Friday, August 10, 2012

Author Interview

Today is exciting for me!   
It's my very first author interview! 


And I can't think of 
a better first than 
the one and only

If you read last month's post, you already know that Jody's third book, Unending Devotion, is due to release in September. Even with all the commotion surrounding her upcoming release, Jody was kind enough to agree to an interview with yours truly. (Make sure to read beyond the interview for exciting news about my giveaway!)

And so, without further ado...

 The Interview!

Jody, it has been a real treat for me to watch your career take off following the success of The Preacher's Bride. Thank you for taking the time to answer a few questions for us.

I have dreamed about being a published author since junior high.  When did you realize you wanted to write books?

I’m pretty sure I was born with a pen in one hand and a notebook in the other! Since my earliest days, I loved making up stories and writing them down. I filled notebooks with tales about princes, princesses, and happily-ever-afters. The passion for telling stories followed me into adulthood. And after many twists and turns along the path, I’ve finally been able to channel that passion into a full time writing career.

With your fourth book in the works, that is truly a full-time career!

I've mentioned in my past posts that, thanks to your book The Preacher's Bride, I am now a fan of Historical Fiction.  What draws you to write Historical Romance?  Are you a history buff, or do you just drown yourself in research for the books?

I’ve always loved reading historical romances and losing myself in past eras. And yes, I'm a big history buff, but I also have to immerse myself into the research specific to each book. I usually take a couple of months to read biographies, books on the time period, and everything that pertains to the story. Before I start writing the first draft, I have to feel like I could walk into the setting of my book and be mostly comfortable with that time period.

That sounds like a great process for any writer to follow for an unfamiliar setting or time-frame.

Even though you write Christian fiction, I think your stories have broad appeal. Have you ever thought about writing secular fiction?

I do think that my stories could cross over and reach a wider audience. All through history, faith was an important part of most people's lives. Because of that inherent nature of faith within history readers are more willing to accept a faith thread in a historical whether published by a Christian publisher or not. All that to say, I could see myself broadening my audience a bit, but I also want to continue to please the loyal readers I already have.

I can't speak for the others, but this loyal reader would be thrilled for you to see your work in BOTH sections of the bookstore!

For those of us dreaming of being a published author, tell us what it feels like to find you've written a best seller.

It's an honor to have reached best seller status, to know that readers have truly enjoyed my books. But it also puts some pressure on a writer to keep writing the same or better caliber books. No one wants to be known as a one or two-book wonder. Instead we want to continue to improve and put out books that our readers love.

At this stage in my writing, I might daydream about being a one or two-book wonder!

I'm amazed that you can raise and home-school five children while writing a best seller! Give us a glimpse of what your weekly writing schedule might look like.

It’s definitely not easy. I feel like I have two very full time jobs! But like any other writer trying to balance dual careers or multiple responsibilities, I’ve had to look for ways to make it work. I’ve scaled-back on outside commitments and simplified home life as much as possible. I also stick to a very strict writing schedule when I’m in first draft mode. I block out writing time and don’t let myself go to bed at night unless I get in my daily word count.
I think that's what separates the published from the dreamers--commitment!

Placing your priorities on your family life, do you find it difficult to promote your books?
It's always difficult to juggle the many responsibilities that come with having a modern writing career. But I've learned that I need to budget "marketing time" into my daily work schedule. When I make it part of the job description, it's so much easier to devote the time that's needed. I generally put a little more time into preparing for book releases and all of the work that goes with a launch.

Overall, I'm learning to be an expert juggler! There are still times when I drop balls. But my family is gracious and tries to be understanding of the many demands on my time.
You are blessed to have your family’s support.

I really love writing my own book, but I have no deadlines---no pressure!  Now that you're under contract with a publisher, and working on your fourth book, are you still able to enjoy the process?
 I truly love the spinning together of stories. I can go places, do things, and be a part of adventures and lives in ways that just aren't possible in my real life. And at this busy stage of my life, my writing provides me an outlet that I need. It's a blessing to be doing something I absolutely love!
Yes, it truly is!  I believe that God is glorified when we use the gifts He has given us, and He has truly blessed you with a gift.  Good luck with the upcoming release.  I’m really looking forward to reading this one!  (After all, it stars my namesake!)

The Give-Away!

Any guesses? 
 100% correct!  It's a BOOK give-away!  
And what a coincidence...
Not being a fan (I am now!) of historical romance, I would have never had the great experience of reading Jody's books had I not won a signed copy of The Preacher's Bride in a book give-away. I intended the book to be a gift for my bookworm granddaughter, but I told her I wanted to read it when she was finished. I fell in love with The Preacher's Bride! Since then, I've not only read Jody's second book, The Doctor's Wife, but I've read lots of other historical fiction.  I can thank Jody for opening up a new genre to me.

Now, can you guess what book I'm giving?

 You guys are good.  Yes, you can win a free, signed copy of Jody's latest novel, Unending Devotion!  And, if you're a regular reader, I make it even easier to get bonus entries!

How to enter:
You must leave a comment on this post. That will get you into the contest. 

Add a question for me or Jody about her books to be answered in an upcoming post and get an additional entry! 

If you are a follower, or become a new follower, you will get an additional entry!

Want to increase your odds even more, plus help Jody to promote her new book?

Link to this post on your own blog.
Link to this post on facebook.

If you do all the above, you will get FIVE entries in this contest!

 Is that not enough?

Well then, here's where your 'unending devotion' comes into play:  There will be several follow-up posts focusing on the book's release.  I will be doing a review of the book later this month. On Friday, September 21st, Jody will be sharing a fun secret with us here on my blog. Who knows what else might be posted in-between!  On each subsequent post, you will be given chances to earn additional entries!

Of course, you can only earn the 'follower' entry once, but most of the others can be done each time; so keep your eyes open for my next post.  Maybe you will get a free chance to discover a wonderful author!


Jody Hedlund said...

I LOVE it, Lily!! Thank you SO much for hosting me on your blog! I'm honored to have the premiere author interview spot!

Anonymous said...

I love Jody's books! Her journey and advice has been inspirational for me on my own writing journey, and I'm REALLY excited to read this book!

Unknown said...

Loved this interview (you did a good job on your premiere, Lily!)! :)

Thanks for the giveaway, too! I just got The Preacher's Bride in the mail the other day, but I would love another Jody Hedlund book to add to my to-read list! :)

Also, I just became a follower of your blog.

biblioprincess15 (at) yahoo (dot) com

Terri Tiffany said...

Great interview! I have watched Jody's career take off and think she is a huge blessing to other writers and well as her readers.

Heather Day Gilbert said...

Well, I just became a follower, and I'm commenting! I'd love to win Jody's book.

I loved this interview, and I didn't realize Jody's another homeschooling mom like me! Yes, it really is like 2 full-time jobs, but try to convince your kids that writing's a job! Grin. Every time I sit at the computer, they come walking into the room! So I write mostly at night. And I enjoyed reading about Jody's research process, since I write historicals, too.

Dawn said...

Of course I joined your blog! It is beautiful. I loved the interview.

And If I don't take every chance I can to enter to win Jody's new books my daughter will kill me. She is just dying to get her hands on the next one.

So, I guess I'll be doing off to do the rest of the tricks and stunts- facebook and all that was listed.

Thanks again Lillian and Jody

Tonnie said...

I love historical fiction. I fell in love with history while home schooling my boys for four years. Jody, I am anxious to read your book.
From an avid reader, Tonnie.

Here is a question:
Jody- how much time do you spend researching for your historical novels and what are your resources for your search?

boattherapy4 (at) yahoo(dot)com

Jody Hedlund said...

Hi Everyone!! Thanks for your enthusiasm in reading my new book! Love it! And I'll look forward to answering your questions in an upcoming post!

Amy C said...

Hi Jody! Hi Lily! What a fantastic interview! Both of you guys are new to me. I am interested in reading this novel.
Jody, are you staying with historical fiction or will you be doing any contemporary fiction in the future?
I'm now a new follower. Looking forward to new posts from both of you.
Thanks for giveaway!
Campbellamyd at gmail dot com

TC said...

Wonderful interview....was wondering if people in real life inspire you to write about them as historical characters Jody?? GREAT Job Lily and I am looking forward to reading these books!!

Jessica Nelson said...

What a great interview! Jody is such an inspiration and so sweet! Don't enter me because I have her first two books and the third on pre-order. :-)

Jenny said...

Lovely interview! I'm an aspiring author, so it's always fun hearing how authors research and write, and find time to work while running a home. I was homeschooled, and plan on homeschooling my children, so it's encouraging to hear that Jody is finding a way to balance the two.

I'm excited for the opportunity to win a copy of Unending Devotion. Thank you!

jennyjenjen92 at gmail dot com

Jenny said...

Entry #2. My question for Jody is: From what I've gathered, it can be very difficult to have your first novel published. How did you go about seeking the publication of The Preacher's Bride?

Entry #3. I am now a follower of this blog!

Entry #4. Shared the giveaway link on Facebook.

jennyjenjen92 at gmail dot com

Truckredford said...

I haven't read one of your books...but would love to start!!!

CrazyCris said...

Lovely interview Lily! Sounds like things are really exciting for you nowadays on the blog! :o)

Historical fiction is my favourite literary category, but I haven't read much "romantic historical fiction"... I'm intrigued!

CrazyCris said...

Here's a question: what makes this "christian" fiction? That's definitely not a section of bookstores here in Spain and I'm curious!

Unknown said...

Questions for Jody

1. How long does it take to do the research on a book before you start writing it?

2. Where do you get the ideas for your books?

Lady DragonKeeper said...

+1 I read and enjoyed "The Doctor's Lady" last year --thank you for the interview and the chance to win!


+1 A bit late, but my question would be about the book cover design process --do you as an author get a say in that, or is it all on the artist/graphic designer? Do they read your book/synopsis before they begin?