Thursday, October 13, 2011

Jody Hedlund - Interview and Giveaway

I'm excited; author Jody Hedlund is visiting us today! She's also offered to give away a copy of her latest book, The Doctor's Lady. Check out  giveaway details below.

Karen: Welcome to Write Now, Jody! I’m thrilled to have you back. Congratulations on your latest book, The Doctor’s Lady! I thoroughly enjoyed the story and getting to know Priscilla and Eli. What was your inspiration for this book?

Jody: 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 so that she could help start 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.

Karen: Are there any characters in your books (The Preacher’s Bride and The Doctor’s Lady) that you identify with more than the others?

Jody: In The Doctor's Lady, I probably relate the most with Eli. I'm incredibly independent like he was, and I 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. 

Karen: How much time did you spend researching before you wrote each book?

Jody: Each book tends to be slightly different in the amount of time it takes me to research. The Doctor’s Lady took me approximately eight weeks of reading, plotting, and understanding the time period before I was finally ready to write. My first book, The Preacher’s Bride, took me longer—closer to twelve weeks—simply because the time period and the setting were more foreign.

Karen: As a wife, homeschooling mom, and writer, I imagine that spare time is hard to come by, but when you have a moment, what do you enjoy reading?

Jody: I always enjoy reading historical fiction of all different eras. In fact, I recently read Cleopatra’s Daughter by Michelle Moran which is set during the time of ancient Rome. I also branched into a young adult series that my daughters were reading, River of Time Series by Lisa T. Bergren.

Karen: If you could offer one tip on time management, what would it be?

Jody: Be intentional. The one thing that has helped me the most over the years is setting a daily word count goal and sticking to it. I started with only 500 words a day during my earlier books. Eventually I moved to 800 words, and now I’m at 1000 words per day.

I think it’s important to find what’s manageable but then challenge yourself just slightly above that. At the minimum, I think most writers can squeeze in 300 words per day. Consistent writing day in and day out will eventually lead to a completed book.

Karen: Okay, I must ask, what’s your favorite writing snack?

My favorite non-sweet snack is nachos and cheese.  My favorite sweet snack depends on my mood. Of course I like chocolate! But I also occasionally like pie (particularly Apple, Blueberry, Cherry pie from Grand Traverse Pie Company which is just around the corner from my house!).

Karen: I can’t wait to read your third book. Can you give us any hints about it?

Jody: I’m really excited about my next book 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.

Karen: Thank you so much for spending a little time with us today. I wish you all the best with your future writing endeavors. :)

Jody: Thank you for having me!

Visit Jody at her website or blog. I am sure she'd love to see you!

 Book Giveaway Details
  • You must be a follower and leave a comment, with email address, on this or Monday's post.
  • Gain bonus entries by posting this on Facebook, your blog, and/or Twitter. Please include link with your comment.
  • Open to residents of the United States only.
  • Deadline to enter is noon EST, Saturday, October 15, 2011. Winner will be notified via email and will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen. Winner will be announced Monday, October 17. 
What exciting things do you have planned for the weekend?

Have a great weekend,


  1. Hi ladies! Great interview! I love Jody's advice to be intentional, especially to push ourselves just past our comfort zone. That's something I need to do more these days. :)

  2. Not entering to win, but wanted to second that daily goals get it done!

  3. Lovely interview! I love that her new book is set in the 1880's. I really enjoy that time period in American History.

  4. Sarah,
    Thanks so much! I love having Jody visit. :) Pushing past the comfort zone, yes, me too!

    Daily goals are the way to go, that's for sure!

    Thank you! I do too, I really enjoy that era in fiction.

    Happy weekend,

  5. Enjoyed this interview--thanks, Jody and Karen :-) The Doctor's Lady sounds like a terrific book! I remember reading about Narcissa Whitman when I was young, and her story has always intrigued me. And Jody, your writing schedule is inspirational, especially with all your other responsibilities. Wow!

  6. Hi Karen - This is an interesting interview of Jody, and The Doctor's Lady sounds awesome. I love that it's based on a true story. How cool is that?

    I thought I already was a follower, but it didn't show up, but that's probably due to a glitch in opening a Gmail account. Sheesh! Anyway, I'd like to enter the contest, too: lynkelwoohoo (at) Gmail (dot) com

  7. Hi everyone! Thank you all the kind words about my interview and about my book! And thank you to Karen for hosting me today! :-)

    I really have enjoyed writing stories about real life people! They are incredibly fun to research and bring to life. I hope someday I'll get to work on more stories inspired by real people!

  8. Kenda,
    I'm so glad you did. Jody's a treasure! She is inspirational, you're right!

    Thought you already followed too. Well, anyway, got you entered! It's a great book! :)

    It's been a pleasure. You are welcome anytime! :)


  9. Wonderful interview. I appreciate Jody's suggestion for gradually increasing one's daily word count. I needed to read that!

    Please enter me into the drawing. Jody's a phenomenal writer!

    srdietze at sbcglobal dot net

  10. Wonderful interview Karen, nice to meet you Jody. I'm stuck on the pie options and thinking that sounds wonderful right now. :)
    Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

  11. Susie,
    Got you on the list! You are right, she is a wonderful writer! :)

    Hey KY girl, how are you? Yeah, I'm with you, pie sounds really good right now!

    Happy weekend,

  12. Nice interview. This sounds like a great read!

  13. Hi Karen & Jody -

    Thanks for an enjoyable interview! I'm always interested in the time management issue.

    I've already read Jody's book and loved it!

    Susan :)

  14. Lisa,
    Thanks so much! Jody's a great guest. :)

    You are welcome! I'm always curious about time management tips too.


  15. Wow! This book sounds amazing, and I always love learning more about writers and their craft!

    I would love to win! :)

  16. Im always a big fan when the time line takes place in the 1800s, so im sure this will be an interesting read for many folks. Richard from Amish Stories.

  17. Lovely ladies, lovely interview. *waving to Karen and Jody*

    I'm a fan of Jody's. Made my sister one too. Can't wait to read this book. :-) That's a lot of research, Jody! (I all ready entered the drawing.)

  18. I admire writers who write historical fiction. The dedication to research and accuracy has to be fairly intense.

    This new book sounds excellent. I still have The Preacher's Bride in my to read stack. Sadly I got it at the closing sale at my local Borders, but I was surprised and thrilled that I found a copy. Look forward to reading both of Jody's novels.

    Tossing It Out

  19. Karen and Jody:
    I am seeking ways to manage my time better. I enjoyed Jody's first book, The Preacher's Bride.
    Please enter me in the drawing. cll4him(at)sbcglobal(dot)net.

  20. This is the first I have heard of Jody's third book! Looks like another great read. I'm looking forward to reading The Doctor's Lady with my book club in the new year (if I can hold out that long)!

  21. I like her time management tip. It makes it seem doable, and that's great motivation.

    And two thumbs up for the nachos mention. Love it, even though it ends up right where I don't want it to.

    Deep sigh...

    Waving and smiling,


  22. Alisa,
    It is wonderful; I think you might like it! Got you on the list!

    Me too. It is an interesting read. It gives history more personality in my opinion, rather than dry facts.

    Thank you! Waving back! So you now have Jody converts, huh? lol

    So glad you got a copy. It is great! That was another that just gave history more life.

    Me too! I loved her idea. Hope it helps you. Got you on the list!

    I hope your group likes it. It should be fun! I don't know if I would be able to hold out that long. :)

    Yes, it does, doesn't it? Motivation - wish they sold it at the grocery store! :P Waving back!

    Blessings all,

  23. I agree with her, it's so important to set goals, whether it be time or word goals. Great interview.

  24. Okay - I'm here. And that book sounds extremely interesting - so please include me. Sorry for being late. sandie

  25. Clarissa,
    Yes, and I don't know about you, but I need to set more of them!

    You are not late! I'm always here! :)

    Happy weekend,

  26. Hi there,
    Thankyou so much for stopping by my blog. I have popped over from alex's blogfest. Lovely to meet you and you have a new follower. xoxo
    Eve. :)

  27. Eve,
    Thanks so much for stopping by and following! Enjoyed my stop at your blog. Have a great weekend!
    Karen :)


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