Hi, friends! I’m excited to welcome Jody Hedlund back to the blog to talk about her latest release, A Daring Sacrifice. I loved this story so much! Click here to read my review.
You’ve based A Daring Sacrifice a little bit on the Robin Hood story. What drew you to this medieval tale?
I’ve always loved tales about underdogs rising up against injustice. The story of Robin Hood encompasses such an element, where the poor are unfairly cast from their homes, forced into hiding, and must rely upon their fearless leader to fight for their rights.
Instead of a nobleman leading and fighting for the needs of the underdogs, I decided to add a twist and have my heroine, a displaced noblewoman, be the leader of a band of poor outcasts. As a skilled archer, she’s gained a reputation as the “Cloaked Bandit” doing her best to protect and provide for the people she’s grown to love.
A Daring Sacrifice is written in first person. How do you determine what voice to use, and why did you want Juliana and Collin to tell their story?
I write all of my adult novels in third person. But in the young adult genre, first person is very popular. I think first person appeals to teens because it allows them to relate a little more intimately with the main character. They feel as if they’re one step closer and on the adventure right along with the characters, getting inside their heads and bodies and emotions. And let’s face it, teens are in an especially emotional time of life. Being able to connect emotionally to a character is important.
For all those reasons and more, I decided to write my YA series in first person as well. It’s a little tricky when switching between the hero and heroine’s POV. So my publisher decided to do different fonts to designate between the hero and the heroine’s POV. So when you see that in the book, it’s not a mistake. It’s intentional!
How is writing for a YA audience different than writing for an adult audience? What are the similarities?
While many of my adult readers have enjoyed my YA books just as much if not more than my adult novels, I do get adult readers now and then who are surprised, maybe even disgruntled, with the fact that my YA books are slightly different than my adult novels. And I try to gently remind them, that they’re supposed to be different.
First, my YA books are shorter, crisper, and less historically detailed. In fact, I’d almost go as far as saying that my YA are more fairy-tale world than true historicals. They contain enough detail to give a “flavor” of another place, but not too much to bog down younger readers.
Secondly, my YA books are more plot driven than character driven. I’ve included battle scenes as well as some of the seat-of-your pants danger that appeals to the modern teen reader. I plunge my characters into desperate, life-threatening situations which, in the era of books like The Hunger Games, is appealing to modern readers).
A third difference is in how I’m approaching the heroine and the romance. My YA heroines are a bit younger and so they are more of a coming of age story where the heroine must grapple with some “growing up” issues. I’ve also tried to keep the romance very sweet and tender (as opposed to my adult novels that while clean, are more passionate in nature).
Whether my adult novels or YA, I simply want to tell a compelling story. I hope that I’ve been able to entertain and perhaps even inspire in both of my markets.
What did you have the most fun with when you were writing the book?
Of course, since this is a series involving knights, I had to have those knights engaged in various battles. So I had a lot of fun writing the sword-wielding, arrow-shooting, death-defying scenes. In addition, I always have fun figuring out how my heroine can help save the day (because while I like having the knight come to the rescue, I also like being able to have the heroine do some rescuing too!).
A Daring Sacrifice ends with one of the knights in mortal danger, a cliff hanger for the next book in the series. Can you tell us a little bit more about the third book?
For Love and Honor is the third book in the series and gives the final knight his happily-ever-after. However, as you know from the cliff-hanger at the end of A Daring Sacrifice, he has to work extremely hard to gain his true love as well as save his life and those of the people he loves.
I had a lot of fun writing the heroine of the third book. She’s a little quirky and not quite as beautiful (aka more normal!) as the ladies in the first two books. She’s also hiding a secret, a “blemish” on her skin that could brand her as a witch if anyone ever sees it. During the Middle Ages, the time of the Inquisition and extreme religious intolerance, even the slightest mole, birth defect, or blemish could easily lead to accusations of witchcraft. The times were dangerous, and of course, I just love putting my characters right into the middle of the worst possible danger. Cue: evil cackle.
Thanks so much, Jody! I love your stories and can’t wait to read For Love and Honor!!
In other exciting news, Jody is hosting a Giving Key Necklace Giveaway!
Look what I found at Barnes & Noble!! Not only has Barnes & Noble done a fabulous job placing A DARING SACRIFICE in their Teen Section, but I’m told Wal-Mart has placed the book in stores too! In order to say THANKS (as well as get MORE inspirational teen fiction in both stores in the future!), let’s show our support!
Go to your Barnes & Noble or Wal-Mart (or any local bookstore!) and snap your picture with A Daring Sacrifice. (And of course buy it! Early Easter present! 🙂 )
If you take a picture of yourself with A Daring Sacrifice, post it on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter and tag Jody Hedlund! One random picture/reader will win a Giving Key Necklace with the word “Sacrifice” engraved on it!
Contest ends March 31, 2016
Jody Hedlund is a best-selling and award-winning author who loves fairy-tales and happily-ever-afters. She makes her home in Midland, MI with her husband and five children. When she’s not writing another of her page-turning stories, you can usually find her sipping coffee, eating chocolate, and reading.