Thursday, December 11, 2008

Author Mona Hodgsen - REAL GIRLS OF THE BIBLE - Free Book

Mona, welcome. You are writing nonfiction. Do you also write fiction?

Real Girls of the Bible: A Devotional (Zonderkidz/HarperCollins, February 2008) is my first nonfiction for middle-grade readers.

I’m currently writing historical fiction for middle-grade readers and for women. My published fiction includes the Desert Critters Friends series of twelve early readers. I also have six fiction I Can Read books due to release in November 2008 and February 2009.

What would you like for our readers to know about you personally?

Hmm. I hadn’t dreamed about being a writer until I reached my 30s, and then I knew I wasn’t qualified. You can read my Jonah story on the “For Writers” page at I’m learning that the true adventure kicks in when I recognize my weakness because then I get to view it in light of God’s incredible strength and power. Thanks, Paul. Apostle Paul articulated it so well in 2 Corinthians 12:9.

I’m a big fan and advocate of writers’ conferences. Not only do I enjoy the instruction, the inspiration, and building relationships with writers, editors, and agents, I have encountered many of my spiritual mentors at Christian writers conferences.

I agree with you about conferences. Tell us about your family.

Bob and I will celebrate 36 years of marriage this August. Our oldest daughter, our son-in-law, our two oldest grandsons, and our only granddaughter live and work in Africa. Our youngest daughter and youngest grandson live about an hour away from us.

I have a close friend living and working in Africa. She sends the most interesting information to me. Have you written other nonfiction books?
Yes. Hide and Seek for early readers is a devotional on the fruit of the Spirit from Galatians 5:22-23. How Did Bible Heroes Pray?, a picture book. My six I Wonder books are also considered nonfiction, though the narrator is a fictional character—I Wonder Who Hung the Moon in the Sky, I Wonder Who Stretched the Giraffe’s Neck, I Wonder How Fish Sleep, I Wonder Who Made Me, I Wonder How God Hears Me, and I Wonder What I Can Give God. My rhymed picture book Bedtime in the Southwest is also considered nonfiction, though it is a series of questions that I answer at the end.

What other books have you written, and where can the readers of the blog find them?

Readers can find my books on my website (, on, or they can ask for them at their favorite bookstore.

Here is a complete list of my books:

The Princess Twins and the Tea Party (Zonderkidz I Can Read, February 2009)
The Princess Twins Play in the Garden (Zonderkidz I Can Read, February 2009)
The Princess Twins and the Birthday Party (Zonderkidz I Can Read, February 2009)
The Princess Twins and the Kitty (Zonderkidz I Can Read, February 2009)
The Best Breakfast (Zonderkidz I Can Read, November 2008)
Thank You God for Rain (Zonderkidz I Can Read, November 2008)
Real Girls of the Bible: A Devotional (Zonderkidz, February 2008)
How Did Bible Heroes Pray? (Kregel Kidzone)
Bedtime in the Southwest (Rising Moon Books)
Desert Critter Friends Series
Friendly Differences
Thorny Treasures
Sour Snacks
Smelly Tales
Clubhouse Surprises
Desert Detectives
Jumping Jokers-
Campout Capers

Sticky Statues
Goofy Glasses
Crabby Critters
Spelling Bees

I Wonder Series (Out of print, available at
I Wonder Who Hung the Moon in the Sky
I Wonder Who Stretched the Giraffe’s Neck
I Wonder How Fish Sleep
I Wonder How God Made Me
I Wonder How God Hears Me
I Wonder What I Can Give God

Hide & Seek, A Devotional Book (Out of Print, available at )

Do you have any other books in the works right now?
I’m spending most of my writing time on finishing the draft on my historical novel for women, but I’m also working on Hey, God, It’s Me: Prayer for Real Girls and I’m hatching more stories for Zonderkidz I Can Read.

Where on the Internet can the readers find you?,,

What kinds of hobbies and leisure activities do you enjoy?
I’m an avid reader of children’s books, contemporary and historical fiction (women’s, romance, mystery), and nonfiction that feeds my soul and fuels my writing. I’m currently reading Art & Fear by David Bayles and Ted Orland, Writing for the Soul by Jerry B. Jenkins, A Bride So Fair by Carol Cox. I recently finished Secrets on the Wind by Stephanie Grace Whitson and Forevermore by Cathy Marie Hake.

Walks and table games are favorite pastimes. Hula hoop and ping pong are on that list too.

Some of my favorite places to retreat include, funky coffee shops, a drive through a stand of aspens, mountain cabins, and a trip to the beach.

Why did you write the featured book?

I’d been asking God for the right idea for a middle-grade book. It wasn’t happening.

After reading Lynne Cheney’s book A is for Abigail: An Almanac of Amazing American Women, I got the idea to write an alphabet picture book on Bible girls. I showed it to an editor at the Mount Hermon Christian Writers’ Conference and she asked me if I’d consider writing a book about women from the Bible for middle grade girls. “Sure,” I said. After I left the room, I collapsed to my knees.

What do you want the reader to take away from the book?
I want girls and women to know they are not alone. We are all on this life-journey and faith-walk together. And we have a rich heritage in the stories of women who have encountered the living God and found their home in His heart. I want the readers of Real Girls of the Bible: A Devotional to know that God has a divine and trustworthy plan for their lives just as He did for those Bible girls and women.

I want to bring our Bible girls—Ruth, Martha, Esther—to life for my readers, which is why I’m making myself available to present mini-dramas at Real Girls Retreats (overnights or Saturday) at churches across the country. For more information on those, go to

Mona, thank you for spending this time with us.

Readers, you can order a copy using this link:

And you can leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book.


Lindsey said...

This book would be wonderful for my niece! :-)

And I'll be keeping an eye out for the Zonderkidz books for my daughter, thanks so much for the giveaway!

ladyufshalott at

Marla said...

This Book would be an great addition to the gift basket I'm putting together for a 14 year old girl I've become like a mother to. thank you so much for the entry.

Cherie J said...

Would love to win this for my niece. Enjoyed the interview.

bevsclark said...

This book sounds like an interesting read. I love that it is about "Real Girls". I have a teen daughter and this is something that we both could read.

Anonymous said...

I have three daughters so far - this book looks wonderful! Historical fiction for middle graders too - right on!

Anonymous said...

I have 3 girls that would enjoy reading this! please enter me :)

hippmom said...

Great book for my pre-teen girls.

Thanks for entering my name:

angelahipp at charter dot net