Friday, April 29, 2011

Special Feature: Best Selling Author Jody Hedlund – Her Story

What a dream come true for any author! ... Your debut novel hits the CBA best seller list within months of publication. That's exactly what happened to Jody Hedlund after Bethany House Publishers released The Preacher’s Bride, an inspirational historical romance, in October 2010.

The Preacher’s Bride is set in 1650's England. A young Puritan maiden is on a mission to save the baby of her newly widowed preacher–whether her assistance is wanted or not. Always ready to help those in need, Elizabeth ignores John’s protests of her aid. She’s even willing to risk her lone marriage prospect to help the little family.

Yet Elizabeth’s new role as housekeeper takes a dangerous turn when John’s boldness from the pulpit makes him a target of political and religious leaders. As the preacher’s enemies become desperate to silence him, they draw Elizabeth into a deadly web of deception. Finding herself in more danger than she ever bargained for, she’s more determined than ever to save the child, and man, she’s come to love.

Jody is a busy mother-writer, who has the wonderful privilege of teaching her crew of five children at home. In between grading math papers and giving spelling tests, she occasionally does a load of laundry and washes dishes. When she's not busy being a mother, she's in front of her laptop. Sometimes her family thinks her fingers are super-glued to the keyboard, but in reality she usually finds her writing time in the wee hours of the morning and then for a couple of hours in the afternoon when she's finished with school.

Jody has spent the past sixteen years writing, although she took a break during the time she was busy having children. The Preacher’s Bride was the first book she wrote after she returned from that hiatus. (She had written five books previously that now gather dust in a closet!).

After completing The Preacher’s Bride, she began sending out queries and was rejected by all the agents on her list ... except one who liked her query and sample writing and asked her to submit the full manuscript.

"Of course I was excited," says Jody, "but little did I know at the time that my manuscript would languish in her slush pile for nine long months. During the wait I wrote another book and decided to enter both books into a contest for unpublished writers.

"Much to my surprise and delight, both of my entries made it to the finals. At that point, I followed up with the agent who still had my manuscript. I notified her of the contest finals. Within three days, she offered me representation.

"My agent and I worked hard at putting together a proposal. She sent it out to a publisher she believed was perfect for my books. Within the span of a few months, I signed a contract for a three-book deal with Bethany House Publishers.

"The Preacher’s Bride was the first book in that deal. The Doctor’s Lady is the second (releasing in September of 2011). And I’m currently working on writing book three in the contract. It will be released in 2012." Jody is represented by Rachelle Gardner of Word Serve Literary.

Congratulations, to you, Jody! Thank you for sharing your journey from finished book to publication with us. We're all pulling for you to have a second, and a third, CBA best seller.


  1. Thank you so much for your VERY kind words today, Loretta!! I appreciate it so much! Thank you, too, for letting me have a chance to have a guest appearance on your blog! I wish you all the best in your writing journey!

  2. Thank you for sharing your heartwarming story, Jody. It is quite encouraging for writers who have worked hard for years trying to get published. I wish you the best.

  3. Great to hear your journey Jody, you work so hard I hope all your books are a huge success! All the best, Catherine

  4. Congratulations, Jody. How wonderful for you. I'd love to hear what your proposal looked like; I've seen ones from previously published novelists, but never from a debut one.

  5. Jody rocks. Just sayin'. *grin* I'm reading The Doctor's Lady right now and am really, really enjoying it.

  6. Thanks everyone for your kind comments. I'm sure Jody appreciates your encouragement.

  7. Thank you, everyone, for your very kind words!! I do truly appreciate your encouragement! (And thanks for updating me, Loretta!) :-)