Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Fun Secret About Bestselling Author Jody Hedlund

Friends, today we have a special treat. In celebration of her latest release, "Unending Devotion," bestselling author Jody Hedlund is here to share a fun secret wtih us. If you don't follow Jody's blog, you must remedy that. Stat! It's one of the most helpful blogs in the writing community.

But first, a little tease about Unending Devotion:

In 1883 Michigan, Lily Young is on a mission to save her lost sister, or die trying. Heedless of the danger, her searches of logging camps lead her to Harrison and into the sights of Connell McCormick, a man doing his best to add to the hard-earned fortunes of his lumber-baron father.

Posing during the day as a photographer's assistant, Lily can't understand why any God-fearing citizen would allow evil to persist and why men like Connell McCormick turn a blind eye to the crime rampant in the town. But Connell is boss-man of three of his father's lumber camps in the area, and like most of the other men, he's interested in clearing the pine and earning a profit. He figures as long as he's living an upright life, that's what matters.

Lily changes everything he thought he knew, and together they work not only to save her sister but to put an end to the corruption that's dominated Harrison for so long.

Jody Hedlund's Secret #6: What I wanted to be when I grew up.
By Jody Hedlund, @JodyHedlund
Every child dreams of what they want to be when they grow up. And that often changes multiple times over the years as they mature.
For example, when my youngest son was about five, he was determined to be a professional football player when he grew up. He saw his Daddy getting excited about football games, and so he would go outside and practice and play football. 
When he was seven, he decided to forgo the professional football career in place of becoming Batman. A year after that, he thought maybe he'd like to be a drum player.
Unlike my son, I didn't waver in my career of choice. From my earliest recollections, I wanted to be a writer. I loved listening to my mom read. All my creative play reflected the stories that were already growing in my mind. And eventually when I learned how to spell and form sentences, those stories naturally made their way into notebooks.
During summer vacations, in the back of our old conversion van, I'd sprawl out with my notebook, and I'd spend the long car rides penning stories about princesses, princes, and happily-ever-afters. I filled notebook after notebook. 
When I was in junior high, I decided to take my writing a little more seriously, and so I began to enter writing contests for kids. I actually placed in a couple contests which was a valuable lesson in competition and honing my skills. 
The passion for writing followed me into adulthood. But when my college days came around, I knew I couldn't major in "novel-writing."  I'd need to pursue some kind of work that would help me pay the bills while I worked on my books. So I ended up in Social Work for quite a few years and liked it enough to get my Masters.
But ultimately the passion for writing wouldn't let go of me. And I'm grateful it didn't. Because there's nothing better than being able to do what you love, every day.
I love this quote from the late Steve Jobs: "The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle."
Maybe we won't be able to do what we love full time, all the time. But we can make a point to do it a little bit. Because eventually a little bit adds up to a long way.
What about you? What did you want to be when you were a child? And what did you end up doing? 
To celebrate the release of Unending Devotion, Jody is giving away a signed copy. Leave a comment (along with your email address) to enter the drawing. Valid only with US or Canadian addresses. Giveaway ends Friday, September 14th, 2012. The winner will be announced Saturday, September 15th.

Publisher's Weekly calls Unending Devotion "A meaty tale of life amid the debauchery of the lumber camps of 1880s Michigan . . . exciting and unpredictable to the very end."
For more secrets about Jody and additional chances to win her newest release, visit her Events Page to see where she'll be next in her "Fun Secrets About Author Jody Hedlund" blog tour.
Also join in the Pinterest Photo Contest she's hosting. Find more information about it on her Contest Page.
Jody would love to connect with you! Find her in one of these places:


  1. I always wanted to be a writer too. My mama saved my earliest 'masterpieces' as well, so I still have those. LOL But I also went through a phase of wanting to be a vet.

    Although I ultimately ended up as an education major, the creative writing classes I took for electives were by far my favorites. And I never did stop writing or dreaming of writing, even though I taught in a classroom for a few years and homeschooled my own children for the past 16 years.

    But, I do believe that the desires God places in our hearts will always find a way to bubble forth! :)

    Great post!

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Sorry, my email address is:
      oquinn1(at)windstream(dot)net. And I am so going to stop putting that apostrophe in my last name. Blogger doesn't like it. LOL
      Amy O'Quinn

  2. Jody,
    Your story reminds me so much of myself. Ever since the first grade when I learned how to read and write I've been writing books. My first books were picture books and as I grew I moved on to notebooks - lots and lots of notebooks filled with stories. But I too realized writing stories wouldn't necessarily pay the bills so I chose a different path for my college career. But I came back to writing and am so glad I did! I seriously look back at those in between years and think, "what did do without my stories all that time?"

    Thanks for sharing! Great post!


  3. Jody is simply an amazing machine. Her work and knowledge always astounds me. It's awesome you've had her here, Julie!

  4. HUGE fan of Jody's blog. Wish her much success on her latest. :-)

  5. I wanted to be a pop singer with a red porsche lol. I wrote and illustrated a lot of kids stories at eight and loved reading.

    It's lovely to hear about those car rides, Jody. I can just picture it. Wishing you huge success with Unending Devotion.

  6. I wanted to be some type of artist. Right now, I am a stay at home with two awesome babies and getting my crafting business started.

    Amy C
    campbellamyd at dot com

  7. i always wanted to be a teacher...but i followed a different path...however, in my line of work, i do teach...everyday.

    a great posting, jody.

    julie, thanks for the chance to read jody's latest masterpiece.

    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

  8. Hey everyone!! I'm really enjoying hearing about your childhood dreams of what you wanted to be! It's a lot of fun to get a peek at your dreams! Keep sharing! :-)

  9. I wanted to grow up and be mother to twins!!! The Lord knew I didn't need that, apparently! He grew me up to be a pastor's wife with a wonderful son and daughter!

  10. I wanted to be a writer since childhood too and finished my first novel at fifteen--though it was basically New Kids on the Block fan fiction, lol. But like you I went to college and...got my Masters in Social Work too. : ) Their must be common personality traits between social workers and writers, lol. It seems I've met lots of writers who used to be in the social work or counseling field. I guess we're always trying to observe and figure out other people whether that be in real life or in our books. :)

  11. Writing was never a burn for me. I think I rather fell back into it as an adult. My interests resided in other creative endeavors and music, and I've managed to stick with both.

  12. Weeelll, let's see. I really wanted to be an astronaut for awhile, but my Math scores were definitely prohibitive for that. I also wanted to be a cop--even went to Criminal Justice camp and loved it. Then, a vet. Then, a news reporter. Then, the Peace Corps. Okay, so what I wound up doing was being a mom who homeschools her kiddos and writes. And turns out, that's what I REALLY WANTED all along. Thank the Lord for guiding our paths!

    OOOH, and I'm trying so hard to win this book! My email is heatherdaygilbert@gmail.com.

  13. I started wanting to be an astronaut followed by a ballerina (some change huh). Then a school teacher followed that dream (which I do substitute when time allows). But currently I am a nurses aide. I learned the techniques so that I could build a home for my family and take care my grandparents there until their passing 9 days apart at Christmas. I was blessed to have the skills, the new home to make them comfortable, and the courage to pull it off in time to give them a home surrounded by family and lots if live. It's definitely not the best paying, but it's definitely one of te most rewarding! I miss them dearly but know in my heart that I did the right thing. God doesn't lead us astray. Lcenlow at sit-co.net

  14. Oh, some Michigan history! Excellent! Sounds like some good ethic questions, too.

    When I was little I REALLY wanted to join the circus (tightrope or trapeze)... then a model... the writer thing first occurred to me in Junior high--a Sidney Sheldon novel--it was just the first story where I really thought "I could write something like this" (of course easier said than done, eh?) I passed through architect and psychiatrist phases, too, thanks to Darren Stevens and Bob Newhart... but always came back to writing.

  15. Erm... that should be Mike Brady on the architect... though there was an advertising phase for the Darren Stevens one... yeah. Hit all three. Worked in all but architecture.

  16. I wanted to be a teacher.

    I loved Jody's first two novels. I look forward to reading the third. loree.huebner@yahoo.com

  17. Julie - thanks for hosting Jody and her giveaway. I'm loving learning all these things about her! And your blog is delightful!

    Jody - A writer. Always. I used to write for the kids on the school bus - every night I'd write another chapter and the next morning I'd read my stories to my bus-mates. If writing didn't pay, I planned on being Nancy Drew on the side.

    My daughter told me she wanted to be an octopus when she grew up because then she could do 8 different things at the same time. There's something to that, isn't there?



  18. I always wanted to be a dancer (at least when I was young). I still love to dance. The closest I got to dance lessons was doing aerobic exercise. The music made me feel like I was performing dance routines:) I ended up doing mostly odd jobs while my son was growing up. I did work 9 years at a bank, and that was very fulfilling. Martha - josieringer@gmail.com

  19. Like Jody, I'm having such fun reading about what you all wanted to be when you grew up.

  20. I love reading Jody's posts -- she's pretty excellent at her craft and thanks Julie for having her over here. I enjoy reading it.

    It took me awhile to take writing seriously like in middle school I took it in full swing. This is a great post! :)

  21. Thanks for this enjoyable post! I like the blue in this blog's background... just a side comment :-)

    Jody! Always good to hear about you, friend. I also sort of wavered in what I wanted to be. From teacher to diplomatic and all. But I SO relate to you wanting to be a writer. Book lovers mostly end up following that path and I know I am one! And I definitely have that in mind.



    g.gclermont AT gmail DOT com

  22. I filled scribblers with short stories and poems as a child, but I never dreamed of writing full time as a profession. I always thought being a librarian would be the best job. It wasn't until secondary school that I added the notion of teaching as well, and that's where I ended up after university... teaching elementary school and tending the school library. In later years I worked at many other jobs, too, while still writing on the side. Even though I'm writing novels now, I don't imagine I'll ever be a full time writer, but... "never say never," right?

    (No need to enter me in the draw as I already have all of Jody's books.)

  23. I wanted to be pretty much everything... astronaut, vet, rancher, acrobat, marine biologist, photo journalist, writer, psychiatrist, researcher, coach, Broadway director,... :)

    I ended up being a teacher with a passion for writing - and it's all good!

  24. LOVE LOVE LOVE all of your comments today, everyone!! It's SO fun hearing all your childhood aspirations! Some very interesting ones in there from astronauts, cop, ballerina, circus worker, and lots more! The most unique is octopus (Becky's daughter!). And I'm amazed at how many of you also wanted to be writers!

    Thanks for sharing everyone! I've really enjoyed hearing more about each of you! :-)

  25. Congrats, Jody. Love your blog and your books. You are classy with a capital C. I wanted to be a professional baseball player or Astroboy.

  26. I always wanted to be a vet growing up but instead I've just graduated nursing school (those are kind of similar I think, now I just take care of humans).


  27. I knew I wanted to be a writer too, but others in my life convinced me it was an impossible dream. About five years ago, I decided to prove them wrong and have been working on it ever since.

  28. It's been so fun reading what you all wanted to be when you grew up. And with two sons in middle school, I can attest to the fact that many kids STILL want to be vets :)

  29. I've wanted to be a bunch of things . . . though I've always loved books and reading, so writing has been there all along in its way. :)

  30. Thanks, Julie and Jody! I wanted to be a writer ever since I was a kid too, though I also wanted to be a scientist. I guess that's why I'm a sci fi writer!

  31. Thanks so much everyone for stopping by and sharing your "when I grow up" stories. It's been so much fun to read them!

  32. I thought I wanted to be a teacher, but ended up majoring in English...hope to write one day ;)

    Thank you for the chance to win!


  33. I might be too late for the giveaway, but I thought I'd answer the question anyway because it's a fun one! I always wanted to be a writer and a mom, and a writer and a mom I am! I know, how boring. :)

    But I did overhear a cute conversation between my 3yo daughter and my 5yo daycare boy (who are planning to marry each other, btw) the other day. He said he was going to be a bus driver when he grew up and my daughter said, "Well, I'm going to be an artist and a cooker." He said, "Don't you want to be a bus driver like me?" And she gave out a big sigh and said, "Okay, I'll be a bus driver and an artist and a cooker." LOL. Love kids.

    Great post! And congratulations Jody on your new release!

  34. Congrats on the release, Jody! I agree, the connection between social workers and writers is a strong one. :) I remember distinctly raising my hand in seventh grade when the english teacher asked who thought they had a novel in them. :) It turns out I had more than one. Thank goodness.

  35. Oh, where do I begin!

    When I was 4 I wanted to be a ballet dancer (I'm male, just to get that out of the way), and later changed my mind when I found out all my favorite turns and leaps were only done by girls.

    The most their male counterparts could do is lift their partners in the air, and I was never that strong, and it would require a commitment I sure couldn't have handled than, never mind now...

    At 7 I wanted to be a concert pianist, but only took two years of lessons, and one recital, I lost interest. I never learned how to read music, I didn't practice like I should've, and I wanted to play my favorite songs, rather than what I was instructed.

    Then at 12 I started teaching myself to cook, and thought I wanted to be a chef. But when I realized the crazy hours and being slung in a thousand directions at once, I knew I couldn't hack it, I realized I love cooking, but I can't survive in a restaurant environment.

    Then I found writing fiction was something I was good at, and didn't require me to wash dishes for 45 minutes (The one part of cooking I don't like...)

    Don't ask what my secondary career will be until writing takes off. I still have no idea. You'd think at 25 I'd have some idea.