I have a passion for missions. And this book reflected the history of a woman, so consumed with the love for the missionary life, that she made sacrifices and surrendered her will to God's. Now, that is something we could all learn from, right?
I've had the pleasure of exchanging some emails with Jody. She is kind and someone who I would LOVE to befriend. So, I thought that you would enjoy getting to know her a little better through an interview!
Susie: As a fellow fiction writer, I'm always interested in learning what inspires a work of fiction. What inspired you?
Jody: This book was 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 for the purpose of starting 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 their willingness to brave the unknown, she led the way for the many woman who would follow in her footsteps in what later would be known as the Oregon Trail.
Susie: That's inspiring. I can see why you wanted to honor the glory this woman brought to God! I like that your story is not only for entertainment and education, but that it also has a purpose. Speaking of, what message would you like the reader to glean from this book?
Jody: I hope readers are inspired to try new things and brave dangerous prospects in the pursuit of their dreams. When we go after the things that matter, we have to take risks and we'll experience setbacks and obstacles. But if we persevere, we can reach our destination and do great things along the way.
Susie: Sometimes when I'm writing, I picture certain famous actors playing the parts of my characters. Who would you envision playing the parts of your characters?
Jody: Dr. Eli Ernest needs to be played by Kevin Costner whose rugged, scruffy look in Dances with Wolves is exactly the way I envision for Dr. Ernest. Eli is a man full of passion and unafraid of danger, and yet willing to learn and grow through the challenges he faces.
Priscilla White needs to be played by Gwyneth Paltrow. Priscilla is a beautiful and elegant lady with Gwyneth's looks in Emma. She's not physically strong and she's a bit naive, and yet she's determined and courageous.
Susie: Do you have any advice for writers who are just starting out?
Jody: Write a couple of books first and unleash your creativity. Then start reading books that explain how to write. Study techniques, practice them and keep writing. When you begin reaching a level in your writing where you think you're ready to start querying, get a critique partner to read your work, vamp up your online presence and immerse yourself in the writing industry.
Susie: Great advice. Thank you. Now I'd like to know something about you. What would I be surprised to find out about you?
Jody: I have most of the songs of Sound of Music memorized (due to watching it every year as a child). Now whenever I watch the movie, I belt out the songs at the top of my lungs, much to the listening pleasure of my children. *Grin*
Susie: One more thing that I HAVE to know...when you were a little girl, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Jody: Of course I wanted to be a princess and live in a big castle and have a name like Rose. And I wanted to marry a dashing prince charming and ride off together in the sunset.
But alas, I soon came to understand that I wouldn't be able to grow up to be a princess, that I'd need to pick something slightly more practical. So I decided to write romantic stories about princesses instead! Of course I haven't published any fairy tales, but I have seen my dream of publication come true! (And wouldn't you know, I ended up marrying a prince charming!)
Susie: Thank you, Jody!
Hey, readers! Jody has very generously offered to award one of you with a FREE copy of "The Doctor's Lady"! Just comment on this post for a chance to win!
And, to entice you, here is the book trailer!