Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Q&A with Jody Hedlund and Giveaway!

I am honored to have the lovely Jody Hedlund on the blog today, talking about her new novel The Doctor's Lady which just came out on September 1st. See giveaway deets at the end!

Priscilla White knows she'll never be a wife or mother and feels God's call to the mission field in India. Dr. Eli Ernest is back from Oregon Country only long enough to raise awareness of missions to the natives before heading out West once more. But then Priscilla and Eli both receive news from the mission board: No longer will they send unmarried men and women into the field. Left scrambling for options, the two realize the other might be the answer to their needs. Priscilla and Eli agree to a partnership, a marriage in name only that will allow them to follow God's leading into the mission field. But as they journey west, this decision will be tested by the hardships of the trip and by the unexpected turnings of their hearts.

When did you start writing The Doctor's Lady and how long did it take you?
I started writing the first draft of the The Doctor’s Lady last January (of 2010). I spent approximately 5 months writing it, doing about 5000 words a week. I had to take a few weeks off during those months to do some in-house editing on The Preacher’s Bride. But overall, the first draft of The Doctor’s Lady went fairly quickly.

Was there anything notably different in writing this book than your first?

I always fall madly in love with my books during the first draft stage. It’s not until after I finish and start the editing that I begin to fall out of love. And that was true of The Doctor’s Lady the same as all of the other books I’d written previously.

However, The Doctor’s Lady was the first book I’d written under a contract with a publisher. They gave me initial input into the book. But even with approval of my synopsis and their guidance for the story development, when I turned the finished manuscript in to my editors, they didn’t like some of the aspects of how I shaped the story.

I ended up having to spend a couple of months doing some major rewriting of the book which was very difficult. But their input and feedback has hopefully made the book into something my readers will enjoy.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers out there, particularly about the Christian fiction market?
My first piece of advice for aspiring writers is to make sure they’re actively pursuing growth in their writing skills through reading fiction how-to books like Plot & Structure by James Scott Bell or Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook by Donald Maass. I can’t tell you how important writing craft books have been to my own personal growth as a writer. Over the years, I’ve read countless books and then practiced what I’ve learned. Without all of the study and practice, I wouldn’t be where I’m at today. Writing a captivating and well-told story is the foundation of a promising writing career.

My second piece of advice for aspiring writers, particularly those interested in Christian fiction, is to familiarize themselves with the industry. Study the various publishers and their websites, become familiar with authors and their styles, get to know agents and their clients. A great place to get more information about Christian agents and publishers is on the American Christian Fiction Writer’s (ACFW) website. They have a list of agents and editors who will be attending their annual conference and what kinds of projects they are specifically looking for.

If you could buy land anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
I’d definitely buy a plotof land on a mountain and build a log cabin (fully equipped with all modern conveniences, of course!). And then I'd use it as a place where I could retreat for peaceful writing sometimes! It would also be an ideal place for hosting writing getaways with writer friends. So does anyone have any mountaintop real estate they'd like to sell to me? *wink*

What's one article of clothing you probably should throw out, but won't?
I have a floral print dress that I made for my honeymoon. Not only does the dress hold wonderful memories, but it was also incredibly difficult and painstaking for me to make (since I don't really know how to sew well!). I can't make myself throw it out, even though I haven't worn it in nearly twenty years, and likely will never wear it again!

Jody Hedlund is an award-winning historical romance novelist and author of the best-selling book, The Preacher's Bride. 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 Michigan with her husband and five busy children.

Enter to win a signed paperback copy of The Doctor's Lady by leaving a comment (and your email address) below. US mailing addresses only. A winner will be drawn September 30th. Good luck!


  1. I don't read a lot of inspiration fiction any more, but the premise of this one looks intriguing! My email address is kellisonwrites(at)gmail(dot)com.

  2. Would love to get a great book like this from such a successful novelist. peter(at)peterseaton(dot)com


  4. I would Love to win a copy of this book.

  5. I have read The Doctor's Lady; I made myself tired reading into the early hours of the morning - I just couldn't put it down. The same was true of Jody's first book, The Preacher's Bride. I eagerly await 2012 and the next book; I'm definitely a Jody Hedlund fan.

  6. I would love to win a copy of this book. I loved the trailer and I can't wait to see what happens. I am hoping that this marriage of convenience turns out to be much more!!

    Thanks for this giveaway!



  7. Hi everyone!! Thanks for joining me today here on Cyndi's blog! I wish you all the best of luck in winning a copy of my book! :-)

  8. Another interesting interview! Thanks Jody and Cyndi.

    I liked hearing about that log cabin dream. Our family has a very tiny lakeside cabin in the wilderness of central BC, but it doesn't have any modern conveniences at all, unless you call a generator to recharge my laptop batteries a convenience. Because it's off the grid it isn't easy to get to, either, so out of my experience I'd say if you eventually get that cabin on a mountain, make sure it's close enough to good roads so you can actually retreat to it when you want. LOL!

  9. Great interview and the book sounds wonderful!
    herbookself at gmail dot com

  10. Thanks for entering, everyone! Katie was chosen as the winner. Congrats, Katie!

    Now everyone go buy a copy of Jody's book. :)