Welcome Jody, to your “Cold Call” interview!! For those of you who don’t know what the “Cold Call” feature is, at the beginning of the month I have a poll, the winning author YOU then get to interview!! Jody Hedlund won this month’s vote and I am thrilled to present her here with YOUR questions. Without any further ado, heeeerrrre’s Jody!
Jody, I was wandering where you are from and what your family is like.
I spent most of my growing up years in the Midwest—in Iowa, Wisconsin, and Indiana. And now I currently live in central Michigan. My dad was a Lutheran pastor and so we tended to move around quite a bit. I was a middle child, sandwiched between two brothers, which means I ended up being very athletic and playing a lot of sports (which unfortunately has not carried over to my adult years!).
I have been married to my college sweetheart for over twenty years. And God’s blessed us with five children who range in ages from 14 to 6. I have a set of twin daughters in the mix which has been fun and challenging at times too, especially when they were born premature and had to spend a month in the NICU. Thankfully, they survived and are turning into lovely young ladies.
When did you decide you were a writer? Was it something you’ve always known or discovered over time?
Like many writers, I’ve been writing since my childhood days. I always loved telling stories. When I was in junior high, I entered my first writing contest for a Biblical fiction story. And when I won, I realized God had indeed gifted me. I think that was when I became more serious about wanting to be a writer when I grew up.
However, as I began my college years, I quickly realized that creative writing wasn’t a career track that would help pay the bills. For a time, God moved me into social work. I went on to get my masters and was thankful for the experiences and opportunities I had during those years of helping underprivileged people.
I love Historical Fiction! What made you want to write this genre?
Historical fiction is my favorite genre to read. I love learning about past eras and those times when life was simpler and yet so much harder (without all of the modern conveniences!). I also like historical fiction because it allows me to escape from our present time-period with all of the problems and crimes. And although the past is fraught with problems too, I think the distance helps me put them into better perspective.
You’re so disciplined with your writing, so I’m wondering if this carries over into other aspects of your life? For example, do you have a cleaning schedule that results in a perpetually immaculate house, or does yours tend to get a bit cluttered like mine?
I admit, I’m a pretty organized person and I run a tight ship! But even though I’m the captain running my crew of five, I don’t do all the work by myself. My kids and my co-captain (my husband) pitch in too. We ALL work together. For example, on Saturday mornings we work together to clean half the house (and we alternate weeks). Everyone has a particular responsibility (like vacuuming or dusting), and we can usually get it done fairly quickly when we all do our part.
Even with trying to maintain a modicum of organization, I’ve also had to let go of a lot of trying to keep up with everything. I’m not able to declutter as much as I’d like to (particularly outgrown clothes and stuffed animals!) And I’m no longer able to maintain a weekly menu and instead just have to wing it for most meals (which typically means sticking to a few standard favorite meals that the kids like!).
Stephanie Grace Whitson is my favorite Christian author. Who is your favorite and what author inspires you?
I’m definitely a fan of Stephanie too! In fact, I’m slightly biased toward most of the Bethany House authors (since we share the same publisher!).
|Jody, Carol Moncado and Casey|
If you came to my house and browsed my bookshelves, you’d see a wide variety of books. I do a lot of reading with my children and so have shelves full of children and youth books. If you browsed my personal shelves, you’d find mostly historical fiction, lots of biographies, and plenty of books that aid me in my research.
I’m inspired by everything I read. I can usually find tidbits of interesting information in everything—but I’m especially fascinated by biographies, which is probably why I’ve enjoyed writing The Preacher’s Bride and The Doctor’s Lady which are both based on true people.
And for ALL your fans and eager readers, stomping on the internet’s doormat for the next book, where can they connect with you online? (and what is the release date for book 3???)
I love hearing from readers! The best places to connect with me are on Twitter, Facebook, or by shooting me an email. Make sure to say hi!
And my next book *drumroll* is called Unending Devotion, and it’s is releasing next fall of 2012.
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