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Writer of fiction that reflects the light of Jesus. Sometimes the grit mixes with beauty to make up a picture of this life. That's where my fiction lives.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Interview With Jody Hedlund, Author of "The Doctor's Lady"

First of all, I have to admit something...I'm not typically a fan of Historical Fiction. However, from the very first paragraph of Jody Hedlund's "The Doctor's Lady", I was pulled in. She writes at a good pace and her style is smooth and inviting.

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!


  1. Hope I can win this time. If its the Lords will. E-mail is crochetsandi@hotmail.com. Thanks & God Bless Sandi :-)

  2. Great! I have the first book Ms. Hedlund wrote, the Preacher's Wife and I loved it. This looks like another winner for sure!

    bilker1@sccoast.net Kerrie

  3. I have read several interviews with Jody already and always find out something new in each one! Sound of Music is one of my favorite movies too - maybe because it also has a very strong woman in the starring role!

    babykf at hotmail dot com

  4. Great interview with Jody. I have watched the trailer for The Doctor's Lady many times. I never get tired of it. I would love to win a copy of this book. It sounds like a great read.



  5. If I don't win, I might have to go buy it!
    Jodi Fabian

  6. I would love to win this book. It sounds awesome! Great interview BTW.

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  9. I've always loved historical fiction and missionary stories! Thank you for the opportunity to win a copy of your book--the excerpt is wonderful!

  10. Thank you all for commenting! The winner will be announced tomorrow morning!

    I'm also adding Wilma Metcalf (who had a technical difficulty).

    I hope you all have a lovely afternoon and evening!

  11. I LOVED LOVED LOVED The Preacher's Bride. Jody has such a way of writing that grips me from the very first page till the very last. Please pick me o/ penguinns (at) gmail com

  12. I got to go on a missions trip my freshman year of college. It was an amazing experience. I would love to read a story about someone else's experience.

  13. This sounds like a wonderful and inspiring book, I would love to win a copy.

    Thank you for the interview :)


  14. I would like to win this book. Please, count me in!
    tatiana_lwg(at) yahoo.com

  15. Congratulations to Tatiana L.! You are the winner of Jody's Book!

  16. I probably have enough Coke cans to take 'em down to the store and redeem 'em for the cash to buy the book, so no worries about the contest -- but I'm curious to know, as Jody is an author of historical fiction, how she researches the history of the Nez Perce, especially as it relates to the missionary movement of the early 19th century; and does she try to reflect the speech patterns of real pioneers in her characters, or simply defer to a neutral non-modern style in order to reduce reader confusion? Having read quite a bit of late 18th- and early 19th-century literature, it seems that it might be an issue.
    - rob meyer, who is not allowed to post