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. Jody’s debut book, The Preacher’s Bride, released in Oct. 2010 and is available online and in most bookstores. For more info, visit her website.
Let the conversation begin!
What initially drew you to writing?
I was born holding a pen in one hand and a piece of paper in the other. And when I was toddling, I chewed on erasers and books. Okay, so not really! But writing has been a life-long aspiration.
However, I didn’t get serious about writing until after I finished my Master Degree in Social Work. At that point I had a difficult time finding a full time job. So I ended up working part time for a while which freed me to begin seriously pursuing my love of writing. I worked hard at learning basic-fiction writing techniques as well as completing quite a few novels (which I now lovingly refer to as my practice novels).
What was your favorite book to write?
I actually love the first draft process of each book I write. Nothing beats the first draft freedom of creativity. But if I had to pick a book that was my favorite to write, I’d have to say I loved writing The Preacher’s Bride (which is my first published book). It was the first book I wrote after coming back from a number of years away from my writing. And so it really was a special time of getting reacquainted with my love of writing.
Where do you get your ideas?
Since I write historicals, I find a lot of my ideas in biographies. My first two books are actually based on true stories. The Preacher’s Bride is inspired by Elizabeth Bunyan the wife of John Bunyan who wrote Pilgrim’s Progress. And my second book, The Doctor’s Lady, is inspired by Narcissa Whitman, the first American woman to make the long, dangerous trip West to Oregon.
What advice would you give young writers?
Writing is like any other profession: we can’t succeed unless we achieve mastery of the subject. And how does one achieve writing mastery? We need to learn everything we can about the craft of writing and then put it into practice. In other words, learn, learn, learn. Write, write, write. Repeat ad infinitum.
I also have two recent blog posts for young writers: Top Ten List of Advice to Aspiring Writers & The Pressure to Jump in Too Soon.