Best known for her historical romances, Jody Hedlund steps into the YA genre with a fresh voice and a touch of fantasy to intrigue readers of her new medieval novel An Uncertain Choice (Zondervan). Jody discusses her decision to expand into new genres and engage her readers in meaningful conversation.

Award winning author Jody Hedlund is an established voice in the niche of historical romance. As she ventures into new genres, Jody continues to write in a historical setting with an addition of fairy tale elements. “Most of my inspiration has come from some of the very first stories I wrote as a little girl in spiral notebooks about princesses, princes, and happily-ever-afters.” She enthusiastically adds, “My YA is medieval times which is allowing me to jump into a time period that I’m crazy about! I’ve had lots of fun writing about knights, castles, and daring damsels!”

Her decision to move into the young adult genre is twofold. With three teenagers, Jody explains, “I’ve ended up reading a lot of books in the young adult genre not only to stay abreast of what my kids are reading, but also to have discussions about the topics and world views within the books. Naturally, as I’ve fallen in love with reading them, I had to consider the possibility of writing them.” Jody has been able to use her daughter’s feedback to make her novels even more engaging for readers.

Will Lady Rosemarie prove to be a daring damsel or one in distress? “An Uncertain Choice is a little bit like reality TV, especially a show like The Bachlorette–albeit a much sweeter and cleaner version! Lady Rosemarie, the heroine, is presented with three really fantastic men to choose to marry. In some ways, she can’t go wrong with any of the men since they’re all noble and swoon-worthy! But readers get to join the adventure as she must narrow down her choices even as the clock ticks away to the day of her eighteenth birthday when she must either marry or enter the convent and become a nun.”

With the popularity of the YA market recently, the timing of her release couldn’t be more fitting. “My new YA series is definitely intended for both young and old alike! With the explosion of the YA market in recent years, I know there are many other adults like me who’ve fallen in love with reading YA. So, anyone who likes a love story that’s wrought with danger and intrigues and lots of romance will enjoy this book.”

Beyond her desire to write an entertaining story, Jody’s hope is for An Uncertain Choice to facilitate discussion between mothers and their daughters about dating, love, and marriage. As Rosemarie struggles with relationship issues and how to recognize love, Jody urges readers to go deeper and have meaningful conversations. In order to encourage this discussion, Jody has developed a discussion guide to be used as a tool for talking about relationship issues.

As her readership expands, Jody is using her platform to stimulate deeper conversation. Her aspiration is for readers to go beyond the story and engage in questions that we all face. “It’s my prayer that An Uncertain Choice will be more than just another entertaining love story, but will also be a catalyst to help young women begin to think wisely about one of the most important decisions they’ll ever make.”

Cassie Baker writes on her blog, Bookshelves and Windows. She has her Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and loves reading, writing, cross-stitching, and singing songs from her favorite Broadway shows. You can follow her on Twitter @BooksandWindow5.

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