Thursday, September 30, 2010

Interview & Giveaway with Jody Hedlund

I'm thrilled to share this interview with author Jody Hedlund! Her debut novel, The Preacher's Bride is one of my new favorite books. If you happened to miss my review, check out Monday's post.

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:


To Enter:
  • Leave a comment to this post, include your email address like so: karenelange(at)gmail(dot)com. Entries without email address are not eligible.
  • Receive an extra entry by becoming a follower, or by reminding me that you already follow.
  • Receive a bonus entry by posting about this giveaway on your blog, Facebook and/or Twitter. Please be sure and comment telling me so.
  • This is open to US residents only. For those of you who follow outside the US, I apologize.
  • Deadline to enter is midnight Eastern Standard Time, Saturday October 2, 2010. Winner will be  notified via email and will have 36 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen. Winner to be announced on Monday's post.                                                                                                              
What questions would you ask Jody about her journey to publication? 

Thanks for joining us!

Happy weekend,


  1. Hi Karen..thanks for the wonderful interview with Jody. I have read few Historical Fiction books and I know that they require lots of research. But historical fiction set in 1659 must have been extremely difficult to research.

  2. This looks like such an awesome book! Thanks for the chance to win it.


  3. Great interview, Karen!

    Jody, I love the title of your new book, and the premise sounds right up my alley. I'm a sucker for American historicals. Also, The Preacher's Bride was incredible! I felt like I'd been transported to another era--thank you for such a lovely read!

  4. Awesome giveaway! I'm looking forward to reading this book. Please enter me!


  5. Oh, I forgot to mention I'm a follower!


  6. Hi Karen, Im a follower and this is link is on my twitter. I hadn't realized Jody was a double finaist for the Genesis! Unbelievable! The book sounds like a must read and I hope I win!

  7. I follow (:)) blogged about it, tweeted (like a birdie) facebooked, too. Need links?

    Thanks for an awesome interview, Karen. CONGRADS Jody. I am really looking forward to reading your book. It's going to be HUGE. I hear talk about it all over the internet. :) I love you both.

    Great success is on its way, Jody.

  8. Oops! Forgot my email.


  9. Nice interview. I wanted to meet Jodi at the ACFW conference but didn't manage it. I've heard a LOT of buzz about this book!

  10. Hi Karen! This is a wonderful interview. I love reading Jodi's blog and I'm excited for her and her success. (I'm already a follower :))

    Thanks for the contest! Happy weekend.


  11. Hi Karen, I'm one of Robyn's friends and I'm very excited to meet you and read about Jody's novel. It sounds like a great book. I really enjoyed your interview. I would love to win. My email address is Thank you! I'm a new follower too :)

  12. Great interview! I love The Preacher's Bride. I really can't wait to read The Doctor's Lady. Sounds awesome and I like how the titles sort of go together!

  13. Hi Karen and Jody .. it's great to hear that you draw on writings and documents of those times - then build a story round it. I love authentic historical novels and stories .. both sound so interesting .. and congratulations on your success .. long may it last .. Hilary

    PS .. & homeschooling five kids .. must be some 'nuts' somewhere?! Have fun .. looks like you cope extremely well and love your writing ..

  14. Hey Karen,
    Just found your blog! Can you say good timing?? After checking out your blog, I signed up to be a follower : ) I really like it, plain and simple, clean!

    I've seen Jody's books, but never read anything by her. Would love, love, love the chance to though! So +1 for becoming a follower : ) I think I get 2 entries, if I understand right....
    Thanks a bunch, talk with you soon!

  15. Thanks for the great interview. I love the title of book two. It's so fitting. Readers are gonna love The Doctor's Lady as much as they are The Preacher's Bride.

    Please don't enter my name in the drawing. I have four copies of the book, three of which I'll be giving away Monday, October 4 when I'm privileged to interview Jody at Romance Writers on the Journey.

  16. Rachna,
    I love historical fiction, and you're right, they do take a lot of research. I think it's worth it, particularly when it's as good as Jody's book. :)

    Thank you! It was a great book, wasn't it? :)

    Good to see you again. Your name is on the list!

    Thanks for stopping by. Got you on the list!

    Thanks for passing this along, I appreciate it! :)

    Thank you, sweet friend, for spreading the word! :)

    Katie J.,
    Nice to meet you! Yes, there is a lot of buzz about this book. And for good reason!

    Glad you enjoyed the interview. I'm excited for Jody too!

    Good to meet you too! It was nice of Robyn to send her gang my way:)

    Thanks so much. Yes, I think the titles do compliment each other. Nice to see you, thanks for hopping over!

    I'd say Jody has a lot going, but she seems to manage pretty well. She's an inspiration:)

    Nice to meet you! Glad you came by. Thanks for your kind words:)

    Thank you, glad you enjoyed it! I agree, the second book title is fitting!

    Thanks and blessings to each of you,

  17. This is very interesting, Karen!

    I'm curious about how long Jody's been writing, as well as how much time she devotes to it (daily?) with five children?

  18. Hi Karen & Jody -

    I've followed Jody's writing journey for a couple of years via her blog. Thanks for some great Q&A.

    Yay! Another opportunity to win her book! Please enter me. I'm also a Follower.

    susanjreinhardt AT gmail DOT com

    Susan :)

  19. Love, love, love! Great interview - I loved finding out about The Doctor's Lady. Woo-hoo! I can't wait. :-)

    I am a follower.
    mrso_d at yahoo dot com
    I will post to FB tonight from my home computer

  20. Please enter me in the drawing.

  21. I am a follower

  22. I added your giveaway to my giveaway linky #69
    bkhabel at gmail dot com

  23. I love reading about the success stories of newly published authors. Thanks for sharing. Very inspiring! writinginthebuff(at)hotmail(dot)com.

  24. Great interview, Karen! Special congratulations to Jody! I love historical fiction and am looking forward to reading The Preacher's Bride. Thanks for giving us a sneak peek at Jody's second book, too!! Have a great weekend, friend!

  25. Great interview! Looks like an awesome book

  26. I've admired Jody's work ethic ever since I've known her.

  27. Rhonda,
    Thank you! Jody's mentioned a few tidbits on her blog on how she manages everything. I'll have to mention this to her. :)

    It's been fun tracking her progress, learning and seeing how she's doing!

    Thank you:) I know, a peek at the new book- yay!

    You are welcome! :)

    Thank you for spreading the word! I appreciate it! :)

    It is inspiring, and very interesting, you're right.

    Thank you. It's been a great "Jody" week!

    Thank you! It was a fabulous book:)

    She is one excellent writer, isn't she?

    Thanks to all for coming by!

  28. I did not know you were a poet as well as everything else. Thanks for sharing with us. My poetry skills are still in their infancy. Thanks for the inspiration.

    Stephen Tremp

  29. Hi everyone!! Thank you so much for stopping by and taking an interest in my book!! And thanks again, Karen for having me here on your blog this week! It's been a very special treat! :-)

  30. I am reading PB, and love it to bits! Don't enter me in the drawing, but I wanted to pop on to say Congrats to Jody on an awesome job!!

    Love you both,

  31. Awesome interview! So happy for Jody. Please enter me!I'm a follower.

  32. Stephen,
    You are welcome. Happy Friday to you!

    I'm glad you were able to share this week's posts with my gang and I! :)

    I know, what's not to love! Love you too! :)

    Thanks so much! Got you on the list:)

    Thanks and blessings,

  33. Great Interview Karen! You are such a wonderful encouragement and support to everyone that knows you. I really appreciate that.

    My questions for Jody are . . . Did you do any pre-writing/rough draft writing while doing the three months of research? And how close did you stick to the facts of your research when it came to creating your main character?

    Although I'm currently working on a fantasy YA novel, I tried to write a historical fiction story in the past, and I got tripped up with the desire to stick with the facts and yet wanting to tell an riveting story at the same time.

    -Tyrean at

  34. Oh I would absolutely love to read this. It looks like a story that I would enjoy reading.

    New follower on GFC as Renee G.

  35. It's always nice to read about another success story. There's hope for the rest of us.


  36. a wonderful interview/posting...thanks for the chance to read this fabulous novel :)

    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

  37. Tyrean,
    Thank you, you are so sweet! I am sure there is a happy balance to be had with facts and a good story. Jody proves it can be done. :)

    It is a good story! Got your name on the list:)
    Thanks for following!

    Yes, it is, and there is hope for us! Got you on the list!

    Karen K.,
    Thank you, and you are welcome! Entry noted:)

    Thanks and blessings,

  38. I'm always in awe of historical writers, because there is always so much reasearch involved to get the settings both engaging and accuate. Huge congrats on your book and I wish you much success. Great interview!

    Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

  39. Lots of cool comments. Karen, thanks for featuring what I hear is a great book!


  40. Angela,
    Me too and for the same reasons! Thanks, I enjoyed doing the interview. :)

    Thanks so much; you're a faithful supporter. :)You're welcome!


  41. Lovely interview Karen. And very happy for Jody. I didn't realize she had a three book contract! So great!


Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. Have a blessed day!