This week I would like to welcome Jody Hedlund to Caffeine & Romance.

1. How long had you been writing before your debut novel released?

I’ve been writing approximately 16 years with a hiatus during the years when I was busy having babies and changing diapers. The Preacher’s Bride was the first book I wrote after coming back from my extended break.

2. Did you always want to be a writer?

I can’t remember wanting to do anything except write! For a time, I pursued a career in social work, but after I finished getting my master’s degree in social work, I was only able to find a part time job due to a glut in the job market. The free time allowed me to focus on my writing, learn the craft, and hone my skills. I wrote about five books during those early years of my writing career, which are now safely stashed away in a closet and will never see the light of day!

3. I was reading The Preacher's Bride, and came to the end to the Author's Note. What made you pick John and Elizabeth Bunyan to be the inspiration for your characters?
I homeschool my children and during the course of teaching them history, I began to learn more about some of the great heroes of the faith. I was particularly fascinated with the little-known women who helped shaped these great men. These wives were strong, courageous, and faithful. I decided their inspiring stories needed to have a voice and be told to this generation.
4. Do you have a book you’re working on right now? Or one that will be going into print soon?

My next book is called The Doctor’s Lady. It’s scheduled to release in September of 2011 and is another “inspired-by” novel. It’s a fictionalized story based on the first white woman to travel overland West to Oregon as a missionary to the natives. It’s a marriage of convenience story, but also the tale of how a young woman overcame the odds, endured a dangerous journey, and found true love along the way. In the process, her strength and courage paved the way for all the women who came after her.

5. If you could be in any time frame/era that you wanted, which one would you pick & why?

I would love to travel back in time to the 1650’s and stand next to Elizabeth (the heroine in The Preacher’s Bride), on the day she acted as “lawyer” for her husband. I would have cheered her on as she, a mere peasant woman, stood in front of a room full of pompous and rich judges and bravely attempted to get her husband released from prison.

6. What is your Favorite form of Caffeine? (and yes chocolate counts :)

I’m a straight-up, black coffee, no cream, no sugar, kind-of gal! In fact, the stronger and richer the coffee, the better. And you know what? That describes me and my writing perfectly. I’m a no-frills writer, telling-it- like-it-is, but hopefully with a deep and passionate message.

Thank you for being with us this week, Jody. Hope to have you back sometime soon! Anything else you would like to share with our readers?

I love to connect with readers! Please drop me a line on my Facebook Page or over on Twitter! I would love to hear from you! I’m also doing a first-sighting slide show on my website/blog. If you send me a picture of YOU with my book, I’ll add it to the slide show.

Jody Hedlund is a debut historical romance novelist who was a double finalist in the 2009 ACFW Genesis Contest in Historical Romance. 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.
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