Monday, October 11, 2010
She’s represented by agent Rachelle Gardner and her debut book, The Preacher’s Bride, is currently available for order on Amazon.com, Christianbook.com, and other internet sites. It’s also for sale in most bookstores.
Welcome, Jody. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
Actually, The Preacher’s Bride is inspired by real people in history. So first I learned all I could about the true lives of my characters—their looks, personalities, likes/dislikes, etc. Then whatever I didn’t know, I filled in with my imagination.
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
When I was a little girl, I once got a haircut that I hated. So, I decided to wear a towel over my head to hide the new style. Not sure why I didn’t wear a hat. But if I was going for unobtrusive, it didn’t work. I drew even more attention to myself!
When did you first discover that you were a writer?
I was born holding a pen in one hand and a piece of paper in the other. And when I was toddling, I chewed on erasers and books. :-) Seriously, it’s been a life-long aspiration.
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I have to admit, I’m pretty much a historical romance junkie. I read exactly what I love to write.
What other books have you written, whether published or not?
Earlier in the year I finished writing the second book of my Bethany House contract. Currently, I’m researching, planning, and in the beginning stages of writing the third book.
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
Spending quality time with my family—snuggling on the couch with my youngest daughter reading books, scrapbooking with my twins, playing games with my sons.
How do you choose your characters’ names?
Since I write historicals, I look for names that were popular during the time period of my book. Then I narrow down my choices by picking names I think match the personalities of my characters.
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Giving birth to five beautiful children.
If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
We have slew of pets at our house—a Golden Retriever, 2 cats, 2 hamsters, and a backyard full of birds, squirrels, and bunnies that we feed. Of all the pets, I envy my cats the most—because they get to nap whenever they want!
We had a Golden Retriever when I was in high school. They're beautiful dogs. What is your favorite food?
Isn’t the required favorite food of writers chocolate? Besides that, I indulge myself in nachos and cheese almost every night. Yep. I’m a nacho pig!
What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
One of my greatest challenges is finding uninterrupted time to write. As a mom of 5 busy children, I’ve learned to work through questions, chaos, and lots of noise. But I’ve also made a point of disciplining myself to write at the library every Saturday. The extended, concentrated writing time is important too.
What advice would you give to an author just starting out?
Writing is like any other profession: we can’t succeed unless we achieve mastery of the subject. And how does one achieve writing mastery? We need to learn everything we can about the craft of writing and then put it into practice. In other words, learn, learn, learn. Write, write, write. Repeat ad infinitum.
Tell us about the featured book.
The Preacher’s Bride is a tale about finding true love amidst hardship, discrimination, and persecution.
This book is inspired by Elizabeth Bunyan, the second wife of John Bunyan who was author of Pilgrim’s Progress. As I was reading a biography about John Bunyan, I ran across a small excerpt about Elizabeth. I loved the brave way she defended John during one of his trials when he was under arrest for his “unlicensed” preaching. Her strength to face a court of persecutors and her determination to faithfully support her husband touched me so deeply, that I decided her little-known story needed to be told to the world.
Please give us the first page of the book.
The babe’s crying would rip her heart to shreds if she had to listen to it one more minute.
Elizabeth Whitbread shoved open the parlor door and barged inside.
“We need a wet nurse or the babe will die,” she said, meeting the startled gazes of the women surrounding the deathbed of Mary Costin.
“Exactly what do you think you are doing?” Mrs. Grew dropped the long winding sheet and started toward her. “Get out this instant. You are not permitted in here.”
“The babe’s been crying all morning. He needs help.” Elizabeth moved toward the low rocking cradle shoved into a corner of the small room. “I’ll hold him and attempt to comfort him.”
Mrs. Grew stepped in front of her, intersecting her path. She held her shoulders straight and her chin high. “No one is welcome in the parlor for the laying out. Only those of our congregation specified by Sister Costin herself before she died.”
“I won’t disturb your preparations, to besure.” Elizabeth nodded at Sister Norton and the others who had stopped washing the body to stare at her. She’d participated in laying-out rituals before—on her own mother. But the work of preparing the dead body didn’t interest her now.
“I only want to help with the babe.”
“We do not need any assistance.”
“The crying must be a distraction. I’ll take him into the other room of the cottage—”
“Sister Whitbread,” Mrs. Grew said louder, “we can do nothing more for the child. He will tire himself eventually.”
Elizabeth spotted a wooden flask on the floor next to the cradle. “I’ll try feeding him.”
“Each of these women, including myself, has already attempted to suckle him from the bottle. What makes you think you can succeed where no other has?”
“He won’t take it, the poor dear,” Sister Norton said. She clucked her tongue against the roof of her mouth. “The poor, poor dear needs his mother’s milk, and it’s long gone.”
How can readers find you on the Internet?
Question For Readers:
What’s your favorite kind of candy bar? If you’d like to sign up to win a free copy of The Preacher’s Bride, please tell us your favorite kind of candy bar (because writers must get a daily dose of chocolate!).
Thank you, Jody, for the interesting interview.
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