Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Interview with Jody Hedlund - Work

Welcome again, Jody, thank you for sharing how you juggle home and work with us. Now, I've read The Preacher's Bride and loved it (and I'm not just saying that because you are here) and I finished the Doctor's Lady not too long ago--I'm not sure which I liked better--they were both excellent.

What project are you working on right now?
I’m currently enjoying spreading the news about my second published book, The Doctor’s Lady (which released Sept. 1, Bethany House Publishers). The book is inspired by the first American woman to cross overland to Oregon. Her bravery and determination to make it West paved the way for all the women who would later travel the Oregon trail.

What's the book blurb?

Priscilla White knows she’ll never be a wife or mother and feels God’s call to the mission field.

Dr. Eli Ernest is back from Oregon Country only long enough to raise awareness of missions to the natives before heading out West once more. But then Priscilla and Eli both receive news from the mission board: No longer will they send unmarried men and women into the field. Left scrambling for options, the two realize the other might be the answer to their needs.

Priscilla and Eli agree to a partnership, a marriage in name only that will allow them to follow God’s leading into the mission field. But as they journey west, this decision will be tested by the hardships of the trip and by the unexpected turnings of their hearts.

What jobs have you attempted while working at home? 

Currently, I’m a full time contracted author. My job responsibilities include writing, editing, and marketing.

What do you feel are the pros and cons of this job? 

The pro is that I absolutely LOVE writing. I get to make up stories and write them down. I can’t imagine a better job in the world!

The downside is that in today’s tight and competitive publishing industry, writers have to put in long hours but often aren’t compensated monetarily for all of that time. In fact, for the average author, the monetary rewards and sales are often low. Building a successful writing career takes a lot of upfront time, energy, and devotion with no guarantee of payback, other than personal satisfaction in a job well done.

How do you deal with your feelings when you find yourself in a rough spot and think it’s just too hard?

Fortunately, I have a great support system surrounding me—including my husband, my mom, my agent, my critique partner, and other writing friends that I’ve made. When I get particularly discouraged or down on myself, one or more of them will encourage me, inspire me to keep going, and remind me why I’m writing. Because they believe in me and my abilities, I’m able to believe in myself.

What's your favorite aspect of working from home?

I appreciate that I get to be with my children throughout each day. We have time to talk about deeper issues, to address character growth, to share, to laugh, and to love together. Of course there are days of bickering and hardship too. But we get to grow through those times and hopefully come out stronger as a result.

If you could start all over again, what would you do differently? What would you do the same?

I’m not sure that I would do anything differently. When my children were younger, I took a hiatus from writing and focused on them for quite a few years. I used that time to become a better parent and to grow spiritually. When I felt the nudge to begin writing again, I was a richer and deeper person because of my time away from my writing. And while I’m certainly not perfect in how I handle my writing career, I believe that God prepared me to be where I’m at right now.

I always like money savings tips. What do you do to save money?

We eat at home most of the time. We all know how expensive restaurant food is nowadays. Even fast food can add up. In today’s busy world, it’s easy to fall into the habit of eating out several times a week (if not more). But even though I’m juggling a lot, I still make time to cook homemade meals (very simple dinners!). My husband has also learned to cook over the past several years, and so he pitches in with making meals. And now my older daughters are also learning to be proficient in the kitchen. 

Any other words of wisdom you would like to share that you haven’t mentioned in the questions above?

When we pursue the things we’re passionate about, we set an example to our children that they can pursue their dreams too. We can model to them hard work, diligence, perseverance, and so many other traits that will hopefully make an impression. It’s not easy to juggle a career and mothering, but it is possible and can even be beneficial if we have the right outlook!

Thanks so much for that parting bit of wisdom, children do follow our example and that should make us constantly evaluate what we are doing. 

If you are a US resident and you'd love to get your hands on a copy of the Doctor's Lady, leave a comment with some way to contact you on this blog post by October 7th midnight to get into a random drawing.

(If you leave your email address, write it in a form such as this:
me AT gmail DOT com 
so the spam robots don't get you.)

And if you are having difficulty commenting at ANYTIME - I've just made this blog a facebook page! If you can't comment here--comment there and we'll get you into the drawing. So sorry for the inconvenience of blogger's services sometimes--but you get what you pay for, right? :) I'll spiffy the facebook page up later, but I wanted it to go up right now for those of you having trouble since it seems that random people for some reason aren't being allowed to comment. So go like us (even if you don't want to comment :) and a comment at either place will get you in the drawing.


  1. Great interview! Fun getting to know Jody more. I already have Jody's book so don't enter me. I am your newest follower and look forward to getting to know you more. :O)

  2. Love the great information you share - great interview, womderful work

  3. Did i say I would be so very excited to win a copy of The Doctors Lady??
    :) jenniferdove(at)gmail(dot)com

  4. Ahh! Yes. I want to win.

    andeemarie95 at gmail dot com

    Great interview. I can always use tips on saving and productivity. Someday something will stick. I hope.

  5. Awesome interview. I love to write too, but with 2 rowdy kids, I'm lucky if I get to check facebook and e-mail! I would love to win a copy of your book!

    kurth (dot) jenny (at) yahoo (dot) com

  6. Great interview :) The books sounds amazing and I enjoy "getting to know" Ms. Hedlund :)

    crazi.swans at gmail dot com

  7. Hey Jody, I love what you said about pursuing things you're passionate about and teaching your children to work hard. I hope and pray my writing can be an encouragement and model for my children, rather than something that detracts from my parenting them.

    I love my little ones so much, and your love for your children really shines through the answers to your questions. Thank you so much for sharing.

  8. Hi everyone!! Thank you all so much for stopping by today! And thank you again, Melissa, for hosting me!

    I appreciate your kind words about my mothering, Naomi. Sometimes I have to pray that I don't let my writing detract from parenting too. I have to step back from time to time and re-evaluate and sometimes even re-prioritize. It's always a struggle!

  9. I downloaded the Preacher's Bride for my Kindle and enjoyed it so much that I immediately downloaded the Doctor's Wife. Both were excellent. I had a question for Jody. The Doctor's wife was taken in part from the life of Narcissa Whitman. A book that had an impact on me as a child was the story of the Sager children and how they were orphaned on the Oregon Trail and ended up at the Whitman home. Are you familiar with their story and have your children read Catherine Sager's account of those years?


  10. Karen,
    I did read about the Sager children during my research on the Whitmans. In part, their story prompted me to shape my heroine into the kind of woman who would be drawn toward orphans. I know the real Narcissa went on to have other children in her home including some natives. But I haven't read Catherine Sager's actual account. If you have a specific book you'd recommend, I'd love to know!