Happy Tuesday everyone! Today is going to be a fun day – not only do we get to hear from the wonderful Jody about her latest, Undaunted Hope, but there’s also a giveaway. You know that means it’s going to be a good day!
First let’s kick off with a little about the book:
1. Each of your lighthouse books is set at a real lighthouse that once existed in Michigan or still does exist. Tell us a little about the lighthouse in this third book.
Yes, my first lighthouse book (Love Unexpected) is set at Presque Isle which is on Lake Huron on the north eastern side of the state. The second book (Hearts Made Whole) is set at Windmill Point Lighthouse that once existed on Lake St. Clair near Detroit.
Undaunted Hope is set at Eagle Harbor Lighthouse which is in the far north of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. In fact, it’s about as far north as you can go in Michigan. During the mining boom in the Upper Peninsula, Eagle Harbor saw a rapid increase in the commerce in the area with ships arriving to supply miners as well as load up the valuable copper that was being mined. Due to the dangers of a rocky ledge in the harbor, the Eagle Harbor Lighthouse was established in 1851 to guide ships safely to and from the docks in the harbor.
2. The heroines in the first two books actually live in lighthouses. In Undaunted Hope, the heroine is a school teacher. Why did you decide for her to be a school teacher instead of a light keeper?
As I researched the area and the Keweenau Peninsula, I came across the diary of a real school teacher, Henry Hobart, who lived and taught in Clifton which was just a few miles down the road from Eagle Harbor. He wrote a detailed account of his life as a school teacher to the mining children.
I loved reading his diary and learning about all he experienced, especially those unique things that came with being in such a remote area of Michigan and living among the mining community.
I used many of Hobart’s experiences in Undaunted Hope. For example, he boarded with a Cornish family, the Rawlings, and Mr. Rawlings was a prominent mine engineer and mechanic. So I had Tessa board with this particular family. Hobart faced many hardships like bedbugs, lice, scarlet fever, the harsh winter, and much more. So again, I had Tessa experience many of those same things.
Eagle Harbor itself has an old one-room school house now known as the Rathbone School House. While it’s no longer in use and serves as a museum, during my research trip I was able to visit it. I used it as the inspiration for the school house in this book.
3. Do you base the villain in Undaunted Hope on a real Michigan criminal as you do in previous books? If so, who did you pick this time?
The villain, Percival Updegraff, is based on a real rogue from Michigan history, Albert Molitor. Molitor lived in Rogers City and ruled as “king” over his wilderness lumbering community. He controlled who was hired and fired. He had a company store and held a monopoly on all food and merchandise.
He was also a sexual predator. Since he had so much control over the people who worked for him, if he took interest in a woman, he would walk into the woman’s house and order her into bed. If she refused or resisted, he’d fire her husband and force the family to leave the company owned home.
He “ruled” this way until the people in the community finally revolted. They held secret meetings to plan to overthrow him. And while it took a couple of attempts, they attempted to assassinate him. He was mortally wounded and eventually died which finally freed the town of his cruelty.
4. What do you hope readers take away from Undaunted Hope?
I pray that this story will encourage readers with renewed hope. Just like Tessa, I hope that readers will find the strength to face their fears. We all have things that frighten us, and many times we find it easier to run away from those things that scare us. Sometimes, however, God calls us to walk directly into that thing we fear most. He wants us to know that during those times, he’s there walking right beside us and that he’ll help us come out on the other side stronger as a result.
Yay! Loved hearing about the background and details of Undaunted Hope. Now a couple of personal questions:
5. You are a busy Mom of five children. What are their ages and what are they up to these days?
My oldest son is a freshmen in college, attending Cedarville University in Ohio. He enjoyed playing JV basketball there this past fall. My twin daughters are sixteen and driving now. Need I say more! 🙂
My youngest son is in junior high and usually has a new hobby that he’s attempting to master. After learning origami, he moved on to yo-yo’s. And now he’s currently becoming a Rubik’s Cube pro.
My darling baby daughter is in fifth grade and loves ballet. Since I don’t have a graceful bone in my body, she amazes me with her beautiful and poised dancing.
6. What about your husband? What does he think about your writing career?
My husband and I will be celebrating 25 years of marriage this year! Can you believe it?! He continues to be a Christian counselor with his own private practice. He supports me one hundred and ten percent in my career, the same way I support him in his. We tag team most of our family responsibilities, each of us working together to ensure that our family runs smoothly! Of course, we have plenty of roadblocks and crashes upon the path we travel with our family, but we trust that God uses every bump and bruise to his glory.
7. What do kinds of activities do you do to keep yourself energized and refreshed?
One of the most important activities that I’ve taken up over the past couple of years is running. Not only is it a great way to stay healthy (yes, I’ve reduced my blood pressure and cholesterol since I started running), but I also use my running time to pray, praise, and listen to books.
Of course, I LOVE reading! I always have a couple of books going at once. And most nights I read in bed before going to sleep.
If you don’t already, be sure to connect with Jody around the web:
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
Find me on Instagram: instagram.com/jodyhedlund/
Come pin with me on Pinterest: pinterest.com/jodyhedlund/pins/
Hope y’all enjoyed and now….GIVEAWAY TIME!! Jody is awesome and giving away a copy of Undaunted Hope to one of you fabulous readers!