be told to this generation.
Karen: I haven’t read much historical fiction set in 1659, and I found your description of Elizabeth Whitbread’s surroundings interesting. How much research was involved with the characters and setting?
Jody: For each of my books I spend two to three months researching before beginning the writing process. I particularly enjoy reading biographies and usually find a couple that are incredibly authentic and helpful. In the case of The Preacher’s Bride, I drew from John Bunyan’s books as well as primary documents including actual church documents recorded from that time.
Karen: Your double final in the 2009 Genesis Contest must have been an exciting milestone. What steps to publication did you take after winning?
Jody: Immediately after finaling in the contest, I contacted agent Rachelle Gardner, who had my manuscript in her slush pile. The final perked her attention and she pulled my manuscript out, took a look at it, and called me the next day to offer me representation.
Rachelle immediately set to work selling my book. Within a few months she was able to secure a three book deal with Bethany House Publishers. Needless to say, I was thrilled!
Karen: I can’t wait to read Book Two. Can you give us a hint or two about it? When will it be released?
Jody: As a matter of fact, I can now tell you that the official title of Book 2 is The Doctor’s Lady. The title committee met last week and I’m very excited about their decision! The Doctor’s Lady is scheduled to release in September of 2011 and is another “inspired-by” novel. It’s a fictionalized story based on the first white woman to travel overland West to Oregon as a missionary to the natives. It’s a marriage of convenience story, but also the tale of how a young woman overcame the odds, endured a dangerous journey, and found true love along the way. In the process, her strength and courage paved the way for all of the women who came after her.
Karen: I appreciate having you spend time with us this week. I’m sure my blogging gang would join me in wishing you much writing success in the future. Blessings to you!
Jody: Thank you for having me on your blog, Karen! I wish you and all of your blog readers much success too!
Here's a bit more info on Jody:
Jody Hedlund is a debut historical romance novelist who was a double finalist in the 2009 ACFW Genesis Contest. She 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 Midland, Michigan, with her husband and five busy children.
She’s represented by agent Rachelle Gardner and her debut book, The Preacher’s Bride, is now available online and in most stores. Stop by her blog, Author, Jody Hedlund, where she chronicles her journey to publication and dispenses her two-cent writing wisdom.
Readers can visit Jody here:
Facebook: Author Jody Hedlund
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