1 I live in a city - Vancouver - but I often set stories in small towns for the sense of community which echoes what I find in my downtown neighborhood. What about you? Where do you live and where do you set your stories? And why?
I live in a middle-sized town in central Michigan. But my settings have been all over the map, literally! My first book, The Preacher’s Bride was set in Bedford, Enlgand during 1600’s when the Puritans were in power.
My second book, The Doctor’s Lady, started in Angelica New York and followed the trail to the West of the first couple to travel overland on what would later become known as the Oregon Trail.
My third book, Unending Devotion, which releases Sept. 1, 2012, is set here in my home state of Michigan in a lumber town of the 1880’s.
So, you can see, my settings truly are diverse! I usually decide on my story first and then the setting falls into place after that.
2 What's your favorite book ever and why? I have 2 or 3 books that I read over and over again - including Jane Austen's Persuasion. I love it because the characters are older and their relationship isn't easy, but you know, when they do finally get together, they're grown-ups and they know exactly who they are.
I’d have to say some of my favorite books are children’s classics. I absolutely adore A Little Princess by Francis Hodgson Burnett. In fact, I just read it again to my children this past winter. Burnett does such a skillful job at making you fall in love with the little heroine Sarah Crewe so that by the end of the book you are crying at her needless suffering, but also admiring her for the way she remains a princess at heart.
3 What's the story you've always wanted to write but somehow can't? For me, it's a story about World War I. I'm fascinated by the stories I've read about it but I'm pretty sure I'm never going to write a real war story. I've just finished a book that is set partly during World War I but a very long way away from the battles. I think that's as close as I'm going to get.
I recently finished reading a time travel romance. I’ve always been fascinated by time travel stories and the skill that it takes to make the time travel believable and not sounding contrived. Since I enjoy reading time travels so much, I’d love to be able to one day write one. But I don’t think it’s in my cards at least for a long while.
4 Finally, do you have a routine? If so, what is it and how easy/hard is it to stick to it? I try to have one, but because I work as a freelance paralegal and teach paralegals occasionally, my schedule tends to change from week to week, if not actually day to day. I'm always buying lottery tickets, hoping to win just enough money not to have to work and write to a regular schedule though I'm pretty sure that even if I did have the money to write nine to five, I wouldn't, as I've been scrambling like this forever :)
While you’re hoping to win the lottery to fund your writing schedule, I’m hoping for the revelation that I have a distant very wealthy relative that would like to serve as my patron.
No seriously, I do have a very strict writing routine. Since I spend my days from about 7:30 am to 3:00 pm homeschooling my five children, I have to reserve specific hours for my writing or I won’t get it done. Usually I start my writing at about 3:00 when we’re done with school, and I work until 5:00—which of course is full of interruptions since I write at the kitchen table amidst my busy household. Then I pick it up again in the evening after my kids are in bed and try not to go to bed until I’ve met my daily word count goal.
I also reserve all day on Saturday for my uninterrupted workday. I treasure Saturdays!
5 Where can readers find you?
I hang out on Facebook here: Author Jody Hedlund
I also love to chat on Twitter: @JodyHedlund
My home base is at my website: jodyhedlund.com
I’m also loving Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/jodyhedlund/
Jody Hedlund is an award-winning historical romance novelist and author of the best-selling book, The Preacher's Bride. 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 Michigan with her husband and five busy children. Her second book, The Doctor’s Lady released in September 2011.